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 Train by Diane Hoh

book review the train

The Train by Diane Hoh opens with Hannah, Kerry, Mack, and Lewis, along with other students from Parker High School, boarding a train in Chicago for a cross country school trip to San Francisco. Once on the train, they find out a deceased student from their school was being transported back to his parents, and the friends start admitting to how horribly they had treated Frog before he died. Then, horrible things started happening to them on the train, and it seems like Frog is out for revenge.

Rereading this book as an adult and having read most of Agatha Christie's books, The Train loosely reminded me of Murder on the Orient Express but in reverse. This book also has a very Stephen King vibe to it but is kid friendly. With that being said, I still am a bit jumpy from reading it as an adult.

This is a book that I originally read when I was either a tween or a teen. Usually when I reread books from my childhood, I generally remember what happens as I work my way through the book. However, I didn't recall most what happened in The Train except one or two small things, so it was like reading it for the first time again. One of the things I remembered was the small typo in the way a sentence was worded. You'll have to find it for yourself though.

What I loved about this book is that it deals with something that still goes on in schools today . . . bullying. Hopefully, if a kid reads this book today, it will resonate with them about the consequences of bullying can have. Once all the main characters revealed the nasty things they had done to Frog, it made me incredibly sad for this fictional character and really impacted me even as an adult. I know this is only a book of fiction, but people in real life can be so cruel and don't realize what their actions can do to people.

I gave The Train by Diane Hoh five out of five stars because of how well written it is and has stood the test of time. If you liked this book, I recommend April Fools by Richie Tankersly Cusick.


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