All posts by Sara Planz

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict


Marie Benedict takes a woman who many consider a footnote in history as Einstein’s first wife, and creates excellent historical fiction.  A gifted physicist in her own right, was Mileva Maric more of an influence and collaborator with Einstein on his theory of relativity than we know her to be?  Mileva meets Albert Einstein in school where she is the only female physics student.  Her dream is to be a physics professor and she knows the only way to accomplish this is to study hard and don’t allow herself to get romantically attached to anyone.  However, Einstein’s charm and personality woos her onto a completely different role and path – wife and mother.

Benedict masterfully weaves location, facts and science into her supposition about the true talents and gifts of Mileva Einstein. She perfectly captures the time and setting that accurately treated women as secondary in both intelligence and status to their male counterparts.  And she truly built a well rounded character in Mileva, a woman conflicted with love of career and science, but also an emotional one who loves Albert and their children with every ounce of her soul.  One must wonder if Mileva hadn’t fallen under the spell of Albert Einstein, would we would today be discussing Maric’s Theory of Relativity?

The Gender Game by Bella Forrest


If you like the Hunger Games and Divergent, this is an excellent read alike for you.

What happens if the world is divided into two factions? Matrus, where women rule and men are subservient, and Patrus, where men rule and women are subservient, are at odds with each other. Our main character Violet has grown up in Matrus and has had a few two many run ins with the authorities there, after the last incident of possible womanslaughter, she is offered a choice: go undercover to Patrus to retrieve an item that was stolen from them, or be executed. Violet’s arrival in Patrus sets off a plot to steal back the item, but along the way she finds love with someone that should be her enemy. Excellent plot twist at the end that definitely made me want to read more of this story, as it appears that it will be a series from the way the ending is written. Strong female vs male tension that builds from a simmer to a boil. Highly entertaining and looking forward to the next installment!

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak


This has been the year of the 80’s throwback in books at least for me and this one scratched that same wonderful itch. Teenage boys planning an Ocean’s 11 type heist to get a coveted copy of Playboy featuring the babe of the moment, Vanna White, from the local store. All Billy has to do is romance the shopkeeper’s frumpy and nerdy daughter Mary into giving him the alarm code. But in getting to know Mary, he realized they both have an incredible love of computer game programming and team up to win a coveted prize from a top game designer. Suddenly that all important Playboy doesn’t really matter much to Billy, even though his friends are pressuring him to stick with the plan. Mary now understandably holds his interest.

Full of 80’s pop culture and computer programming references, this book was highly entertaining, especially for an 80’s kid like myself. The ending even had a bit of a twist I never saw coming that added even more of a dimension to Billy and Mary’s relationship.