Thursday, July 14, 2011

CBR III Review #83: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

CBR III Review #83: Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

I was warned by another Cannonball Participant that this is nothing like The Hunger Games, but I was intrigued by the title and took the bait anyways. I should have heeded the advice.

Girl in the Arena is not a bad novel, but I really think it suffers from the inevitable comparisons to The Hunger Games.  Lyn is a modern gladiators daughter.  Her mother is actually married to her seventh gladiator making Lyn the by-product of seven gladiator fathers.  A claim to fame that no one else has.  Girl in the Arena obviously takes place in an alternate reality where Gladiator games were resurrected underground, much like a fight club.  The games pick up popularity and become a huge sport around the world.

The novel begins with Lyn's seventh father going into what should be his final fight because of his looming retirement.  It does end up being his last fight, but only because he is defeated and killed by his opponent. As a result, Lyn becomes a pawn in the Gladiator Sports Association public relations plan. Iff she doesn't marry the man her killed her father her family will lose everything.  Lyn is now faced with three choices:  marry the man who  killed father, allow her family to become homeless and destitute, or win her freedom in the arena by fighting her betrothed. The circumstances that lead to these choices are utterly ridiculous and contrived, but it is a book about modern day gladiator fighting so I can look past these circumstances.

Another particular annoyance with the novel is the title of the book and the book blurb give away the entire plot line. In actuality she doesn't decide to try and fight for her freedom until the latter part of the book, and she doesn't even step foot into the area until the very very end of the novel.

I didn't hate The Girl in the Arena, but thank god it appears to be a stand alone novel. I'm exhausted from reading trilogies. Just don't be fooled by the title.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599905213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599905211
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 
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