Thursday, November 19

Girl In The Arena by Lise Haines

I was lucky enough to score an interview with Lise Haines! She is the author of Girl In The Arena which is an awesome book! It was just released in October and I suggest you pick up a copy right now!!

1.What inspired you to write your first book?

Lise: My first novel was In My Sister’s Country. But if it’s okay with you, I’ll talk about Girl in the Arena, my first YA novel. There were a number of things influencing me when I began to write this wild and crazy book. Everything from watching my daughter create an avatar on a gaming site to reflecting on the war in Iraq and where we’re going with our celebrity addiction. Though I didn’t start out with this intention, at some point I realized I was holding up a mirror to something in our culture that couldn’t be ignored. I have a few notes on how GIRL began, some of my daughter’s avatars, and a crack-up video on my website: I love, by the way, hearing from young readers and writers.

2. What books have most influenced your life most?

Lise: It’s a long list that goes from Alice in Wonderland to To Kill a Mockingbird and The Virgin Suicides. These are books that easily make me say: I wish I had written them.

3. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Lise: Let me throw two authors out there, because like best friends, I’m fortunate to have more than one. Jane Austen does it for me because of her ability to transport her readers to another time and place, her understanding of human nature and the way her language flows. I really love Tim O’Brien’s work because he reflects our time and he does it by using such great imagery and perfect-pitch irony. And okay, I have to throw Lorrie Moore into the batch as well. She’s one of the great living humorists. I mean any author who could write a novel called, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital… Wait and see, she’s going to win some awards this year.

4. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Lise: Time, pure and simple. I juggle single/divorced parenting along with teaching full time as Writer in Residence at Emerson College, along with writing books. When you’re a writer and you have that much on your plate, and you’re so passionate about each aspect of your life as I am, you have to produce time out of thin air. The actual writing was a joy and the world of Girl in the Arena was, and still is, very addictive to me


Summary: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.

My Thoughts: I honestly didn't know what I thought as I began this book. Usually I don't read these kind of books. I'm more the romance/vampire type of girl. But I liked the premise of this one and wanted to give it a try! We begin to learn all about the gladiator sports association and how their system works. We learn that people fight to the death. We learn there are A LOT of rules. For example, if the opponent touches a person's dowry bracelet he must marry her. The only person allowed to touch it is the father. We start to learn about Lyn's family. Her mother, stepfather, and brother. We get to know her friends, such as Mark. He is really there for Lyn and is an all around good guy. Lyn's seventh step father is up to fight. His opponent ends up picking up Lyn's dowry bracelet so now according to the laws Lyn is his to marry. I won't give you too many other details without ruining the whole plot. This book was fun and enjoyable. But at times I didn't like all the rules. But that is what makes it so special! I loved how Lyn is independent and she wants to be her own person. She doesn't believe in all the rules. I liked the romance aspect of the book as well. I liked the relationship between her and Mark, and the way things progress with her and her stepfather's opponent. I really liked her stepfather also. There was something about him that was very likable. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop! I finished this book in one sitting! This book is filled with some happy times, some rough times, and it even made me tear up a few times. There are deaths, there is love, there is independence. A mixture of everything you could hope for.

Overall: I really liked this one more than I thought I would. Was very interesting an had an interesting take on the gladiator sport. I really liked all the characters and the way things tied together.
Lately I have been lucky to read such good books right after one another!

Cover: I like the cover. I think it fits the book perfectly.

What I'd Give It:


brizmus said...

This book sounds so exciting. Thanks for the great interview! She's been inspired by such amazing books!

Ellz said...

I saw the trailer for this book which was HISTERICAL. Great interview! I am adding this to my wish list!


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