Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Set in a Boston that’s slightly in the future, readers will recognize this celebrity-obsessed world where eighteen-year-old Lyn lives with her mother, little brother and seventh stepfather. Her culture is immersed in violence, with the favorite blood sport being Neo-gladiators, based on the ancient Roman athletes but with enough modern twists to keep viewers glued to the live television feeds. When her seventh Gladiator father is killed in battle, his opponent Uber picks up the bracelet she had given her dad Tommy for good luck. The GSA (Gladiator Sports Association) decides that the perfect media event would be having Lynn, the daughter of seven glads, marry the new champion, Uber. Unfortunately for her, Lyn has never set her sights on being a career Glad Wife like her mom, and she goes to some pretty amazing lengths to escape this arranged marriage.
I really enjoyed this story. The plot moved along quickly and I liked Lyn’s spunky, sarcastic personality. A warning for history buffs: the GSA and the author take huge liberties with the art of gladiator combat, both for the characters’ and story’s purpose. A warning for delicate readers: the book has some pretty explicit fight scenes, full of blood and gore, that you might only want to peek at through your handing covering your eyes.