I'm conflicted about The Arena. The story is compelling, and there are some great stick-it-to-the-man moments, but the focus on Taoism feels forced. I like the messages to young readers will get--
a woman of color can be team captain in a male-dominated sport
lesbians can be cute, as well as strong
a teammate can happen-to-be Black
sobriety is attainable and desirable
the (star athlete) people have the power
I'm not crazy about the white male love-interest who prompts Kali to remember/relearn about her own Chinese heritage, and how it takes forever for them to finally do the deed when you know it's coming forever.
Still, if there's a sequel, I'll read it in a flash.