front lines by michael grant – a review

I read a young adult alternate WWII fiction novel which explored issues of race and gender discrimination told from the point of view of three teenage girls. It was written by a middle-aged white man. Funnily enough, I liked it. I really liked it. I even gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Basically, the novel follows three diverse young women as they enlist for various reasons and head off to fight the krauts. That’s all you really know. Also, if you come from a place, like I do, where the series is called “the soldier girl series” you must immediately disregard that. That was poor marketing.

Dear Michael Grant,

I don’t know what made you think this was a good venture for you. Honestly, middle-aged white guys are always trying to jump into conversations about race and gender politics. Humans tend to enjoy giving unjustified opinions on things which have nothing to do with them. Mostly, I just don’t know how you pulled it off.



Anyway, this is all coming from a lower middle-class white girl so take that with a grain of salt friends. Still, I liked this book.

It started slowly but was never boring to me. Yeah, it took them a long time to get to the actual war. That’s why this is a series, with three (I’d argue two at this point but I hope that changes in the next book) main characters it takes a while to introduce and develop them. Rio is our main character, with Frangie featuring next and Rainy getting about as much focus as Rio’s best friend or the love interest who isn’t around for most of the book. Poor Rainy. That was my main issue. Many, many characters. But it’s war so I’m sure they’ll all die soon enough.

My second, issue was that Grant avoided swearing. I don’t swear much myself (I try not to swear at all but nobody’s perfect) but it really peeves me off when authors go so far out of their way to avoid it. “fugging”. Just no.

Other than those minor things this book was great. It was like reading an action film, highly visual and gory. I stayed up until 1am to finish this. You should read it. It was good.




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