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: California Girl (Sweet Dreams # 6) by Janet Quin-Harkin

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California Girl (Sweet Dreams # 6) by Janet Quin-Harkin is part of the teen romance book series, Sweet Dreams. The books in this series are written by different authors and rarely have anything to do with any of the other books in the series. The one exception to this that I'm aware of is P.S. I Love You (Sweet Dreams # 1) and Falling In Love Again (Sweet Dreams # 23), both written by Barbara Conklin. I fell in love with the Sweet Dreams teen romance books in middle school after discovering them at the school book fair. They ended up being very hard to find at the libraries . . . the school library and the public library branches didn't have any of these books to check out. And, I had trouble finding them in local bookstores, so whenever I came across one, I had to buy it. 

In California Girl, we meet Jennie, who is an aspiring Olympic swimmer and has just recently moved to Texas. Absolutely miserable with her new swim team and new school, all Jennie wants to do is move back to California. She meets Mark, who was the high school football star and now is a has been due to a serious injury that left him unable to walk without crutches. Since Mark's accident, no one has anything to do with him except for Jennie. When she sees his artwork, Jennie decides to enter him into an art contest without him knowing, and he wins. Now, Mark has become popular again, and Jennie rarely sees him. Is it over between them for good? 

From the very first minute I started reading this book, I was sucked in, even as an adult. It was extremely well written, especially compared to some of the other books in the series, and I wondered why. After looking at the cover of California Girl for the millionth time, I finally paid attention to who the author was . . . Janet Quin-Harkin. She was one of my favorite authors as a teen, so it was no wonder I enjoyed it so much. After finishing the book, I decided to google the author, and I found out that she writes adult novels under a pseudonym, so I can't wait to buy one of them!

It's a perfect book for tweens and teens because it is super age appropriate, and it does deal with the typical high school drama. Even though it was written in the early 1980's, I think kids today will still relate to it. I think that people who swim competitively will especially relate to it. The only thing I was disappointed in was that we don't find out if Jennie makes the Olympic team.

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