Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Sep 30, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pub. Date: August 17, 2010
ISBN: 1599905213
Pages: 336 pages
It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arena
Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.  Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator.  Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine.
Girl in the Arena was a unique and surprising book. I found myself "on the edge of my seat". Lise Haines has written a wonderful book.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. What I got was definitely unexpected though. This book is set in present day, with a twist. There are gladiators. I won't say much though because it's fun to see how Lise Haines has creatively intertwined this "sport" into our modern world. You'll find yourself forgetting that there aren't any gladiators anymore.

Lyn was a fantastic character. I found myself continually rooting for her and her family. I became torn once Uber was introduced though. I found their relationship intriguing and it definitely added a wonderful element to the story.

I will say that the dialogue in this book is different. I've never read a book with dialogue they way Lise Haines wrote it. There are no quotation marks. It sounds odd, but you get used to it and it shouldn't keep you from reading this book!

Overall it was a great, suspenseful read. I hope Lise Haines writes a sequel, or at least another YA book.

Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars


  1. Thanks for the review! The no quotes thing is a bit odd to follow but I've seen it in other novels. So glad you enjoyed it.

  2. I've been wanting to read a review on this one.
    I recently read a book with no quotations and I thought it was weird. It bothered me, but yet it didn't really take away from the story.

  3. Great review! It was a strange book and I couldn't put my finger on it, maybe it was the no quotations. Either way, it was a great read.

  4. This one reminded me of Hunger Games as I was reading the summary. Then it was mentioned, and I was thankful that I wasn't the only person who thought so!

    So, how do you distinguish between what someone is saying and what they're thinking? Should I just wait to see for myself? :P

    Sounds like an awesome book, regardless!


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