Title: Soldier On
Author: J. D. Wynne
Publisher: Page Publishing
Publish Date: December 15, 2017
My Rating: 3/5
Take a walk in Army reservist Molly McKinney’s boots as she serves our country in Afghanistan and confronts a minefield of interpersonal relationships. Men and women from all walks of life are thrown together on what they call the “rock” or “Hell on earth.” The story follows Molly as she adjusts to her new reality of living in a combat zone, learns the ropes of prison life, and realizes the many complexities of war.
Born in Chicago, Molly barely out of her teens is an aspiring doctor who joined the Army Reserve pre-911, mainly to pay for medical school. She is a breath of fresh air in the hot, dusty, hell-hole the soldiers temporarily call home. Molly, with her battle buddy Osborne, a quirky seductress, work alongside active duty troops as MP’s (Military Police) stationed at a prison camp. The insurgents, assumed to have Taliban connections, some awaiting transit to Guantanamo Bay, often fall on the thin line between very scary and somewhat ridiculous.
Molly’s life becomes a rollercoaster of fear, passion, pain, and boredom as she guards captured insurgents and she soon realizes that she too is a prisoner of the desolate, and unbearably hot prison. Molly becomes drawn to a quick witted, shameless soldier named Spc. Shaw to get through the long and mundane days of the prison. As her feelings for Shaw grow so does her loathing for the insanely handsome, yet robotic, Sgt. Beck.
Sgt. Beck makes it clear on day one that Molly is unfit for the job. In his attempts to take her down he begins to see the true measure of her resilience, courage, determination and fiery temper. As Molly battles her 12-hour work schedule, sleep deprivation, camel spiders and a host of other obstacles while living in a combat zone, Beck, who is sleeping with Molly’s friend, entrusts Molly with a more personal side of himself. As Beck’s guard lowers, so does Molly’s and their friendship becomes unbreakable. But when tragedy strikes Molly realizes that some people are not at all what they appear to be.
Molly is a young woman in the Army reserves. She wants to be a doctor, and joins the reserves to pay for medical school. After 9/11 strikes, she is working alongside active duty troops to guard prisoners in Afghanistan. During her time in Afghanistan, she works long hours, shares camaraderie with other female soldiers, and falls for a guy.
This story is told from Molly’s point of view, with some parts of the book written as diary entries. I kind of wish the entire book had been diary entries. Maybe it would have flowed a little better. Sometimes the perspective switched from first to third person, making it a choppy read.
Molly is a likable character. She works hard, has a sense of humor, stands strong, and seems real. She is young and doing a very difficult job. She is away from her family and friends, which can be very lonely. Molly is friendly and works at making her time there bearable, which makes it hard to read when tragedy strikes.
This read a little like a YA book. The main character is nineteen, and everything is from her point of view. A good read for young women interested in the military.
I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.