Tag: 3 stars

Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum

Atomic Anna
Author: Rachel Barenbaum

Published: April 5, 2022
448 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.

Three brilliant women.
Two life-changing mistakes.
One chance to reset the future.

In 1986, renowned nuclear scientist, Anna Berkova, is sleeping in her bed in the Soviet Union when Chernobyl’s reactor melts down. It’s the exact moment she tears through time—and it’s an accident. When she opens her eyes, she’s landed in 1992 only to discover Molly, her estranged daughter, shot in the chest. Molly, with her dying breath, begs Anna to go back in time and stop the disaster, to save Molly’s daughter Raisa, and put their family’s future on a better path.

In ‘60s Philadelphia, Molly is coming of age as an adopted refusenik. Her family is full of secrets and a past they won’t share. She finds solace in comic books, drawing her own series, Atomic Anna, and she’s determined to make it as an artist. When she meets the volatile, charismatic Viktor, their romance sets her life on a very different course.

In the ‘80s, Raisa, is a lonely teen and math prodigy, until a quiet, handsome boy moves in across the street and an odd old woman shows up claiming to be her biological grandmother. As Raisa finds new issues of Atomic Anna in unexpected places, she notices each comic challenges her to solve equations leading to one impossible conclusion: time travel. And she finally understands what she has to do.

As these remarkable women work together to prevent the greatest nuclear disaster of the 20th century, they grapple with the power their discoveries hold. Just because you can change the past, does it mean you should?

Kim’s Review:

This book gave me anxiety! I’m a historian and a traditional one at that! And when someone, anyone starts messing with time, I get all clenchy inside! And in this book, everyone treats time with no respect!! Just going back in time, willy-nilly, not caring about the effects! Sooner, later, trying fix stuff from the last trip … it was just exhausting. The story itself was ok, and the characters were likable. The people that I felt were so underappreciated were Yulia and Lazar. They adopted their friend’s child without complaint and she turned into a brat! Molly and Anna kinda ruined the book for me. They’re the type of women who do what they want without a single thought about how their actions affect anyone else. I greatly dislike people like that. And the lesson, I just didn’t get it. The resolution was murky and unsatisfying. I’m glad I read this book … but I doubt I’ll ever read it again.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audible Original: Misconception by Liv Constantine

Liv Constantine

Adrienne Patino Dunn
Amanda Dolan
Published: May 22, 2022
Audiobook: 2 hours 45 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: August 23, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Novella Description:

Iris Thomas thought she’d never have to see Sasha Everett again after Sasha seduced her husband and broke up their marriage in a devastating betrayal. But as luck would have it, when Iris’s stepdaughter Molly and Sasha’s daughter Bailey wind up in the same second grade class at an elite private school in Los Angeles, they form an instant bond and force the two women back into each other’s lives.

Iris wants to put the past behind her and support Molly, but as time goes on, she suspects that Sasha may be guilty of something even worse than adultery–of a crime so sinister, no one besides Iris thinks it’s possible. But Sasha’s fooled Iris once before. This time, can she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Jessica’s Review:

Misconception is the first I have read from Liv Constantine. Constantine is the pen name of two sisters that are authors.  Constantine has been on my list to read, and I finally got the chance with this novella. 

Misconception was a decent novella. I could tell early on what direction the story was going to go in, and it did. There really wasn’t any intrigue but close to the end once everything was confirmed I was interested in what was going to happen next.  You could say there is a tiny cliffhanger with what might happen next.  This novella shows just what a determined person could and would do to get what they want.

Both narrators portrayed the characters of Iris and Sasha as they should have been. You really grow to hate one particular character! This character was 1000% unlikable! I enjoyed the ultimate ending and with where it goes and what may happen next.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Drug Trial by S.R. Masters

The Drug Trial
Author: S.R. Masters

Published: July 7, 2022

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 10-17, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars     

Book Description:

Would you sign up to a medical trial if you didn’t know the possible side effects?


It seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. An all-inclusive luxury trip abroad, all you need to do is take a pill every day and keep a diary.

Except you don’t know anything about the drug or what its side effects might be.

The headaches start, a dull ache at first. Every day worse than the last.

Then a body is found.

You discover that a side effect is psychosis. You don’t know who has taken the placebo and who has taken the real drug.

Everyone is a suspect. Anyone could be a killer. Even you . . .

Jessica’s Review:

This one has an intriguing premise that I HAD to read! I listened to the audiobook version.  A month long ‘vacation’ for taking part in a drug trial and at the end of the month you receive £20k?  What’s to lose?  Elle has a terrible mother who does just about everything to ruin her life financially, and she does this constantly. And Elle may have just reached her final straw.  Elle is on her mother’s computer and comes across this opportunity to participate in a drug trial.  The only thing is that the side effects are unknown.  With the time available and the money talking Elle becomes a part of the trial.  And ends up with more than she ever expected!

Things seem to go well the first week, but then things start to change. The participants are realizing that what started as a great vacation is actually very isolated, and they don’t really know where they are. What started as fun and games isn’t actually so much fun. And then things start getting worse.

I think I went in expecting more gore and bodies than we get, this one only ended up being ok for me. It seemed to get a bit repetitive because they didn’t have anywhere to go or anything to do especially as the novel went on.  I was a little intrigued and was curious as to what the purpose of the trial actually was.  When we got the answer it just didn’t really work for me and the intensity really wasn’t there for me. With a month long ‘vacation’ and a £20k payment at the end, of course you think there are going to be risks involved. 

The Drug Trial ended up being a so-so read that sadly didn’t live up to my expectations. I wanted more from this one. 

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK  Released as The Trial in the UK