UPDATE 7/12/2011: I've just finished The Hunger Games. I had to come back here to say again how awful Girl in the Arena is. AWFUL.If you are just thinking about reading/buying this, go immediately to a priest or a spiritual counselor (or just drop me a line): believe me, you are going to need some serious support.*** I've picked up this book because I'm a sucker for tough female characters and, going by the cover and the synopsis, this novel looked like it would have fit the bill. Well, I've just turned page 100 and so far I'm bored out of my skull and beyond. Moreover, the story is written in first person and in present tense, in a sort of diary-style that I strongly dislike (lots and lots of indirect dialogues). Punctuation is not something standard, either; sometimes it's hard to understand when the spoken pieces end. I'm tempted to dump it. *** Ok, I've just finished (yes, I'm a masochist): everything that I've already said still stands. Authors usually make up rules to get their fictional worlds to work; no one says that they can't go for dragons, sentient robots and whatever they can come up with. But these rules have to be at least credible. Not in this book, apparently. And that's why I'm wondering what kind of brain damage the publisher was suffering. This is not writing, is retching nonsense on paper and calling it a book.