Radar Girls [Book Review]

July 27, 2021

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman (cover) two young women sit on the wing of an old airplane

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, WW11, Hawaii, Women’s Air Raid Defense, Friendship

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on Harlequin Trade Publishing’s 2021 Summer Blog Tours for Historical Fiction. Thanks for the invitation Justine.

Harlequin Historical Fiction 2021 Blog Tour Banner (showing the covers of three books)

Thanks #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks for a complimentary eARC of #RadarGirls upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Inspired by real women of the Women’s Air Raid Defense (WARD) during WW11, Radar Girls is the story of new recruits and unsung heroes. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy, a gifted horse trainer, enlists in a top secret program that recruits women to replace men who have joined the war. Their high stakes assignment is to guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes over the Pacific Ocean. The young women face many challenges including forming a team, working in a male-dominated field, facing unequal treatment of women, and surviving a war.

Women's Air Raid Defense: five women from WW11 sit around a table looking at charts

Image Source: Wikipedia

My Thoughts:

TL; DR: I loved it!

I’ve been waiting and waiting to bring you this review of Radar Girls since I read it in March. If it had been published earlier it would have made my More Like These Please! post.

Usually in a review, I discuss several factors (setting, writing, characters, themes, etc.). Because Radar Girls checks all the boxes of a 5 star read, I’m highlighting enjoyability.

Enjoyability Factor: I’ve mention before about the importance of the enjoyability factor when rating books. This story checks all the boxes of a perfect read for me. First, I trust this author to bring me a great story (filled with excellent research, vivid descriptive details, characters to root for, and engaging from page one), so that helps me relax into the read. I love balanced plot-driven and character-driven stories. I adore learning something new and women breaking into the field of radar during wartime captivated me in this way. Radar Girls isn’t overly long (easily read in 2 days for me). The story is told in chronological order (with a few flashbacks) from one perspective which makes for smooth and quick reading. I love inspirational, admirable, and gutsy characters; bright, pioneering women; and thoughtful themes (friendship, unequal treatment of women, women supporting women, believing in yourself, grit, determination, wartime tragedies, and perseverance, etc.). Radar Girls has a side of romance which always adds an enjoyment factor (but doesn’t dominate the story) and a mystery to solve. The Hawaiian setting is lovely and it’s evident how much the author loves her home state. Radar Girls is unputdownable and highly entertaining. All of the factors mentioned contribute to one enjoyable read!

Honestly, the enjoyment factor is the highlight of this review. Radar Girls is simply a well told, multilayered story. Probably my favorite of Sara Ackerman’s work (Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers, The Lieutenant’s Nurse, and Red Sky Over Hawaii). Radar Girls would make a great selection for book club!

If you’re looking for a compulsively readable summer read, please consider Radar Girls! It’s engaging from the first page. Highly recommended.

My Rating: 5 Stars


Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman (cover) Image: two girls sit on a wing of a plane

Radar Girls Information Here

Meet the Author, Sara Ackerman

Author Sara Ackerman

Sara is a USA Today bestselling author who writes books about love and life, and all of their messy and beautiful imperfections. She believes that the light is just as important as the dark, and that the world is in need of uplifting stories. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and later earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. Find out more about Sara and her books at http://www.ackermanbooks.com and follow her on Instagram @saraackermanbooks and on FB @ackermanbooks.


Is Radar Girls on your TBR?

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  1. Excellent review Carol. This sounds like it ticks all the boxes for me too. I have the audiobook to listen to and I am going to do that as soon as I finish what I am reading now. Your review has me quite antsy now.

  2. Enjoyability is my number one reason I love a book. If I can immerse myself completely then it’s worth it!

  3. This will definitely go down as “ Instagram made me do it:)”. I read your review today, went to pick up laundry supplies at Walmart and saw “Radar Girls”prominently displayed. I’m headed out on a 2200 mile trip next week , it’s going straight in my luggage, knowing that you found it to be compulsively readable!

  4. Thanks for putting another author on my radar, Carol. I haven’t come across her before, but with all those stars I will be checking her out. ❤📚

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