Rule Number 32

Enjoy the little things. ~Zombieland

Women in Science review

Image result for women in science
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
by Rachel Ignotofsky

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although both men and women have the same thirst for knowledge, women have not always been given the same opportunities to explore the answers.

These 50 mini-biographies highlight some of the top female contributors to science, showcasing their work, discoveries, challenges & barriers, and life stories. The illustrations were very fun and colourful, and there were also some little facts alongside each biography, making this book very eye-catching and full of great information.

These women’s journeys are all unique and interesting, but there are many commonalities among their lives – both good and bad. They were all determined and intelligent women who had to overcome some ridiculous obstacles and criticisms just to make their important contributions to their fields. Basically all of these women were told they shouldn’t be pursuing their STEM interests, even though that is what they were most passionate about. Their level of intelligence and new ways of thinking and discovering didn’t matter simply because they were women. I’m very proud of just how wrong they proved those grumpy men to be.

It blows my mind and makes me so angry that many of them had to carry out their work and research in basements, attics, and sheds – usually for no pay and no recognition. Imagine how much more advanced the scientific community would be if these brilliant minds had been encouraged to their full potential…

Two of the 50 women that really caught my interest were Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Barbara McClintock, a cytogeneticist and astrophysicist, respectively. Cecilia was frowned up for being spirited and wearing pants, and her work wasn’t believed for nearly 20 years. Barbara had original ideas when approaching astronomy and was told her discovery was impossible, even though it really wasn’t.

And these are just two examples of the many brilliant minds that were repeated told no, don’t, can’t, shouldn’t, not now, not for you, not for women. It’s a damn good thing they all chose to do it anyway. I really hope this book inspires young girls to pursue their dreams of studying within the many opportunities of STEM and offers validation that their ideas are all worth something.

View all my reviews


The Deepest Blue review

Image result for the deepest blue sarah beth durst goodreads
The Deepest Blue
by Sarah Beth Durst

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the trilogy set in this world much more than this standalone. The characters weren’t as good this time around, and I found myself not really caring about what happened to them. I liked the main character, Mayara, well enough. She had an interesting life on an island with her family and the man she loved, which was then disrupted when she revealed her magic and was taken away. She didn’t want to follow the traditions of the islands and just wanted to live her life the way she had chosen. This ended up being a theme that largely shaped what happened in the book and was the basis for the decisions made by Mayara and the other women she met along the way.

Having the chapters bounce around between characters to spread the story out more was cool, as I liked seeing how the multiple angles of the plot were going to converge towards the end of the book. One of the biggest twists was so easy to predict, and I was just like yeah, okay when it was revealed. And another big development was just like sure, that was going to happen eventually. Then the climax was rather anticlimactic and emotionless – it just fell flat for me…

I really enjoyed the island setting and the descriptions of the peoples’ way of life. There was some nice imagery throughout the book, but overall I couldn’t picture the scenes in my mind as much as I wanted to. I was glad I already had three books worth of descriptions about the spirits because those details weren’t as clear in this book. The mysteriousness of the leviathans lurking in the deepest blue and the horrors that take place on the Island of Testing were two other aspects that I really enjoyed.

View all my reviews

Brutal Curse review

Image result for brutal curse casey l bond goodreads
Brutal Curse by Casey L. Bond

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Enjoyable enough, but nothing amazing. I liked seeing more of Cardan and the struggles he faced, and Arabella was a great heroine that added life to this book. The queen was ruthless and vicious, but ended up falling a bit flat. This tale was mostly drawing off of Alice in Wonderland, with the tiniest splash of Beauty and the Beast.

The characters were definitely way better than the plot. They had complex histories and made morally gray decisions, making me unsure who to trust or who to like. The queen was playing mind games with Arabella and Carden the whole time, in addition to the series of trials they were forced to complete. Rule was the most difficult character to figure out, and I ended up really appreciating how he was written. The beginning and end of the book were weak plotwise, with the middle being much stronger thanks to the character development and backstory reveals.

This series of four connected standalones was mostly good (I would suggest skipping book two…) – they are quick reads with fairy tales retellings to fall back on for plot and such, but they weren’t anything special and didn’t have characters that completely stole my heart. Worth the read if you are really into retellings or looking for really light reads.

View all my reviews

The Light Over London review

Image result for the light over london cover
The Light Over London
by Julia Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

German bombs killed civilians and service members alike without prejudice. Chance and fate were coconspirators in this war.

When Cara finds Louise’s diary from during WWII, she becomes transfixed with the life captured in its pages and wishes to find who wrote it and discover what happened to the woman after the entries stopped. The book blurb reveals most of the main plot points for the WWII storyline, leaving the reader to fill in only the gaps in that part of the story – which was still very interesting. The present-day storyline is more of a mystery, as we only know that Cara is trying to move past something before we dive into her life and her search for the woman behind the diary.

Cara’s past and present are woven into Louise’s past in a really cool way. The events and choices of her past are presented as she progresses through the diary entries and tries to uncover Louise’s identity with the help of her neighbour, Liam. Her story wasn’t anything unique, and perhaps that is what made me so interested in it – so many women have to deal with the struggles and issues that Cara faced. Seeing her rediscover herself and grow from her bad experiences was great. I adored the relationship that bloomed between her and Liam.

Cara is also trying to learn about her family’s past, as her grandmother also served during the war but doesn’t want to talk about it. Cara knows Iris is hiding something but doesn’t get the answers she seeks until the very end of the book. Her secret was quite easy to guess based on some little clues that were revealed along the way, which Cara put together at the end and has a lovely talk with Iris about it all.

I loved the camaraderie among the Gunner Girls and how close they became. They stood up for themselves and proved men wrong time and time again. All of the supporting characters were well-written, but these ladies were my favourites. The story that was uncovered about Louise wasn’t entirely satisfactory, but it seemed true to real life and the war – as not everything can turn out as we hope. Louise’s time with ATS seemed to reveal to her what she truly wanted out of life, while also giving her the strength to achieve her dreams.

I didn’t like Paul right from the beginning. Based on how things turned out, my mistrust was well founded. The progression of his relationship with Louise was presented in an interesting way through her POV chapters, her diary entries, and the letters she transcribed into her diary. The “end” is presented near the beginning of Cara’s search for answers, but the hows and whys took nearly the whole book to uncover.

The writing was good, but not nearly as amazing as The Nightingale, which it is compared to. It was still captivating and well-written but didn’t suck me in and destroy my heart as some WWII books have done. (And it is compared to two very different WWII narratives, so that doesn’t really make sense…) I really liked the mystery aspect of Cara’s search for the truth and the way the dual timelines were used to keep me engaged throughout the whole story.

Reasons to read:
> dual timelines of WWII and present-day, with romances in both
> a great group of ladies serving in the ATS as Gunner Girls (or Ack Ack Girls)
> a mystery uncovered in an old diary
> a woman discovering who she wants to be while moving on from a past that didn’t turn out the way she had imagined
> digging into history and road trips to find answers

View all my reviews

Murder at the Mortuary review

Image result for murder at the mortuary goodreads
Murder at the Mortuary
by Lee Strauss

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“It’s a personal matter. Female items.”
That did the trick. It usually did with men.

I wasn’t nearly as captivated by this book as the previous 4 mysteries. It lacked the previous spunk and wit, feeling heavier overall. There seemed to be a lot more of Ginger pondering and such than any clue finding – and there was a distinct lack of tag team interrogations with Basil and Ginger. Ginger did some sneaking around on her own and with Haley though, so that was fun.

Felicia and Ambrosia were both whiny and annoying, and most of the other supporting characters acted largely as fillers rather than adding substance to the plot. The mafia angle was interesting but not very scary or high-stakes with the way the events were executed. Haley was great once again, so it was redeeming to have her featured more in this book in a major role. Hopefully the next book has a bit more of the original spirit.

View all my reviews

The Hollow of Fear review

Image result for the hollow of fear
The Hollow of Fear
by Sherry Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Perhaps she had always been a monster, but even the lady monsters of the world couldn’t escape the expectations that came of being women.

This book offered a look at Charlotte that was entirely different from the first two books, due to both the disguise and the many displays of feelings. Her complex mind and brilliantly meticulous planning were hard at work once again as the stakes became so much higher than before. The dynamic between her and Lord Ingram is so compelling and made for many exciting scenes and conversations.

“Well,” said Fowler, “I always enjoy a case more once witnesses start quoting Shakespeare, don’t you?”

Treadles was basically just along for the ride on this case, and wow, I can relate. I only guessed about 5% of this book and had many failed assumptions as to what was happening and where the plot would go. There were tons of shocking reveals and things I could barely wrap my mind around, and a very complex plan executed perfectly by Charlotte & co. The wittiness and banter and peculiarities of the main characters makes them so endearing and adds a nice balance to the intricate plot.

“Life never takes a gentle turn; it always swerves.”

The use of omitting large parts of the plan and then revealing them at the end was such a great narrative choice, and it completely blew my mind. It completely changed how events were framed to appear and made me pause to think about how so many actions were planned out along the way, with me and most of the characters completely unaware of that fact. I did not see the ending to the case coming at all and was pleasantly surprised by how it complicates the fates of these characters so much. And that last scene was absolutely delightful. 🙂

“I had no idea Scotland Yard employed novelists these days,” said Lord Bancroft coldly. “Of the penny dreadful variety, no less.”

Reasons to read:
> a mystery where nothing is as it appears
> disguises and trickery and lies
> complex relationships and emotions
> all the secrets
> multiple twists and mind explosions

View all my reviews

The Caged Queen review

Image result for the caged queen
The Caged Queen
by Kristen Ciccarelli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“You’re several moves behind,” he said, as he turned away, moving for the door. “Try to keep up.”

Roa annoyed me – she had one goal and failed to figure out what was being plotted around her, she let her single-mindedness blind her to the facts, and she made decision after decision that undermined what she had fought so hard to previously achieve. She makes so many assumptions and never tries to clarify anything with the people she cares about most. So trying to move past all that to appreciate her good qualities was difficult, but I somehow managed. She was still an interesting character, as she was determined, loving, and loyal – in a twisted way.

I ended up liking how everything fit together with many people scheming all the schemes. It made it harder to predict the progress of the plot, even if the ending was predictable and Roa should have seen it coming. The pieces of backstory along the way were lovely and added a lot to the knowledge of what made the main characters tick. The magic was interesting, and the descriptions of the bond between Essie and Roa were lovely.

Dax was so underrated, and I wish there could have been just a chapter or two from his point of view for better appreciation of how his mind worked and the complex feelings he had. He was so different from Roa’s perspective of him, and it was great to see the progression of her realizing how wrong she was at first.

The supporting characters were a lot more minor in this one, as it focused mostly on Roa, Dax, Essie, and the main villain. Safire was still great in the few scenes she was in, so I’m looking forward to her book!

This book wasn’t nearly as exciting as book one turned out to be. It was a lot softer and more about sisterly love and bonds and letting go. The pacing was on the slower side and was pretty consistent throughout the whole book. I was hoping for a bigger conclusion, but maybe it just fell a bit flat because Roa’s perspective annoyed me a bit throughout the book.

View all my reviews

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: