Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Girl in the Arena - Lise Haines

TITLE: The Girl in the Arena

AUTHOR: Lise Haines

SUMMARY: In Massachusetts, eighteen-year-old Lyn, who has grown up in the public eye as the daughter of seven gladiators, wants nothing less than to follow her mother's path, but her only way of avoiding marriage to the warrior who killed her last stepfather may be to face him in the arena. - From Publisher

REVIEW: This book was such an unexpectedly awesome book. When I'd read the summary online I figured it'd be enjoyable but never was I expecting such a dynamic tale with characters that tugged at my heart.

Before I get to the good I'm going to hit the bad. There wasn't much but a few things. Starting with how I dislike being confused with 'modern' stories. I had no clue what time this was set in, current or future or past. What I'm trying to say is that it took me a bit to figure out where we were and I wish that in summaries they did a bit better job being less vague. Once I realized that it was slightly in the future but not flying cars future I was good.

My other issue was just the dialogue style. Haines didn't use quotation marks for dialogue but instead a dash and it took me while to enjoy the style. Felt like I didn't always know when the person was talking verses thinking. Wish she'd used the standard punctuation because it definitely would've been less confusing.

There was lots I loved about this book. The whole cautionary tale about our society becoming desensitized to violence and our disturbing thirst for it was probably my favorite aspect of the book. It definitely makes you look at the world around you in a different light.

Haines really created some stunning characters and gave them so much to work with. Characters, like Uber, that in most books you would hate you ended up loving. He actually became one of my favorites by the end of the book. We got the unexpected with him and Haines managed to give us the unexpected with all her characters. I loved how fresh and unique these characters were.

The plot itself was engaging and kept you hooked. I loved the twists we got and how as the story progressed we got information about previous events that subtly shaped certain outcomes. However, without the past history you weren't confused. All the finer details just added to the big pictures. Haines definitely has a way of giving us the story and then adding to it in a seamless fashion.

If you haven't picked this one up I highly recommend you do!

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Vixen Pearl said...

I have to be honest, as interesting as this sounds, the no quotation marks thing would probably drive me nuts. Sorry. I'm a grammar snob. I may check it out though... Thanks for another fine one, Lisa. :)

♥ Lisa ♥ said...

The no quotation marks were brutal. Even once I thought I was getting the hang of it I'd have to re-read a sentence . Isn't no quotations poor english? What would make an author/editor be okay with that?

Glad you liked the review and if you can overcome the whole " " issue it is a good book.