19 March 2016

Front Lines

Author: Michael Grant
Series: Soldier Girl #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Why do young adult authors think that you have to cram romance into every single YA novel?  This novel would have been so much more entertaining and fast paced if it wasn't so bogged down with all the relationship drama.  I'm much more interested in the friendship between Rio and Jenou than the love triangle (gag) between Rio and her two love interests.

There is one point in particular where I almost throw this book out the window a la Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings style.  It was on page 386 of the edition I read.  The squad is in the middle of a retreat after being shot at and chased down by tanks.  People are chucking 'nades everywhere, and they are marching God only knows into what.  Our heroine is in the lead I believe at this point.  And the narrator has the nerve to have her glance back to check on one of the guys and contemplate previous instances of romantic entanglement.  It INFURIATES me.  They are in the middle of war, probably shell-shocked beyond belief, and Grant is throwing in romance drama?  Give me a break!  It ruins the entire pace of the action sequence prior to this scene.

I'm not as big of a WWII buff as my husband is, so I'm not sure as to the accuracy of the events Grant describes, even if it is an alternate universe where women are drafted in the United States along with the men.  And the novel is definitely slow to start, which is a bummer since it is a hefty 544 pages.  But the characters have just enough gumption to keep me interested and the action definitely picks up in the second half of the novel.  The use of the term FUBAR is a bit excessive (though this may be accurate, as I've never served in the military myself.  But still), and some of the dialogue is definitely lacking.  But, considering I haven't found too many young adult war novels, I like it well enough.  There is nothing wholly special about any of the characters.  I'm certainly not going to be starting a feminist movement behind any of them, that's for sure, but they are just strong enough to carry the story.

Not sure if I'm going to read the next installment or not (Soldier Girl is a terrible name for the series BTW); I think it will depend on my mood when the sequel hits shelves.

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