Skip to content

The Week in Review: 03.16.2018

March 16, 2018


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I know several people (like Mary and Lloyd) who sing the praises of Sally Hepworth‘s writing so I don’t know why it took me so long to read one of her books.  THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR caught my eye when it came out so I decided to pick it up and, boy, am I glad I did.  This book tells the story of the families who live on Pleasant Court.  They’re mostly married couples with small children and they all appear to have perfect lives.  But there are lots of secrets hidden there and it takes a new single neighbor to bring things to the surface.  The story alternates among different neighbors so the reader is privy to the secrets that are driving the characters’ behavior.  I loved everything about this book – the writing, the characters, and the storyline.  Hepworth did a magnificent job of slowly peeling the layers back, keeping me invested in the characters and their stories.  I stayed up late one night to finish THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR because I knew I couldn’t sleep until I knew how things ended.  I’m looking forward to reading Hepworth’s backlist now.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)


Adventures in Science THE HUMAN BODY makes learning fun.  This interactive kit includes a 40 page book, a skeleton model, 20 fact cards, and a poster with stickers to place on it.  Kids can read the book then build the model, place the stickers on the poster, and go through the fact cards to reinforce what they’ve learned.  The information in the book is accessible and presented well with full color photos and illustrations.   I enjoyed the book and even learned a thing or two, like:

Muscles make up about one third of your body’s weight.

Although the human body has billions of platelets, they’re so small that they wouldn’t even fill two teaspoons!

This kit will appeal to both avid and reluctant readers and is sure to spark an interest in science and the human body.  I recommend this fun kit to young readers aged six and up.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)


S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett is the story of Greer MacDonald, a scholarship student at St. Aidan the Great boarding school, a school that’s ruled by a group of students referred to as The Medievals.  Greer is a good student but she’s having trouble making friends and fitting in.  She’s thrilled when The Medievals invite her for a weekend of “huntin’ fishin’ shootin'” on their handsome leader’s family’s estate.  The weekend starts out like a dream but quickly turns into a nightmare when Greer realizes just what they’re “huntin’ fishin’ shootin'”.  I love boarding school stories and wasn’t disappointed with this well constructed tale.  I loved Greer – she’s a great, sympathetic character – and the tension and build-up in the plot made me anxious to get back to the book.  I decided to listen to S.T.A.G.S. even though my track record with British narrators isn’t great but loved Katharine McEwan’s performance of this book – she was Greer to me.  I thought this book was terrific and recommend it to teens on up.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)


Currently reading:

On the Screen

I kind of watched the ACC Basketball Championship game.  Since it was between Virginia and North Carolina, I wasn’t really invested in the game and glanced at it while I did other things.  I have to admit, I was kind of rooting for North Carolina (only because they’re not Virginia) so I was a little disappointed in the outcome.

Off the blog

  • I started a new puzzle – this one’s particularly tough because most of the pieces fit together whether they actually go together or not.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning (even in the drizzle a few days) and averaged almost 18,000 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    March 16, 2018 7:21 am

    I’ll have to make sure to read the Family Next Door. I’m so happy you like S.T.A.G.S. I did too and thought the audio was really good. The Human Body sounds like a great kit! We’ve been working on a puzzle for weeks now that’s hard because the pieces are really weird shapes.

  2. March 16, 2018 8:47 am

    I have the Hepworth book, so I’m glad its a good one 🙂 S.T.A.G.S. sounds great – I need to check it out. I hope you like The Chalk Man – I really did, such a good one! Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  3. March 16, 2018 9:03 am

    I’ve never read Sally Hepworth, but The Family Next Door sounds great. I’m curious about S.T.A.G.S. too. We’ll be keeping an eye on basketball… can’t believe Syracuse even got in!

  4. Diane D permalink
    March 16, 2018 9:18 am

    The Sally H book sounds much like The Perfect Neighbors which I finished recently. Sounds like you had a busy week Kathy. Enjoy the weekend.

  5. March 16, 2018 9:50 am

    I am about 2/3 of the way through. And I am really liking it a lot. But I have to say that I liked her 1st 3 just a little bit more. It’s only a matter of degrees, though.

  6. March 16, 2018 11:34 am

    I have The Family Next Door and also The Chalk Man – both unread as yet. And I also have S.T.A.G.S. on audio. Will get to it before long. So many lovely books! My husband was grumbling about his picks for March Madness. He’s already had a few get beat. LOL

  7. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    March 16, 2018 12:32 pm

    I just put Family Next Door on hold at the library!

  8. March 16, 2018 1:06 pm

    I had read a couple of Hepworth’s books when The Family Next Door crossed my path…so it was an easy decision to grab it. I also loved it! Thanks for sharing.

    I am curious about The Chalk Man.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. March 16, 2018 3:13 pm

    I’ve never read a book by Hepworth, The Family Next Door sounds good. I’ll be checking out her other books too.

  10. March 16, 2018 5:40 pm

    I haven’t read TFND yet but now I’m excited to. Glad you enjoyed it so much, Kathy!

  11. March 17, 2018 12:31 pm

    Both the Family Next Door and Chalk Man are on the stacks. We have the basketball games on but muted.

  12. March 17, 2018 2:41 pm

    Ooo, I’m adding Stags to my audiobook pile. Love it when the narrator is a good match. Good walking stats. I’ve got to work on adding more walking sessions into my life. Happy reading.

  13. March 17, 2018 3:26 pm

    Don’t you hate puzzles like that?! We are working on one right now and it too has pieces that can go in more than one spot. We’re still trying to sort out the problem with the border!

    I’ve seen The Family Next Door on a few blogs, but wasn’t interested until I read your review. Adding it to my library list!

  14. March 17, 2018 5:50 pm

    Happy Saturday, Kathy! The Family Next Door sounds great! I hope to read it. Your step count is amazing!! The puzzle looks very challenging.

  15. Lauren Becker permalink
    March 18, 2018 10:23 pm

    Oh gosh, that puzzle sounds super difficult!!
    I really liked The Chalk Man. I’ll be curious to see what you think.


  16. March 19, 2018 8:28 am

    All three books tempt me to read them. I’ve been seeing The Family Next Door everywhere. And STAGS sounds suspenseful.

  17. March 19, 2018 11:59 am

    S.T.A.G.S. keeps grabbing my attention, but I’m not a huge fan of YA. I’m still debating whether I should give it a shot.

  18. March 19, 2018 11:55 pm

    I still need to check out Hepworth. Glad you liked her so much. The Human Body looks like something up our alley. I signed up Gage for Kiwi Crates and last month it was the human body with a big poster and organs that we sewed together and attached. It was fun and I did learn things 🙂

  19. March 20, 2018 6:46 am

    I enjoyed THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR too — review coming soon! The human body book looks fantastic! My sister would have loved that one when she was a kid.

  20. March 20, 2018 2:38 pm

    Can’t wait to see what that puzzle looks like.

  21. March 20, 2018 5:20 pm

    Kathy, I think that puzzle would take me forever. It seems you really liked the Hepworth novel; I’ll have to check out this author. thx for the tip. Enjoy your week.

  22. March 21, 2018 11:28 am

    I’m new to puzzles via my grandson. I feel soiled doing a 200-piece puzzle. I’m doomed if the puzzles are going to have pieces that can all go together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: