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Aliyah is a cage fighter. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, she works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race and gender and aggravated by her childhood trauma and consequent aloofness. This is embodied in the character Jeremy, a co-worker who relentlessly taunts and b Aliyah is a cage fighter. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, she works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race and gender and aggravated by her childhood trauma and consequent aloofness. This is embodied in the character Jeremy, a co-worker who relentlessly taunts and bullies Aliyah. The story begins one month prior to her debut cage fight. Aliyah works hard to balance her demanding job and training regime. At the night of the fight, the three-round tournament sees Aliyah suffering multiple head-concussions, resulting in an accident. The second part, ‘Fighter’, portrays Aliyah’s struggle with the symptoms of her brain injury and complications of her diagnosis. Following hospital discharge, her brain function declines, jeopardising her work and comfortable urban life. Ultimately, the injury leads to a violent episode and she loses everything important to her. The story examines prejudices about mental disorders and challenges the way invisible illness is often dismissed as merely psychosomatic. To request a free copy for review: https://goo.gl/forms/cM2bvlTXSae7GECz2 A book video trailer available at: https://youtu.be/oiucOuDOtqA www.girlfighterbook.com www.facebook.com/girlfighterbook www.twitter.com/girlfighterbook


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Aliyah is a cage fighter. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, she works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race and gender and aggravated by her childhood trauma and consequent aloofness. This is embodied in the character Jeremy, a co-worker who relentlessly taunts and b Aliyah is a cage fighter. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, she works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race and gender and aggravated by her childhood trauma and consequent aloofness. This is embodied in the character Jeremy, a co-worker who relentlessly taunts and bullies Aliyah. The story begins one month prior to her debut cage fight. Aliyah works hard to balance her demanding job and training regime. At the night of the fight, the three-round tournament sees Aliyah suffering multiple head-concussions, resulting in an accident. The second part, ‘Fighter’, portrays Aliyah’s struggle with the symptoms of her brain injury and complications of her diagnosis. Following hospital discharge, her brain function declines, jeopardising her work and comfortable urban life. Ultimately, the injury leads to a violent episode and she loses everything important to her. The story examines prejudices about mental disorders and challenges the way invisible illness is often dismissed as merely psychosomatic. To request a free copy for review: https://goo.gl/forms/cM2bvlTXSae7GECz2 A book video trailer available at: https://youtu.be/oiucOuDOtqA www.girlfighterbook.com www.facebook.com/girlfighterbook www.twitter.com/girlfighterbook

30 review for Girl Fighter

  1. 5 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 Girl Fighter by Cyan Night is the story of Aliyah, a computer engineer turned cage fighter (so basically a woman in a man’s world x2). Girl Fighter is set in London, but Aliyah is from Australia with a Han Chinese father and a mom who was a Muslim from Kazakhstan. Aliyah loses her mom young and then is mostly raised by her grandparents as her father descends into alcoholism. Girl Fighter touches on stereotypes of many kinds, and my heart broke for Aliyah as the book went on. This was ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 Girl Fighter by Cyan Night is the story of Aliyah, a computer engineer turned cage fighter (so basically a woman in a man’s world x2). Girl Fighter is set in London, but Aliyah is from Australia with a Han Chinese father and a mom who was a Muslim from Kazakhstan. Aliyah loses her mom young and then is mostly raised by her grandparents as her father descends into alcoholism. Girl Fighter touches on stereotypes of many kinds, and my heart broke for Aliyah as the book went on. This was a super-fast read and I flew through the pages. I know nothing about MMA, cage fighting, Muay Thai, etc. but I found this book fascinating. Everything is explained with such great detail so that the reader can understand exactly what is going on at all points of the novel. While a lot of detail can be tedious in my opinion, it worked in this book as a reader knowing nothing about fighting. My only real issues with this book were that I found the writing to be a bit choppy at times, and there were times the POV would slip from Aliyah to another character in the middle of a paragraph and then back again. This may have been a conscious decision by Cyan Night, but I found it frustrating at times as I like my POV changes to be very clear and orderly. Other than those two things I was perfectly happy with this book. Final Thought: I think it is so cool that Night wrote about something she knows; if you read her author profile it sounds like she is an extremely interesting woman. She has extensive knowledge in martial arts, and she has traveled a ton. This is a debut novel and I would definitely be interested in reading whatever she writes next. Girl Fighter in 3-ish words: Memorable, Smart & Honest.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janel

    Night picked the perfect format to tell this story; the first part of the book is the weeks coming up to the fight, and the second part details Aliyah’s life after the fight. What I really appreciated was the direct focus this book has, it does exactly what the blurb states and doesn’t go off on a tangent at any point, making every page an interesting one! Aliyah came across as a very likeable character, and more importantly, a believable one. This entire novel could easily be placed in the non-f Night picked the perfect format to tell this story; the first part of the book is the weeks coming up to the fight, and the second part details Aliyah’s life after the fight. What I really appreciated was the direct focus this book has, it does exactly what the blurb states and doesn’t go off on a tangent at any point, making every page an interesting one! Aliyah came across as a very likeable character, and more importantly, a believable one. This entire novel could easily be placed in the non-fiction category, that’s how much I believed in it and connected with it emotionally. To the outside word, Aliyah appears very closed off, but, as the reader, you are privy to her inner thoughts and the whole picture of her life and so you are able to offer understanding and empathy, where her work colleagues could not. This is a nice reflection of reality, because you cannot see hidden injuries, such as brain trauma, and this is an issue in society today, just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Aliyah’s life is very much compartmentalised into two boxes, work and fighting – however, her life is anything but straight forward. After the fight, Night’s portrayal of Aliyah’s injury was very well done, it wasn’t over-written and this, again, allows the reader to believe in the story. You are further engaged in this novel because in the second part, the narration switches from third person to first person and this allows you to experience first-hand the aftermath of the trauma. When deciding to read this novel, it may help if you have an interest in MMA but it isn’t essential. This novel isn’t laced with fighting, yes, the cage fight is detailed, but I’d say there are only two incidences that are a bit brutal to read. However, Girl Fighter is Aliyah’s journey, coming to terms with her injury and having to re-evaluate her life – a coming-of-age story, if you like, encompassing themes of: women in sport (MMA), brain trauma, and psychology. And for that reason, it may appeal to a wider reading audience. I really enjoyed this novel, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it. Without hesitation, I would recommend Girl Fighter. *I received a digital copy of this title from Netgalley*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    Aliyah is a very likable and exciting character in this book. She feels very much like a real person to me. I wanted to keep reading to find out more about her story. I never really enjoyed fighting but I see why Aliyah feels the way she does in this book and what made her a cage fighter. This book was a fun, intense, and has great up and downs for Aliyah. I enjoyed it more than I first thought I would. *This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    So disappointing - this had a lot of promise, but was ultimately bad on several levels. I was interested to read about this character: Aliyah is from a mixed Kazakh-Chinese background, grew up in Australia and now lives in London, and is an MMA fighter as well as having another successful job. She fights racism and sexism at work and during training. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately there are two problems: prose and patriarchy. The prose is just bad. All of Aliyah’s interesting background So disappointing - this had a lot of promise, but was ultimately bad on several levels. I was interested to read about this character: Aliyah is from a mixed Kazakh-Chinese background, grew up in Australia and now lives in London, and is an MMA fighter as well as having another successful job. She fights racism and sexism at work and during training. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately there are two problems: prose and patriarchy. The prose is just bad. All of Aliyah’s interesting background is conveyed in one massive, confusing infodump prologue. There are also frequent point-of-view errors. Then the misogyny. I hoped that a book about a female fighter would have positive representations of women, and when a girly blonde woman appeared in Aliyah’s otherwise all-male training class I thought - yes! Lesbian love story! Or at least some sisterhood. But no. The blonde girl is wearing makeup and doesn’t mind the boys looking at her, so of course she’s a silly bitch and Aliyah is vastly superior. No thanks! I still want to read a book about a female MMA fighter, but this isn’t it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wailin Tseng

    Funny as I log in to note that I've finished this book, a GR friend ask me for a recommendation for women's literary books. The title of this book sounds awfully feminist, though in strict terms I must confess I'm not too knowledgable what it takes to be one. It was a good book, very unique perspective, kind of like Girl with Dragon Tattoo (even more bizarre they share a similar title). Entirely different story, but the protagonist is almost an anti-hero, very imperfect and both have very poor t Funny as I log in to note that I've finished this book, a GR friend ask me for a recommendation for women's literary books. The title of this book sounds awfully feminist, though in strict terms I must confess I'm not too knowledgable what it takes to be one. It was a good book, very unique perspective, kind of like Girl with Dragon Tattoo (even more bizarre they share a similar title). Entirely different story, but the protagonist is almost an anti-hero, very imperfect and both have very poor treatment by society as a whole, and both refuses to succumb to women stereotype and both fights hard - almost clawing their way to be exactly who they want to be. If that make sense...? It's almost funky that in the backdrop of the Weinstein saga, the #MeToo movement etc is seeing the rise of books with 'Girl' titles. It's probably more a 4.5 star since the style of the book gets rather brutal at times, almost sounds like thoughts right out of a persons head. That's probably the point, since it's trying to tell us about brain injury survivor's internal trauma. But I'll round it up to 5 star because it's a book by a woman (I think?) fighting to bring a woman's perspective, and I'm all for that.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    Girl, Fighter by Cyan Night is a coming of age story about Aliyah, an Australian expat residing and working in London from a mixed Kazakh-Chinese background. It is well paced and gripping, as the hero is soon led by her character and circumstances into a series of calamities almost reminiscent of Hellenist tragedy. It is in this tension between character and social context that the novel finds its strength; it is an honest examination of one person’s complex situation in its historical and prede Girl, Fighter by Cyan Night is a coming of age story about Aliyah, an Australian expat residing and working in London from a mixed Kazakh-Chinese background. It is well paced and gripping, as the hero is soon led by her character and circumstances into a series of calamities almost reminiscent of Hellenist tragedy. It is in this tension between character and social context that the novel finds its strength; it is an honest examination of one person’s complex situation in its historical and predetermined nuance, but also manages to highlight its heroes agency. The novel is structured into two parts, the first (narrated in a detached third person voice) sets up the ascent necessary for the fall of the second, which is made more intimate by its adoption of the first person. We see as Aliyah adapt to London life by taking up biking and Mixed Martial Arts to provide her with something beyond a lucrative career in computer programming. In this way, Night evokes a set of different, neatly compartmentalised worlds that Aliyah maintains, exploring the pressures of harassment at work, the trials of the sport Aliyah uses as an escape and the protagonist’s efforts to find a meaningful bond. In the cataclysmic moment of the novel, the boundaries between these domains are blurred and the experience of a loss of control—induced, in part, by brain injury—is conveyed with shocking fidelity. The depth of research is as impressive as the immersive setting; Girl, Fighter covers extensive subject matter from psychology and neurobiology to MMA culture and the geography (even psychogeography) of London. The confidence with which Night writes, gives the world in which Aliyah is situated the impression of being larger than merely her solitary narrative. Likewise, the supporting characters demonstrate enough complexity to be convincing as people with their own stories. It is an important feature for a novel about someone who experiences the world, often justly, as something encroaching and threatening. Night’s novel has recently been published in the form of an e-book and I would recommend it to everyone.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    "Girl Fighter" was written by someone who definitely knows a lot about both MMA and reeling from traumas from both past and present; on physical, mental, and emotional levels. The attention to detail in both subjects added dimension and a sense of realism to all that is at hand for Aliyah. Speaking of Aliyah, she was sadly relate-able. I say "sadly" because while I cannot relate to the experiences she has been through, I do know what it feels like to shut yourself off from the world; like you can "Girl Fighter" was written by someone who definitely knows a lot about both MMA and reeling from traumas from both past and present; on physical, mental, and emotional levels. The attention to detail in both subjects added dimension and a sense of realism to all that is at hand for Aliyah. Speaking of Aliyah, she was sadly relate-able. I say "sadly" because while I cannot relate to the experiences she has been through, I do know what it feels like to shut yourself off from the world; like you can't trust or depend on anyone other than yourself. The fact that she is also mixed race, a martial artist, and the same age as me only made her even easier for me to connect to. That's why she felt so alive. I also loved the creative decision the author made for half the book be told from a third person point of view and the second half be straight from Aliyah's perspective. As the reader, I went from being an observer of this remarkable human to being in her head after her head injury. It doesn't get more personal than that; when you enter the head of someone whose life will never be the same again. There were some parts that fell a little flat for me; like the occasional profiles of some of the other characters that were done during the first half of the novel. I found them unnecessary, for I really didn't learn anything more about them beyond those brief glimpses. I also found the pacing of the novel at times to be a bit rigid, for some parts occurred much more slowly than need be in my opinion. Plus, why did it mean so much for the novel to be sent in the year 2010? Otherwise, this was a high quality debut novel from Cyan Night, and I hope she continues writing more books if they are as emotionally impacting as this one. A tip: Please include a copyright page. You'll be doing yourself all the favors by including one. The fact that there wasn't one only made me nervous.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Book Reviews By Tara

    Girl Fighter is an intense novel that takes the reader into the mind of a person suffering from the devastating affects of a traumatic brain injury. In this compelling story author Cyan Night cleverly displays how brain injuries not only affect the injured, but also how it can affect the people in their lives. Aliyah Jun has a successful career as a software engineer for PGC. As a self described loner her mother died when Aliyah was only two years old. Raised by her cold and distant father she ne Girl Fighter is an intense novel that takes the reader into the mind of a person suffering from the devastating affects of a traumatic brain injury. In this compelling story author Cyan Night cleverly displays how brain injuries not only affect the injured, but also how it can affect the people in their lives. Aliyah Jun has a successful career as a software engineer for PGC. As a self described loner her mother died when Aliyah was only two years old. Raised by her cold and distant father she never developed the ability to connect with people and often stayed to herself, alone in her apartment. On a whim, Aliyah decided to join a gym for MMA fighters. Preparing for the first professional fight of her career, she continues to struggle with her past and building relationships. Once the night of her first professional fight arrives, a series of events takes place that changes the course of Aliyah's life forever. Told in two parts, the author takes the reader on a journey that is both emotional and gripping. Night successfully captures the emotions of the book's main character Aliyah. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the book, is the internal struggle Aliyah faces as she tries to cope with her own aggressive behavior. There were quite a few aspects of this book that I enjoyed. First, as the mother of a female fighter, l was able to appreciate each training session and fight scene described in the book. Nights descriptions were realistic and vivid, making it easy to visualize each moment. I could also appreciate the references and comparisons to the Ali vs Liston fight. I thought it was brilliant how the author used these fighters to convey her story. Next, I loved how Night subliminally incorporated the power of visualization within the story. Leaving me to wonder if the events in Aliyah's life were the result of self-fulfilling prophecies. Overall, I enjoyed this thought provoking novel. It is an engaging work of fiction that offers a intriguing glimpse into the worlds of female MMA fighters, brain injury and depression just to name a few. I found this to be a rewarding read that shines a new light on a very important topic that is rarely discussed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Literary Jewels

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Girl Fighter by Cyan Night is a fictional story of strength, courage, and determination. The story centers around the main character, Aliyah, a mixed race female that lives a quiet and simple life as a computer specialist in London. Someone who has never struggled with learning or acquiring knowledge but there is something she carries from her childhood. A random passing of a martial arts gym piques her interest and the fire was ignited. Girl Fighter tells a story of strength because as a brain Girl Fighter by Cyan Night is a fictional story of strength, courage, and determination. The story centers around the main character, Aliyah, a mixed race female that lives a quiet and simple life as a computer specialist in London. Someone who has never struggled with learning or acquiring knowledge but there is something she carries from her childhood. A random passing of a martial arts gym piques her interest and the fire was ignited. Girl Fighter tells a story of strength because as a brain injury survivor, Aliyah does not give up and her endurance is evident and makes for an emotionally accurate read from author Cyan Night. I rate this story 4 stars and look forward to more from this talented author. Reviewed by Kisha Green for Literary Jewels Format: Paperback

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charlee November

    This started as an interesting read. I like selecting books that teaches me on some new subject matter, in this case, Mixed Martial Arts. The prologue and first couple of chapters was laden with plenty of information mainly to address Aliyah's life, her challenges in MMA training and work-life balance - it was enlightening though a little hard to push through. However, I was quickly drawn into many other subjects that was unexpected, including the difficulties of a woman in a male dominant sport This started as an interesting read. I like selecting books that teaches me on some new subject matter, in this case, Mixed Martial Arts. The prologue and first couple of chapters was laden with plenty of information mainly to address Aliyah's life, her challenges in MMA training and work-life balance - it was enlightening though a little hard to push through. However, I was quickly drawn into many other subjects that was unexpected, including the difficulties of a woman in a male dominant sport and career, how childhood trauma shapes our lives in unexpected ways. The fight scenes were very vivid, I felt I transported to the cage with her and that was incredible as it is unlikely to ever happen to me in real life. What was the most moving for me was how the book showed me the life of someone who's endured head trauma - the solitude and angst when the world sees her as a young, healthy person. The book touches a wide range of subject, the characters are all developed with depth and complexity. I was truly moved and inspired by the ending.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

    Girl Fighter was a surprise in many ways. The lead, a cage fighter wasn't a bloke for one, nor was she impossibly talented and beautiful. She was unloved and unpopular, awkward and lonely yet at the same time she was highly intelligent and had a white collar job. The best surprise for me was the tribute to Sonny Liston (and several other boxing greats). Good read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Littley

    An entertaining, empowering and subversive read that certainly packs a punch! Told in two parts, before the fight and after, it follows the life of Aliyah as she finds her own path through very male dominated worlds. Her office job as a computer software engineer, and her path to becoming a professional MMA fighter. Being female in both worlds is not easy, and being mixed race she is no stranger to bullies and not fitting in. Having lost her mother at a very young age, a father that found solace An entertaining, empowering and subversive read that certainly packs a punch! Told in two parts, before the fight and after, it follows the life of Aliyah as she finds her own path through very male dominated worlds. Her office job as a computer software engineer, and her path to becoming a professional MMA fighter. Being female in both worlds is not easy, and being mixed race she is no stranger to bullies and not fitting in. Having lost her mother at a very young age, a father that found solace after the loss of his wife in the bottom of a bottle, she was raised by her grandparents, all of which has left its mark on her, impacting on her life. Angry at the world, loneliness and not knowing where she belongs she finds herself inside a gym and it is through the training and fighting that brings her a feeling of empowerment she has never had before. We first meet Aliyah a month before fight night and we follow her as she pushes her whole body and mind to its limits, juggling work with the gruelling workouts and training. All in preparation for the biggest night of her life. The second part is post-fight, a fight that has left her with a traumatic brain injury. An injury that has a massive impact on her life, having far reaching impacts. This part is also told in the first person perspective so you find yourself inside Aliyah’s head as she deals with the aftermath of the fight. You don’t need to be a fan or have any knowledge of MMA to read this, everything you need to know is right there in the book. This book is about one woman who is holding her own in two very male dominated environments, sexism, racism, mental health and invisible illness. Aliyah is a fantastic protagonist who is so well fleshed out she reads like non-fiction, she is believable as well as likeable and you cannot help but feel empathetic towards her. Especially in the latter half, the after the fight part, as she battles with her brain injury and mental health. Her injury is brilliantly written, realistic and is a credit to the author. The fight scene is also spot on. I am a fan of MMA but have no technical knowledge or experience but I could literally see the fight happening right before my eyes. This book isn’t so much as a book about fighting, it is more so a book about not fitting in, sexism, mental health and invisible illnesses, the stigma that is still attached to mental health. About living with an illness that no one can see, an illness that because it is not visible is either not real or inconsequential. This book is a massive success in highlighting the inner battles hundreds of people battle everyday, and it certainly leaves you with pause for thought. MMA is fast becoming a mainstream sport with more and more women rising to the top but as of yet not a setting for fictional novels or characters so I knew as soon as I spotted it, it was going to be a must read for me and I was not disappointed! Even if I didn’t like MMA it still would have been a great read. One that will appeal to a wide range of readers regardless of age, sex or fans of the sport. Girl Fighter was published back in December 2017 and is currently available to read for free via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited so grab a copy now, you won’t regret it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Regina Fuentes Ker

    I love how the story fights back to stereotypes where women, too, can be tough and have a place in MMA. The author described Aliyah so well. Revealing bits and pieces of her life and what she has been through that makes the story so much more interesting. I especially love how the story touches on the subject of psychological illnesses that comes from MMA fighting where it shows the readers how different people cope with their situations. Overall, Girl Fighter was a can’t-put-down-until-I-finish I love how the story fights back to stereotypes where women, too, can be tough and have a place in MMA. The author described Aliyah so well. Revealing bits and pieces of her life and what she has been through that makes the story so much more interesting. I especially love how the story touches on the subject of psychological illnesses that comes from MMA fighting where it shows the readers how different people cope with their situations. Overall, Girl Fighter was a can’t-put-down-until-I-finish book. Will definitely recommend it to a friend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle Hardy

    Girlfighter by Cyan Night was an enjoyable read for several reasons. Fans of MMA will enjoy this book. I love sports books-fiction and non-fiction. As a sports fan, I can admit that MMA and boxing are on the bottom of my watch list next to golf and hockey but reading Cyan’s debut transported me ringside. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, Aliyah works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race a Girlfighter by Cyan Night was an enjoyable read for several reasons. Fans of MMA will enjoy this book. I love sports books-fiction and non-fiction. As a sports fan, I can admit that MMA and boxing are on the bottom of my watch list next to golf and hockey but reading Cyan’s debut transported me ringside. Subverting the stereotyped idea of a Mixed Martial Artist, Aliyah works as a software engineer in London. Her life in a male dominated environment is fraught with challenges caused by her race and gender and aggravated by her childhood trauma and consequent aloofness. The hard work that Aaliyah puts into training for her first fight is inspiring. When was the last time a novel inspired you to get up and do something? The protagonist’s diligence will ignite readers to challenge themselves --run a marathon, learn to swim, take painting classes or take up public speaking. Go for it! The second reason I enjoyed this novel is because of the international setting. Set in London the author does a good job of offering a guided tour of various corners and neighbors in the city. While good books do entertain and inspire, it helps also when they can educate too. The third reason I enjoyed Girlfighter is due to the author tackling an important topic in contact sports. Cyan examines prejudices about mental health and challenges the way invisible illness is often dismissed as merely psychosomatic. By the second half of the narrative following hospital discharge, Aliyah’s brain function declines, jeopardizing her work and comfortable urban life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael H

    This book is an excellent insight into the life of a female competing in a traditionally male centric sport. As an ambulance paramedic I see first-hand the devastating effects that a traumatic brain injury cause. Whilst many recover from the initial insult or injury - many are left with the debilitating effects of an acquired brain injury. These injuries cannot be seen by outsiders and often written off as personality traits. This book is an excellent synopsis from the viewpoint of someone going This book is an excellent insight into the life of a female competing in a traditionally male centric sport. As an ambulance paramedic I see first-hand the devastating effects that a traumatic brain injury cause. Whilst many recover from the initial insult or injury - many are left with the debilitating effects of an acquired brain injury. These injuries cannot be seen by outsiders and often written off as personality traits. This book is an excellent synopsis from the viewpoint of someone going through an injury such as this. In a world where people winning is seen as everything - particularly in competitive sports - this is a good reminder that winning isn't everything and the devastating effects these life-long injuries can have on an individual and their relationships. Well worth the read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rose Junas

    The beginning was dry, Part I was ok, until the fight scenes - that was something. Part II was a lot more engaging and it made Part I make sense afterwards. Not a book for everyone, a little heavy but it covered some topics that are underrepresented. Recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shelli

    Review to come!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl M-M

    This has such a personal feel to it from both an emotional and professional sports perspective. As a reader it is fair to wonder how much of Cyan Night is infused into the story of Aliyah. A reader wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that Girl Fighter is all about the journey Aliyah takes in the art, control and power of the sport, and her personal journey after it changes her life. However, it is also a long hard look at loneliness and the way people in society co-exist without really knowing each oth This has such a personal feel to it from both an emotional and professional sports perspective. As a reader it is fair to wonder how much of Cyan Night is infused into the story of Aliyah. A reader wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that Girl Fighter is all about the journey Aliyah takes in the art, control and power of the sport, and her personal journey after it changes her life. However, it is also a long hard look at loneliness and the way people in society co-exist without really knowing each other at all. Aliyah spends the majority of her time alone. The only time she interacts with other people is at work and in the gym, but even there she is isolated and spends her time doubting herself. Everything leads back to a motherless childhood and a father who drank to drown out the pain of losing his wife. She often wonders what it would be like to have memories of a loving mother, to have a family member who actually cares how she is feeling, but what she really wants is someone to share her life with. A partner, a confidante, a lover and a friend. You can’t see or feel it when someone is lonely, especially not when we are all caught up in our own lives. Suspicions are usually waved away with phrases like ‘I’m fine, I am ok’ and we are happy to hear it, because we have enough on our own plate. The most honest and realistic aspect of this story is the inner rage. The type of rage a person is often unaware of, as it simmers just below the surface waiting for the opportunity to break free and rain down upon someone like an angry vicious beast. Neglect, trauma and a lack of human interaction can cause a brain that is still developing to rewire and make connections a happy content brain doesn’t make, so I would throw that theory into the arena before Aliyah receives a hammering in the cage. The rage is a result of the past, the pummeling provokes the uncontrolled reaction and causes physical pre-damage to the brain, before the actual accident. It is a dire set of circumstances that come together and end up changing the way Aliyah deals with situations and her emotions. One could argue that the groundwork for the reaction was already set in stone long before the accident, and that her impulse control vanishes after the event in question. I think a first person narrative would have been better for Girl Fighter, and there are minor editing issues. Aside from that it is an emotional and often dismal read with a brutally frank approach to mental health, sexism in sports, racism and the chauvinistic attitudes in men. Cyan Night comes down hard on her character, herself and society’s response to her in this particular situation. It’s not an easy ride, in fact it’s a fast bicycle ride through the busy streets of life, during which you have to watch out for car doors waiting to catapult you through the air. Like the fallible humans we all are, sometimes these doors catch us by surprise. *I received a copy of this book courtesy of the author.*

  19. 4 out of 5

    ebbye

    “The accident damaged me irreparably; I am not the same person.” This was such an interesting read. As we get to know Aliyah there is so much in her life that she keeps hidden. This book to me is written in 3 parts, her work and her life, her injury, and her imminent recovery/increasing awareness of what she has to do. Aliyah works in a very male dominated role. She feels like an outsider and actually is an outsider living in London. She comes across as a tough tomboy and as we read further we lea “The accident damaged me irreparably; I am not the same person.” This was such an interesting read. As we get to know Aliyah there is so much in her life that she keeps hidden. This book to me is written in 3 parts, her work and her life, her injury, and her imminent recovery/increasing awareness of what she has to do. Aliyah works in a very male dominated role. She feels like an outsider and actually is an outsider living in London. She comes across as a tough tomboy and as we read further we learn why she is the way she is. This book touched on Aliyah’s loneliness, being misunderstood, being utterly alone and her incredible desire to be ‘tough’. She hid herself away, with no support, friends, or family so this book does touch on loneliness, possible depression, and Aliyah’s denial and rage. Although this was quite a detailed book about cage fighting and neuroscience, Aliyah literally learns what she needs to do and that is in itself empowering for all readers

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Girl Fighter was intense and not a book I would normally read. I was provided a copy in return for an honest review and I'm glad I did get the chance to read it. It shed light on mental illness/injury and a woman trying to make it in a male dominant career and sport. Other than being a woman myself, I had nothing in common with the main character, however the details of the fight scenes transported me ringside. There was a lot of information which at times felt a bit disjointed and hard to get t Girl Fighter was intense and not a book I would normally read. I was provided a copy in return for an honest review and I'm glad I did get the chance to read it. It shed light on mental illness/injury and a woman trying to make it in a male dominant career and sport. Other than being a woman myself, I had nothing in common with the main character, however the details of the fight scenes transported me ringside. There was a lot of information which at times felt a bit disjointed and hard to get through and although I felt a bit unsatisfied with the way her relationships ended up I think the story really highlighted how lonely Aliyah was. This was a short and unique story that is a good change from the usual "chick lit" that I read and is one I will remember.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tinni

    As an Australian who used to live and work in London in the IT field, "Girl, Fighter" was a refreshing read. The book tackled head-on, some very topical issues, including head injuries, workplace harassment of women and mental health issues. A book of two halves, both regarding a narrative point of view and the story itself, "Girl, Fighter" is a well-told story that inspires optimism. It is a surprisingly relatable tale despite the cage-fighting aspect. With Christmas around the corner, I would As an Australian who used to live and work in London in the IT field, "Girl, Fighter" was a refreshing read. The book tackled head-on, some very topical issues, including head injuries, workplace harassment of women and mental health issues. A book of two halves, both regarding a narrative point of view and the story itself, "Girl, Fighter" is a well-told story that inspires optimism. It is a surprisingly relatable tale despite the cage-fighting aspect. With Christmas around the corner, I would recommend this book as a stocking stuffer for all lovers of good stories but especially for ethnic minorities who see themselves reflected in too few protagonists.

  22. 4 out of 5

    K.T.

    A fantastic read. I couldn’t put it down. It is a brilliant story that highlights what living with an “unseen” illness is like. I really felt for Aliyah throughout the book. Especially after having a sport related injury completely change her life. She shows that with determination and courage, a person can overcome the obstacles that life swings your way. I really enjoyed reading the sporting aspect of the novel as well, a lot of the sparring and fight scenes really connect with you as the read A fantastic read. I couldn’t put it down. It is a brilliant story that highlights what living with an “unseen” illness is like. I really felt for Aliyah throughout the book. Especially after having a sport related injury completely change her life. She shows that with determination and courage, a person can overcome the obstacles that life swings your way. I really enjoyed reading the sporting aspect of the novel as well, a lot of the sparring and fight scenes really connect with you as the reader and you feel like you’re there. Definitely enjoyed reading this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book Cyan Night releases.

  23. 4 out of 5

    J

    I enjoyed Girl-fighter. The main character, Aliyah, was very well developed. You care about what happens to her from page one. It was very easy book to get into and hard to put down once you got going. Although I have no interest in cage fighting, I enjoyed learning more about it and why Aliyah becomes involved in it. The book is much more about the fighting though. It deals with head injuries, personal relationships, discrimination, and self development. I also enjoyed the narration of living i I enjoyed Girl-fighter. The main character, Aliyah, was very well developed. You care about what happens to her from page one. It was very easy book to get into and hard to put down once you got going. Although I have no interest in cage fighting, I enjoyed learning more about it and why Aliyah becomes involved in it. The book is much more about the fighting though. It deals with head injuries, personal relationships, discrimination, and self development. I also enjoyed the narration of living in London. The ending was enjoyable and it had me yearning for more. Perhaps, a second book to learn about what happens next to Aliyah?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christian Schultz

    I read this book a year ago - wanted to write a review then but procrastinated. So sorry I cannot remember too much details to write a detailed review. I do remember it moved me in a way that was unexpected. As I was going through the reviews written by other readers, they summarised it better than I would be able to. The format that was changed mid-way was dramatic and shocked me in the way of going behind a brain injury person. The realism about martial arts and the fight scenes really stayed w I read this book a year ago - wanted to write a review then but procrastinated. So sorry I cannot remember too much details to write a detailed review. I do remember it moved me in a way that was unexpected. As I was going through the reviews written by other readers, they summarised it better than I would be able to. The format that was changed mid-way was dramatic and shocked me in the way of going behind a brain injury person. The realism about martial arts and the fight scenes really stayed with me. It was like watching Rocky or a life UFC fight but in a book form. Cool stuff.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    what an amazing book. it sheds light on how people with mental issues are viewed in the world. I was hooked on the entire book and was so involved through the entire book and was so involved during aliyah's journey. it shows how through determination and courage one can overcome great difficulties. the writer has a great writing style and captures the childhood traumas and the adult struggles beautifully.It is a must-read for everyone. I cannot recommend it enough.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nishant

    This beautifully written book describes the challenges and struggles for a female trying to grow in a male-dominant field of the society. The book takes you on a very emotional journey and keeps you holding on to it every moment, wanting to find out what happens next. You can feel the ups and downs and the inevitable demise of a beautiful character. Highly recommended read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ma

    Pretty interesting story about the great girl fighter kadeem he spent his life fighting girls left and right no girl could challenge him it was pretty impressive underdog story I didn’t think he’d stand a chance

  28. 5 out of 5

    RF

    This story revolves around the life of Aaliyah, a mixed Kazakh-Chinese Australian who is currently working in London. While reading the story, I was able to visualise how Aaliyah adapted to her life in London by taking up biking and mixed martial arts. I was deeply fascinated by how well the author touches on the psychological problem that may arise with MMA fighting. I firmly believe that mental health issues should not be taken lightly, or be brushed off as something a person can just quickly This story revolves around the life of Aaliyah, a mixed Kazakh-Chinese Australian who is currently working in London. While reading the story, I was able to visualise how Aaliyah adapted to her life in London by taking up biking and mixed martial arts. I was deeply fascinated by how well the author touches on the psychological problem that may arise with MMA fighting. I firmly believe that mental health issues should not be taken lightly, or be brushed off as something a person can just quickly "get over it". This is why I think it's important to point out that the author has done a reasonably good job in giving bits and pieces of relevant and educational information about mental health that can be useful for the readers when met with people suffering from the same problem. All in all, Girl Fighter was not only a good read, but I have also learned one or two things about how different people may use different methods to cope with their situations.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gul

    A beautiful depiction of struggle and challenges faced by a woman In a male dominant world. Being of south East Asian background, I could relate easily to Aliyah's life. Cyan Night highlighted the prejudice people have towards unseen mental illness. What a motivator for myself and I could picture the story like a movie. Brilliant work by Cyan and a must read!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laiken Watts

    An interesting read following female protagonist, Aaliyah, as she navigates through a male-dominate society. The story captures the ups and downs of the character and keeps you wondering what will happen next.

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