First, Middle, and Last Impressions – October 26, 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!

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson – Women’s Fiction/Romance

the banned bookshop of maggie banks shauna robinson

Why I want to read this: I’m not really sure since I haven’t tended to read many of the books that involve bookstores, but it does sound interesting and I like the voice in the description.

First Impression: This sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun and full of books and stories. It also sounds like there might be a bit of a mystery? Anyways, I think this will be fun, sweet, and delightfully bookish.

Middle Impression: So far, this is a fun and light story. I’m finding Maggie to be delightful with some really great lines, a sweet blend of friendly and slightly awkward, but, at the same time, she’s really keeping secrets and I can’t say I like it at all. The romance, too, isn’t a strong point, especially since it feels like it’s starting out of the blue.

Last Impression: So, this was light and cute and I loved that the main character is a non-reader, but it all made it feel like Maggie just floats through life and everything turns out in her favor. Too many secrets and too little remorse for them. I did like Bell River and what Maggie did with the bookstore, but the way she did everything was just not right.

A Pinch of Distrust by D.T. Bella – Fantasy Mystery

Why I want to read this: I don’t know; I’m just so intrigued by the description. There are fairies and a mystery, and I just couldn’t resist.

First Impression: This sounds interesting. It’s fantasy paired with mystery with fairies, so I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Besides, just looking at the cover just has me hooked.

Middle Impression: This is interesting, but the main characters are a little annoying and the writing style and speech feel a little old fashioned, so it’s coming off as stilted. But I am loving how the fairies are integrated into life with a human-like race, and the mystery is becoming quite compelling.

Last Impression: This is a fantastic fantasy mystery. It’s not without issues, but it is fast-paced and the mystery has some decent twists and turns. There ended up being a nice balance to the characters and I really enjoyed how they worked together.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune – Fantasy

Why I want to read this: It’s time. I’ve had this on my shelf for almost 2 years, so I figured now was as good a time as any, especially now that I’m not reading glowing reviews every other week. I think the pressure of the book having to be fantastic has ebbed.

First Impression: I don’t know! I’ve read so many reviews over the past couple of years that I know to expect a warm hug, but I also don’t do well with reading over-hyped books, so my initial impression is that this book scares me.

Middle Impression: Well, it’s definitely soft and sweet, but I can’t help thinking that, if you switched out the children for people with psychiatric disorders, well, you basically have our world. Considering I was supposed to become a clinical psychologist, I feel quite sad that it’s taken this long for “different” individuals to have a voice and to be seen as being just lovely the way they are. Am I blown away? No. Do I feel like this is a hug? Not really. It feels like it’s full of all the life advice and observations I’ve collected over the years all in one book. But I am charmed by how it somehow manages to remind me of The Phantom Tollbooth and Something to Live For by Richard Roper.

Current Progress: About to start Chapter 18. Based on previous reviews, I expected this to be a fast read, something so compelling and lovely I simply couldn’t put it down. Instead, I find it taking a lot longer than expected. It’s sweet and charming and lovely, but it’s not really holding my interest. I’m also getting tired of all the adult characters saying “I think.” It makes it sound like they all speak the same way, and, instead of having firm opinions, they soften it with that phrase. It’s overused and I want to cross them out. I’m also annoyed that I purchased this book and am finding more typos and missing words than I usually do in advance reader copies. On the bright side, I find myself thoroughly charmed by Zoe. I don’t know why, but, as adorable as the children are, I really love the island sprite. The charming, adorable children kind of feel overly done and they don’t quite seem as child-like as I would have liked (like my own two children who are the right ages to match with these children). Really, though, I have to stop reading over-hyped books. Also, that cover is not at all the way I picture the house and island.

What about you?

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2 thoughts on “First, Middle, and Last Impressions – October 26, 2022

  1. The really popular books can end up 50/50 about being generic and cutesy and annoying – lowest common denominator writing/cover/marketing pulls in a lot of casual readers instead of really interested readers. And is easily forgotten.

    Check to see if it’s still a live one in ten years. The classics are.

    I saw a post once about how many of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels no one has heard of a few years later. It was sobering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree! I tend to wait on the popular books of today unless I’m truly curious because the hype generally feels unwarranted. There are still so many books and authors from a couple of decades ago that still get mentioned a lot, so I feel more inclined to read those. Not every classic is for me, but I tend to think it’s hard to go wrong with many of them. The writing in them tends to be so much more transportive to me than today’s books.


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