I Re-Read My Very First Novel: Was it Any Good?

I recently re-read my first novel, self-published in 2015, just for fun. It’s called Bryexe: She Lives in a Dollhouse. It’s a gothic mystery/teen romance/fantasy. Yep, all of that! It was my very first full-length novel after a few successful short stories.

So, after nearly 8 years, do I think my novel was any good? Or will I cringe myself into oblivion?? Let’s see!

The Characters

The main character is named Bryexe (pronounced Bree-ex) and yes, I came up with that name! 🥰 She’s 15 years old. She’s a gothic-styled girl, a little paranormal, and she has been searching for something very important in the enchanted dollhouse where she grew up.

Liam is your regular sort-of popular guy in high school, and cares a little too much about what his friends think of him, so he ends up hiding a lot of himself so that they won’t make fun of him. But he’s really a good guy at heart.

The Plot

Bryexe is the weirdest girl in school. When Liam is suckered into asking her out on a bet, Bryexe is offended, but sees this as an opportunity. She needs his help searching for something in her enchanted dollhouse. After a few searches and near-misses, Bryexe and Liam realize that an attraction is starting to form between them ~ but can they make their love work and find what she’s looking for?

Reading It: The Good

I am enamored with my novel!!! I actually think it’s really cute. I love the unique and youthful voice. The tone of the book is definitely very gothic, but in that 2010’s Hot Topic kind of way. The main character, Bryexe, is really spunky, in my opinion. Even though she stands out with her eccentricities, she’s not doing it for attention, she’s just being herself.

The story is really, really fast-paced, which makes it a quick book to read, but I found myself super entertained with every chapter. Since I don’t have a lot of time these days, the pace actually worked well for me.

Each chapter had a new challenge in the dollhouse, and it was almost like a video game. I had forgotten a lot of the crazy stuff I had written, so I was really surprised (in a good way!) after each crazy thing I had these characters go through 😆 I used to have a much bigger imagination, it seems!

I loved how boldly and creatively I wrote. Why did I ever stop? I wonder if I just read too many “how to write” books, and that left me writing too rigidly?

One thing I was surprised about was how seamlessly I jumped from Bryexe and Liam’s point of view. I didn’t divide their point of view by chapter, sometimes not even by paragraph, but jumping from mind to mind worked out super awesomely. That’s one thing I definitely stopped doing after reading how-to books. That, supposedly, is a no-no. I need to unlearn that for my next book and get back to my more organic way of writing!!!

The Bad

However, I was suuuuuper disappointed with the end. Not the conclusion itself, but by how rushed it was. The story didn’t linger on the great reveal ~ it was just reveal, boom, done! I wish I had spent more time writing out a more complete story ending, instead of just answering the main question and ending the book. The way it suddenly ended was very jarring.

Also, after a while Bryexe’s gothic-ness got too repetitive. There were a few times where I was like I GET IT she’s goth! Hahaha Nothing too bad or offensive, just very repetitive and on-the-nose. Also, the side-characters were there only very briefly, so they tended to fade into the background and I sometimes got them confused.

All In All… It Was Good for a First Novel, Not Amazing

The book was fast-paced, fun, and super creative. It didn’t have many errors or plot holes, and I got a pretty good feel for both the main characters’ attitudes and thoughts (but not so much the side-characters, who were only in there briefly). And considering I was going through a lot of hardship at the time of writing the book, I did pretty well!

If you’re interested in reading it, you can find it free on Smashwords
Amazon Kindle for $0.99

But the ending is super clipped so don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😭

Have you written a book? Share with us in the comments 🤗

Yari, the ✿ Lovely Panda Mom ✿


  1. I will be reading this!

    I feel like there’s a book inside me, waiting to be written, but I don’t fully know who the characters are yet or the end of the story, so I haven’t been able to start it. This is part of why I started blogging again. Who knows…maybe someday…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I hope you enjoy it 😊

      Hopefully some day, yes! I would say you don’t have to start at the beginning, you can just write down whatever you already have. You’d be surprised how many drafts and changes most stories go through before they are finished 😊 Plus, it’s fun to just make up stuff and write it down!

      Liked by 1 person

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