SPOILERSGirl in the Arena
by Lise Haines
There is a photo instead of a quote because the formatting of this book drove me crazy and will be the focus of my (quick) rant today.
Why with the em dashes before dialogue? Are quotations not good enough? Also it's so hard to tell when dialogue ends and actions begin. Sometimes her thoughts are italicized and sometimes they are not. It's incredibly frustrating and, more importantly, distracting.
I think also if the book's plot was less shallow and boring I may have been able to give the formatting a pass. Girl in the Arena is about a world where gladiator sport has an NFL-like league complete with contracts that dictate the behavior of wives and offspring. Lyn's mother is on her last allowed gladiator husband (total is 7) and when he dies in the arena, his opponent picks up Lyn's dowry bracelet and according to the bylaws, they must get married. Lyn doesn't want to be a Gladiator Wife and refuses. The organization turns on the family until Lyn comes up with the solution: a fight to the death between herself and Uber. And then she cheats and uses what is basically a Sims hologram version of herself in the fight. Like many reviews say, there is about 10 pages total devoted to arena fighting in this book. It's really more of a dysfunctional family novel than the book it was claiming to be. The back cover has "ONE NIGHT ONLY! FIGHT TO THE DEATH! GIRL IN THE ARENA" listed in large font.
But mostly, it's the formatting. Uggggh.