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Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

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Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: The Stranger You Seek (Keye Street, #1) by Amanda Kyle Williams

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Atlanta, GA - The local media is receiving letters from a serial killer on the loose, and whoever it is, is promising that they will kill again. The Atlanta Police Department is under pressure to find the killer before they strike again. Enter Keye Street, a former FBI profiler, who currently finds work in the form of capturing bail jumpers and other detective work. Determined to make a connection between the victims and the serial killer, the killer may be closer to her than she realizes. The debut suspense novel, The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams, is a must read book. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up, and it was one of those books that was so good, it made you want to call in sick. Unfortunately, I'm too responsible to actually call in sick to finish a book, so I had to settle for reading it on my lunch hour. Before I gush about the book, let me begin with telling you that I won The Stranger You Seek in a Goodreads.com First Read Giveaway back

Book Review: Curse of the Spellmans (The Spellmans, #2) by Lisa Lutz

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Much to my surprise, I won a copy of Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz on a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads.com in return for an honest review. It was one of the first books I ever won on the site. Super excited that I'd won this book, I picked up the first book in the series The Spellman Files off of my bookshelf so that I could read it before I got the book I won in the mail from the publisher. (Typically, I won't read a book in a series unless I have read all the ones that came before it.) It was kismet that I had found the first book in the series at Barnes & Noble in the bargin bin! Curse of the Spellmans takes place in San Francisco, California and is about a family of private investigators. In this installment, Izzy Spellman has been arrested four times in three months and has to be bailed out of jail by Morty, her aging lawyer because her parents (and managers) refuse to do so. While Izzy is busy surveying her next door neighbor, her sister Rae is bus

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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As a high school student, I absolutely loved reading The Great Gatsby . I was enchanted with every book we read my junior year, but I remember this one being one of the ones that I enjoyed the most. When one of the book clubs I belong to decided to read this book, I was excited to reread it as I didn't remember a lot about it, and it allowed me to refresh my memory before the Leonardo DiCaprio version of the movie came out. As an adult, I wasn't nearly as enchanted with it as I was as a high school student.  There isn't a lot of plot to the actual story; the little plot there was moved extremely slow. Basically, Jay Gatsby, the narrator, is a very wealthy man who lives on Long Island in New York and is in love with Daisy Buchanan. He throws a lot of lavish parties where there is a lot of drinking going on. And, then, there is a car accident where a woman ran into the street and was killed by a speeding car. However, the character development and the visual d

Book Review: Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum, #13) by Janet Evanovich

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In Lean Mean Thirteen , written by Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum does a favor for Ranger by planting a bug in her ex-husband Dickie Orr's office. In the process of doing this, Stephanie sees one of their wedding presents, a clock, on his desk and tells him it is now hers. She then sees a picture of her arch nemesis, Joyce Barnhardt, on Dickie's desk and goes ballistic . . . punching and hitting him (and more). Unfortunately for Stephanie, the whole office sees her do this, so when Dickie goes missing, she's the number one suspect in his case. Overall, I enjoyed this book because it featured Ranger quite heavily, but I am growing tired of him always saying how he is barely keeping control of himself from having sex with Stephanie. I'd really like to see Stephanie's character finally get over her commitment phobia and settle down with Joe Morelli, her on again off again boyfriend. Morelli isn't in it too much and that was quite disappointing to me because

Book Review: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

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New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed is a fast paced, heart breaking story about a hard working lawyer in Manhattan, Rachel White, who is the maid of honor to her best friend Darcy. Since they were little kids in elementary school, Rachel has always been the Watson to Darcy's Sherlock, but that changes when Rachel confesses her true feelings to Darcy's fiance, only to find out the feeling is mutual. As Darcy's wedding approaches, Rachel knows she has to make a hard choice . . . steal the man away from her best friend or cut him out of her life. When the movie trailer came out for Something Borrowed , I immediately knew I wanted to see the movie. I had no idea it had been adapted from a novel (and not to mention I hadn't ever heard of the author) until I was at a book club meeting and one of the members was talking about the book and the author, and several other of the members jumped in on the discussion. I ended up enjoying

Book Review: Teamwork (Sweet Valley Twins, # 27) Created by Francine Pascal

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Teamwork (Sweet Valley Twins, # 27) created by Francine Pascal is a story about twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, deciding they want to visit their great aunt, but their parents decide that the girls need to learn a lesson about money and earning the bus fares themselves. Determined to show their parents that they know the value of money and being responsible, they decide to start their own dog walking business, which quickly expands to dog sitting. Taking on a second client for dog sitting, the girls and their friend, Ken Matthews, quickly learn that the dog has been abused and take matters into their own hands to keep him safe. Sweet Valley Twins is the series that made me an avid reader, and now, that I'm rereading the series as an adult, I love the fact that it teaches kids valuable lessons about serious issues and how to deal with them as a kid. I know some adults might say that Teamwork glossed over the issue of animal abuse, but we have to keep in mind

Book Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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1850, Adam Ewing, a notary, is traveling home to California on a ship. 1931, Robert Frobisher, a composer, orchestrates a way into a sickly maestro's home. 1970's, Luisa Rey, a journalist stumbles across a story that threatens her life. Present Day, a Korean superstate has overtaken England. Post-apocalyptic Iron Age, the last days of Earth on Hawaii. Then, we go back in time in reverse order, finding that all the characters are connected and intertwined. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was a book selection for the first book club I ever joined. It isn't a book that I would've ever picked up to read on my own. I loved the concept of the story when I read the synopsis and was looking forward to reading it. Typically, I don't mind when a book jumps from one time period to the next, but with Cloud Atlas I did mind. It took away from the overall story line and made it very choppy. It felt like five distinct short stories, not a cohesive story. The only t

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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It appears suddenly with no announcements, no advertising. Yesterday, there was nothing, and today . . . today there is Le Cirque des RĂªves . . . a circus like no other. Mystically delightful in shades of black and white and unique acts you'll find no where else. Unbeknownst to those involved, a game is taking place within the walls of the tents . . . a chance of only one to remain left standing. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was published in 2011 and was a selection for one of the book clubs I joined. I promptly bought the novel on my e-reader, a Literati sold by Brookstone. It's in this book club that they announced that the author was doing a book signing with a local bookstore, The FoxTale Book Shoppe , and I immediately bought tickets to attend, and it included a copy of the book that would be signed at the event. Was I ever glad that they allowed us to pick up the books early because my Literati died on me in the middle of the book and wouldn't power