Review: Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman

I have read all of Sara Ackerman’s books and I haven’t been disappointed once! I love how her books are set in WWII but they always seem to feel different than the usual WWII books that I have read. I think location really plays a part here. All of her books are set in Hawaii, not only does that add an exotic feel to the books, but it makes them feel fresh—like I am reading something totally new!

While her books might have similar themes and settings, I always feel like I am reading something different each time I pick up one of her books. I know that the author has also said a number of times that there are endless tapped into stories in Hawaii and I tend to agree with her. Almost all WWII novels are set in Europe or maybe in Japan but few are exclusively set in Hawaii.

Prior to reading Ackerman’s books, I never had any real desire to visit Hawaii or see Pearl Harbor, but after reading her books and I totally inspired to visit Hawaii and Pearl Harbor in the near future! She writes with such love and passion for the landscape, people, and the island’s history that it is infectious! I absolutely love her books and I highly recommend checking them out especially if you love WWII novels but want something truly different and new!


An extraordinary story inspired by the real Women’s Air Raid Defense, where an unlikely recruit and her sisters-in-arms forge their place in WWII history.

Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.  

But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought—and won—together.

This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.  (summary from Goodreads)


As expected, Ackerman’s writing drew me in immediately. I loved the descriptions of the landscapes, history and people. I felt like I was right there with the characters and her writing just gets better and better with every book! I was completely drawn in and hooked with this one from the very beginning. While this one did have a romantic component, the focus was more about female relationships/friendships and I thought that was fine, even if I was hoping for a stronger romance this was still a satisfying read.

The historical research was surprisingly well done and presented in an interesting way rather than just facts presented in the story. As a reader I like to be shown historical details within the story and this book did just that. While I don’t know that I would call this book a ‘high brow’ book, it was full of interesting facts and a great story that I think readers will enjoy exploring. I especially liked Daisy’s character. She started out as pretty likable but really grew into her character and role in the story which made me become increasingly more invested in her character and story. She went from just likable to the reason I was reading the story!

Obviously I loved this book. The setting, the history, the characters, the sisterhood, the romance—all of it! It was a wonderful book that I read very quickly and felt satisfied with when I was done. I learned about the Women’s Air Raid Defense program and felt the changes within the characters as they became involved in WARP. If you love WWII novels with some romance and an exotic location you need to stop your search right now and go pick up this book! You will not be sorry!

Book Info and Rating

Format368 pages, Paperback

PublishedJuly 27, 2021 by MIRA

ISBN9780778332046 (ISBN10: 0778332047)

Free review copy provided by publisher, MIRA and Harlequin, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: romance, war romance, historical fiction


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