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!
Lester Lies Down by James Ladd Thomas – Fiction
Why I want to read this: Well, this one dropped into my inbox some months ago, so it’s about time I read it and give that review I promised.
First Impression: From the description, it sounds interesting. It’s about an odd man, and I do like odd characters, so I’m intrigued, though I suspect this is 100% slice of life, which is fine, but I’ve found fictional slice of life stories have almost no plot to hold it together.
Middle Impression: This is an interesting slice of life style story, but there’s another intriguing plot thrown in to make things more cohesive. Lester has just begun as a hospice nurse, and it’s interesting to read about his patients and how they and their families deal with death and grief. There’s a sarcastic/snarky undertone that helps lighten up the heavy topic of death, but I’m not completely sure of where this is going.
Last Impression: Where the first half felt more concerned about setting Lester up with his new career as a hospice nurse, the second half is more concerned about Lester as a widowed, single dad to three who ends up having to help an old friend elude some guys who are after her because she and her boyfriend skimmed several thousand dollars from their employers. I had fun reading this, but I didn’t feel everything was perfectly woven together and sometimes it felt like I was reading someone standing on a soapbox. It was fun, though, and a fast read.
A Killer Cupcake by Fiona Grace – Cozy Mystery
Why I want to read this: Ali the Book Giraffe mentioned this series a few times on her blog and, since I like cozy mysteries that involve food, I knew this was one series I had to at least start reading.
First Impression: I think this will be fun. I love a good cozy and haven’t been let down by a cozy mystery series with food yet, so I’m hoping this will be enjoyable.
Middle Impression: I like the main character, Ali, but the mystery is really slow to start up. There’s a ton of background on Ali and how she comes to have a beachfront bakery, but I’m afraid the mystery will be crammed into the second half because this is a really fast read so far.
Last Impression: This was a fast, fun cozy with plenty of baked goods, but the mystery was a little fast since it didn’t start until almost halfway through. It was a nice introduction to Willow Bay and the people, though. There’s some nice complexity and family issues given to Ali, and I really liked how they played out. I adored her brother Teddy, and the Italian twins her shop is sandwiched between were so funny. The one thing I didn’t really get was why this one was called A Killer Cupcake because cupcakes were absent for most of the book.
A Murderous Macaron by Fiona Grace – Cozy Mystery
Why I want to read this: I’m in a bit of a mood for quick, fun reads and a cozy mystery dealing with pastries felt like a good counterbalance to the fantasy novel (below) I’m reading to my daughter at night (long story). It’s also refreshing to read a book where I don’t feel the expectation there will be a review at the end of it.
First Impression: I expect more of the same, but hopefully the mystery will start up a lot sooner.
Middle Impression: An improvement over the first one. The mystery starts earlier, which I really like, and I hope it’ll be a little more complex. There are some new characters and plenty of old friends and I like how they’re both balanced. I’m a little worried there might be a love triangle, so I guess I’m kind of hoping the new guy is a suspect? But I also find myself suspicious of someone else, so I’m hoping it’s not that easy. Lastly, I love Teddy so much. He’s such a fantastic character.
Last Impression: This one added some twists to the mystery, but they weren’t cleverly hidden, so it was pretty easy to see where it was going once it turned the corner. There are a lot of characters introduced into the mix, and that dreaded love triangle, but it’s a cute mystery with plenty of food. My favorite interactions so far have been between Ali and the two detectives, because I just never know what to expect out of them. I also find myself wishing there were some recipes included with these books. I’ve been meaning to try making macarons.
Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway – Science Fiction/Mystery & Thriller
Why I want to read this: The description reminds me of The Alpha Trial by Lian Skaf, which was a big surprise in how much I enjoyed the cross between a medical procedure and the legal process. This sounds like it’s more on the mystery side, but it still involves a medical procedure, so I’m intrigued.
First Impression: I think this is mostly a mystery, but has some interesting SFF elements. I’m hoping it’ll really evoke that noir feel, otherwise I’ll be highly disappointed since the word is right there in the title.
Current Progress: 2%. Technically, I started this one late last week, but I’ve been a bit under the weather since, so haven’t read much. There’s not too much going on right now, just a detective investigating the apartment of a dead guy, who is basically the definition of someone who looks like a nerd. I’m struggling a bit with feeling like this should feel like noir, but it feels just a bit off.
The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart – Fantasy
Why I want to read this: This is the third book in the Drowning Empire trilogy and I’m invested so may as well finish it. I also just really want to read more about Mephi because the way his and Jovis’s story ended in book 2 just broke my heart.
First Impression: I’m expecting to love Mephi, of course, but the story has also really grown and expanded since the first book, so I really have no idea what to expect.
Current Progress: Page 218 out of 614. I’m reading this one very slowly because I have a physical ARC, so I use a reading light to read it to my daughter, and, since my daughter likes playing with the light right before bedtime, I pretty much only read this one at night. It’s definitely slow going, but it’s also kind of interesting to read it slowly. I like that it’s easy to slide back into, but I’m sorely missing out on Mephi, even if there are a ton of other ossalen to try to make up for it. There’s just something really special about Mephi, and I like that the reader has gotten a chance to watch him grow up, so to speak.
What about you?
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2 thoughts on “First, Middle, and Last Impressions – March 15, 2023”
I’ll be checking out the beachfront bakery series! I’m becoming a serious mystery lover these days hehe
Oh no. There’s less Mephi in the last book?! The ending of the second book gutted me. I was kind of hoping for a quick reunion and more adventures. 😔