Author: Lise Haines
Ever pick up a book on the off chance that it might be good and be very very wrong? Yep. That’s this book. I had heard a lot of hype about this one being a great read. I was a bit skeptical due the the fact that it was about modern day gladiators. However, I decided to give it a chance since it was a library book and so I figured, why not? I wish I hadn’t. I really wish I hadn’t.
Let me start by saying the writing isn’t so bad. It’s about what we’ve come to expect from teen fiction. The premise behind the story isn’t bad either but that’s about all the positive feedback I can give. Great concept but the plot drove me NUTS.
First of all, the world was not well formed. I know that this happens often in teen fiction but this one needed some kind of explanation of all the rules instead of just throwing them at the reader when it was convenient for the plot. In addition to that, there needed to be more scope to this story. It needed to be about more than it was. There needed to be more logic behind why the decisions would be made in such a way but such a powerful corporation. The massive plot hole about the corporation bullying a young girl made no sense. If she had gone to the media with proof (which she had) of what was really happening, it would have been over and so would this horrible book. Oh and did I mention that there are no quotation marks in this book? While it didn’t bother me from a readability point of view, my inner perfectionist wanted to scream. However, none of these things were my biggest issue with this book.
My biggest issue with the book was the fact that it was so gory I thought I was going to lose whatever was in my stomach. There is a line. You can get up to that line, brush the line, but once you cross it you will lose your reader. I’ve read the Hannibal Lecter series and had less issues than I did with this book. Gore and violence don’t normally bother me. I can read that stuff without flinching. This book bothered me. The fact that a teen book was able to turn my stomach is not a good sign. I expected violence but I didn’t expect the extremes this author went to. The worst scene in the book forced me to put it down for a while and skim until that scene was over.
I wouldn’t recommend this one for any adult, let alone any teen who might pick it up. Not worth your time.