Let me start out by saying two things: I love Ellen Hopkins work (I've read all her books other than Tilt, her latest YA novel), and I agree with her political views, albeit I'm not an American. However, this one fell short for me.
I found that it was a little bit *too* political in nature, although, yes, it was talking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it could have been talking about ANY war. It felt like she was writing so that she could put her political stance out there on paper.
But, other than that, I just didn't feel as emotionally invested with these characters as I usually do. I thought Darian was irritating and a bit of a baby, Ashley needed to grow up and decide she was doing, and I definitely didn't like Cole. Of course, that's the way he was portrayed. But I've seen other authors write about the effects of war on the human psyche and do it well, this wasn't quite there. If instead, the book was supposed to be about how hard it is to see your husband/wife off to war repeatedly and resisting the temptations that are associated with that, it still didn't do a good enough job.
I also felt that the writing was a little bit off. Normally her free verse is amazing, but this was more like a story just broken into stanzas and not much else. The poetry written by Cole and Ashley were more up to par with Hopkins' writing style. So that was also a bit of a disappointment for me.
This doesn't mean I won't be reading more of her work, as I said earlier, I'm a big fan. This one just didn't do it for me. Hopefully the next one will!