I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.
I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.
The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.
The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.
All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.
I hate to do this to an Angela Thirkell book, because I've truly enjoyed every other book of hers I've read so far, but I can't keep on.
I don't like Richard, who, as of page 63, is the main character. He's sulky and immature and even worse, he's starting to moon over a woman his mother's age who is happily married and has 9 children. I have no doubt whatsoever that subsequent events will mature him and his romantic interests will soon be redirected into more appropriate avenues, with much hilarity ensuing in the process. But I can't make myself go through the painful bits to get to the funny bits.
Angela Thirkell was a prolific author so there was bound to be one I didn't love, and I'll not let this one damp my enthusiasm.
Total pages: 284
Pages read: 64 (~26%)
$ banked: $1.00
I don't have a full review for Schoolgirl, although I DO have a few sentences and some notes floating around in my head. It's just a matter of putting them together coherently, though chances are, I might just include it in my June Package Review for all the books I probably won't publish an official review for.
Anyway, in the meantime, here are some quotes I highlighted while reading Schoolgirl that stood out to me for one reason or another. What I was thinking at the time is questionable, but here you are: