When is the optimum time to review a book? Is it an hour later when it’s still fresh in your mind, or after a few days when you’ve had sometime to mull it all over? I’ve been reviewing books now for two years and I’ve yet to get this formula down pat, I normally leave a star rating after finishing the book on Goodreads, wait a few days and then write out my review. Sometimes it could be weeks before I sit down and write a review, but one thing nearly always happens- my star rating will have changed from when I first finished.
Sometimes months on I realise that the final rating I gave the book was wrong, I underestimated it or I overestimated it and I find myself half wanting to re-review said books, and half wanting to leave them (because after all, that was the honest way I felt after I finished the book at the time, so perhaps that’s the best rating system there is….?) Anyway, let’s go over some books that I gave the wrong amount of stars to when I first reviewed them, and why.
(This is going to be opinionated and harsh, the way I probably wasn’t when I first reviewed the book, and we may have different opinions on things. Opinions are opinions, and I’d love if you could leave a comment on what you thought about these books and we can discuss!)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Rating Given: 3.5/5 stars
I know a lot of people really liked this book but I didn’t at all. Reading it was like a chore, I disliked ALL the characters, the whole plot was predictable and it was honestly such a mash-up of popular YA tropit was laughable. It was actually like someone sat Victoria Aveyard down and said ‘We need a book thats like the Hunger Games and Divergent meets Throne of Glass and The Selection’- and it says as much in the description on the back. It was all a bit too much, or maybe too little, for me. I read this for a friend who absolutely loves it, and without sounding too condescending (she is older then me after all) I think I would have liked this book if I’d read it when I was 14 and had just started really getting into YA. I have too many YA books under my belt, I feel, to be able to see this as a original book and not a gimmick. Not to say that you can’t love it and have read lots, I just couldn’t see the past the similarities.
When I gave the 3.5 star rating I felt that was fair, considering I liked the writing style and idea was strong, and made a solid base for the sequels. But it wasn’t what I actually should have given it. 3.5 stars is basically 7/10 stars, and thats WAYYY too high. If I was to re-review this book I’d give it 2/5 stars.
Rating given now: 2/5 stars
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Rating Given: 4.5/5 stars
Amazingly it’s been over a year since I read this book, and loved it lots. It was sweet and cute and perfect to read on holiday, but it didn’t make it to 5 stars because it didn’t strike me as special or extremely memorable. I WAS SO WRONG. I think fondly of this book all the time, and it always makes me smile. I pick it up, reread a few pages here and there, and I am now the proud owner of the special edition copy as well.
I would now definitely give this book 5/5 stars.
Rating given now: 5/5 stars
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L Armentrout
Rating Given: 2.5/5 stars
It’s only been two weeks since I reviewed this, and gave it 2.5/5 stars- and now I think that was too fair. I really didn’t get on with this book AT ALL. I had such a hard time getting through it, and I had a problem with the way Armentrout used her Latinx characters. At the time I hadn’t yet heard anyone else complain, and I know I’m not the best person to be a judge of what is stereotyping and what is a fair portrayl BUT I have now actually heard several other complaints.
2.5/5 stars is basically halfway to 5, and that’s not what I now feel about this book.
Rating given now: 1.5/5 stars
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Rating given: 5/5 stars
By the time I reviewed Scarlet I was actually reading Cress, and my excitement level was through the roof. I read Cinder to Cress (the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles series) this time last year in 4 days. I had to wait a day for delivery as well, so quite impressive. I loved them all, and they are all so amazing, but let’s face it- Scarlet is the weakest of the bunch.
I actually really love the main characters of Scarlet, Wolf and Scarlet, but not so much in this book- I think I prefer them in the subsequent books when they are slightly more sidelined. And Scarlet is such an amazing character, strong and capable and her storyline and character arc is well written and great. This book did suffer the second book slump however.
This was mostly because I was annoyed at the changing POVs. I so wanted to hear more from Cinder, the main character of the previous book, because she has managed to get herself into a lot of trouble and her storyline was just so much more captivating then Scarlet’s. I then didn’t pay enough attention to Scarlet’s narrative, and was only really happy when Cinder was in the scene. Marissa needed to add Scarlet to the story, and I don’t really see a way around it, but still this book was more like a 4/5 star book because of it.
Rating now: 4/5 stars
So thats all for now! I’m sure I can think of more, I’m a serial offender when it comes to looking back to my reviews and thinking I was too generous.
I’m off to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today (2 more hours to go folks!!!), and will be posting my review ASAP (no spoilers, I promise!) so look out for that.
Does anyone else have any books they would like to re-review? I’d love to hear other people’s opinion on this, and when they think the best time to leave an accurate review is.