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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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!

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  1. Kim
    25/01/2016 / 16:18

    When you told me about this book a few days ago it already sounded interesting, but after reading your review it sounds even more exciting ^^ Why do you keep making me excited for books? I already have so many to read (;

    • Iris
      27/01/2016 / 12:26

      Haha, don’t we all? But really, I highly recommend this one! Especially for the feminists out there ;)

  2. 25/01/2016 / 16:27

    I’m glad to see that you liked this one! The size is definitely a bit daunting, but I’ve loved a lot of Michael’s books in the past, so I’ll be sure to check it out when I can. :)
    Krystianna Downright Dystopian

    • Iris
      27/01/2016 / 12:27

      The size is well-worth it! For real, I felt like I flew through the book, it was THAT good! I haven’t read any of Michael’s other books yet, I definitely should if Front Lines was an indication.

  3. 26/01/2016 / 01:47

    This is one of my most anticipated reads of the month, so seeing you liked it so much makes me really excited Iris! I recently read another historical retelling about WWII – Wolf by Wolf – and loved it, so I am so excited to see what this one brings to the table too. Strong female characters combined with such an intriguing historical setting makes me even more excited. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    • Iris
      27/01/2016 / 12:29

      I’ve head about Wolf by Wolf! Haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet (I should though). I hope you’ll like Front Lines just as much as I did, I thought it was amazing and can’t wait to see what you think!

  4. 28/01/2016 / 18:56

    I’ve heard amazing things about this book everywhere! Sometimes I wish I read more historical fiction to be dying for this one :) I’ll probably check it out soon!
    Great review!

    • Iris
      28/01/2016 / 23:53

      Thank you! I hope you’ll check it out! It is a great read, and I’d love to know what you think. I don’t read to much historical fiction, but when I do, I end up loving the books (so I probably should read more of them, haha)

  5. 19/12/2017 / 16:22

    Hoi Iris, mag ik hier eigenlijk ook in het NL reageren? Ik redigeerde vorig jaar de vertaling van dit boek (voor HC), en hoorde pas achteraf dat het een ‘YA’ was: niets van gemerkt, en ik vond hem steengoed. Binnenkort verschijnt deel 2 in m’n inbox… ben benieuwd!

    • Iris
      19/12/2017 / 19:51

      Natuurlijk mag reageren in het NL! Alleen maar leuk! Ik vond het ook een enorm tof boek. Het was de eerste titel die ik van Michael Grant las, en het was zo sterk geschreven het valt inderdaad bijna niet te merken dat het ‘YA’ is. Ik heb deel twee nog niet gelezen (je reactie is een goede reminder). Ga zodadelijk gelijk even het boek bestellen, haha.

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