First, Middle, and Last Impressions – April 20, 2022

I love taking a look at a book cover and description and then coming up with my own idea of what the book will be about. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m so wrong it’s almost funny. So I’ve decided to launch myself off of WWW Wednesday, a bookish meme run by Sam@Taking on a World of Words, and write about my first, middle, and last impressions of each book I read.

The first impression is based solely on the cover and description. What do I think it will be about?

The middle impression is kind of a check-in on how the story is going about halfway through.

The last impression is my final thoughts on the book, what I’m left thinking.

I hope you have as much fun with this as I will!


In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power – Fantasy

in a garden burning gold rory power

First Impression: Mostly based on the cover, I’m expecting this to be a beautifully rich world and, based on the book description, a complex story of family.

Middle Impression: So far this is interesting, but the story lines feel a little on the simple side and the characters seem to do a ton of thinking and talking instead of doing anything. The world is fascinating, but I feel like I’m grasping at straws to really figure it out. The more I read, the clearer it becomes, so I’m hoping I’ll have pieced everything together by the end.

Last Impression: Initially, this novel felt very simplistic, or just took a very long time to really get going. Eventually, it took on some fun layers and mysteries, but I overall found the twins this book is about to be more annoying and less thoughtful than the two younger siblings. My interest in what they were doing while the twins were conspiring outweighed that for the twins, which is a shame because they were seen so very little in the entire book.

My Full Review


Summer of Georgie by Kerry Crisley – Women’s Fiction

summer of georgie kerry crisley

First Impression: This looks like a lot of fun! I think it’ll be a story of re-discovery, but, of course, with some wenches thrown in.

Middle Impression: So far, this is a really fun women’s fiction novel. Georgie’s inner voice, Gilda, is amazing! It took a bit for things to get going, and I’m still not completely clear on where the story is going, but it’s a lot of fun getting there.

Last Impression: This is incredible! I loved it, and found it to be an excellent women’s fiction novel. It truly focuses on the women, though Georgie’s husband Dan was so far from being one dimensional. I loved that he helped bring in real world problems that firmly grounded this story and made it feel realistic while also being woven through with hope.

My Full Review


A Tiny Upward Shove by Melissa Chadburn – Literary Fiction

a tiny upward shove melissa chadburn

First Impression: I expect this will be heavy and dense. Definitely a more serious read compared to everything else I’ve been reading.

Middle Impression: This is definitely heavy and serious. It dives into the hard topics with zero skirting around it. This novel exposes a harsh reality in an unapologetic way. It’s sometimes hard to read, but covers really important topics that slip through the cracks.

Last Impression: This is a difficult read, but gives a voice to those who have slipped through the cracks and exposes the hard reality they really do live through. However, the Filipino culture didn’t feel as woven in as I expected and I came away with a better idea of what my home city is really like under the surface. The story about the aswang and the serial killer felt a little limp to me as it didn’t really feel like anything more than a peripheral thing.

My Full Review


One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold – Fantasy

one foot in the fade luke arnold

First Impression: This is going to be fun! I can’t wait to get back to Fetch and Sunder City.

Middle Impression: The world is further widened in this installment with something of a treasure hunt, but it makes the story feel kind of divided into two halves. It is nice, though, to see some growth in Fetch.

Last Impression: This is the third in the series and I felt it was focused more on world building and character development than on the story, which seemed a bit unbelievable made believable only because of what we already know of Fetch, otherwise it was kind of thin to me. There were some really nice emotional moments, though, and it was great to see growth in Fetch. I also felt like there was a shift in the overarching story, and I’m excited to see where it goes.


The Wrong Victim by Allison Brennan – Thriller

the wrong victim allison brennan

First Impression: I literally have no clue what this one is about and I’m about to start reading it without looking at the cover (looking at it now, it really doesn’t tell me anything). This is the third in the series, so I’m expecting to be like the others and generally just an okay read to me. I do, however, love the main characters, Kara Quinn and Matt Costa, so, even though I’m not really into the books so far, I love reading about their relationship.

Middle Impression: Wow, there are so many characters and my head is spinning trying to keep them all straight. But I am finding I really like this one. Maybe I’m finally hitting my stride with them? I’m loving the conflict on the team and the layers being added into the story, even though I’m getting the nagging feeling it’s really simple. My favorite part so far is watching how the characters interact.

Last Impression: I really like this one! The team conflict was fun and the case was complicated without being overly complicated. It was great to see how it all tied up. The team is also starting to really gel, and I’m really starting to love them all.


The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale – Historical Fiction

the mad girls of new york maya rodale

First Impression: I’m not a fan of historical fiction, so why on Earth am I reading this one?! I don’t have much hope I’ll actually enjoy this, but it is about the intrepid Nellie Bly, a female journalist with several notable stories. This one involves how she acquired her story about an insane asylum in New York City, so I’m hoping it’ll actually be good.

Middle Impression: I’m surprised by how quickly this is going, and how much I’m actually enjoying it! The story is relatively simple, but Nellie is so much fun and the story is really flowing well. There are a couple of POVs thrown in that I don’t really understand why, but I trust they’ll come into play at some point. Otherwise I’m going to be disappointed with what’s turning out to be a really fun historical read for me.

Last Impression: I found this to be an engrossing historical fiction novel. The three POVs came together very nicely even though one of them felt like it was just taking forever. I liked that this novel felt grounded in fact and Nellie came to life in my mind. It was one thing going in knowing something of the intrepid Nellie Bly and quite another to meet her on the pages as both fearless and emotional. I also really loved the rivalry and camaraderie between the journalists.


Resembling Lepus by Amanda Kool – Science Fiction

resembling lepus amanda kool

First Impression: This is a post-dystopian novel. I’m accustomed to reading dystopian novels, but I don’t think ever read a post-dystopian one, so this should be interesting. There’s also murder and a detective and something about a rabbit? Since this is a novella, I think I’m in for something of a fast, wild ride.

Middle Impression: This is turning out to be an intriguing science fiction mystery that clearly depicts a futuristic world that has undergone some major changes that then leads to the murder mystery on hand. But I have no clue what the detective’s name is, or really much about her, which really puts the mystery at the forefront. The wording also feels awkward and everyone’s speech is a little stilted, but that might just be because I’m American. But there are extra words I feel could have been cut and a bit of repetitiveness that could have gone or been tightened up.


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8 thoughts on “First, Middle, and Last Impressions – April 20, 2022

  1. A random thought. I’ve been noticing that some books have covers that make me think I’ve already read it and then it turns out that some other author has used a similar cover. For example, One Foot in the Fade looks very similar to River of London. Am I the only one noticing this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I’ve been noticing that for the past few years! On my meaner days, I like to think publishers are just being lazy and they’re all using the same stock images, just tweaking it a bit. For a couple of years, I kept seeing the same lady on covers of indie and traditionally published books and it was driving me crazy. Then I started having to take double takes because some covers are just so similar. I’m doing double takes for the Fetch Phillips and Rivers of London books these days and it’s starting to annoy me. I miss the days where every book appeared to have it’s own unique cover.

      Liked by 1 person

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