front lines

4.5 stars

I really liked this book and had a hard time putting it down. While some people have said that the story is slow, I didn’t find it that way. I think it is well-paced, with plenty of action. The story kept my interest and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

The book is an alternate history of WWII. A court decision ruled that women are eligible for the draft and combat service. So in this war, women fight alongside men on the front lines. Three young women sign up for the Army. Rio, a small-town farm girl signs up because her best friend is desperate to get out of their small town. Rainy is a Jewish woman from NYC that is intent on killing Germans. Frangie, an African American woman, has aspirations of becoming a doctor. Her family is very poor with little to no income coming in. She joins the Army so that she can help support her family and send her pay back to them.

The story follows the women as they make their decision to join the Army, go through boot camp and into their first deployment. Rio and her friend are in the infantry, Rainy is assigned to Intelligence and Frangie is made a medic. The author doesn’t shy away from the reality of the time period, which includes sexism, racism and prejudice. Because it’s a YA book, the war scenes are pretty tame and the interactions between men and women are very chaste. The women discover that they are tougher than they thought they could ever be. When faced with the horrors of war, their grit is tested. Will they stand up to the challenges of war?

I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I recommend you read this book.