First, Middle, and Last Impressions – August 10, 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 write about my first, middle, and last impressions of each book I read, as well as a little bit on why I wanted to read it because sometimes, when I’ve finished, I really can’t remember.

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!

Six Feet Deep Dish by Mindy Quigly – Cozy Mystery

six feet deep dish mindy quigley

Why I want to read this: A cozy mystery with food (though the pizza, I feel, is more for my husband and kids, the pizza fiends), a cat, and a cute police detective. Sounds a lot like a lot of cozy mysteries I’ve enjoyed, so how can I resist?

First Impression: This is a food cozy mystery with a cat, though I could do without all the pizza to come, so I’m hoping this will be fun.

Middle Impression: Right off the bat, this one seems to have a lot of strong similarities to my favorite cozy mystery series, so it was kind of annoying. But, reading further, it’s great to see the deviations as the characters take on lives of their own. I love the diversity, and the main character’s elderly aunt is so much fun. So far this one is interesting, especially since Delilah keeps digging herself an ever deeper hole.

Last Impression: I have to say this is a very good start to the series. It nicely sets up the characters, the pizza business, and the romance. There are some great twists and turns, and I was delighted with the way it ended. The setting is a lake resort area for the wealthy, which was interesting, and the lake sounds wonderful.

The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri – Fantasy

the oleander sword tasha suri

Why I want to read this: Even though The Jasmine Throne didn’t pull me in as much as I had hoped, I’m intrigued to see what happens in the second book, and Suri’s writing is so gorgeous I’ll read anything she writes just to immerse myself in it.

First Impression: As the second book in the series, I’m expecting it to expand on the world, events, and characters. After the way the first book left off, I expect this will be quite interesting. And I love all that green on the cover!

Middle Impression: This reads like honey, sweet and slow. It softens the edges of the story and blurs in the romance. It’s not as well woven in as I would have liked, but I like that it has a strong presence, taking the bite and sting out of the battles and difficult scenes. What I loved best was what felt like a war between life and death, nature and fire. Some of the chapters, though, feel a little too much like cliffhangers and then the next chapter doesn’t pick it back up, jumping forward in time, so I’m left wondering how the characters got themselves out of danger.

Last Impression: Some of the story felt a little too predictable, but I liked how the war for a crown and the romance worked well together. This was such a fun, easy read despite the pain of losses and sacrifices, but the writing was just such a dream that the story flowed despite all the hard scenes. I look forward to how this trilogy will end.

Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher – Romance

thank you next andie j christopher

Why I want to read this: It has such a fun sounding premise: a woman trying to figure out why she’s the one guys date before finding The One. I haven’t read any glowing reviews, but I can’t help but be pulled into this premise.

First Impression: This looks like it’ll be a cute romance with a woman on a crazy mission with a long suffering friend who’s in love with her along for the ride. The cover gives a very fun and casual vibe, so I hope this will be fun and as humorous as it’s described.

Middle Impression: I’m struggling with the vast difference between the description and the actual story. Alex is so much more of a handful than the description made her out to be, to the point where her mission sounds absolutely ludicrous and so out of character it just feels forced. The buildup to the romance is so slow I’m not sure if it’ll ever get there, and Will, with all his grunting and growling, sounds more like an animal than a man. But I am absolutely in love with Alex’s grandmother Lexi. Such a fun lady!

Last Impression: So, I liked the maturity of the romance, but it also felt like it had to be overly mature considering the actual romance was crammed into less than half the book. It was so rushed I felt like I had whiplash when I turned the last page and found the story just ended. I loved and hated the idea of how this ended on a full circle note, but, while the premise sounded interesting and promising, the actual story made it sound kind of stupid considering Alex and her exes. But I maintain that I love Lexi.

Babel by R.F. Kuang – Historical Fantasy

babel rf kuag

Why I want to read this: Simply put, I’m curious about her books. The reviews of her Poppy War trilogy are almost always glowing, but the story is too violent for me, so I thought I ought to check this one out, especially considering both sides of my family hailed from Canton at some point.

First Impression: I’m not really sure what to make of this, whether a possibly intense historical fantasy crammed with esoteric knowledge or dry textbook-like story (as some reviews have indicated it reads like), so I’m keeping an open mind at this point. The cover reminds me of some artwork I’ve seen, but I’m drawing a blank.

Current Progress: I’m at 14% and Robin has only just reached the doorstep of Babel. So far, I can certainly see why some consider this dry; there isn’t much rich lushness to the writing, but I’m finding it easy to read and it flows well, making the story fly by faster than expected. I’m quite enjoying the fact that this novel dives deep into knowledge, though it sometimes feels like it’s making itself into something maybe a little too lofty so it doesn’t exactly feel like a book for everyone.

What about you?

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One thought on “First, Middle, and Last Impressions – August 10, 2022

  1. I like the concept of using the cover to evaluate your expectations when you start – but I also cringe wondering what my readers, who have never said anything about MY covers (for mainstream fiction, there are no tropes), think of what I decide I like.

    It is such a First Impressions thing – easy to get wrong, hard to get right unless you write some specific kinds of mysteries, thrillers, or romance.

    I did a lot of studying for the cover of the first book of the trilogy, and worked with a mentor who does her own and whose covers are gorgeous, and have just gone through the same exercise for the second book – and sometimes worry because the ideas lock in, and then I don’t see anything else.

    I know how I jump to judge OTHER people’s covers – I can’t be alone in that. There is a well known and much published author I follow – whose every cover is branded, and I don’t like. Petty of me, because what they are is unique to her. We the people are judgey. It’s built into our natures, along with that jump which no longer has to account for saber-toothed tigers.

    Hearing how your judgment changes at the other stages of reading makes me think.


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