Top 5 books I would re-rate
Hello bookworms!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is top 5 books I would re-rate.
So, I used to be one of those people who would finish a book, and depending on how happy the ending of a book was, it would essentially determine my rating. It doesn’t even really make sense to me now, and it took me a long time to figure out how to reposition my views and ratings. One of the things that helped with this was giving an initial rating when I finished the book, and then coming back and doing a secondary rating once some time had passed. This was how I rated all of my read books in 2019.
Nowadays, I feel like I can think about the book more objectively and holistically after I’ve finished it. I still may change things after a week, but more often than not it’s a small change, and much quicker.
However, there are a number of books that I read in 2019 and before that I have re-rated dramatically differently (will write a separate post on this), and others that I want to re-rate (listed below)!!
I’d also like to point out before I start that 3 stars is not a mediocre rating for me. It’s still in the “enjoyed” scale of the spectrum. My ratings are as such:
0 / DNF = I did not finish this book.
1 = I did not enjoy this book (will have reasons)
2 = This book was ok, but I had some issues with it
3 = I liked this book just fine
4 = I really enjoyed this book
5 = OMFG I REALLY LOVED THIS BOOK and I probably cried while reading it
If you’d like to know more about my rating stars, please click here to read on.
If you missed the April topics post, please click here!! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted here @ Meeghan reads.
Top 5 books I would re-rate
The Games – James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
Look, I’ve read quite a few James Patterson books in my time. And I do like the Private series with Jack Morgan. They’re like reading an action film, a la The Fast and the Furious. There’s nothing wrong with liking that.
And yes, The Games is probably the best book in this series, by a long shot. It’s dark and gritty, it has elements of hope and anxiety when the characters are doing their thing. It even has this one super emotional part right near the end that had me screaming at the book.
I rated this book 5 stars. And at first glance I was like “WTF?? How did that happen?” But without even pulling it off the bookcase to figure out, I started to remember details of why I enjoyed it so much.
With a more critical eye now, I’d probably drop this down to 4 stars. But the bigger impact would be dropping the others in the series that I have given 4 stars, down to 3 stars.
The Belgariad – David Eddings
OK, so this is less “The Belgariad” and more “every book ever” by David Eddings. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored his books when I read them, and I do highly recommend them. They are excellent classic fantasy books. But the last time I’ve read an Eddings book was in the 1990’s.
Yup. So, maybe I need to reread these before I decide on a revised score. But knowing what I know now with a reread of Magician under my belt, and also being an adult who believes in feminism, etc. I do believe that I would probably lower my ratings. Just slightly. Although, maybe not? I didn’t end up changing my score for Magician, although I did for the others.
I’ve rated every single David Eddings book I’ve ever read as 5 stars. I think I’d be likely to re-rate them as 3-5 stars, depending on the book. Now I just want to do a reread though!! ?
LIFEL1K3 – Jay Kristoff
Even without all the shit about Jay going on at the moment, LIFEL1K3 would have made my list. Is it because I’m not really a dystopian fan? Maybe. Is it because he made up swear words that aren’t actual swear words, just so he could get away with swearing in a YA book? Possibly. Is it because I just genuinely didn’t care for the characters or the plot in this series? Yes.
FYI, I received ARC copies of books 2 and 3 in this series, although I DNFed book 2 at the end of Part 1. Yes, Jay did that wanky thing where he splits every single one of his books into parts. Is it necessary in this book? No, it’s really not.
If you don’t know anything about this series, it’s a dystopian retelling of the Romanov family, with elements of science fiction. It’s also full of characters that die, but don’t stay dead. My favourite part of this book is that when Jay did the tour in Australia he told us that it’s based on this little known Russian family that were killed off, although there were rumours that a grand daughter escaped. You know, like we’d never ever seen the animated musical film Anastasia. It’s also really freaking obvious because the character’s name is Ana, and her last name is Monrova, which is literally an anagram on Romanov. Jay can be a nice guy, but I’m pretty sure he thinks his readers are idiots.
I originally rated this book 4 stars. How? Why? I’m not entirely sure. I think I was in the midst of Jaysteria as I was still waiting for Darkdawn to come out. That ship has now sailed.
If I was to re-rate this book now, I’d give it 2 stars.
Turtles All the Way Down – John Green
Have you ever disliked a book so much that you end up ‘hate-reading’ it? Just to get to the end so you can say “I did it. I f***ing read it.”? Because that was me with Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.
I admit, that when I was younger I LOVED John Green’s books. Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking For Alaska. All of them, 5 stars apiece. So I was delighted when, after a few years hiatus, John Green announced that he was releasing a new book. I’m also the first to admit that I seriously need to go back and re-rate his other books. Because they are problematic. And also not as great as I first thought they were.
But Turtles in on a whole new level. There is not one page in this book where the main character is given a physical description. I could not tell you what colour her hair was. What I can tell you is almost every single thought that runs through her head and leads to her drinking hand sanitiser. So, it’s problematic on a number of levels.
But this book was so far off the mark of a believable female narrative that I unhauled it about 10 minutes after reading it. And maybe it’s just that men shouldn’t write stories about female teenagers. In first person narrative. But honestly, I don’t know a single 16 year old girl, even with severe OCD, who doesn’t look in the mirror at least once per week asking herself if she’s pretty. It’s not healthy, but it happens, because that’s how society teaches us to think about ourselves. It’s not “how are my grades”, it’s “how do I curl my lashes so that boy looks at me”. And yes, we should absolutely be changing that mentality, but this book doesn’t even acknowledge that mentality.
I originally gave this book 3 stars. If I was rating it today, I would give it 1 star.
A Friend of the Family – Lisa Jewell
Let’s finish today on a slightly happier note!! Because I don’t know if you noticed, but I got super ranty as this list got progressively longer!! AH-HAHAHAHAHA… #sorry
Anyway, I started reading Lisa Jewell books when I was 19 or 20. She wrote some really great contemporary adult fiction. However, I think I was probably too young to really appreciate deep, bordering on dark, contemporary stories.
This story really centres on family secrets, and how family members react to each other and the dark parts of their past. Mostly when they are revealed in borderline funny yet anxiety inducing ways.
I originally gave this book 3 stars. Again, this is one that I think I need to reread before re-rating. But appreciating this type of fiction as I do know, and knowing Jewell’s writing style, I think I can safely assume I would increase this to 4 stars.
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What are your top 5 books you would re-rate?
Yes, I HATE when authors create fake swear words. It drives me insane! It’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t stand The Illuminae Files, also by Jay Kristoff (and Amie Kaufman).
See, I really loved the Illuminae Files. There is actual swearing in it, they just bleep it out. But I went through it with a friend and we figured out what most of the words were based on the length of the blacked out text. ?
But I cannot get on board with “fizzy”. At all.
I chuckled at your description of teenage girls in your thoughts about TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN. Never once as a teenager did I think about curling my eyelashes or look in the mirror once per week to wonder whether or not I was pretty. And I wasn’t a popular girl or someone who everyone thought was pretty. I just didn’t care. I never got into that mindset. I never got into makeup or any of that. I’m still not into that stuff. So now you know at least one person who wasn’t *that* teenage girl. Heh.
OMG!! You’re a unicorn!! But also, I’m glad that you do exist!! ? I take back what I said. It doesn’t mean that I liked the book any better though ?
Hahahahahahaha! I don’t know about being a unicorn, but thanks!
Rereading books for the sake of re-rating is not really topic I visit often, but I enjoyed doing it for this post! The only James Patterson books I’ve read are some of the Maximum Ride series and the other two ‘avian-human hybrid’ books that are very similar to Maximum Ride ?
I don’t think I’ve ever read a David Eddings book. I know the name, just not really the books.
I would like to read Kristoff’s works, but I’m very… iffy about supporting. I might read his books and not review them on the blog, I guess.
I have to finish John Green’s works ? I’ve only read like 3 of his, and Turtles does sound interesting? But also I’m not a fan of female characters being written like that…
I will applaud you if you manage to get through Turtles and enjoy it. You’ll be a better person than me!! ?
I would have done this one if I didn’t have a review for a book released yesterday. I can think of more than just 5 that I’d change my ratings for!
You are more than welcome to come in a couple of days late!! ?
wren @ wingsandfables
We have such a similar rating scale! I’m always surprised when people say I don’t like a book because I gave it 3 stars. That’s not bad in my eyes! Lol. I skipped reading Turtles All the Way Down when it came out but reading your description of it had me giggling from how ridiculous it sounds. Seems like I may have dodged a bullet with that one! ?
Yes!! Thank you, Wren!! 3 stars is still good!! So glad I’m not the only one who thinks this!! ?
I feel you with John Green ? I loved The Fault in Our Stars back in the day but had so many issues with everything else he ever wrote. ?
I know!! If only I knew then what I know now!! And the range now is so much broader and diverse!! ?
Kal @ Reader Voracious
on what planet are the Romanovs a little known family? Even without the cartoon? Like how dumb does that asshole think his readers are
I know!!!!!! I was so dumbfounded by his story when he described it to us. ?