Soldier On

Fiction - Realistic
174 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J.D. Wynne grew up in the Chicago-land area. After serving a tour in Afghanistan in 2003 she had an ongoing desire to write about the experience. It wasn't until several years later that she had the opportunity to write Soldier On.
Soldier On was a big leap of faith for Wynne as she had no professional training in writing. Her education in the craft came only from the books she had read and enjoyed.
Wynne now lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and two small children. She works as a teacher and enjoys reading and morning walks.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

I liked Soldier On. I liked it a lot. I am a former soldier and I read a lot of books about soldiering and the military in general. I usually like them, but sometimes the writing is weak or the point of view or attitude is not something I can buy into. Soldier On is a first for me. Actually, it’s a first on two levels. The first level is that this is the very first book about life in the modern American Army that I have ever read written by a woman. On the second level, it is about a woman in a combat zone. I can’t remember ever seeing that perspective and I think it would have stood out. I was hoping Soldier On would be good, but I was wrong. It is great! J.D. Wynne is an excellent writer and it is apparent that she has an excellent wealth of life experiences to draw from. I easily related to the characters, the situations, and the raw emotion of Soldier On.

J.D. Wynne gets it just right. Not too much, not too little, just right. That is extremely hard to do, but when you can do it, the payoff for writer and reader is huge. I enjoyed the reminders of combat stress. I cringed at the reminders of post combat stress. Plot, development, characters; it’s all here. Little things are important. Little things count. This should be a huge book. Men and women, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, every American should read Soldier On. It is an accurate portrayal of the modern American fighting man. Except she’s a woman.

Jack Magnus

Soldier On is a new adult military romance novel written by J.D. Wynne. Molly McKinney wasn’t going to be completing her second year in college any time soon. The nineteen-year-old never thought that signing up for the Reserves would mean that she would be sent on a year-long tour in the Middle East, but it did. It was 2003, the war effort was in full swing. Several months after completing boot camp, she was called for active duty. Molly had signed up for training as Military Police, as she figured the increased pay would come in handy when she went back to school, even though she planned on becoming a doctor and could have been a better fit as a medic. When she and the rest of her unit landed in Afghanistan, she had no idea it could get that hot, or dusty, and the prison detail they were assigned to meant 12-hour grueling shifts, 6 days a week.

It was a hard job guarding the prisoners there, especially seeing the little boy who was kept apart from the others for his own protection, and wondering what the prisoners were thinking as she was at work. Molly was careful about getting friendly with the male soldiers. She was all too aware that their friendliness with her was most likely because of her gender and the relative scarcity of women in the camp. One soldier she knew she didn’t want anything to do with was Adam Beck. He was gorgeous in a lean and chiseled way, with brown eyes that could make her melt if she allowed it. But he was also big on rules and rigid, and he knew exactly which buttons to press to make her mad.

J.D. Wynne’s new adult military romance novel, Soldier On, is a sweet and compelling novel that follows nineteen-year-old Molly McKinney as she serves her tour of duty in Afghanistan. Wynne conveys so much about the stresses and strains of war, and the daily tedium soldiers have to deal with while far from home and all that is familiar. Molly goes from being insecure and rather unworldly to becoming a competent member of her unit; people who she has come to consider as her family. After all, she reasons, they are together all of the time, waking, sleeping, even showering together, and she starts to wonder what civilian life will be like without them around. Soldier On also addresses the very real and present problems of sexual abuse and rape in the military, and it is handled in a sensitive and caring way. I got a real feel for what military service might have been like for a young woman serving as an MP from reading this book, and I enjoyed watching Molly come of age during her most challenging year yet. Soldier On is highly recommended.

Lorena Sanqui

Soldier On by J.D. Wynne is the story of Molly McKinney, a 19-year-old girl who joined the Army Reserves before the September 11 attacks to help fulfill her dreams of becoming a doctor. She wasn’t expecting to be deployed, but after the attacks she was forced to take a break from college to go to Afghanistan. During her one-year stay in the Middle East as a prison guard, she made lifelong friends, forged a love connection, endured missing her family and friends from home, and grew to be a strong woman. But sometimes life throws a curve ball and Molly has to dig deep into her new found strength to find the will to go on with her life and face what happened to her.

Soldier On is J.D. Wynne’s debut novel, but she was able to paint a clear picture of the experiences and worldliness of the women and men who join the military. She was able to demonstrate and capture the everyday lives of some of the people deployed in the Middle East. They were not in the war zone, but she was still able to characterize and describe how important are the duties that the prison guards perform, the things they may endure, and the problems they may face. The main character being a woman, the author was also able to portray how some deployed women are treated in a mostly male territory. Soldier On showed a remarkable story of young girl on the verge of adulthood. Her strength, resilience, optimism, and cheerfulness were a nice contrast to the dreary and dark setting of the story.

Joan Ryan

I could not put it down. Soldier on was very well written, articulate and exciting. The author took real life and fiction mixed it together for a good read. Having had children that had been deployed I know things happen you just do not forget! So just get the book and tell us how you feel. I hope J.D. Wynne keeps writing!

Dede Janzen

Oh my goodness!! This book was a winner, winner. It is a sit down and read in one sitting. It is about a Molly who right out of high school signed up for the Army Reserves to help with college tuition for her to become a doctor. Then the devastating 9/11 attacks happened and she was activated and deployed to Afghanistan to work as a MP in the prison there. The book continues about her story about being a minority female in a majority male world. It has some romance to it. She makes life long friends and won't forget her time spent overseas. There is more to it but I will let you read it for yourself.