Title: Front Lines
Author: Michael Grant
Purchase: Available now for just £3.85
Overall rating: 4/5
Great for: History lovers, feminists
Themes: Race issues, gender injustice, finding your path in life, being pushed to your limit, learning to survive, taking responsibility, cherishing life.
Review: ‘Front Lines’ follows three American women, all with differing personalities and traits, all equally likeable, and their experience of the US army in 1942. Frangie Marr is an African-American from Oklahoma who needs the money, Rio Richlin a white female from a small town in California – fighting for her dead sister, and Rainy Schulterman a Jewish girl from New York wants to kill Germans. Grant explains that he uses language that ‘portrayed attitudes that all good people now find abhorrent’, this book touches on racism, sexism and anti-Semitism, something that’s somewhat refreshing not to be brushed under the carpet in a YA read.
‘Front Lines’ follows the three characters through their wartime journey, from enlisting, to basic training and their first launch into the war. If you’re interested in WWII, then this is the perfect mix of historical facts, blended with Grant’s well researched fiction. The majority of the book is focussed around Northern Africa, and the Battle of Kasserine Pass. There’s also references throughout to real life events such as a French soldier who erected a barricade symbolique.
Don’t be put off by the front cover, and the almost ‘action man’ like feel to it. The way in which Grant pays particular attention to building characters will instantly have you hooked. With chapters written from the girls’ alternating perspectives, you’ll be left devouring chapters to get all sides of the story.