I found this book both enjoyable and realistic. As a female soldier who has seen the ugly side of the Middle East conflict, I could relate to her story and her feelings through her time in Iraq. I am also a linguist, like the young woman who wrote it, and found that a lot of the experiences she had mirrored my own. That said, it is not a puff piece, it has it's points of pain and suffering, as the life of any soldier does. Also, I recommended this book to my friends and family who were trying to understand the changes in me, and what was going on in the Middle East. All of them loved this book and found it easier to understand the Middle East and my return from it. A must-read for soldiers and civilians alike, and any woman.
My wife read this - she's a US Navy Commander (Reserve) who had been enlisted after college. She remarked how different her experience was as an officer compared to this enlisted soldier's experience. She thought it was an interesting read.
I am also a female veteran of the US Army and writing a memoir as well, so I was eager to read this book. I was not disappointed. Kayla Williams has written a completely honest tale that is sometimes very ugly and other times poignant. I would describe my experience in a similar light. I can see why people might hate this book, but every bit of it is true and then some. I give Kayla Williams many kudos for her bravery, honesty, and yes...her love of country.
brave, honest, and necessary. That's what this book says on the cover from Nancy Pearl, KUOW, NPR Seattle. Hmmmm.
This is a decent book, don't get me wrong. Brave? Don't think so. Honest? Seemed to be I suppse. Necessary? Very much NOT necessary in my humble opinion.
Kayla Williams did a good job writing this, the writing flowed, the story meshed together nicely, etc. Part of me though the day to day living, even during war, might be boring but it wasn't. Williams, in the beginning of the book, comes right out and says her book is more important than others, for example, Jessica Lynch's memoir. Why Williams thought that and especially thought it was okay to not only say but add to her book is beyond me. That set a tone for me with her and with the book and it was hard for me to get past it. Jessica Lynch is no less important than Williams and having read both books, I think they're about equal- just in different ways. (I do know Lynch didn't speak in a negative way about her fellow soldiers.)
I've read some reviews that spoke about Williams harsh attitude towards the other women in her camps. While I'll agree that it did sometimes seem like that on the surface, once Williams started explaining herself I was able to follow along.
All in all, I'd say this is a decent book for anyone trying to get a glimpse into Army life, the Army life of a woman to be exact.
First off i will say this is a wonderful read. I loved it. But i will also say it really really is not for young teens. This is an adult book. It is blunt, sad and very gritty. Nothing is left out. But it is also what it is really like for females in the service and at war. It is packed full of info and the reading goes so fast that it is over before you are ready for it to be. It is fun in some spots but i will say that most of it is about men, women and how the women are treated. I liked how Ms. Williams tells about how women feel and learn quickly to use their feminine wiles when and if necessary. I really knew little about this subject before i read this and now i have a whole lot more respect for the women who help protect the USA and work hard for the respect they do get.