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!
Resembling Lepus by Amanda Kool – Science Fiction
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.
Last Impression: This was an interesting science fiction mystery set in a post-dystopian world that has truly been impacted by climate change. The whole story was based on that idea and could not have been pulled off the way it was if the world hadn’t been so perfectly set up for it. The world and history is amazing, but I loved how this novella prompted several questions in my mind pertaining to identity and consciousness and what to do with android-like beings that so thoroughly resemble humans or other animals who are also startling human underneath.
By the Book by Jasmine Guillory – Romance
First Impression: I’ve read so many good things about this author’s books (this is my first by her), but not great things about this book in particular, so I’m not expecting anything amazing. But I do like Beauty and the Beast, the Disney version this book is re-imagining, so I’m hoping for a fun, prickly romance.
Middle Impression: Overall I’m feeling kind of meh about the story, but, if I channel the Disney movie, it’s enjoyable on a surface level. I’m trying hard to not dig too deeply into the characters and just accept what they are. Right now, I’m not loving Beau’s characterization. It feels like he’s trying too hard to be the Beast. But I do love Izzy and her friend Priya together. It’s such a fun friendship they have and I love how Priya just keeps pushing and encouraging Izzy, and her enthusiasm feels a little contagious.
Last Impression: So, this book loosely followed the movie after the halfway mark after spending the first half seemingly taking pains to adhere to the movie. It kind of felt like it set out to be a retelling, but the story started spiraling away so all that really tied the book to the movie by the end were all the references to the movie. I have to say I adored those. They were fun and some of them were even funny. I was surprised by how nice and clean the romance was and the progression without the usual massive break up at around 75% in was really appreciated by me. I do wish there had been more of a villain and that the setting didn’t upset me so much (more of that in my review tomorrow), but I liked the shared journey Izzy and Beau went on.
Misrule by Heather Walter – Fantasy
First Impression: And so I jump from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (because a love of Disney movies develops when you grow up with no cable until you’re 15 and only have Disney movies for visual entertainment). The first book in this duology really felt constrained by the movie, making the ending feel a bit wacky to me as it tried to break out of the movie, so I’m curious to see how it’ll play out in the second book.
Middle Impression: This is an interesting turn from the classic story. I’m getting far less of the movie, and I really like that. It’s become its own thing, so I feel like it can finally breathe. I’m just frustrated by Alyce because, after a century of ruling the Dark Court, she still feels like a lovesick young adult making bad choices. Her characterization is what I’m struggling the most with, but I’m enjoying the romance so far, even if I’m not loving the hinted at love triangle.
Last Impression: After the first book felt like it was confined by the movie, I loved that this one just completely got away from it and really focused on the world building and the impact the world has had on how the Dark Court and Fae Courts interacted. Discovering the history was really a lot of fun and I enjoyed all the surprises and manipulations along the way. I did spend much of the book irritated with Alyce, completely failing to believe she’d really been leading the Dark Court for a century. But I liked that this felt more like a fantasy novel with a key romance layered in and that the romance felt very real, very unlike the formula usually found in a romance novel.
From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper – Fantasy
First Impression: And from fairy tales I jump into a witchy Midwestern town. I really enjoyed the first book, with all the witchiness, romance, and a bit of revenge, so I’m excited to see what this one has in store, especially since it’s told by one of the Avramovs, which is the necromancy family in town.
Middle Impression: This is a fun blend of fantasy, mystery, and romance. All three feel like they’re really well balanced against each other and I’m really enjoying how they’re working together. Unlike the first book where it felt like the romance just overtook everything, each element in this one feels like it can stand on its own and one isn’t overpowering the other. I’m also loving Issa’s internal struggles between family and following her own dreams.
Last Impression: This turned out to be a really fun witchy read revolving around spring and Beltane, and I loved that the story was told from a witch from the Avramov family. It took a little bit for my mind to wrap around that, but I really loved how it was carried off. The mystery, fantasy, and romance elements all worked really well together, and I loved that the story felt very driven by who the Thorns are as a family, lending a sweet softness.
Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera – Fiction
First Impression: This isn’t my usual kind of read, but I chose this for deeply personal reasons, so I’m expecting an interesting experience when I write my review. But I’m expecting it to be a story of family, race, class, and even generational differences between parents and children.
What about you?
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