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Front Lines Paperback – January 3, 2017
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“Fascinating and powerful. This alternate history of WWII is relevant to the American military today, where men and women serve side by side. Men have no monopoly on courage or determination, and they never did. A great book.” (Wayne K. Maynard, Major, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.)
“What if American women had fought alongside men in World War II? Michael Grant gives us a magnificent alternate history that feels so real and right and true it seems impossible that it wasn’t. Every one of these fictional soldiers has wrapped herself around my heart.” (Elizabeth Wein, Award-winning and New York Times Bestselling Author of Code Name Verity)
★ “The history is illuminating and fascinating, but where Grant excels even more is in the immersive storytelling and compelling bonds among the multifaceted characters. Just as classic war novels demonstrate how war can reveal common humanity, Grant’s exploration of women in battle is no different.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “All of the protagonists are well-developed individuals, but also represent ‘every soldier girl who carried a rifle, dug a hole, slogged through mud, steamed or froze, prayed or cursed, raged or feared, ran away or ran toward.’ A gripping and heart-wrenching tale.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The main characters are all well-drawn, strong women, and the wartime events are well researched and accurate. The alternative history and wartime plot, which reads like a movie, will appeal to many.” (School Library Journal)
“The experiences of female soldiers in the military are plainly and honestly depicted…an immersive, powerful tale.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“The fast pace of this novel, along with its relatable characters and engaging plot, will easily draw in reluctant readers. Grant’s well-researched details of living conditions that WWII soldiers endured will appeal to fans of historical fiction. Readers of this book will be anxiously awaiting the sequel.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Michael Grant is a master of twists that not only tear at his readers’ consciences, they hold a mirror up to our here and now and insist we consider what might otherwise be. FRONT LINES is a masterpiece of speculative story crafting.” (Andrew Smith, Michael L. Printz Honor winning author of Grasshopper Jungle)
“Front Lines does what great epics are meant to do: tells us the human side of history with honesty, wit, and clarity. Just because it didn’t happen this way, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.” (C. Alexander London, author of Proxy and Dog Tags and Tides of War series)
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.
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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.
Interesting read and at times factual..