Front Lines by Michael Grant

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Front Lines by Michael GrantFront Lines by Michael Grant
Series: Soldier Girl #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 26th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction
Pages: 576
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
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Goodreads
four-stars

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.

What I thought

Front Lines is the first book by Michael Grant that I’ve read. When I read about the premise for this book I was sold. I mean, it seemed like such an original and intriguing take on World War II. After reading Front Lines I can tell you that it most certainly lived up to my expectations: what a long but incredibly compelling and captivating read!

There is so much detail that has gone into this book

Front Lines starts out quite slow, but this is one of those books that needs slow in the beginning. I don’t think I would have become as invested in the characters as I am now if I hadn’t been there alongside them at bootcamp, traveling from California to Georgia to Oklahoma to New York City and to North Africa on the Queen Mary. You need the background to become invested in these characters and I appreciate all the detail that has gone into this SO MUCH. The background stories, the journey to bootcamp, as well as all the historical details are what make this book so incredibly captivating to read.

Front Lines is such a confrontational and realistic story to read

What I loved most about Front Lines is that Michael Grant didn’t just stop at the imagined army life and conditions of women (and from the POV of three different women) during WWII. He also took in account how race would have factored in the army furing the early 1940s as well. Rio Richlin is a white girl from a small town in California, Frangie Marr is an African-American girl from Oklahoma, and Rainy Shulterman is a Jewish girl from New York City. Not only does Grant tackle gender injustice and sexism, he tackles racism as well, which is something that would be very easy to forget when writing a book like this. The fact that Grant ‘tells it like it is’ and doesn’t shy away from having his characters making racial slurs and sexist comments makes Front Lines an incredibly confrontational and realistic story to read.

Flawed characters with SO MUCH depth

I am, and always have been, a huge fan of character driven stories and Front Lines did in no way let me down in this department. The characters are realisticly portrayed: they’re flawed and have so much depth. Rio, Frangie, and Rainy all have their own distinct personalities, and have their own reasons for enlisting. The secondary characters, too, bring so much to the story.

Final verdict IRISJEXX!

 

The whopping amount of 576 pages are an absolute pleasure from beginning to end. It is such a compelling read and I cannot wait for the sequel to Front Lines to hit shelves! (Somehow I didn’t realize this would be a series until I reached the end of the book, imagine the frustration when I realized I coudn’t keep on reading when I wanted to SO BADLY). Seriously people, read this!

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu | Book Review

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu | Book Review

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu | Book ReviewLife by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?

What I thought NEW

This book is brilliant. Brilliant, a bit messy, but really just so honest and realistic that it exceeded my expectations in a HUGE way. Somehow I went into this book expecting an okay read. Okay is not a way I’d describe Life by Committee after reading it. Because it ended up being a great read, possibly a runner for the title ‘favourite-read-of-the-year’ great.

I thought the idea of LBC was interesting. The whole tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe was a very interesting twist to the story (though lets be real, I’d never ever sign up for something like that). I found myself holding my breath for  every assignment, and found myself positively outraged by some of the assignments Tab received. While I might be able to understand the draw, I just couldn’t understand some of the assignments, let alone actually completing them.

Which leads to why I think the book worked so well and why I ended up loving it so much. Because in the end Tabitha is real, she’s a teenager, she’s messy, and she makes mistakes. Honestly, Tab is a mess, a big fat mess, and with the way her life has been spiralling out of control, the way her friends dropped her flat, and the way she’s being treated at school, she acts out. Which doesn’t change the fact that she did some messed up things. Kissing a guy that is taken (like the synopsis already said) is wrong on so many accounts, and it led to me being incredibly frustrated with Tab at times, but I never lost the sympathy I had for her (lets not lie, I almost did! but you’ll know exactly what I mean after reading this book!). Through it all, she just always remained Tab, the girl loves second hand books because she loves to read what people write in the margins, the girl that hurts deeply because people assume stuff about her just because her body changed, the girl that makes mistakes View Spoiler ». She’s a teenager. And we all knows how that feels.

Life by Committee is just incredibly realistic. It’s a story about coming of age, and all the troubles that come with it. It isn’t your typical contemporary read, it isn’t all warm and fuzzy and romantic (keep that in mind!). But it is REAL, and jam-packed with lessons that every teenager has to learn at some point in their lives.