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Second First Impressions: A Novel Paperback – April 13 2021
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“Second First Impressions is the warmest, coziest, sweetest book of the year, an absolutely perfect blend of humor and heart. I want to live inside Sally Thorne’s brain.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling of Beach Read
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game, soon to be a movie starring Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.
Dazzle (n): Brightness that blinds someone temporarily.
Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.
An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.
Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.
Until, one day, someone dazzling blows into town.
Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.
Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…
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"I inhaled Second First Impressions! I had to force myself to slow down because I didn't want it to end. It's a truly adorable, heart-warming, swoon-worthy love story. A book hasn't given me the warm-fuzzies like this for a very long time." -- Beth O'Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare
"Second First Impressions is about realizing that life is short, and that to live it to the fullest we must be both selfish and selfless. It urges us to soak up the beauty of each passing moment — and this wondrous book is a good place to start.” -- Entertainment Weekly
"Thorne manages to bring all the characters to vivid life, endearing them to the reader through the enumeration of their quirks and fleeting revelations about their pasts. Each scene between the protagonists—whose first meeting will make you laugh and wince simultaneously—is a delight, as is Ruthie’s motley found family." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Following 99 Percent Mine, Thorne’s latest novel is a sweet story, merging a woman whose fears tend to overpower her dreams, and a slow-burn romance that turns her world upside down." -- Library Journal
“Second First Impressions was perfect for the moment I was reading it in. It’s funny and might make you cry (in a cathartic way), and has a hero whose kindness I truly loved.” -- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
“Sally Thorne satisfies hearts longing for laughter in their love stories… [Joshua and Lucy’s] battle of wits is tremendously fun—acerbic and sexy and filled with tension. The result is a wicked, witty romance that will capture readers’ hearts long before Joshua manages to capture Lucy’s.” -- Washington Post on The Hating Game
“Good fun.” -- People on The Hating Game
“Funny, smart, fresh, and thoroughly enjoyable from the first delicious page to the last. I highly recommend.” -- Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author, on The Hating Game
“A brilliant, biting, hilarious new voice. The Hating Game will take the rom-com world by storm. One of the best I’ve read, ever.” -- Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks (April 13 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062912852
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062912855
- Item weight : 295 g
- Dimensions : 13.49 x 2.01 x 20.32 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I did find it not as exciting as her other books and a little anticlimactic but it was a light, feel good quick read if you're just in the mood for a little happiness.
I don't know if it was me or just the book but this did start out a little strange, I felt a little offbalance by the characters, but it did eventually settle into place before too long. But there were times I struggled a bit with the love interest; I like that he was a little (a lot) different not only from previous Thorne men but also just in general. But he was equally a bit hard to pin down and to love (though he was painfully likeable; like a puppy). I wavered between being charmed by how our protagonist couldn't help but be charmed by him and also wishing.. I don't know. Wishing she could resist him, wishing.. something.
Maybe, not unlike the title, this is a book that needs a second go. Maybe I need to revisit my first impression.
That said, I think the people who had a really hard time with 99 Percent Mine will enjoy this a lot more. It's nothing like the author's debut but I think maybe this release is The Hating Game's nicer cousin as opposed to its prickly stepsister -- which is how I categorize them all now, don't ask.
The end rushes through a few emotional moments that I felt didn't quite land as a result, which is frustrating as those moments are surrounded by one or two other really lovely emotional moments, and I think they would all benefit by being a bit more spread out.
In that vein, the book itself is also written a bit stilted at times, particularly in the beginning, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a way of connecting a bit more with Ruthie's approach on.. well, life? It worked sometimes but other times just took me out of the story.
I realize there might be more complaints or criticisms in this review than there should be.. so also take note that I read this on a work night (something I haven't been able to do very often anymore) and it completely sucked me in. So. There. That says a lot without me having to say much at all.
Overall I didn't quite fall in love with this, only bits of it (the Parlonis! Melanie! the turtles!), but I liked it. I loved being swept up by those epic Thorne turns of phrase. I'm also glad the cover finally (finally) makes a bit of sense. Will I reread? Yes, in the hopes of maybe liking it all a bit more. But would I reach for it, or think about it, the way I think of Thorne's other books? Probably not. I do think though that if you do your best to lower your The Hating Game-level expectations (I know, it feels impossible), you will enjoy this a lot more than you think.
Top reviews from other countries
I procrastinated starting this book on release day because I wanted to savour the feeling of still having it to read. I knew once I started it, I'd inhale every word, but I'm also not someone who can wait once something is released.
The plot is simple. Ruthie is 25 going on 125 and works at a retirement village. For the first time ever, she has people her own age on-site - Mel the temp, and Teddy, the new owner's son who can't quite get past his reputation as a charming rascal. While they work on making Ruthie feel 25 for once, Renata and Aggie, 91 and 89 respectively, steal every scene they're in as chief trouble makers at Providence retirement village. Cue: a warm hug of a book that is full of cute. I can't recommend it enough if you like even a sniff of a romance book. It's a 10/10.
Ruthie meets Theo, a chance meeting at a petrol station and they both make a terrible first impression on each other. They don't realise that they will have a chance to make perhaps a better second impression.
So I am normally a psychological thriller reader however I needed a break with something light and funny and this ticked both boxes completely. By just 4% in I was out loud laughing, this has never happened to me before when reading a book! I loved Ruthie and Theodore and I loved what they each brought out in each other, add in the bubbly Melanie and the crazy but brilliant Parlonis and a few turtles and boy the story is just excellent!
This book was wonderfully delightful and a brilliant escape from reality, I loved every page and I guess you could say I experienced dazzlification ;-)
Highly recommended, read it and you won't be disappointed.
Ruthie and Teddy are too cute. There is one thread of this story that I do with had had a slightly longer and more satisfying conclusion, but it didn’t stop me loving this book! Also loved the Parlonis!