Front Lines

Front Lines

Front Lines

by Michael Grant

Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Published: January 26th 2016
by Katherine Teagen Books




World War II, 1942. A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service.

Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations. Each has her own reasons for volunteering. Not one expects to see actual combat. Not one expects to be on the front lines.

These three daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.


Hate. The word alone made Rio queasy. How do you hate someone you’ve never met? Weren’t the Germans just soldiers doing what they were supposed to do? How could she kill someone like that?

Front Lines takes a unique and eye-opening perspective on World War Two – the likes of which I haven’t ever before in a YA book before.

Front Lines is an alternate history where the Supreme Court has created a law that allows women to serve in World War Two. The story follows three girls – Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman – as they enlist in the most brutal war history has ever known.

Each of these three girls are written wonderfully. They each display remarkable courage, intelligence, and perseverance in the face of impossible odds, and it’s hard not to root for them.

What’s truly wonderful about this book is how it discusses sexism, racism, and religious prejudice – topics that are still rampant in our society today. Grant discusses these topics honestly and thoughtfully, in a way that makes everything linger in your mind for long after you’ve finished the story.

While I didn’t connect to the story emotionally as much as I wish I could have, I still found it to be an eye-opening and well-written read. Fans of Code Name Verity or The Book Thief are going to love this.

You heal a soldier in a war, and he goes off next thing to take another man’s life. How then do you avoid responsibility for that death?


54 thoughts on “Front Lines

  1. OOOOH! WOW! This sounds like SUCH a great read, you’ve read a lot of historical fiction, and now, I’m SO excited for both these books.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m SO behind on YA Historical Fiction. Or, really, Historical Fiction of any kind. I must be the last blogger alive to have yet to read Salt To The Sea. And now this! (This, to be perfectly honest, sounds even more appealing than most others which have cropped up recently.) Racism, sexism, religious prejudice in WWII where well-developed girl characters go off to war?

    Sign me uuuuup.

    And bless you for these reviews, Zoe. Not that my TBR needs it, but you always turn me on to fantastic books.

    1. I’m curious to see what you think of this if you decide to give it a try Lexie! It does tackle a lot of relevant issues in a very honest manner. And yeah! That means so much – thank you!

  3. I so so want to read this, but I did hear it’s pretty slow. *shrieks* I am not in the mood for super slow books right now, BUUUUUT I will read it eventually because MICHAEL! GRANT! I think it’s awesome how he tackles so many genres, too…and it’s just doubly awesome that people are writing books purely about females being awesome. ;D I am so in favour of this.

    1. It is a bit slow, but I still enjoyed it despite that. Curious to see what you think of this if you decide to give it a try Cait. πŸ™‚

  4. I loved Front Lines, but it definitely didn’t give me the same emotional feels as Code Name Verity, or The Book Thief. But I really loved all the issues it tackles and I’m so glad I read it πŸ™‚ (because it was very long, and some things dragged a bit)

    Awesome review Zoe! Are you going to continue on with the series when it comes out?

    1. That was my one problem with it too: that it was a bit slow. It might not have been as emotional as CNV or The Book Thief, but it was still a great book in its own right. Thank you Val! And I think I will. πŸ™‚

  5. Okay, okay, I am now super excited to read this. I mean, an alternate WWII where girls are fighting? That is SO COOL. And I am glad to hear it actually discusses those social issues instead of skirting around them, like so many books seem to. Lovely review, as always, Zoe!

    ❀ Erin

    1. So glad that you’re excited for this! And that’s what I loved too – that it tackled the difficult issues head-on and didn’t skirt around them. πŸ™‚ Thank you! <3

  6. I’ve been interested in this book, but it’s really long and apparently slow, I don’t know if I’m ready for it yet… I’m glad that you liked it though, it’s true that the book seems to tackled down some serious issues. I haven’t read a single book by Michael Grant yet, can you believe it? *hides in a corner*Great review Zoe! πŸ™‚

    1. It is a bit slow, but I still enjoyed it despite that. Curious to see what you think of this if you decide to give it a try Lexie. πŸ™‚

  7. I hardly ever read historical fiction, but I want to change that! This book might be a good place to start since I just learned about WWII and I like this whole idea of an alternate war with women soldiers. I’m sorry you didn’t have the emotional connection you were looking for, but I’m glad that you enjoyed the book nonetheless! Thanks for the awesome review, Zoe. πŸ™‚

    1. If you’re looking for some good historical fiction, this is definitely a great place to start. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you decide to give it a try Julia! And thank you! <3

  8. This book just sounds awesome, in regards to discussing heavy sexist, racist, and religious prejudism themes. I do so love when books go out of their way to explore those topics. The length of it does make me want to hesitate though, because I haven’t heard of it being full of action (which is what I expect in a book set in war-time). But I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Awesome review! πŸ˜€

    1. It’s so easy to pretend that things like racism, sexism, etc don’t exist in our world anymore, so it’s great when books explore hard themes like that. Thanks Aila!

  9. I loved Code Name Verity and The Book Thief so I may have to give this one a go (especially as it’s got such an intriguing premise)! Great review, Zoe πŸ™‚

    1. If you loved Code Name Verity & The Book Thief, this is going to be right up your alley Hannah! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  10. I’ve been debating on if I want to read this one as the historical fiction aspect excites me; however, I’m still on the fence. Sucks that you didn’t feel an emotional connection though, I really rely on that in a story. Wonderful review, Zoe!

    1. Let me know whether you end up reading it, okay? I’m curious to see what you end up thinking of it if you decide to give it a try. Thank you!

  11. Okay, I haven’t read Code Name Verity or The Book Thief (I KNOW) but I love books that tackle sexism, racism and religiou prejudice, especially in it’s era, and esxactly, we still have it today, and weirdly, in a way, I think we have it more than we should, especially religious prejudice when it comes to terorism right now. I’ve been getting into HF lately (though I definitely have to be in the mood for it, like I read The Steep and Thorny Way, which I loved but can’t help but feel I didn’t LOVE it because I wasn’t in the mood for it). So when I am, on the list!

    1. YOU HAVEN’T READ CODE NAME VERITY OR THE BOOK THIEF? What are you waiting for Kirsty?! They’re both absolutely amazing. And I completely agree. It’s so easy to pretend that things like racism, sexism, etc don’t exist in our world anymore, so it’s great when books explore hard themes like that.

  12. I’ve been on such a WW2 binge lately, having just finished watching ‘The Man in the High Castle’ β€” one of the most amazing shows I’ve come across lately. I love a book that can delve deep and explore sexism and all the prejudices of that time well, and I do enjoy Grant’s writing. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Zoe! Lovely review xx

    1. I haven’t heard of The Men in the High Castle – definitely going to have to go check that out! And thank YOU for your lovely comment Joy – so glad it sounds up your alley.

  13. Ooh, Zoe, this sounds fantastic – and to think, I wouldn’t have even known about it if it hadn’t been for your review! I adored both The Book Thief and Code Name Verity, so this sounds right up my alley. Wonderful post, my friend!

  14. I absolutely loved this one Zoe and couldn’t agree more. I loved how it didn’t dumb down the importance of equality regardless of race, sex or colour. I hadn’t expected it to be so intense either, which made it seem more brutal. Sorry you couldn’t have connected to the characters or storyline on an emotional level though, for me too that’s what turns a good read into a great read. Wonderful review Zoe <3 <3

    1. Thank you so much Kelly! I am so glad you liked it so much – it was such a great and important story, wasn’t it?

  15. Great review Zoe! I’m a big historical fiction fan, and as an author who usually writes dystopian novels it’s interesting to see Michael Grant take on something new. The concept of women fighting in the war is an interesting take on history, so I’ll definitely keep this one on my radar. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. Thank YOU for the lovely comment Eugenia! So glad this sounds like something you’d like! I’m curious to see what you think of it if you decide to give it a try.

    1. If you’re a fan of The Book Thief, this is going to be right up your alley Whitney. Let me know if you decide to give it a try, okay? Thank you!

  16. Did you just say Code Name Verity? I am already all over this book in that case haha! I love the premise so much, especially glad to hear that the execution also expands on the social problems of sexism and other forms of prejudice. Beautiful review, as always!

  17. You always read such interesting books! I’m a sucker for alternate histories, and this sounds so intriguing. It’s always promising when a book features intelligent ladies πŸ˜€ Great review, Zoe!

  18. I really enjoyed this book that twisted WWII by including women in the fight. My feminist ideals were crying out in enthusiasm and happiness! I did see quite a disconnect with the characters though… I do love the three POVs, and I can’t wait to see where this book goes next! Plus I love learning new things about history… Great review <3

    1. If you liked Wolf by Wolf, this is going to be right up your alley Amy! Let me know what you think of it if you decide to read it, okay? <3

  19. This sounds like such a wonderful read! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one (historical fiction isn’t really my genre), but now I’ll have to give this one a second thought. I love the sound of women fighting. It sounds like such a powerful read! Lovely review, Zoe β™₯

    Denise | The Bibliolater

    1. Even if you’re not into historical fiction, definitely still consider giving this a try. It’s great! Thank you Denise! <3

  20. GAH, I need to read this book SO badly. I love that it deals with so many moral questions, and an alternate take on WWII just sounds incredible. It is sad that you didn’t connect with the characters though, but I think that it sounds like maybe the story is strong enough to be good regardless. Plus, I consider a 3.5 from you to be pretty solid, so I will take my chances πŸ˜€ Fabulous review!

  21. Looks like a good read! I haven’t read much historical fiction but I reallllly want to do better about that. I feel there’s so much depth to them. Slow reads vex me but your review makes me feel it’ll be worth it πŸ™‚


    1. It is a great read Jen! If you’re resolving to read more historical fiction, this is definitely a great place to start. Let me know what you think if you decide to give it a try!

    1. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this is going to be right up your alley Kelly! Can’t wait to see what you think about it. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  22. This is the first time I’m coming across this book, but the premise sure sounds interesting! I’m glad you ended up liking this book despite being unable to connect to the characters emotionally as much as you’d have liked :)) Great review, Zoe!

    Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques

  23. Woah, just that excerpt alone has me intrigued! I won an ARC of these a while back but I haven’t gotten to it yet. It sounds just up my ally since I’m trying to read more historical fiction + I like the whole alternate history. I really love The Book Thief (my favorite standalone since 2012!) so I think I’ll like this one πŸ™‚

    Thanks for (always) stopping by Princessica of Books!

    1. Oh my gosh Jess – if you’re a fan of historical fiction & alternate history, you are going to LOVE this. xD Can’t wait to see what you think of it! <3

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