I am a very indecisive bookworm.
For instance, I’ll walk into a bookstore planning to buy these extremely specific books, and end up walking out with five books I wasn’t even interested in when I walked in. What a talent!!!
Sometimes, being indecisive can also mean that I change my mind about books often.
Maybe I rated a book a bit higher because the hype swept me up. Maybe I’ve had more time to think about it, and my opinion has gone up or down. Maybe the first thing that comes to mind when I see a star rating of a book I’ve read is “What the actual heck was I thinking?”
Today, I thought it’d be fun to look back at some books I’ve read over the years that I have different opinions on!
What is better than looking back and realizing you’ve made objectively terrible decisions?
1.) caraval by stephanie garber
but why? Okay, okay, I admit it – I was caught up in the hype of this book.
When I read it, I wasn’t completely sold on the whole idea and story of it. It was one of those books where objectively, you know the story is good, but it just doesn’t click with you at all. So I did that thing where I gave it a high rating even though I felt pretty average about it.
I don’t HATE the book, though! I still loved the relationship between Scarlett and Tella, the games were so twisty and bendy, the writing was gorgeous, and I’m still anticipating the sequel in May! But was it as good as I thought it was originally? Not really.
2.) throne of glass by sarah j. maas
but why? “Mikaela, are you finally falling out of love with Sarah J. Maas!?”
Do not worry, my sweet summer child, I am not. I still love SJM and her books…but this book? Definitely not the best.
I’ve been open about the fact that I think that SJM writes really weak first books. I rated A Court of Thorns and Roses three stars upon finishing it because I thought it was pretty meh compared to her other works, but with this book, it was the first taste of a new author, so I didn’t know the full potential. It’s obvious that every single book in this series is way better than this first book, plus it doesn’t have the same tone and feel as the others, so it’s kind of awkward.
But, again, I don’t hate it! I have so many fond memories of the book, like when my family got stuck in traffic for an hour, and I read this book to pass the time or when I stayed up until midnight to finish the book, and started Crown of Midnight right away even though I could barely keep my eyes open. But is it the best series starter? Nope.
3.) daughter of the burning city by amanda foody
but why? Once again, I was swept up in the hype!
I actually read an ARC of this, and I definitely did enjoy myself the entire time reading it and thought the cast of characters were developed wonderfully, but this is another case of “it’s me, not you!” I know the story is objectively good, and I did enjoy it – just not as much as I thought I did. I do still think Amanda Foody is a genius, and I cannot wait for Ace of Shades!
4.) this is our story by ashley elston
but why? When I first read this, I really enjoyed it!
I read this during a period of time where I was reading YA thriller after YA thriller, so that might have tainted the experience a little bit. And it is a really good book that kept me turning the pages, had fantastic plot twists, and included a sensible ending that I was satisfied with! Hooray!
The one thing that really turned me off was the romance (#shocker). It was what you expect a romance in a thriller book to be like – dumb, unnecessary, cheesy, and they would have been better off as friends. It just bothered me so much, and dampened my enjoyment of the book, so I think it’s more of a three star book now.
5.) clockwork angel by cassandra clare
but why? It’s so funny how I can simultaneously love Cassandra Clare, but have so many mixed feelings about her books! The Infernal Devices trilogy is so much better than the Mortal Instruments series in every way, but I don’t think this first book is the strongest, much like Throne of Glass.
(Funny story: I actually spelled “mixed” wrong and put it as “fixed.” My brain is scrambled eggs at this point.)
I got caught up in the hype of it all, especially since I read this series later than everyone else, so I forced myself to like it more than I really did. It was a slow-moving book that could have been better with the pacing, and I didn’t love the characters or have all the feels that I thought I should, but it was still a fascinating and well-told story!
6.) the darkest corners by kara thomas
but why? After finishing this book, I just felt a bit meh about the whole thing. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t knock me out of the park. At the time of reading this, I was reading A LOT of thrillers, one after the other, so my judgement was definitely clouded here.
Over time, my love for this book has grown. I mean, this book had NO ROMANCE. It was a pure, straightforward thriller with an interesting premise, and I read it in a whole day. I mean, do I remember much of this book??? LOL no. But I’ll definitely reread it sometime in the future, and when I do, I think I’ll realize the error of my ways.
7.) scythe by neal shusterman
but why? This was another case where after finishing the book, I felt pretty meh about it. I have an
unhealthy encompassing love for the Unwind dystology, and I think I was pretty unfair in playing the comparison game with his two books, since they’re not SUPPOSED to be alike.
On further reflection, this is a really clever, stabby, dark, smart book tackling a fantastic dystopian concept. I enjoyed myself the entire way through, and I don’t have any complaints beyond the fact that it didn’t make me feel the Feelings™, which is basically a four star book for me! And that it gets.
8.) daughters unto devils & the women in the walls by amy lukavics
but why? I’ve had unfortunate luck with Amy Lukavics. I have one book of hers left (The Ravenous) that sounds amazing, but both of her previous books were disappointing reads for me at the time of reading them.
In retrospect, I actually think they deserve better than that. They’re both genuine horror stories with zero romance and a fantastic explosion of an ending. They’re definitely slow-burning, but it’s always worth it. And I think the fact that there’s so little YA horror out there definitely factors into this, so why not support more of it?
9.) good as gone by amy gentry
but why? When I first read this book, I pretty much loved it. It was more of a literary thriller that balanced between the past and the present and I thought it had an excellent portrayal of female characters.
But, for some reason, I gave it four stars? I don’t even remember what about this book I wasn’t really into. I think it was because it didn’t give me ALL THE FEELINGS, but the fact that I STILL haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since I’ve read it probably checks the box.
10.) tiny pretty things by sona chairapotra & dhonielle clayton
but why? Okay, so I think the main reason I rated this lower was because it’s definitely not the best contemporary book ever written, and I didn’t like the inclusion of insta-love.
But, it had drama and cutthroat ballerinas and morally complex characters and an addicting quality that kept me reading and fantastic diversity. This has probably become one of my favorite duologies of all time, and I just love these books, damn it! So four stars it is!
11.) 172 hours on the moon by johan harstad
but why? Once again, we have another YA horror novel! I was influenced by all the Booktube hype to read this book, and I actually did enjoy it, but, once again, there was an aspect of the book that kept holding me back (most likely the slow pacing).
Now that I’ve had more time to think about it, I really enjoyed this book! It had little romance, was really addicting, and the ending blew me away and is probably one of my favorites of all time. And this book genuinely creeped me out, which rarely happens with horror novels!
12.) bird box by josh malerman
but why? Once again, I rated a book four stars, and I don’t even remember what the heck I didn’t like about it!
I mainly read this book because it was oh-so-hyped and everyone was talking about how good it was. I don’t regret it at all! It was basically a tense, horror masterpiece all the way through, and I think it’ll make a fantastic movie once it actually happens!
I think I might have rated this book four stars because I wasn’t fully in love with it, but as time has gone on, I’ve really come to fall in love with this book!
13.) too late by colleen hoover
but why? For some reason, I rated this book four stars (even more proof that my brain is scrambled eggs)?
I read this book on Wattpad because it was free, and because I just wanted to increase my Goodreads reading challenge. And I did! I started and finished it before noon that day, so there’s that!
Is it a pretty addicting and fun read? Yes. But it’s also completely trashy and stupid and veered into WTF-territory near the end. Did I enjoy myself? Yeah, and I probably originally rated the book so highly based on that enjoyment. But this is an objectively terrible book that doesn’t deserve that high a rating.
14.) station eleven by emily st. john mandel
but why? Okay, I definitely didn’t feel the hype with this book. I found it quite slow and boring, and though I can appreciate the aesthetic of the novel and the cast of characters, I wanted to fall asleep and one of the chapters was so long, I just straight up skipped it, because it was a BIG PILE OF NOTHING.
I can’t remember much about this book in the first place and coupled with the fact that I literally can’t think there of any redeeming factors, one star it is!
do you often change your mind about books? what are some books you’ve changed your mind about?