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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Change My Rating For

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Change My Rating For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Alright, y'all, this is a freebie week, so I'm doing one that I thought of a couple of weeks ago. Most of the time when I look back at my reviews, I'm all like "hell yeah, that's exactly what I thought; go me!" but sometimes I want to *headdesk* because further thought has given me a different view of the book. This is a weakness of my review process, whereby I work on my review right after finishing the book. I do this for a reason: my memory. If I waited too long, there would be nothing substantive in my review and there would be a serious danger of confusing it with the books I'd read since. Still, it generally works out just fine, but sometimes, especially since I started adding ratings to my reviews (in fact these are all from that time period), I've wished I could sneak back over and change it. This list is meant to highlight those books and just put it out there in the internet that my endorsement might be different were I to rewrite the review.

10. The Fox Inheritance - Mary E. Pearson (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 2.5
Why? I liked the first book and really wanted to enjoy this. I hate rating down authors that I've liked in the past.

What I Would Rate It Now: 1.5-2
Why? This shouldn't have been written, imo. The Adoration of Jenna Fox was much stronger as a standalone, I think. This one sounded like a cool idea, but it was ridiculous. There were so many things where you learn rather casually like 'oh yeah, that happened' and I'd be all UMMM WHAT. Either this shouldn't have happened or we needed some flashbacks or something to explain some of the crazy changes from the end of the first book. This just didn't seem particularly well done.

9. Unraveling - Elizabeth Norris (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 5
Why? Because it was CRAZY AWESOME.

What I Would Rate It Now: 4.5
Why? People have raised some good points about this one, and I'd even noticed some as I read, but was so completely into it that I just sort of tossed them aside. I am in no way wanting to remove my endorsement of this book. I still think it's CRAZY AWESOME, but I don't think it was one hundred percent perfect.

8. Struck - Jennifer Bosworth (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 2.5
Why? It was an easy read. I wanted to be nice. I don't know.

What I Would Rate It Now: 2
Why? This book was a huge disappointment and definitely not for me. I did not come out of this book feeling wishy-washy about it. My opinion was decided and it was negative. Apparently, I forgot what my 2.5 rating was for at some point. I mean, I seriously had nothing positive to say about the book besides that I liked the basic concept.

7. Scarlet - A.C. Gaughen (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 4.5
Why? There were several issues that I had temporarily as I worked through the book.

What I Would Rate It Now: 5
Why? Umm, because those issues I had were me not being sure if Gaughen was going to convince me of something, and she always did! Basically, I'd be reading and thinking 'How is she going to make this shit work?!?! She can't, right?' and I was prepped for disappointment, and then she would make it work like a genius. The issues that I had were lack of trust. If I'd just relaxed and enjoyed the book with faith in the author, I would have given it a straight-up five. This was awesome, yo.

6. Fever - Lauren DeStefano (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 2.5

Why? I sort of liked Wither and I was so excited to have won an ARC of this and I just wanted it to better than it was.

What I Would Rate It Now: 1.5-2
Why? Unlike most of the rest of these, this change of heart was precipitated by a brilliant review on Goodreads (I don't remember which review...I don't think it's at the top now). I wasn't happy with the book, which is why I rated a sort of meh book. DeStefano's writing is interesting and she has her own unique style, which I like, but I thought the story was freaking ridiculous. However, the reviewer pointed out that pretty much nothing happened. At the end of book two, we're basically where we were before (frustrating). Not only that, but the child (moppet!) served no purpose except to try to tug our damn heartstrings. This is not the way to get at my heartstrings.

5. Croak - Gina Damico (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 4.5
Why? Because I try to give out 5s carefully, I think. Perhaps because I found Damico's style alarming for like 3 pages before I got used to it and was endlessly amused through the rest of the book.

What I Would Rate It Now: 5
Why? Gina Damico's book deserves a 5. That's why. Her book is funny from beginning to end. Not only that, but she has some deep messages. Plus, she has a tough as nails heroine that questions the stereotype of what a woman is 'supposed' to be. There's nothing I think she did wrong in this book, which is why it deserves full points.

4. Goddess Interrupted - Aimée Carter (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 2.5
Why? I think because I liked the first book.

What I Would Rate It Now: 1.5-2
Why? I legitimately think this book was pretty much entirely awful. For one thing, very little is accomplished plot-wise. Worse, ninety percent of it is Kate's jealous and whining about how Henry doesn't love her. Fuck that. Then, after all of that goddamn whining, the resolution (spoiler ahead) is sex; they don't really resolve anything, but they knock boots, so obviously everything's perfect! *headdesk*

3. Shadows on the Moon - Zoë Marriott (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 4
Why? I really liked it, but I was overwhelmed. I was also a bit surprised that I hadn't picked up on the fact that it was a Cinderella story; I totally thought it was just fairy-tale-esque.

What I Would Rate It Now: 4.5
Why? Any issues I had with this book were very minor. This is a book I've continued to think about, and I definitely declare myself a Marriott fan on the strength of this book alone. Does a .5 make a difference? I think so. Marriott deserves that extra .5.

2. Of Poseidon - Anna Banks (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 2.5
Why? Because, though I hated it, it was an 'easy' read. This is something I've done since the beginning. Even if it wasn't good, it's saving grace was that it was short. I also knew that a lot of people would enjoy it, so I rated it up for that.

What I Would Rate It Now: 1-2
Why? Because I hated it. My rating should reflect that. I know this was a five star read for a lot of people, but my rating should reflect my opinion, not what I suspect others will think...which is what it does for the books that I love, so I don't know what was up with that. Either way, a 2.5 is definitely a meh rating; this should never had such a high rating. A 2 might be most appropriate, since, for me, that generally means 'not for me, but other folks will love it, I'm sure.' However, I'm still seriously irritated about the time I spent reading this novel, which is making me lean towards the 1.

1. This Is Not a Test - Courtney Summers (Offending Review)

What I Rated It Then: 4
Why? Like Speak, this is a book that hurt to read, and that definitely distracted me from the brilliance.

What I Would Rate It Now: 5
Why? I've mentioned my pretty terrible memory many times on the blog, so, when I still remember a book clearly months later, that really says something. Summers' novel has really stayed with me. I still find myself thinking about it now and I read the book in February. I sometimes have trouble remembering what I read last week. My review would also be way longer, since that's how my reviews have been trending.

What I've Learned About Myself by Making This List:
Another fun thing about creating this post is realizing how much review style has changed in the last few months. The more I read other blogs, the more I realize I should just be myself: long-winded, somewhat foul-mouthed, analytical. I used to censor myself so as not to offend, but I like my recent posts way better. They say what I want them to and the older ones don't. Oh well. Of course, these are also ones I was specifically not please with, so there's that.

I've also learned that I apparently need to be very careful assigning 2.5 and 4.5, since every single rating but one that I ended up unhappy with was one of those. This may, perhaps, become a regular feature (every six months or something), because sometimes this stuff happens! Let me know if you think that's a good idea!



Blogger Lynsey Newton said...

Interesting post!

July 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ha, thanks!

July 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger anya said...

I didn't even know there was a sequel to Jenna Fox. Although I feel the same way about Goddess Interrupted :\ Croak's been on my reading list for a while and I'll try and get it read soon.

July 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

You are amazing and hilarious. I am with you all the way about Goddess Interrupted. ALL. THE. WAY (haha pun? maybe?) Oh, and YES I LOVED SCARLET YAY FOR RERATING

July 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

If I were you, I would just pretend there WASN'T a sequel to Jenna Fox. One of my friends read it too and agreed with me that it was mostly just unfortunate.

Goddess Interrupted. Sigh.

Croak! Yes! Love! Read it!

July 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, thank you!

Bahahahaha. They did go all the way. Finally. After who knows how many damn chapters. Ugh.

I loved Scarlet too. Sometimes I just go a little crazy pants when I'm trying to assign a rating, which is why I didn't used to do it...but they can also be helpful. So here we are.

July 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Magan @ Rather Be Reading said...

What a great, great topic. Seriously! I change my ratings on goodreads sometimes because some books have to sit and fester before I can get a grasp on how I *really* feel about them. Glad to know I'm not the only person who feels this way!

July 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I change my ratings on Goodreads fairly often. Just did that as I was making the list actually! However, I feel like that would be wrong here, because it's all published and stuff. This way, I can at least let people know.

I'm glad to know it's not just me too that's sometimes looking at a blog post going 'WHAT WAS I THINKING?'

July 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think as a reviewer we all have these moments. I have found that my older reviews/ratings tend to be rated higher than if I would have rated them now. I think part of it is just maturing as a reader. I have gone from 40 books to 700+ so obviously I have more experience to pull from. Yes, I have been known to go back and change ratings of books. Sometimes it is damn embarrassing that I rated a book the way I did. LOL but at the time it is how I felt so there you go.
Great idea for a top ten!

July 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I saw this post pop up on my iPod and I had to come and comment straight away - because I have the same problem! I almost always write my reviews immediately after I've finished the book because I've got a memory like a sieve.

I've got several reviews that I was overly harsh with, and many more that I think I was just feeling nice and rated them highly just based on the emotion of that moment. Recently I've started by writing my review, saving a draft and revisiting it a few days/weeks later to see if I still feel the same.

And Goddess, Interrupted? Totally with you!

Great topic, if you make it a regular feature, I'll join in for sure!

July 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Christina said...


That's why I'm thinking I might do one of these every six months to a year with a freebie, because I imagine I'll keep changing my mind on some. 10 out of roughly 200 since I added a rating isn't too bad, I don't think. Haha.

July 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Sorry, meant to make that a new comment, not a reply. Technical fail!

July 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Christina said...


Hahaha, it's all good dude. You're still here! That's what matters and makes my heart gleeful! (Not fleeful, like I typo'd at first.)

Yeah, it was interesting to see why I messed up. Either because I wanted to be nice to the authors or something or because I wanted to be super picky about giving out 5s. Some books just deserve them. Silly past self. Silly present self who will surely do the same thing again!

I am trying to schedule reviews a bit more, although not usually long-range, so that might help.

July 10, 2012 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger anya said...

Also, how would you rate Seraphina so far??

July 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

So far? 4-4.5. I don't think it's going to be quite a five star, but it's definitely really good. :-D

July 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Nori said...

What a brilliant idea for a top ten list! I definitely feel like I would go back and change up some reviews if I could. I love, love, loved Croak!

July 10, 2012 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

"Because I try to give out 5s carefully,"
I totally know what you mean. I often think I guard my 5-star ratings too strictly like, "it has to be perfect! I have to love every itsy bit of it, AND it has to enlighten me...and I have to want to reread it!"

"the more I realize I should just be myself: long-winded, somewhat foul-mouthed, analytical."
WHOOO, go you!
There's always this part of me that doesn't want to offend anyone: I wouldn't want anyone calling me a douche one day. And that's why I try to watch out for my "snarkiness"--especially when I dislike a part of the book. But then I feel more of myself when I don't care so much about censoring my distaste...ah, the conflict.

Sometimes I get kind of mad with Amazon helpfulness "likes" and start going like "how dare they tell me I'm unhelpful?--and then I make excuses like "whatever. they are probably just bitter that I don't agree with them, those fools." to make myself feel better.

I also read other reviews to see the good/bad points other people have found in the novel before sitting down and thinking about how to approach my review; but I think it often also influences my rating. A book I didn't like with near perfect reviews makes me start thinking, "is there something wrong with me? why am I the only one that doesn't get it?" and I might up the rating as a result. And vice versa.

There are also conflicts between what should be weighed more in a book...I know some book blogers have this fancy rubic system they devise, but I'm too lazy for that stuff.
Fudge. I just used your post to go babbling...

Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

July 10, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Priya said...

Even I feel like changing the ratings of some of my reviews, after I read other people's comments or reviews and mostly after I re-read the books. But I never change them! This is great idea for a list, though!

July 11, 2012 at 4:17 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay, so glad you loved it Nori!

July 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, that is exactly how I think. My new method, I think, is going to be that a five is a book where I can't think of anything I want the author to do differently. That doesn't necessarily mean that it was PERFECT, but it means that any problems it had were so minor they're scarcely worth mentioning and would not be easy to fix. Or something.

Yeah, censoring myself is lame. If people don't like it, they can go somewhere else!

Haha, the Amazon dislikes are the worst. I'm always like 'why don't you like meeeeeee?' and plenty of people don't. So whatever. Who even cares? And I think Amazon does have a lot of people who vote reviews of a different viewpoint down.

I purposely don't read other people's reviews (at least in full) before I read a book, unless I'm seriously considering DNFing, because I like to review based on what I noticed. I feel like it doesn't come out as purely me if I read other reviews. It also might lead me to be too nice, as happened above, because I knew enough to know everyone else thought some of those were the best EVAR. I bet if I'd checked Goodreads before I read Possess by McNeil, it would be on this list for an inflated rating too, since I only saw like one other negative review.

Love your comment!

July 11, 2012 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks! Other reviews definitely cause that! :)

July 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Steena said...

I just finished Scarlet last night and I now understand all of the vague "issues" you had that were resolved. I kept waiting for the ax to fall and then it turned out that the ax was a really soft pillow and I felt silly. I'm pretty sure I yelled "AHA!" really loudly at Aaron.

I like the idea of period ratings updates, especially if it's done as a top ten list because that maintains the integrity of the original review while also allowing for time to mellow out one's emotions. I can think of a number of books that, at the time of reading or completion, I am so emotionally caught up in that my opinion would be lower than when I've had time to step back and think about it. Jane Eyre comes to mind. I really do love Jane Eyre but, when I'm reading, I get so involved (especially as regards St. John) that I might not be thinking clearly. I also think of Wuthering Heights but then I just remember that no, I hate everyone in Wuthering Heights and there's really very little merit to that book in my opinion.

July 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

OMG, right? It was so tough to review right away because I spent the whole book going this is good BUT. And then at the end, I was all like "teehee, this is awesome," but I subtracted points for my tension all the way through. What I realized later, though, is that the tension was intentional. That means Gaughen pulled me along with her. It was AWESOME.

Wait, what do you feel about St. John when you read? We may need to discuss this. I love the first half of Jane Eyre, but I LOATHE Rochester, so it ends up being like a 3 for me. I want Jane to be independent in the end. Sigh.

Oh, I liked Wuthering Heights quite a bit, but the characters pretty much to a man (or lady) need to be hurled out of a plane from 30,000 feet up without a parachute to burst into pieces on the moors below.

July 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Steena said...

I hate the parts with St. John. In fact, the whole Rivers tangent aesthetically bothers me. The story has been going along at a reasonable pace up to that point and then just grinds to a halt with this terrifyingly intense missionary and his sisters. St. John creeps me out. I am okay with Rochester but I have no idea why I would be...now that I think about it, other than Bronte wants you to be. I totally understand wanting Jane to be independent. Have you seen The Hairpin's Texts from Jane Eyre? That's a good time.

I can never decide if my hating everyone in Wuthering Heights means Emily wrote a TERRIBLE book or a GREAT one. But I am so frustrated and horrified reading that book. I even hate the frame story characters. It wasn't a challenging book to get through, I mean the writing itself is fantastic. I even feel the plot at large and the motifs are timeless. But I want all of them to die.

July 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

St. John definitely is a creeper, although I kind of liked him in the latest movie, but only because he was Jamie Bell. She really just needs to tell both him and Rochester to eff off. They both want to control her. Rochester really is no better, except that he professes to love her. Of course, he's lying to her the whole time, but whatever. ARGGGGHHHH.

Hmmm, I don't know how to make that designation. I'm leaning more toward great, but it really depends on what you read for. IT definitely wasn't the most realistic thing I've ever read. People are assholes, true, but that was a whole new level of awful to be all in one place.

July 11, 2012 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

This list is a great idea! I've had a couple of books that I've looked back on and wondered what I was thinking when I rated it. The only book on your list I've read is Goddess Interruped and I had similar thoughts, I liked the first one and that influenced my opinion of the second.

July 18, 2012 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Right? I was so disappointed. Sometimes it just takes a while for me to separate myself from my emotions! And my opinion of the author. Oops!

July 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Christy Maurer said...

I read The Adoration of Jenna Fox and loved it! I am totally not going to read the second book because I don't want to be disappointed. I think my daughter read it...gonna have to ask her again and see what she thought.
I haven't read any of the other books you reviewed, but I find myself going through the same things if I wait awhile after reading. Sometimes I change my mind about how much I liked it. I feel that way about The Death Cure. I am really disappointed with it, but right after I read it, I thought it wasn't so bad.

July 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Good choice not reading any more of the Fox books. I wish I hadn't, because it tainted the first in my brain a little bit.

Woo, join me on the Dark Side, where we have cookies and judge the Maze Runner series!

July 30, 2012 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Christy Maurer said...

I'm just waiting for the 4th Maze Runner book to see if it helps me like The Death Cure any better!

July 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You're more forgiving than I am. James Dashner and I are over!

*walks away dramatically*

In all seriousness, though, I am not reading The Kill Order. I'll be curious to read reviews on it, though!

July 31, 2012 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Christy Maurer said...

LOL I will let you know if it's good at all. I just can't stand it that I took all that time reading and still don't quite get it! I'm reading Blood Red Road right now. Almost done. So far I highly suggest it! Hoping I'm not disappointed!

July 31, 2012 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've heard great thing about Blood Red Road, so hopefully you won't be disappointed. I'm a bit concerned about that one bc I hate dialect, but people SWORE to me that it wasn't awful. Haha.

July 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger April (BooksandWine) said...

I love this idea for a top ten Tuesday. There's lots of books in retrospect where I would change their ratings and also reading brilliant reviews totally colors my perception afterward as well.

August 9, 2012 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks! They really go both ways, don't they? Sometimes I'm like THIS WAS SO AWESOME and then I read other reviews, where I'm like OMG you make such good points and this book DID have serious problems. Whoops! That's what happened with Monument 14.

August 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM  

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