by Michael Grant
Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Code Name Verity, New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant unleashes an epic, genre-bending, and transformative new series that reimagines World War II with girl soldiers fighting on the front lines.
World War II, 1942. A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service. The unproven American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering: Rio fights to honor her sister; Frangie needs money for her family; Rainy wants to kill Germans. For the first time they leave behind their homes and families—to go to war.
These three daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, they will discover the roles that define them on the front lines. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.
Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a first-time reader of Michael Grant, I was more than pleased with FRONT LINES, the first book in an exhilarating new alternate history series. FRONT LINES follows the lives of three girls who are enlisted into the United States Army when the government passes legislation that females are allowed to fight in World War II. Hence, this novel is told from the perspectives of the three girls, Rainy Schulterman, Rio Richlin, and Frangie Marr.
There’s a good amount of diversity in this book—Rainy is Jewish, Frangie is African American. All three of these girls endure through so much throughout the war, such as racism, sexism, anti-Semitism. Grant takes on these topics head-on; I was cheering for the girls as they battled throughout the novel.
Grant has a talent for sticking true to history, despite the alternate storytelling. The slang common in the army was mentioned throughout (I learned a lot of new military vernacular!), and it was as if this alternate history actually happened. Grant really did his research; he even included a bibliography at the end.
Although I really enjoyed the concept of this book, I did not feel as if the pacing was appropriate. The book is broken down into two parts; the first part involves the enlistment, the training, and figuring out the characters while the second part was the actual fighting. The pacing was quite slow in the beginning and then it sped up so quickly and decelerated again. It was disconcerting, trying to figure out my pace and sometimes becoming bored but also getting really into it. Despite that personal problem, this book was incredibly thorough and intense.
Overall, FRONT LINES takes one of the most brutal and famous wars in history and adds a twist with intense language and gruesome scenes that makes it so enthralling and realistic. I’m not usually a big fan of the historical genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.