Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Girl in the Arena” as Want to Read:
Girl in the Arena
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Girl in the Arena

2.99 of 5 stars 2.99  ·  rating details  ·  4,092 ratings  ·  766 reviews
As a modern gladiator's daughter, Lyn and her family live by the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association. But those rules can turn against you. When Lyn's seventh father dies in the ring, his opponent, Uber, captures Lyn's dowry bracelet-and her hand in marriage. To win her freedom, Lyn will do what no girl has done before: enter the arena and fight her father's murderer...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (first published October 13th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Girl in the Arena, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Girl in the Arena

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lucy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tamora Pierce
This one was a big disappointment for me, since I was expecting--well, a girl gladiator. In this alternate history U.S., back yard gladiator games developed as an adjunct to the Vietnam War. As the popularity and complexity of the games rose, they were bought by Caesar's (the gambling franchise) and given the polish given to professional wrestling, including televised matches, toy and clothing franchises, and even a college at which women can learn to be good gladiator wives. (There is no mentio...more
Penny
I want to give Girl in the Arena four--possibly even five--stars, because it has something few other books I've had the pleasure of reading has. Something I've been looking for, desperately, within YA fiction. Something that just...I don't know... Just speaks to me, I guess; feels true. I can relate to it, to the protagonist, how she feels. I understand her because, in a way, I was her. Maybe, from time to time, I still am her.

To help you understand where I'm coming from I need to go back. Way...more
Anne Osterlund
Lyn is a pacifist—she thinks. Though avoiding violence is quite a challenge when one is the daughter of seven gladiators (six dead, one alive) and—even worse—a Gladiator’s Wife. But nothing in Lynn’s life has ever been easy. Not watching her former fathers die in their matches, or protecting her oracle of a brother from being placed in a facility, or worrying about her mother’s next faux death.

But when Lyn’s bracelet is picked up in the arena by her father’s killer and she has to choose between...more
Rebekah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
jo mo
this is like nothing and everything i expected it to be.

born into a world of violence, 18-year-old lyn, the daughter of 7 neo-gladiators decides to fight uber, the guy who killed her 7th father and took her dowry bracelet, so she can claim her now threatened independence and prevent being a glad-wife like her mother, who represents everything she doesn't want to be. but there's also thad, her unusual 8-year-old brother, seemingly able to predict the future, who she wants to take care of.

before...more
Morgan F
I have really conflicted feelings about this book. I was expecting some cheap Hunger Games rip-off, but it wasn't like that at all.

This book is about Lyn, who has had seven gladiator fathers, due to her mothers career as a Glad wife. As a substitute to war, an entire Glad culture has arisen, blood sport being just as common as football. Lyn's life is ruled by bylaws put forth by the Gladiator Sports Association. It is these bylaws that say she is required, through a chain of unfortunate events,...more
oliviasbooks
Girl in the Arena is a science fiction novel. Yet it does not tell a future story; it is firmly anchored in a – only slightly altered – ‘now’ by using plenty of pop-culture references to today’s society (Youtube, Second Life, Sofia Copolla ...).

Closing one eye the fictional turns of the past decades and the imagined outcome for the present even seem almost likely. But the likelihood of the exact setting does not strike me as so important. If you peel away the alterations, you basically find the...more
Lydia
Girl in the Arena really interested me at first. Gladiator fighting in an urban setting? Neat. But I was so, so disappointed and ended up struggling to finish this book.

Let's begin with the world building. Girl in the Arena takes place in an alternate world where basically everything is the same, only gladiator fighting is a thing. A big thing. Let's stop here. Why would millions of people watch two guys hacking away at each other (and one eventually being murdered) and be okay with it? Not sur...more
Angie
So I'm working my way through all the Cybils YA Fantasy/Science Fiction nominees, when GIRL IN THE ARENA shows up on my doorstep (thank you, Bloomsbury!). Truthfully, I'm a little supernatural creatured out just about now and so this dystopian, neo-gladiator, fight to the death novel seemed made to order. I remember seeing it at BEA and somehow not snagging a copy. I'd read a few reviews here and there, some favorable, some middling, and I knew I loved the cover. I mean, look at that. It's aweso...more
Clare
A vague, poorly written book trying to capitalize on the rush, brutality and teen sexual tension that the Hunger Games offered. Oh, and there's a useless mother and needy sibling as well. Same dissatisfying ending as Mockingjay, too. Lise Haines is not an author whose writing style I enjoy. Lots of dashes instead of quotes. It's hard to understand where the conversation starts and the sarcastic inner remark begins. Part of the reason why grammar nerds get so upset is that a message is clearer wh...more
Corinne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas
This was not what I expected. I assumed, and I'm sure a lot of other people did as well, that it would be similar to The Hunger Games, due to the title and the summary on the inside cover. It isn't, not by a long shot.

I feel guilty for comparing it to the Hunger Games, but inevitably, comparisons will be drawn. While the book by Suzanne Collins focuses about Katniss actually being in the arena, Girl in the Arena offers a more introspective view into how war and bloodshed affect the people outsid...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja*
Read pre-goodreads. I refuse to write a review.....

Krystle
Gosh, I was so amped up for this book and then it all came crashing down like twenty huge elephants stomping on my brain.

The beginning of this book started out with a lot of promise with the sudden death of her father in a brutal way, her despair, and how one simple gesture now comes around to bite her in the ass. Specifically, having to marry the killer of her father. I thought it was excellent start and then it just took a steep nose dive from there.

One of the main problems is the guy (I forg...more
Grace
Where to begin with this book? I thought the idea was phenomenal. I mean a book about gladiators!! I don't even think that's really been done before in the young adult genre...and to be honest I'm getting a little distressed and bored from all these standard vampire/werewolf/zombie teen books. It is basically the same concept and plotline redone by different authors in every novel I pick up. It's an inescapable representation now quite overdone in the juvenile/young adult world. There were endle...more
Nicole
This book was just hard to get through. It was very boring. I don't understand the world and how the Glad's laws are held over the government's laws. Nothing that occurred really made any sense. The fact that Thad is like an oracle. Uber touching Lyn's dowry bracelet automatically mean they had to get married. It just didn't add up. A lot of things occurred that weren't important to the story. Then at the end I don't feel like there was a point to the story. Nothing really changed or resulted fr...more
TinasBookReviews
The story, set to feel like a graphic novel or comic book with sentence structure and character dialog, clips along at a pretty fast pace. In a dystopian future, blood sport streams live on global TV. Neo-gladiators are celebrities, and Lyn's mother Allison has made a career of marrying into gladiator stardom. But when Allison’s seventh husband Tommy is killed her career as trophy wife is up. Things are looking pretty bleak for Lyn as well, due to the fact that because of gladiator rules, she ha...more
Raina
The subtitle of this book (which only shows up on the title page of the book itself) is "A Novel Containing Intense Prolonged Sequences of Disaster and Peril." The cover has "Daughter. Celebrity. Neo-gladiator." under the title. But this is not a book about a female gladiator. Or even a teenage girl who wants to be a gladiator. This is a book about the daughter of 7 gladiators who is being pressured to be a gladiator's wife and join glad culture. It's almost incidental that she ends up fighting...more
Rachel
The worst thing about the book was definitely a formatting issue. Odd formatting of dialogue is an annoyance and detracts from whatever the character's are saying. I think if more author's used this format, it would actually put me off reading entirely. Ugh.

The story wasn't really the one advertised by the cover tagline either, which was a let down. The premise is that the girl (in the arena) is fighting to avenge her father's death in the neo-gladiator ring. Well, no, that's not true. It's her...more
Miki Garrison
This is an amazing book that really stands out above the crowd in a lot of ways. I think it would appeal to a wide range of readers, and I have already passed it on or recommended it to many of my friends.

The book is about Lyn, the daughter of a gladiator in a near future world where gladiators not only fight to the death for glory and TV contracts, but also live by a strict social code that governs not only their lives, but also those of their wives and children.

Here are some of the many thin...more
Nadine
Zum Inhalt:
Im Gegensatz zu anderen Dystopien spielt dieses Buch in unserer Zeit, allerdings haben Gladiatorenveranstaltungen auf Leben und Tod Einzug in die Unterhaltungs-"Kultur" genommen. Zunächst reine Untergrundveranstaltungen, wurden sie irgendwann in den USA legalisiert.

Lyns Mutter ist eine Gladiatoren-Ehefrau mit Leib und Seele, 6 Ehemänner sind bereits in der Arena gestorben und es wird ihr gesetzlich verboten sein, ein 8. Mal zu heiraten oder eine Beziehung einzugehen. Ihr jetziger Mann...more
Beth
At first I thought this book sounded a little too similar to the Hunger Games, and there are a few similarities, but mostly this one is it's own story. It is set in a modern day where gladiator sport has made a come back and is televised with a huge fan base and almost cult like following. Lyn is a girl who has lost 6 fathers to the sport and when the 7th one dies early on his opponent picks up her dowry braclet. Under gladiator law this makes her obligated to marry her father's murderer, but sh...more
Rochelle
I liked this book in the beginning but by the end it was a sinking ship. Lise Haines pastes us in this alternate "now" where Gladiator sport is the norm and watching them fight and maim each other to death is the most popular entertainment in the world. Glads are treated like full blown celebs like Angelina and Brad, they're chased by paparazzi, give tv interviews, are adored by fans, etc. The whole glad culture had a religious feel to it with all its laws and rules that have to be obeyed or you...more
Kaylabee
Okay, I wish I could give this book less than a one-star rating. It is so bad it makes me want to throw up a little bit. I feel hollowed out and totally bummed after reading it. I kept reading, even though it was so confusing and stupid and badly executed right from the beginning, because I was hoping it would get better. BUT IT JUST GOT WORSE.

So, FIRST OF ALL, the author just, like, completely ignored all reason and realistic-ness by putting this whole gladiator culture in the middle of the mo...more
Deb
Feb 04, 2010 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls who don't like reading much
Recommended to Deb by: Book Smugglers
On the back of the book, Tom Robbins (!!!) exclaims: "What Lise Haines has wrought is a kind of comic book without pictures, a wild pop novel that--rocking with violent energy and bopping with social satire--can generate suspense, horror, laughter and even twinges of tenderness."

And you know what? It's all true. I started reading this book after work yesterday and couldn't put the damn thing down. Haines crafts a society with mores and a time line based on current day that it is oft indistinguis...more
Jessica
I secretly would like to learn to really fight, with a sword, or martial arts, so you can see the appeal of this book for me: the basic premise is an alternate reality in which gladiator fighting is fast becoming the biggest sport in the world. That hooked me for sure! But could it really deliver beyond that basic premise?

Oh, yeah!

There was so much more going on in this book! The "gladiator lifestyle", as dictated by the Gladiatorial Sport Association by-laws, is a rigid code of conduct that aff...more
Scribs
I picked up this book because of the fascinating premise. I'm a big Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games fan and this book looked similar. Lyn, an 18-year old girl, faces a dilemma when her 7th father is killed. Her fathers were all part of the Gladiator culture, hoping to survive their contracts, but none of them did. Now, her father's killer wears her dowry bracelet and Lyn is ordered to marry him.

Lyn spends the book alternately training and moping about. It's just personal preference, but I couldn't...more
Renuka
This book would have been awesome except for the fact that there were no quotation marks. This made the writing feel really vague to me and gave me a headache. I think this is probably a personal issue and I don't know if anyone else thought the same thing but the no qoutations made me go "Wait? What just happened?", more than once. But I still really liked the whole marry your fathers murderer because he picked up your bracelet thing. It was really interesting for me for some reason! And the fa...more
Ashley Brooke
This book fell flat for me. Fans of Hunger Games should know that of the two, Girl in the Arena is much more low key than the back of the book makes you expect. Not my favorite.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Candor
  • Nomansland
  • Epitaph Road
  • The Line (The Line, #1)
  • The Raintree Rebellion
  • The Unidentified
  • They Came From Below
  • The Sky Inside (The Sky Inside, #1)
  • Memento Nora (Memento Nora, #1)
  • Libyrinth (Libyrinth, #1)
  • XVI (XVI, #1)
  • The Returners
  • The Water Wars
  • Empty
  • The Blending Time
  • Days Like This
  • The Other Side of the Island
  • The Third
433824
LISE HAINES is the author of three novels, Girl in the Arena, Small Acts of Sex and Electricity (a Book Sense Pick in 2006 and one of ten “Best Book Picks for 2006” by the NPR station in San Diego), and In My Sister’s Country,, a finalist for the 2003 Paterson Fiction Prize. Her short stories and essays have appeared in a number of literary journals and she was a finalist for the PEN Nelson Algren...more
More about Lise Haines...
Small Acts of Sex and Electricity In My Sister's Country

Share This Book