First, Middle, and Last Impressions – February 1, 2023

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 Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone by Audrey Burges – Magical Realism, Women’s Fiction

Why I want to read this: I don’t actually remember why I requested this in the first place from NetGalley, but I guess I just can’t wrap my head about a miniature house mimicking an actual house, so I want to see how the story unfolds to explain this.

First Impression: I don’t know, but it sounds strange. It sounds like an interesting premise, so I’m expecting a strange tale, but that also usually means a lot of confusion for me as the author feels like they have to work harder to make it make sense.

Middle Impression: There are a lot of time lines to keep track of, and some different locations, so I find myself lost from time to time. It’s easy to see how all the characters are connected, so I feel like the story is building to that, but literally all the clues are there. I’m actually a little bored at times because, while it doesn’t wax poetic or become philosophical, there’s a lot of being inside the characters’ heads, and I think the whole story of how there’s an entire miniature of a real mansion and how they’re connected and where they came from is whole lot more interesting than the stories of a woman who can’t figure out her own child, a reclusive woman who only cares about the house but who may be intrigued by the guy who lives in the real mansion, and a guy who isn’t crazy about his current life but insists on going toe to toe with his dad instead of just saying bye to the life he doesn’t want.

Last Impression: It’s finally over! Okay, this was a very sweet romance wrapped up in family drama that ended up spanning more than a couple generations, but the actual face to face part of the romance made me feel like I got whiplash from how quickly it progressed. It both felt too fast and too convenient, as though it had to wrap up because there wasn’t much story left. I still don’t really know how the mini and big mansions function together, and I really got so caught up in my questions that it was difficult to focus on the story, so I guess I didn’t actually find the story very compelling. I did like Alex, though. He was fantastic and complex. Gwen, too, was fabulous. But Myra just felt kind of mired and completely incapable of extricating herself from what was comfortable. Besides, the whole story was predictable, so maybe that’s why I felt bored and so caught up in my questions.

The Faithless by C.L. Clark – Fantasy

the faithless cl clark

Why I want to read this: Honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book in the trilogy, but I felt like persevering through it anyways. Maybe it’ll get better. At least it’s just a trilogy.

First Impression: I’m a little nervous because the first book was a little rough for me and I didn’t like how Touraine was treated, but it sounds like she and Luca have to work together again, so I’m intrigued to see how that goes.

Middle Impression: This is such a smooth reading experience. I love how the writing and the story are just flowing and I don’t want to stop. I do hate that Touraine and Luca both feel like they’re shrinking away into the background and the secondary character are outshining them in my mind, but there are a lot of threads and some interesting court intrigue holding my interest.

Last Impression: If you read my Love, Like, and Not for Me post last night, you’ll know I ended up loving this book. It’s all because of the second half. It was fantastic and I could not read fast enough. I loved the growth in both Touraine and Luca, especially since it so clearly indicated what they really actually wanted, and I can’t wait to see where the third book will lead them. The romance was just incredible, and I loved the inclusion of Touraine’s friend Pruett getting a bit of her own story. This was such a chess game, and it had me spinning around.

Play the Fool by Lina Chern – Mystery

play the fool lina chern

Why I want to read this: I don’t actually remember, but I’m intrigued by tarot playing a role in the story. I also just really like the cover and I keep thinking this is going to be an interesting read.

First Impression: I’m not really sure what this could be about and how tarot and a murder mystery could be related, but it sounds interesting!

Middle Impression: This is an interesting murder mystery, though I wish the tarot part were a bit stronger and contributed a bit more. I do love Katie, though. Reading her voice is a lot of fun. Her brother Owen is even weirder, but I love it. I’m finding the characters more interesting than the story, though it does seem to be heating up.

Current Progress: 60%. After spending most of the first half kind of wandering around with Katie trying to figure out what’s happening, the story suddenly seems a bit more focused. I still want the tarot to play a bigger role, but I really like Katie and her brother, and Katie and detective Jamie are really cute together, making me wonder if a romance could be in the cards.

What about you?

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