This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is books I feel differently about; for example, books I disliked when I first read them but grew to like them, or books I enjoyed but realised I didn’t like it as much as I thought when I reread it. This could be difficult as when I form an opinion of a book it tends to stick with me, but I’ll give it a go…
The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
I’ll start with an unsurprising one – the Twilight Saga. I think it’s guaranteed that almost every teenage girl went through a Twilight phase, reading all the books in a few days flat, watching the films the second they hit the cinema (I even saw New Moon in IMAX) and re-watching the DVDs a hundred times. I was so dedicated to this world that after not being able to afford a physical copy of the stupidly expensive final book, Breaking Dawn, I downloaded the eBook and read the entire thing in two days on my laptop. However, today the majority of those teenagers – now adults – look back on their Twilight phase like a distant memory, fading away as you try to forget how cringe-worthy you were when fangirling over your true undying love for Edward or Jacob. I certainly do this; as a reader several years on, and one who reads a lot more critically than I used to as an easily-pleased teenager, I’ve realised that the Twilight books (and films) are absolute tripe. Bella is THE most miserable person to ever walk the fictional earth, and (spoilers) the idea that a girl can have a BABY with a vampire who is dead? Rubbish. It’s safe to say, at the age of 21, I’m no longer an Edward-loving Twilight fan.
How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell
Okay, this one only just counts I think: it was one I changed my opinion of as I read it, rather than finishing it and changing my opinion then. I began the book a bit daunted as I’d never read a historical fiction – especially not a historical romance (I’ve always said two book genres I steer clear of is historical fiction and romance, so a historical romance was a terrifying mixture of both). After the first few chapters I was worried that I wouldn’t like it because of how much it talked about Dukes and women winning over them. However, as I continued reading, the story raced and the characters got better and I found myself reading the entire book in one day… I really enjoyed it! I guess the moral of the story here is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its genre. (I’ve written a whole review, possibly the most in-depth review I’ve written, so if you’re interested in that you can read it here).
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
I read this a couple of years ago when I went through a stage of wanting to read EVERY SINGLE John Green book. I remember quite liking it at the time but I knew it wouldn’t be one of my favourites; I still enjoyed it while I was reading it though. However a couple of weeks later, after I finished it, I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and I had already forgotten a lot of the story. It’s definitely the most forgettable John Green book and now I’ve completely forgotten pretty much the whole book. Maybe I’ll reread it when I have time, but it’s definitely not on my priority list.
Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel by Heather McElhatton
Both of these are ‘choose your own adventure’-style books, where the reader is given instructions on which page to turn to at the bottom of a page. Basically, did you ever read the Give Yourself Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine as a kid? Well they’re basically adult versions of those. I bought the first one of these books from a charity shop when I was in high school and I loved it. I read it about a million times because I wanted to try and read every single ending you could possibly get. I took it everywhere because it was great to read when I only had a spare few minutes, and it took me back to times when I’d sit for hours and read Goosebumps. However, to my disappointment, my sister and I got these books back out again a few weeks ago and reread a few scenarios and it was… well, not as great as I used to think. The stories are over in a flash because your entire life happens on one page – it’s actually like “you meet a fit man, you go off with him, have kids, get married and live happily ever after in your massive mansion”, or “you get kidnapped by masked men, taken onto a dark house and KILLED INSTANTLY, the end”. Hmm.
The Angels Unlimited series by Annie Dalton
I’m mentioning these books a lot recently because I’m currently rereading them. It’s always weird reading a series or a book that you read when you were a lot younger because you get such a weird mix of emotions: nostalgia from the memories of loving it as a kid, but the sinking feeling of noticing typos and story lines or phrases that seem SO young for you now. This is the case with these books. I still absolutely adore them, don’t get me wrong, but somehow it’s just not the same reading them when I’m 21 and not 11. They’ll always have a special place on my bookshelf though.
Do you agree with any of these books? Which books have you read and then changed your opinion of after you’ve finished them, or even during reading them? I’d love to hear your answers!