What we read {March 2018}

I have always loved to read but have been sticking with a single genre, that over time has become predictable. The year started with me determined not only to read more but to also try new authors and subjects that I would normally avoid. This has been mostly successful, especially when you consider that I read more last month than I did throughout the whole of last year! The children and I have have discussed and shared what we have been reading with each other. It can be really hard to find something new to read, especially for tweens and teens. I thought it would be nice to record what we read and our thoughts on any standouts. Not only will it serve as a personal record for us but it may give you some ideas for your own family.

March 2018 book reviews

What we read {March 2018}

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart…

Elizabeth Woodville was a fascinating character and I found myself immediately drawn into this novel. Like many historical novels it covers a long time period and presents the story as fact. If you are the type who will be annoyed by inaccuracies and assumptions this is not the novel for you. However, if you simply want an engaging story this is a great read. The characters are compelling and the diabolical actions of some are understandable in the context of the time. Future novels in the sequence are told from different points of view which I think will be interesting to see. I haven’t seen the tv adaptation so cannot compare but will definitely read more in this set of books.

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as i can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

Told from the perspective of Matthew Hopkins sister during the infamous witch trials of the 1600s this is a gripping read. The blurb on the cover calls it ‘terrifying’. I wouldn’t use that description myself. It is disturbing in parts but not frightening. It is uncomfortable to see how people react when they are threatened and how they might throw people under the proverbial bus to save themselves and those they love. Nevertheless you never lose sympathy with them. My only criticism would be the last paragraph which feels like a cliche but it doesn’t detract from an otherwise great read.

Friend request review

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Louise Williams receives a friend request from Maria Weston. Only Maria died 25 years ago. Didn’t she?

What follows is a thrilling story, partly told in flashback. It shows how easy it is to get caught up in peer pressure and explores the dangers of comparing ourselves to others on social media. The mystery element is exciting and hard to guess the outcome. It is a very satisfying read. As soon as I finished  I gave this book to Bobbins to read because I felt that as a young teen the stories’ themes would resonate with her too. She hasn’t put it down yet!

I absolutely loved this book. I can guarantee that once you pick it up you will want to read it in one go.

My stand out favourite this month


The Group by Mary McCarthy

The Group follows eight graduates from the exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, forge careers, gossip and party in 1930s Manhattan.

This is the latest book I am reading. Written in 1963, it’s frank discussion of motherhood, sex and marriage were scandalous for the time. Considered a modern classic, I have to be honest and say I am distinctly underwhelmed so far. Too many characters are introduced in the opening chapters. I found myself flicking backwards and forwards to remind myself who everyone was. So many brief introductions prevented me from investing in any of the characters. I rarely start a book that I don’t finish but it’s touch and go with this novel.

13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt

Luke’s just inherited 6 million…and 8 ghosts who want him dead

This is actually a library book that Junior got from school. It’s not often a book will engage Junior {age 13} but he was positively raving about this and even read it in favour of playing Fortnight! He has already asked for the sequels and persuaded me to read it too. After a slow first chapter I was hooked. Although the protagonist is a teenager it doesn’t feel like a novel aimed at children. I haven’t finished yet but will certainly get the sequels for Junior (and me)!

Have you or your children read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?


Family Fever