Reviewing in Retrospect


This is a problem that I've encountered recently and I'm wondering if anyone else has had the same thing happen to them. As a mood reader, I tend to look at some of my reviews in retrospect and ask myself what I was thinking. If it was what I needed in the moment, a book may get a higher rating than it would have other wise. Most of the time this happens when I'm sick or with my reviews from when I first began blogging.


Let me explain what led to the creation of this post...

I picked up a copy of EARTHQUAKE by Aprilynne Pike from another blogger during BEA. This is actually a book I really wanted. See, I nabbed its predecessor, EARTHBOUND, through ARCycling and greatly enjoyed it. I actually gave it four stars. Four stars!


Meanwhile, the only thing running through my mind after reading the first twenty pages of the second book in this duology was Go home book, you're drunk! Not even the book, more like Tavia. Tavia was drunk. In the first twenty pages of book two I decided that I just couldn't stand Tavia, yet I liked her enough to give her four stars the first go-around.

I can't figure out if this is because of the fact that I genuinely loved the book or because I wrote my review too soon without sitting on it and thinking about it further. All of this is made worse by the fact that I sat there for twenty minutes and I could barely remember anything that happened in book one.

My interest severely plummeted after that and a hasty DNF became a virtual inevitability. But my question is this...I was craving this book at one point because I enjoyed book one so much. Now that I have it in my hands, I don't want anything to do with it. In retrospect, what was I thinking?

Clearly my opinions have changed! But, hey, that's the evolution of blogging. Something you love in books one year can be something that makes it an automatic DNF the next because you're sick of it. The life of a book blogger, am I right?

I was wondering if anyone has had this happen to them? Where, in retrospect, you realize you didn't like a book as much as you thought you did in the beginning or vice versa? I think this can happen to any reader out there and I was wondering how often such a thing does happen.

12 comments:

  1. Yes, all of this time!
    I look back to the first books I reviewed when I started blogging and I just think to myself "What was I even doing?" because now..? There's no way they'd get reviews and ratings like that.
    Best part of the blogging/reviewing journey - change.
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

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    1. YES! The first book reviews are the worst! *shivers*

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  2. Oh gosh, this happens to me a lot! I think a big part of it is just that the more I read, the more critical I become. I start to see trends in books that might be okay at first, but then they get repetitive or annoying. Then it certainly doesn't help that the second book is often suffering from "second book in a series" plot devices.. like throwing a hitch into the once-awesome romance because "conflict is needed".

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    1. YES! THIS! All of this. You described it perfectly! And total yes to second book syndrome. Most of the time I just wanna be like LEAVE MY SHIP ALONE! D:

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  3. YES! Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you how often this has happened. Especially when I see someone else's review, agree with their lower number, and then look at what I rated it (years before) and see that I'd rated it a 4 or something! I bet if I went through and re-rated, it would be so, so different. Especially the books I read before I started blogging- I find I used to give everything high ratings, but then when I actually sat down to review them, I realized they weren't actually 4 star books at all. I know it is all part of the process, but it drives me nuts- I wish I could go back and reread everything, though in a few years it could all just change again.

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    1. I kind of want to go through and re-rate but then I don't trust myself NOT to delete old reviews and while they're embarrassing, they show growth and are important because I wouldn't be where I am today without them!

      It drives me nuts, too! You totally get it, girl!

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  4. Happens all the time. Lol, there are some books I feel like I'd enjoy more if I read it again and gave them a second chance. There are others where I'm absolutely shocked to see I enjoyed. It's a part of growing up :p

    -P.E.

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    1. Part of growing up haha! Definitely part of reading more and more books and becoming a more critical blogger.

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  5. Oh this happens to me all the time!! I think if I was to reread half of the books I did two years ago, I'm not sure if I would even like them at all! I think the more I blog, the more I am exposed to other genres, writing styles, etc... and my tastes have changed as well as I've become more critical! :)

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  6. My ratings are definitely subject to change. Sometimes after I re-read a book I change my rating of it. Like others have said, I feel like I was a lot less critical a few years ago than I am now, so this is especially true the farther back I go when picking up a book for a second (or third...) time.

    I've also had it happen where I loved a book but didn't care for the second book in a series, but I maintain that those are more about the books than me. Well, my opinion is always going to be about me as much as (if not more than) the book, but what I mean is that if I went back and re-read that first book, I'd still like it. It's not that my preferences have radically changed between reading Book 1 and Book 2... I just don't feel that Book 2 lives up to Book 1 (or that it would have been better as a stand-alone).

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  7. YES. This happens all the time! Sometimes I read a book, and at the time I give it 5 stars, and now that I look back at the book, I can't remember anything about it or I think about it properly and realise it's not actually that great and then it's like this dilemma of do I change the rating or do I leave it D:

    Also, I think pre-blogging, my standards of books were a lot lower, so now I look back on books that I rated highly and I'm like WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

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  8. First of all, I think you get better in figuring out what you like and what you don't like. Second, I think there is nothing wrong with giving high ratings based on when you read it and your general wellbeing upon finishing it. At that particular moment it made that impact. You probably gave that rating for a reason so I would not change anything. Your opinions from two years back are just as important, although you might not agree now. I think that is all part of reading and the evolution of yourself as a reader. You cannot compare yourself with a two or three years' younger version of you!

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