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Sisters in Arms

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Kaia Alderson’s debut historical fiction novel reveals the untold, true story of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, who made the dangerous voyage to Europe to ensure American servicemen received word from their loved ones during World War II. Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it com Kaia Alderson’s debut historical fiction novel reveals the untold, true story of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, who made the dangerous voyage to Europe to ensure American servicemen received word from their loved ones during World War II. Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it comes to the army, specifically the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), they are both starting from the same level. Not only will they be among the first class of female officers the army has even seen, they are also the first Black women allowed to serve. As these courageous women help to form the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, they are dealing with more than just army bureaucracy—everyone is determined to see this experiment fail. For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp. Grace and Eliza know that there is no room for error; they must be more perfect than everyone else. When they finally make it overseas, to England and then France, Grace and Eliza will at last be able to do their parts for the country they love, whatever the risk to themselves. Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II.


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Kaia Alderson’s debut historical fiction novel reveals the untold, true story of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, who made the dangerous voyage to Europe to ensure American servicemen received word from their loved ones during World War II. Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it com Kaia Alderson’s debut historical fiction novel reveals the untold, true story of the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, who made the dangerous voyage to Europe to ensure American servicemen received word from their loved ones during World War II. Grace Steele and Eliza Jones may be from completely different backgrounds, but when it comes to the army, specifically the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), they are both starting from the same level. Not only will they be among the first class of female officers the army has even seen, they are also the first Black women allowed to serve. As these courageous women help to form the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, they are dealing with more than just army bureaucracy—everyone is determined to see this experiment fail. For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp. Grace and Eliza know that there is no room for error; they must be more perfect than everyone else. When they finally make it overseas, to England and then France, Grace and Eliza will at last be able to do their parts for the country they love, whatever the risk to themselves. Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II.

30 review for Sisters in Arms

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate Quinn

    Had a chance to read this one for a cover quote, and loved it. Heart-warming but fierce, a novel brimming with camaraderie and fire, starring women you'd love to make your friends. Prickly, musical Grace and bubbly, privileged Eliza may not make the most natural allies, but it's fight or die when they're thrown together in the Army's first class of female officers--and the first Black women allowed to serve their country in World War II. Grace, Eliza, and their sisters-in-arms battle prejudice, Had a chance to read this one for a cover quote, and loved it. Heart-warming but fierce, a novel brimming with camaraderie and fire, starring women you'd love to make your friends. Prickly, musical Grace and bubbly, privileged Eliza may not make the most natural allies, but it's fight or die when they're thrown together in the Army's first class of female officers--and the first Black women allowed to serve their country in World War II. Grace, Eliza, and their sisters-in-arms battle prejudice, army regulation, and enemies at home and abroad as they serve in the only all-Black female battalion deployed overseas, and it's a fight to make you stand up and cheer.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    Overall: ☆☆ (2.4) Entertainment:☆☆ Writing style: ☆☆ Plot: ☆☆ Character development:☆☆☆ Ending:☆☆☆ Cons: reads more like a YA novel. Not my writing style, for this era. Characters were bland. The plot was bland. Did not touch on the racial issues or the gender issues, as expected. The main issues were their personal issues of family problems. Was hoping for more insight as to the letters they came across. Only got the one instance with the Robert G letter. Was hoping for an emotional book that tugged Overall: ☆☆ (2.4) Entertainment:☆☆ Writing style: ☆☆ Plot: ☆☆ Character development:☆☆☆ Ending:☆☆☆ Cons: reads more like a YA novel. Not my writing style, for this era. Characters were bland. The plot was bland. Did not touch on the racial issues or the gender issues, as expected. The main issues were their personal issues of family problems. Was hoping for more insight as to the letters they came across. Only got the one instance with the Robert G letter. Was hoping for an emotional book that tugged at heartstrings, but instead it was mainly the poorly developed characters whining over and over again about their issues. Issues were repetitive and could easily been reduced to only a couple of pages, if they didnt keep talking about them. A couple grammatical issues (which can be overlooked if the book is great, but this was not). Ending was as boring as the book, but it did sum up all their "problems". Pros: fast read

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    This is not just another WWII story: this is a stirring and timely novel about the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, a group of women who had to fight resolutely against countless obstacles in order to be permitted to serve their country. Grace and Eliza stole my heart with their spirit and their resilience, and the ups and downs of their tumultuous friendship made me laugh and cry. Poignant and powerful; an untold story that you simply must read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    Grace, a budding pianist. Eliza, a budding journalist. Two Negro 20-something young ladies, both desperate to get out from under their parents rules and expectations finds the opportunity to join the Women’s Army Corps presents itself at just the right moment for them. They start out bickering with each other from first meeting for no good reason that I could figure. I never did get a feel for the personality of either Grace or Eliza. Both went from hot to cold on almost every page. They acted an Grace, a budding pianist. Eliza, a budding journalist. Two Negro 20-something young ladies, both desperate to get out from under their parents rules and expectations finds the opportunity to join the Women’s Army Corps presents itself at just the right moment for them. They start out bickering with each other from first meeting for no good reason that I could figure. I never did get a feel for the personality of either Grace or Eliza. Both went from hot to cold on almost every page. They acted and spoke more like ten year old kids. As per the author’s information some of the events she writes about are taken from known facts but the book is written in such a light-hearted tone I felt it did not do these women justice. This is a book I should have liked but didn’t.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Books should not be judged by their covers, I agree though I should have heeded my gut reaction when first seeing this cover art. I wanted to love this novel; the history is important and needs to be told, but this novel just didn’t pull it off. The most interesting parts were those that were based on actual events and people (there weren’t many of them), and the rest was just not good. The main characters (fictitious) are not very likable, the dialogue is poor, reading like something a teenager Books should not be judged by their covers, I agree though I should have heeded my gut reaction when first seeing this cover art. I wanted to love this novel; the history is important and needs to be told, but this novel just didn’t pull it off. The most interesting parts were those that were based on actual events and people (there weren’t many of them), and the rest was just not good. The main characters (fictitious) are not very likable, the dialogue is poor, reading like something a teenager would write, and the use of modern phrases in historical fiction really turned me off. I struggled to get through this and only persevered because of my interest in and respect for the history.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I'm not even a WWII fan, but I loved this book. The history that I didn't know, married to characters that you come to love love, it's the best. Thank you so much for bringing a fresh entry into an area that is so over done. I'm not even a WWII fan, but I loved this book. The history that I didn't know, married to characters that you come to love love, it's the best. Thank you so much for bringing a fresh entry into an area that is so over done.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ReinaDeLibros27

    I really wanted to like this book. I've rarely come across books about black women in the Army in WWII. I felt like this story was more so about 2 women who joined the Army and they are just bickering and annoying each other throughout the whole book. That's it. There is nothing much about their service other than they went to basic - and they moved from that and served. But there wasn't much. Grace and Eliza didn't evolve as much as I expected them to. And even after YEARS of serving, they still I really wanted to like this book. I've rarely come across books about black women in the Army in WWII. I felt like this story was more so about 2 women who joined the Army and they are just bickering and annoying each other throughout the whole book. That's it. There is nothing much about their service other than they went to basic - and they moved from that and served. But there wasn't much. Grace and Eliza didn't evolve as much as I expected them to. And even after YEARS of serving, they still stay bickering. I get it, you're not always going to like people you work or serve with, but come on. It was constant bickering and it was annoying. It felt like a pissing contest between them and they were both trying to figure each other out. There also wasn't really a plot to the story. I struggled towards the last 70 pages when I realized that the story wasn't going anywhere. Almost ended up in my DNF pile.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Thornton

    A thrilling anthem to the courageous sisterhood of the Six Triple Eight as they faced down racism at home and war abroad. SISTERS IN ARMS is a fresh look at the bold women who served America during World War II. A powerful debut!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deacon Tom F

    An excellent book full of action and pain. The basis is the struggles of African-American women in WWII. The historical facts are precise. I really enjoyed every minute invite that I read it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Galbreath

    I read a LOT of WWII fiction. I love to learn through historical fiction and I am always interested in learning more about how people survived such a hard period. This novel took on a subject I hadn’t read about before: the first all-female, all black battalion. Now I didn’t notice the word “postal” in the description. I was expecting more action like The Alice Network, The Huntress, or The Rose Code. This is not that. This is more about the relationships amongst the (mostly fictionalized) relat I read a LOT of WWII fiction. I love to learn through historical fiction and I am always interested in learning more about how people survived such a hard period. This novel took on a subject I hadn’t read about before: the first all-female, all black battalion. Now I didn’t notice the word “postal” in the description. I was expecting more action like The Alice Network, The Huntress, or The Rose Code. This is not that. This is more about the relationships amongst the (mostly fictionalized) relationships between the women in the battalion. This is a debut novel. So I think some grace needs to be given for that, and I thought about bumping my rating up to 4 stars for that reason, but in my mind that is being too gracious. The language in the book is modern. There are one or two words like “swell” that show up, but really this book could have taken place in modern times for all the swearing and just the patterns of speech. One of my concerns, given how many books seem to shove politics needlessly into them lately, was that a book tackling this subject matter would be looking at this through a modern feminist and racial viewpoint. Overall the author did a decent job keeping it to the times. Even though there were a couple points where I was questioning the protagonists’ interpretation of things,(like nobody looking at them at the train station) given the time period it was well within reason. The biggest problem with this book for me was Grace and Eliza weren’t likeable. And not in the “unlikeable but you can relate to them” kind of way. The “so judgy and making stupid mistakes you want to wring their necks” sort of way. Most of the stories of WWII I’ve heard involve people who had to grow up way before their time. These two somehow missed that memo. I wish more time was spent on their time in Europe. I think it could have been fascinating reading about the detective work it took them to figure out who the letters went to. This is, after all, why I imagine most people are picking up this book. We WANT to learn what these women faced and the unique experience of being an all-female, all black battalion. Sure it wasn’t the action of the frontlines, or leading secret spy missions, but it was still important work for morale. I want to thank the author for bringing this piece of history to my attention. I look forward to learning more about these women through other books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Caupp

    Overall enjoyable and interesting read. I had never heard of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion and really want to learn more now. I enjoyed learning about the formation of the 6888th and how the mail was directed to soldiers. I always wondered how the mail was delivered to soldiers during the war, when they were often being moved from place to place and family didn't know where their loved ones were to address the mail. I felt that somethings were wrapped up a little to easily and con Overall enjoyable and interesting read. I had never heard of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion and really want to learn more now. I enjoyed learning about the formation of the 6888th and how the mail was directed to soldiers. I always wondered how the mail was delivered to soldiers during the war, when they were often being moved from place to place and family didn't know where their loved ones were to address the mail. I felt that somethings were wrapped up a little to easily and conveniently at the end, but that might just be me personally. Overall I recommend this book. Especially if someone is interested in lesser known histories of World War II and the service given by women of color.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    3.5 stars! I did enjoy this book a lot, and it was a super fast read. The reason the rating isn't very high is because there were a lot of aspects which I felt like could've been improved, even though I liked the book as a whole. One thing I appreciated was Kaia Alderson's attention to detail for historical accuracy. I noticed that she made an effort to not get too bogged down in the minor details of the protagonists’ lives, trying to include aspects which all Black WAC officers could relate to. 3.5 stars! I did enjoy this book a lot, and it was a super fast read. The reason the rating isn't very high is because there were a lot of aspects which I felt like could've been improved, even though I liked the book as a whole. One thing I appreciated was Kaia Alderson's attention to detail for historical accuracy. I noticed that she made an effort to not get too bogged down in the minor details of the protagonists’ lives, trying to include aspects which all Black WAC officers could relate to. I thought this was especially effective in her portrayal of racism that the women experienced on a daily basis. It felt very real and raw, from the severe end of the spectrum (racial violence, internalized racism in black men, racial slurs) to micro-aggressions and more minor offenses (two white women fall for a myth about Black people having tails). When it came to characters, I enjoyed the character development of both Eliza and Grace (the protagonists). It felt like they both really grew throughout the novel and changed for the better. At the same time though, the writing style felt a bit simplistic, especially at the beginning. It seemed more like YA than adult fiction. While reading the first couple of chapters, there were some moments were I'd be taken out of the story because I'd notice some unrealistic dialogue or clunky descriptions. Plus, the story as a whole didn’t feel gritty enough. It was almost too happy to be a WWII retelling. For example, Tony was barely mentioned. Wouldn’t a female soldier whose brother died in combat be constantly wondering if she’d die the same way? What about survivor’s guilt? Or resentment towards him for dying? Grace didn't experience any of those emotions except for in one or two moments. She seemed to bounce back from his death immediately. Even though Eliza’s trauma was delved into more, it still felt a bit too surface level. Also, when it came to romance in this book, it was pretty bland. Noah and Jonathan were carbon copies of each other, except that their professions were slightly different. They were super underdeveloped and only existed as romantic partners to Eliza and Grace. I wish that they'd either been fleshed out more or just been cut from the story. Why couldn't Eliza and Grace just be in love with each other? It would've been perfect enemies to lovers. Lastly, something that really annoyed me was that (view spoiler)[everyone had a happy ending. No explosions, no air raids, no main character deaths. Even Tony, who was presumed dead for the first 350 pages, was revealed to be alive at the very end. There was just a car accident where three very minor characters, who the protagonists didn’t know very well, were killed. It just felt so unrealistic. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I think this book needed to cover more of the actual war and also needed character development. It felt forced. The author had to explain every choice the characters made, which made them feel even more flat to me. I also desperately wanted to know more about the military experience of the mail job, it almost felt like an afterthought in some ways. With forced drama when the real drama could have been the actual overseas experience itself! Otherwise this is an interesting story, and I learned ab I think this book needed to cover more of the actual war and also needed character development. It felt forced. The author had to explain every choice the characters made, which made them feel even more flat to me. I also desperately wanted to know more about the military experience of the mail job, it almost felt like an afterthought in some ways. With forced drama when the real drama could have been the actual overseas experience itself! Otherwise this is an interesting story, and I learned about a new group I was previously unaware of. I’ll be doing my own reading on the 6888. Still glad I read this book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisa B

    The concept of Black women joining the US army in the 1950s was a concept I never knew I needed! And it’s based on a true story!!! How was this left out of the history books? Maybe they quickly covered it that one time I dozed off in class?! This story follows Eliza and Grace - 2 young Black women eager to flee their overbearing families, and at an empasse in their professional lives - join the first Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, Six Triple Eight, overseas during WWII. I liked the ma The concept of Black women joining the US army in the 1950s was a concept I never knew I needed! And it’s based on a true story!!! How was this left out of the history books? Maybe they quickly covered it that one time I dozed off in class?! This story follows Eliza and Grace - 2 young Black women eager to flee their overbearing families, and at an empasse in their professional lives - join the first Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps, Six Triple Eight, overseas during WWII. I liked the main characters Eliza, fearless, with gumption, and Grace, level headed and determined. These women were bold, courageous and brave. They endured ongoing disrespect, physical assault, and discrimination and were expected to “protect and serve” without even being trained for war or having access to weapons. Their relationship blossomed into a sisterhood after their initial preconceived misjudgments. I loved how the story made me want to learn more, but I would’ve liked more character development from both characters. I also wanted more details of their time serving, the connections made with the other women, and how they rose in rank. An additional 50 pages would’ve been welcome to add more depth to the story. I’m not a big fan of historical fiction and I rarely ever read about stories surrounding a war, but the mixture of these genres here was phenomenal! And I appreciated a different spin on a story set against the war backdrop. I would LOVE to see this play out on the big screen or as a Netflix series. It would be perfect. I could see Megan Good in one of the roles! After I read this story, I felt a little deprived, ignorant, and hungry to know more Black history. I’d never even thought about or considered the history of Black women serving in the military. But, the book sparked a desire for me to enrich myself in more of these stories. I called my dad and we had an interesting conversation about this and other pivotal strides and I made a point to share this with my daughter, too. This significant history may not be taught in schools but we will be steadfast in educating ourselves. I also have to note that I was impressed with Shayna Small’s narration in this one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    emma

    3.5 stars Lemme start this review off by saying I knew nothing about the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, but I want to know everything about them now. Alderson wrote a compelling and interesting story, Eliza and Grace were headstrong and loveable main characters. Her writing was easy to understand and I found myself enjoying the book most of the time. I do wish there was more focus on the historical backdrop of everything, I'd love to have learned more about the nitty-gritty, day to da 3.5 stars Lemme start this review off by saying I knew nothing about the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, but I want to know everything about them now. Alderson wrote a compelling and interesting story, Eliza and Grace were headstrong and loveable main characters. Her writing was easy to understand and I found myself enjoying the book most of the time. I do wish there was more focus on the historical backdrop of everything, I'd love to have learned more about the nitty-gritty, day to day work of the Battalion. The plot was also a little inconsistent in places, but nothing too jarring that I felt thrown from the story. Overall, a solid historical fiction that covers a part of history that is too often glossed over. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for kindly providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. #SistersInArms#NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mellissa Davis

    This one missed the mark for me. It’s a historical fiction novel about the first black women allowed to enlist in the all female Army Corps during WWII. This could have been such a great story, but the two women the story focused on didn’t have engaging stories, the plot just fell flat. Overall the writing was really lacking and felt juvenile. Also, these were supposed to be strong women- they were fainting or concerned about fainting every other chapter. They joined the Army during a war and on This one missed the mark for me. It’s a historical fiction novel about the first black women allowed to enlist in the all female Army Corps during WWII. This could have been such a great story, but the two women the story focused on didn’t have engaging stories, the plot just fell flat. Overall the writing was really lacking and felt juvenile. Also, these were supposed to be strong women- they were fainting or concerned about fainting every other chapter. They joined the Army during a war and one women nearly fainted when she saw a rat in an old warehouse. What sealed my rating is when one of the woman was flirting with a Nazi POW because he seemed so nice and was a musician like her. It wasn’t until another soldier explained what a bad person he was that she then gave him an impassioned speech about doing the right thing and sent him away. These are supposed to be smart women and they come off as silly, ridiculous, and distracted by handsome men. Not only did it miss the mark, this book actually makes me kind of angry.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amethyst

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While the context of this story was one of great interest, I found our heroine, Grace, and the story of friendship completely unbearable. This novel suffered from character inconsistency and lack of growth or meaningful development in the characters. While the book is called Sisters in Arms there is nothing sisterly about the way Grace treats Eliza throughout the book. If Eliza were my friend in real life, I'd tell her that Grace is certainly not her sister and is not fit to be a friend either. While the context of this story was one of great interest, I found our heroine, Grace, and the story of friendship completely unbearable. This novel suffered from character inconsistency and lack of growth or meaningful development in the characters. While the book is called Sisters in Arms there is nothing sisterly about the way Grace treats Eliza throughout the book. If Eliza were my friend in real life, I'd tell her that Grace is certainly not her sister and is not fit to be a friend either. I was very disappointed with both the story at large and the main characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rellim

    DNF @ 36%, but kept skimming. Bummed because I really enjoy WWII historical fiction and was really looking forward to this. I stopped multiple times to reread the description of this book because I think that’s where the biggest problem lies. “For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp.” “Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like DNF @ 36%, but kept skimming. Bummed because I really enjoy WWII historical fiction and was really looking forward to this. I stopped multiple times to reread the description of this book because I think that’s where the biggest problem lies. “For two northern women, learning to navigate their way through the segregated army may be tougher than boot camp.” “Based on the true story of the 6888th Postal Battalion (the Six Triple Eight), Sisters in Arms explores the untold story of what life was like for the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion to be deployed overseas during World War II.” This reads more like a YA interpersonal relationship drama with a WWII backdrop. Most of the “conflict” comes from Eliza’s dad and Grace’s mom being controlling parents trying to force their daughters into predetermined paths. Then it’s heavy on Grace being incredibly immature and judgmental of everyone she meets, but especially of Eliza. It took more than 20% of the book to even get to OCS. At 36% it’s just entering week 2 of OCS. 50% Grace acknowledges she’s been judgy and she and Eliza decide to be real friends. They don’t make it to England until 65% of the way through. Despite the constant inner monologue to stop, Grace just keeps on sniping and judging. It’s exhausting to listen to and I finally gave up. There’s nothing wrong with the premise being YA & more focus on the minutiae of the characters’ every day lives. It’s just not compelling the way it’s presented, not what I thought I was getting, and not what I was interested in reading. Narration: I loved Shayna Small’s narration. She had a young voice that fit the main characters well while also giving older and male characters a distinct sound. I hope to listen to more of her work.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erin Cataldi

    I love reading books that educate me on real history, especially history that I never learned in school. Sisters in Arms is a fictional account of two young Black women who join the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corp during World War ! Not only do Grace and Eliza have to face prejudice from the white soldiers they are stationed with they have to face harsh criticism from their families. Grace is a piano prodigy but after she fails her Juilliard audition and h I love reading books that educate me on real history, especially history that I never learned in school. Sisters in Arms is a fictional account of two young Black women who join the Six Triple Eight, the only all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corp during World War ! Not only do Grace and Eliza have to face prejudice from the white soldiers they are stationed with they have to face harsh criticism from their families. Grace is a piano prodigy but after she fails her Juilliard audition and her brother dies in battle - she needs to escape from her overbearing mother. Eliza wants her own byline and is sick of covering the society beat at her father's newspaper - she knows she can do more with her life. Joining the first unit of Black WAAC allows these two women to prove to themselves and the world that they are capable and that they are worthy. Sisters in Arms is the story of their friendship, their trials and tribulations, and the prejudice they faced. Wonderful storytelling.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maddisen

    I realized after I read this, reading the intensely mixed reviews here, the reason I liked this novel so much is it reads like a YA novel. That being said, A YA NOVEL SET IN WWII BASED ON REAL PEOPLE AND EVENTS?! Why don't more people *love* this? It's fantastic. This book came out only a month ago, but I wish it was read more widely by people who enjoy YA because I think it's a nice introduction to historical fiction for those of us who don't normally drink that cup of tea. I don't read much hi I realized after I read this, reading the intensely mixed reviews here, the reason I liked this novel so much is it reads like a YA novel. That being said, A YA NOVEL SET IN WWII BASED ON REAL PEOPLE AND EVENTS?! Why don't more people *love* this? It's fantastic. This book came out only a month ago, but I wish it was read more widely by people who enjoy YA because I think it's a nice introduction to historical fiction for those of us who don't normally drink that cup of tea. I don't read much history, and I haven't read anything about people serving overseas or soldiers in WWII--most WWII-era things I've read have been about concentration camps. I do, however read a *lot* of YA novels, so maybe this is why I like this format of a book so much.  The language and style of the book felt anachronistic at times, but I think I enjoyed reading what I was used to a lot more than if the narration and/or dialog were written in the style of the 1940s. This diction made the characters more tangible in my mind, whereas if the author adhered to words of the times I feel like it would have created unnecessary distance between myself and these characters (might leave me thinking "this would never happen/is a thing of the past"). I felt like I was learning something about history, really getting an understanding of events and situations taking place in WWII that I was never remotely aware of while learning about the war in school, while also reading an enjoyable work of fiction. 

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erin Ludeau

    This was a difficult book to swallow at times. It was infuriating and disgusting to see the way these women were treated bc of their race and gender. So much respect for the 6888th WAC! They are true queens!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    I REALLY wanted to like this. The storyline intrigued me from the time I first stumbled across it. I am a big historical fiction reader and haven’t read anything along this line. I have had this book on my TBR for MONTHS and have anxiously been awaiting the release. I was so excited to see it as a BOTM choice. Coming from this perspective, when I started to read it I was surprised to see it read like a whiny high school drama, but figured the characters would enlist and things would change. AND… I REALLY wanted to like this. The storyline intrigued me from the time I first stumbled across it. I am a big historical fiction reader and haven’t read anything along this line. I have had this book on my TBR for MONTHS and have anxiously been awaiting the release. I was so excited to see it as a BOTM choice. Coming from this perspective, when I started to read it I was surprised to see it read like a whiny high school drama, but figured the characters would enlist and things would change. AND…. It didn’t. The characters were unlikable. They were whiny, full of drama, and pettiness. This novel did not focus on the WAAC, but rather on 2 spoiled brats. There was so much inconsistency too. For example, Grace seemed like a meek, unsure girl, but then became loud mouth and pushy to get her way or speak her mind, but other times she was anxious and didn’t want to project herself???? I can’t even describe it because I was getting so frustrated. Don’t even get me started on the inconsistency between Grace and Eliza. They were in their 20s in the military in the 1940s but spoke like teens in today’s age and had the maturity of a middle schooler. Ugh, I wanted so bad to DNF and shelf this book, but pushed through HOPING it would get better and at least end well. No such luck. Very amateurish. Shocked it was a BOTM pick. Surprised the editor didn’t catch the character inconsistencies and plot holes (SO many of those, if there even was a plot hmmm). Anyway, I would have given it One star, but bumped it to 2 for an original idea, then felt generous and bumped to a 3 star due to this being a debut and knowing the effort Kaia put into this, stepping out to try her hand at writing. Will I recommend this? No. Will I give to my daughter when she enters high school? Yup. This read like a Young Adult novel and that should really be the target audience here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    J Wells

    What a great read! The women (both real and fictionalized) are truly an inspiration, made even more appropriate reading this over Memorial Day weekend. A true thank you to the WAC and the 6888 Postal Battalion, true trailblazers.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    First thing first: the history was fascinating. I knew nothing about the 6888th nor about people like Dr. Bethune or Lt. Colonel Charity Jones, and I thoroughly enjoyed those aspects. I also really appreciated how the women were so determined to be better than any opinion held of them. The bad: the writing was terrible. Very, very amateur which is fine if you’re just writing to write - another thing if it’s a published book. It was all “tell” and no “show”. Things would be brought up out of nowh First thing first: the history was fascinating. I knew nothing about the 6888th nor about people like Dr. Bethune or Lt. Colonel Charity Jones, and I thoroughly enjoyed those aspects. I also really appreciated how the women were so determined to be better than any opinion held of them. The bad: the writing was terrible. Very, very amateur which is fine if you’re just writing to write - another thing if it’s a published book. It was all “tell” and no “show”. Things would be brought up out of nowhere and forgotten about just as fast. There were just too many issues with the writing for me to even begin to delve into them all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    I grabbed Sisters In Arms because of the true events it is based on. This novel follows the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion which is the only all black female U.S. Battalion to be deployed overseas during WW2. Sounds really good, right? Unfortunately, the synopsis was more interesting than the actual execution. I couldn’t get past the writing and skimmed the first half of the book. Sisters in Arms had a lot of potential, but overall I was so disappointed in the way this book was done. T I grabbed Sisters In Arms because of the true events it is based on. This novel follows the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion which is the only all black female U.S. Battalion to be deployed overseas during WW2. Sounds really good, right? Unfortunately, the synopsis was more interesting than the actual execution. I couldn’t get past the writing and skimmed the first half of the book. Sisters in Arms had a lot of potential, but overall I was so disappointed in the way this book was done. Thanks to @bibliolifestyle for the finished copy of this book

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie Flanagan

    I wanted to like this more because I think there is a great story in there. However, I think this book fell short with the writing style and some of the plot points. It was an interesting book but unfortunately not my favorite.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Admittedly I was not really interested in this book but I was once again pleasantly surprised. I was prepared to say that this story was too slow and there was no action, but then the action started coming and I wanted nothing more than for it to stop! I can appreciate the struggles and hardship these women faced without every gory detail and that’s exactly what this book offered. (Thank you Kaia Alderson!) Furthermore, this book wasn’t truly about the war, but the bond between these women, speci Admittedly I was not really interested in this book but I was once again pleasantly surprised. I was prepared to say that this story was too slow and there was no action, but then the action started coming and I wanted nothing more than for it to stop! I can appreciate the struggles and hardship these women faced without every gory detail and that’s exactly what this book offered. (Thank you Kaia Alderson!) Furthermore, this book wasn’t truly about the war, but the bond between these women, specifically Grace and Eliza. I loved their juxtaposition! I also really liked Alderson’s style of alternating their perspectives. I felt like I really knew them — and therefore couldn’t pick a favorite. Let’s be clear: this is a sad and frustrating story that’s even more sad and more frustrating for women, and exponentially more sad and frustrating for Black women. So I am not one iota upset about the “neat little bow” that wraps up the ending. In my opinion, it’s open enough that it’s not too cheesy or convenient but still offers a few rays of hope. (I could’ve used an epilogue, as always, though the “Behind the Book” helps.) I definitely recommend this. It’s a good story with simple but still authentic-feeling writing and dialogue and a decent pace. I also think it’d make a great movie or tv series. I’m definitely interested in reading more of Alderson’s work — she set the bar kind of high with this debut though!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    Sisters in Arms By: Kaira Alderson 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Eliza Jones and Grace Steele meet while signing up for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). They come from very different backgrounds and their personalities do not mesh. They are among the first female officers in the Army, but they are also the first Black women allowed to serve. ⭐️ As they find themselves in the same unit and working closely their friendship has a less than stellar start. These courageous women have to fight not only their male a Sisters in Arms By: Kaira Alderson 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Eliza Jones and Grace Steele meet while signing up for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). They come from very different backgrounds and their personalities do not mesh. They are among the first female officers in the Army, but they are also the first Black women allowed to serve. ⭐️ As they find themselves in the same unit and working closely their friendship has a less than stellar start. These courageous women have to fight not only their male army soldiers because of their gender, but also their race. ⭐️ Eliza and Grace are part of the 6888th Central Postal Battalion. Part of their job is to sort mail and get to fellow serviceman while dealing with the Army’s bureaucracy. ⭐️ I truly enjoyed this book. I read a lot of Historical Fiction and this was part I knew nothing about and it was refreshing, candid and enjoyable. #sisterisarms, kaiaalderson, #arc, #williammorrow, #bookstagram, #booksconnectus, #historicalfiction, #stamperlady50

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    More historical WWII fiction featuring Black women and people of color! I definitely want more books like this. Sisters in Arms follows two women at odds with each other through various events over the course of the US involvement in World War II. Infuriating encounters are peppered throughout the book and the injustices of racial violence and discrimination will set your blood boiling. Often this discrimination came from other women. This book is a bit low on action and spends more time on day-to More historical WWII fiction featuring Black women and people of color! I definitely want more books like this. Sisters in Arms follows two women at odds with each other through various events over the course of the US involvement in World War II. Infuriating encounters are peppered throughout the book and the injustices of racial violence and discrimination will set your blood boiling. Often this discrimination came from other women. This book is a bit low on action and spends more time on day-to-day overview of what it was like for these two Black women training as officers first for the WAAC, then WAC as the women's unit was officially incorporated into the military. This was more of a 3 star read for me rounded to 4 because I'm eager for historical fiction centered on figures not given their due recognition in history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pj Ausdenmore

    This was a part of WWII history I was never taught in school and I enjoyed learning about it through Sisters in Arms. Alderson did a good job of bringing these characters to life, illustrating the challenges and inequities they faced, both as women and as women of color. And those challenges didn't only come from the Caucasian military. The obstacles they had to overcome in order to serve their country originated in their Black families and communities as well. They truly were trailblazers. Over This was a part of WWII history I was never taught in school and I enjoyed learning about it through Sisters in Arms. Alderson did a good job of bringing these characters to life, illustrating the challenges and inequities they faced, both as women and as women of color. And those challenges didn't only come from the Caucasian military. The obstacles they had to overcome in order to serve their country originated in their Black families and communities as well. They truly were trailblazers. Overall, I thought the author did a good job of showing both the overt as well as the subtle racial aggressions these women were subjected to - at boot camp, after being commissioned, and when out in the communities - and how that impacted the evolution of these characters. Knowing many of the incidents were based on actual events and people made them all the more raw, realistic, infuriating, and heartbreaking. They also provided the opportunity to explore the resilience, strength, and evolving maturing of Grace and Eliza throughout their journey. The women who returned home following their service in Europe were vastly different from the girls who impulsively applied to serve their country. While the pace of the story was steady and kept my interest engaged, I eventually grew a bit tired of the petty personal differences between Eliza and Grace. There were more than a few times when I wanted to tell them to grow up (they do...eventually). Also, the ending seemed rushed and open ended. By that time, I had become invested in these two women. I wanted more information about their lives following their return. Though hints are dropped and the ending is hopeful, I guess I wanted that package wrapped with a big bow of details. Overall though, Sisters in Arms was a solid read detailing an important chapter in our history and putting college-educated, hard-working, vulnerable, but determined, Black female faces to the historical facts. I recommend it. *ARC received for fair and unbiased review

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