Front Lines by Michael Grant

Image result for Front linesI don’t normally enjoy history. It’s my worst subject in school, and I can never focus on memorizing facts for tests. Before Front Lines, I have only enjoyed the Dear America series and The Only Thing To Fear by Caroline Richmond. Usually whenever I read one, it feels like I’m in school.

I picked Front Lines off the New Shelf at the Mission Viejo Library because I saw that it was a new Michael Grant book, and I completely freaked out. I didn’t even read the inside cover to see what the book was about until I got home. I originally thought that it was going to be something along the lines of his Gone series, which is still one of my favorite book series. Out of the books I checked out that day, I left this one until the end because I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to read a historical fiction novel.

Front Lines is about an alternate World War II. What if women could fight in the war? The book is told through the perspectives of Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman. I think that this book really makes you wonder about how World War II could have been fought differently if women were fighting on the front lines. I’m hoping that a sequel comes out soon. Even though the book is over 500 pages, you still want to know what would happen next.

For people who have fallen in love with the Gone series, I encourage  you to read this book. It’s good for all teens.

-Rebecca V., 8th grade

Front Lines by Michael Grant is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore by Kate Maddision

incrediblecharlotte_katemaddisonThe sixteen-year-old daughter of Queen Victoria’s surgeon should be a mild-mannered and polite. That is what everyone in Her Majesty court’s thinks. Even so, Charlotte Sycamore has a price on her head and labeled the Robin Hood Surgeon for stealing medicine for the poor. One day, she is bitten by rabid dogs but not just any type of dogs. Mechanical dogs. Then starts the race against time to find a cure for this disease and the master of the dogs.

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore is classified as an alternative history and steampunk story. It was this fact that instantly drew me to the story. There is a love story, which I think was not very well combined with the main conflict. The love story does take away some of the excitement presented in the book. One good thing is it does contain a very strong female main character, who goes beyond the norms of a “Victorian heroine”. This fact adds a lot to the story. Most of the story seems to have the theme of Charlotte trying to decide what she should do with her life. It is a choose between following her heart or conforming to the court. In her heart, she wants to be wild and free but the court expects her to marry who they choose and lead a quiet life. There are moments where Charlottes makes decisions that do not lead to great results and she learns from them.

To give this book a score, it would be 8/10. There could have been some changes that could have positively added to the story’s plot but overall it is still a very good read. I would recommend it to those trying to find a good steampunk novel.

– Sarah J.,