- File Size: 2589 KB
- Print Length: 560 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062342169
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 26, 2016)
- Publication Date: January 26, 2016
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00X3MTB8Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,228 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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From the Publisher
I write fiction. In writing this piece of fiction I have attempted to accurately capture the flavor and the feel and as much of the detail of actual historical events as is practical, but any conflicts between my version of events and the work of historians should unquestionably be resolved in favor of those worthy academics. In writing this book I have relied on dozens of histories, memoirs, newsreels, museum exhibits, and photographic archives, but all errors or deviations from fact are mine alone.
Operation Torch and the battle of Kasserine Pass?
Real. Tulsa? Real. New York City? I’m pretty sure that exists. Gedwell Falls is my own invention, though I suspect it’s located quite near Healdsburg, California. Similarly, Camps Maron and Szekely, while suspiciously close to Fort Benning, Georgia, are made up. Other things, things you might not expect, actually happened. A lot of American troops really did go to war on the luxury liner Queen 544 Mary. And the bit about a French soldier who erected a barricade symbolique? That scene is actually based on a true story. Nothing is more unexpected than reality.
In the course of portraying the attitudes and notions of social justice prevalent in the United States in those days, I have used language and portrayed attitudes that all good people now find abhorrent. But it was another time, and I can’t whitewash history. In those days, racism and sexism and anti-Semitism were all right out there in the open. Some people had begun to see beyond those destructively irrational notions, but it was very much a work in progress. The generation that won World War II saved the world—no, really, saved the world—but they were not saints.
There’s a bunch more to be found on our website and our Facebook page including videos, photos, maps, music, additional stories, and more. Thanks.
Please consider checking for digital shorts wherever you buy ebooks and stay tuned for book two of Front Lines.
From the Back Cover
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.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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The story is told from the perspective of three girls who find themselves pulled into the war. They come from very different backgrounds across the United States and Michael Grant has a way of writing rich prose that makes you feel like you're there with each of these girls as they try to find their place in the war effort. Front Lines is split into two parts, the first part known as "Volunteers and Draftees" follows Rio, Frangie, and Rainy as they get uprooted from their lives and enlist and the second part simply known as "War."
This book doesn't shy away from graphic descriptions of death, but I do find it funny that a YA novel still finds a way to censor words. In your mind you know what the words should be, but I don't think the softening of the words take away from the overall story. The book does not attempt to hide or erase words and situations that we find inappropriate and unacceptable in today's society. Front Lines does not hesitate to show the racism and sexism that would have been thrown around during those times by strangers and soldiers alike. I appreciate the research put into this book and the decision to not shy away from these topics.
There are moments that will make you cry, and scenes that will make you laugh. The book is longer and denser, perhaps, than your average YA novel, but there's a lot of story in Front Lines that tells the story of not only the fictional characters we read in this book, but of the men and women who really did serve in World War II.
With that all said, I can't wait to read Front Lines #2 when it comes out next year!
There's a lot of set up before they actually join the army. Normally that kind of thing tends to bore me and I lose interest but I genuinely enjoyed getting to know the trio before getting to the part why I bought this book in the first place—women being drafted during World War 2! The concept is new and I love it!
Frangie and Rainy I loved immediately. They were both smart and determined. I especially loved Rio, who become the biggest badass at the end! The depictions of the characters in battle are amazing and it's fun to see the three women grow more confident.
I'm excited to read the next book! I hope there's lots of focus on the war since we already know the characters.
This book is rare look into what the war would have been like had women been able to join the fight the same as men. Four women who contribute to the war effort in different ways tell their story as they volunteer into the military. Two on the front lines, one in intelligence, and black girl who is a medic. Front Lines does a great job showing what life was like during those times of war and what it was like for women and black people. I could not put this book down it was soo good.
Top international reviews
O começo do livro é mais lento e pode cansar os mais fanáticos por ação intensa, mas foi absolutamente necessário para construir as três persongens principais e os coadjuvantes na mente do leitor. Mais que isso, para fazermos ama-los e sentirmos tudo o que sentiam quando efetivamente fossem para a guerra. Quando a segunda parte do livro começa e a primeira batalha acontece, eu não conseguia mais parar de ler. Pode parecer bizarro, mas quase 250 páginas do livro são sobre apenas uma das batalhas que nossas meninas irão enfrentar, mas já foi o suficiente para que elas crescessem e entendessem o que realmente é participar de uma guerra.
Gostei que o autor não tentou esconder em nenhum momento o quão rejeitadas as mulheres eram apenas por serem mulheres. O machismo corre à solta em quase todas as páginas do livro e pode parecer que o autor está sendo insensível, mas na época era tão abertamente discutida a "fraqueza" das mulheres que você compreende como parte do cenário dos anos quarenta. O importante mesmo é a reação das meninas à todo esse machismo. Elas por vezes aceitam como "verdade", pois é o único mundo que conhecem e na maior parte das vezes elas rejeitam de forma inteligente e que deixa os homens desse naipe com a boca aberta.
Assim como o machismo, também é bem proeminente o racismo com os soldados negros. É agonizante ler o quão maltratados eles eram pelo brancos. Como falavam com eles como se fossem "superiores". Eu acho muito importante que estes aspectos sociais da época sejam mantidos para que nós nunca esqueçamos como eram para essas pessoas apenas ter cor diferente da branca. Gostei como a maior parte de situações difíceis para eles eram contornadas com inteligência e determinação.
Adorei as três protagonistas. Todas são ótimos exemplos de meninas (mulheres quase) fortes e que tem o que é necessário para lutar. A personagem mais bem desenvolvida é a Rio. Passamos pelo menos 65-70% do tempo com ela. Ela começa como uma garota ingênua do interior e ao final da estória ela já é um soldado endurecido pelas tragédias de uma batalha sangrenta. A conversa que ela tem com o seu Sargento nas últimas páginas do livro me fizeram chorar, porque imagino que seja mais ou menos isso que acontece quando soldados inexperientes enfrentam sua primeira batalha.
A Frangie é simplesmente maravilhosa. Além de ter que enfrentar preconceito por ser mulher, precisa deixar de lado o racismo para executar seus deveres como soldado. Ela tem um coração de ouro e leva muito a sério os ensinamentos da sua igreja e pastor. Amar até quem você odeia. Não é a toa que ela deseja se tornar uma socorrista na guerra e posteriormente uma médica.
A Rainy que foi a personagem com o desenvolvimento mais superficial. Não sei se isso se deve por causa da natureza de sua posição no exército (ela trabalha para a inteligência, ou seja, sempre circundada de segredos) ou por falta de "tempo" no livro. Talvez nos próximos nós conheçamos mais dela. O que vi eu gostei, mas quero ver MUITO mais, pois é esperta e tem uma língua afiadíssima.
Os personagens coadjuvantes são muitos, mas todos desenvolvidos o suficiente para você sentir o mínimo de apego a eles. Tenho certeza que nos próximos livros eles serão ainda mais importantes para nós. Meus favoritos até o momento foram o Sargent Green e o Sargent Cole. Aparecem pouco, mas já deixaram uma boa impressão em mim.
Só tenho duas reclamações. Uma seria a adição de romances por todas as partes. Não são de forma alguma uma parte grande do enredo, bem pelo contrário, apareciam esporadicamente, mas ainda assim não sentia que eram todos absolutamente necessários. Inclusive, de certa forma, eles enfraqueciam um pouco os temas feministas do livro. Como se fosse necessário que livros com protagonistas mulheres tivessem romance para prender o leitor emocionalmente em alguma coisa. Pelo menos, para contrabalançar, elas não dão tanta bola para isso (exceto a Rio, mas pq faz parte do desenvolvimento emocional dela eu não conto) e por isso não foi o suficiente para diminuir meu aproveitamento da estória.
Também gostaria de ter visto um pequeno indício de qualquer representação LGBTQ. Sei que nessa época era ainda muito reprimido e completo tabu, inclusive era crime em alguns países, mas queria ter visto mesmo que fosse no interior de algum personagem. A Rainy era uma ótima candidata, mas o autor decidiu ir pela rota heteronormativa com ela também. Vamos ver se no próximo ele ajusta isso.
Enfim, definitivamente foi umas das minha leituras favoritas de 2016 e mal posso esperar pelo próximo livro da série. Temos mais dois anos de guerra pela frente!
Estou apaixonada por essa história e pelas personagens. O autor conseguiu destruir e reconstruir tudo o que eu imaginava sobre as grandes guerras. Fugiu do clichê e me surpreendeu do início ao fim.
Já li o segundo, Silver Stars, e estou pulando de alegria porque descobri que vai haver um terceiro!!
E esse edição em capa dura é linda. Super leve! Nem parece que você está segurando quase seiscentas páginas na mão.
Grant takes one simple, tweak of alternative history, that in January 1940 the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of Josiah Becker that the draft board unfairly single out males. This is a very clever move, not trying to have a woman swim very much against the tide of entrenched male prejudice, he selects one US male being very US typical and challenging The State against the ‘little man’. In consequence the US govt has no alternative but to draft or except female recruits for combat.
Set in the period just after Pearl Harbour and with no other adjustments to history the narrative follows the lives of three central (and one main support) characters from the aftermath of Pearl Harbour to the US army’s hard lessons at Kasserine Pass, Tunis in February 1943.
Rio shy, led by her more extrovert friend Jenou join the army to escape the confines of their small town in North California. Frangie kindly-hearted to wounded animals leaves behind the race-hatred of Tulsa as a means to earn money for her poverty struck family. Rainy, sharply intelligent and motivated having joined the intelligence services horrifies her traditional Yiddish mother. The remainder of the first part of the narrative sees Rio, Jenuo and Frangie on their own basic training, Rio and Frangie briefly crossing paths, while Rainy is crossing mental swords with all types of prejudice to assert her identity and intelligence.
The second half of the book centres on the aforementioned North African campaign in which these girls’ individual metals are tested under the stress of battle and all three central characters meet up once again, although not settling into any sort of ‘Three Musketeers’ set-up.
Grant is a master story teller and demonstrates a great depth of research not just in military ways, on the WWII era but also into the prejudices, assumptions and the accepted male-dominance of that era. Thus the girls must face up not to just being looked on as inferior (and for Frangie that’s in two layers) but also suffer sexual harassment. From the beginning though you are rooting for them. Innocent Rio, small, shy Frangie, sharp Rainy, each one’s journey is a struggle in which you see them develop, toughen and battle (literally) through, while earning the respect, or sometimes awe of their male counterparts. The support and minor characters are also well-developed, enriching the entire tale.
The format also contains any enthralling twist, there are three incidents, beginning, middle and end, presented in the font of an old typewriter that an as yet unidentified character, in a US army hospital and recovering from a serious wound acts as a Narrator (think Shakespeare’s Henry V), commenting on the other characters and tantalisingly setting the scene for the future books.
Although a YA book, nothing is spared (save for a little diluting of the language eg- ‘fuggin’) in terms of the ugly side of human nature and the horrors of battlefields. Romances and friendships develop as well as rivalries and current dislikes. In fact this book will serve just as well as adult reading, and in terms of a tale of human endeavour and conflicting emotions in a war as good as any other current war-fiction.
Highly recommended (heck I think I will get the Audio book when it comes out)
This alternative history is explored through our 3 female leads; Rio, Frangie and Rainy. All from different walks of life, doing different jobs in the army and we are fed through their perspectives by a narrator, giving us a layered and pieced picture of what it could have been like if women were really to have served in the army for the first time. Slowly the pieces of their stories begin to come together and their stories entwine to culminate in one event which sees them fighting in Africa.
This is a hard book to read at times, I struggled because it was quite gory and because of the racism aspect involved but I was engaged throughout even though I found a bit of dislike with the character of Rainy who I just didn't seem to understand or what she was doing. I guess it was probably because to me she came across as the most inhuman and incapable of emotion, feelings and just wanted to kill people, albeit Nazis, but its probably more to do with my issue of not understanding how one can kill another though I understand War is different, hers just seemed a little needless.
As an opposite, I really liked Frangie because I could really understand where she was coming from and why she joined compared with Rainy who I felt just joined as she wanted to kill people. Frangie was so admirable because she didn't want to go to war and because she only did so for that of her family which I can relate to. I found her inspirational considering how much she is put through and she has to put up with the stigma around being being a black woman in the army and how she battled on and pushed through it.
Rio was a hard one for me too because she really was herded into going to war because of who she was friends with and not because she really made the decision of her own accord. She is a sheep and it it reminded me of my sister when she was younger as she always went along with the crowd and I think when I was reading Rio it made me think of her, which made maybe made it hard reading.
A hard hitting, moving and at times hard to read book but explored in a historically accurate period in history with some welcome or unwelcome changes depending on how you look it at.
Rio is the character we see most in this book. She’s an ordinary, everyday teenager who doesn’t really know what she wants from life and can be easily influenced by her friends. Which is how she ends up going to war. She also has the standard soldiering experience – making new friends and a few enemies, training hard, questioning her own courage and of course, facing the enemy. She changes more than any other character in the book, and although I wasn’t ever quite sure that I liked her (she didn’t have enough personality for me to get that far, unlike some of her friends), I did find her story compelling.
Like Rainy, the most confident and capable character in the book who has a very different experience of warfare, although I have to admit I never really liked her much either, nor understood what her reasons were for going to war. She’s smart, but a little too intelligent and cold. She’s not there to make friends, she wants to kill Nazis and she wants to get involved. Admirable, but it’ll be interesting to see how her view of everything changes in future books.
Then there’s Frangie, who I liked the most. She doesn’t want to go to war, but her family needs the money and she’s hoping she might be able to try for a medic. She’s short and not particularly strong, but I loved her determination and her competence under pressure. Although all three girls face plenty of discrimination along the way, Frangie is the one who feels it most, being both black and female. It makes for uncomfortable reading, what both she and the rest of the POC soldiers faced (because although the presence of women soldiers might be made up, the segregation of the US army in WW2 was not), but her dignity and bravery throughout more than prove the prejudicial attitudes wrong.
That’s one of the strengths of this book. It never shies away from how things were then, whether it’s the violence of war or attitudes of racism, sexism and antisemitism, showing both how much and how little the world has changed in seventy years. Along with the history, which despite the addition of women in the army, doesn’t try to rewrite what actually happened. This isn’t Hollywood history and I really appreciated how much research the author has clearly done.
However, I did find it hard to settle into at first. The writing style is third person omniscient, taking an overview of each scene rather than seeing it through any one character’s eyes. This actually works really well for the most part, but right at the beginning, when each character was being introduced, every new chapter started with a long description about the people, the place and all kinds of extra detail that kept pulling me out of the story. I’d just be getting back into it, getting to know the characters and feeling interested in their troubles, then the chapter would end and I’d be back out of the story and struggling to be interested again.
It doesn’t help that the pace of the first quarter is very slow, establishing the girls, their families and the differences in their lives that cause them to sign up. As they moved onto training I found it easier to get into, though it was still slow. Part Two, however, I found utterly absorbing as the pace and action picks up. That’s when this book really took off for me, putting each girl into the war and giving them a chance to prove just what they were capable of. It’s hard reading at times, but well worth the effort.
Overall, this is a great read. The characters are complicated and interesting, the history is amazingly detailed and it’s all handled really well. If you love history, then you should enjoy it. This is not just a book for girls either, whether you’re older or male, there’s plenty to be enjoyed and to learn from here – if only it’s to see the world from a different perspective. Grant has done an excellent job, in my opinion, of not only portraying prejudice, but the different layers faced by women of different social levels, race and religion. For that side alone this book is worth reading.
It’s long for a YA book, and the topics included will not be to everyone’s taste or comfortable to read, but this is a powerful beginning to this series. I can forgive the slow beginning because by the end I couldn’t put it down. Looking forward to the next one already.
All four women are soon pitched into combat next to men who for the most part, don’t think they’re up to it. Somehow they each have to find the strength to prove themselves on the front line – not for the men in their unit, but to save each other.
Michael Grant’s YA alternate history of World War II pitches women into the front line, integrating real battles (notably Kasserine Pass) with fictional events in a standard war tale that follows the characters from basic training to first campaign with the usual trauma and development inbetween. Grant’s great at incorporating research (there’s a good bibliography at the back) while keeping the action moving and he’s created four interesting characters, each with their own fascinating backstory (my favourite being Frangie who joins the army for pragmatic reasons but who has dreams of having the army fund a college education and her desire to be a doctor). However, while I enjoyed this book I don’t currently see what the AU premise adds to the period other than to point out the sexism and racism (which could equally be brought across in a straightforward period story). I also found the unknown narrator device to be a little too reminiscent of CODE NAME VERITY (which Grant name checks as an influence). That said there’s enough here to keep me reading on and I look forward to the next in this series.
Focus is on Rio, Jenou, Frangie and Rainy - backgrounds widely contrasted, but experiences to unite. Characterization is strong, the reader hoping they and their colleagues will succeed. In 1945 which of them typed that Prologue? It is good to know that at least one is destined to survive.
Two Parts: Training and War. The first had the advantage of much humour, especially when some of the men who taunted soon wish they had not. There is no minimizing the hardships that confront. Reasons for some of the prejudice are interestingly explored. Male ego is under threat if female counterparts prove as good if not better. With women determinedly rising in the ranks, certain officers - hitherto all bluff and bluster - are less able to conceal their own inadequacies.
Part 2 necessarily is decidedly more grim with pitched battles and fatalities.
An involving, thought-provoking read - certainly boosting morale of all who support the feminine cause. Inevitably one wonders what if Japanese, Germans and Italians had recruited women too?
That of course would be another story. Meanwhile, on its way, is a sequel to this one. For readers who were hooked, such news will greatly please.
This is not only a book based on the Second World War but this is one where we see how those who were because of the colour of their skin were treated like Second Class citizens even when they were fighting in the name of America and saving the lives of those who might have been wearing the same uniform as them were still seen as inferior.
This is not the usual reading material I would have chosen which made it even more surprising how much I still enjoyed this book. Michael Grant has a gift for not only writing a good entertaining read but mix that with a gift of bringing scenes alive, and his writing was totally inspiring as I was able to take a seat and watch through Michael Grants writing the book coming alive.
This is indeed a totally new look at the Second World War which left it fresh and very exciting. If you want a book which is not a typical look at the Second World War, this is a good book to read. It is aimed at the Young adult but for me I seen no boundaries which would stop any age from enjoying this well-written work of fiction.
The book focuses on three young women and their path into military service, all three are very different and choose different paths but those paths eventually merge together into one larger plot. As with the Gone books, there is quite a lot of violence and death and it can be quite gory and shocking, and perhaps more so because you are reading about young women facing this horror. In the same way as the Gone books were about children and teenagers facing violence and death and terrifying things, this can be hard reading for some people and proved too much for some people I know. I think the author is a brilliant storyteller and creates great concepts and backgrounds for his books and I think given the success of the Gone series with both genders, his fans will definitely try this new series even though the main characters are female. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike. 5/5