Throwback Thursdays: I’m taking a look back at some of my reviews and discussion posts from the past to see if I still feel the same way about them now as I did then.
Welcome to my first Throwback Thursday post ever!
Last year I had this idea to look back at some of my old posts to see if I still feel the same way about things now as I did then.
For most of my reading life (or at least since I started this blog in 2013), I’ve been a bit of a read, post and move on type of person. I have a terrible memory and sometimes I think I look back at things with a fondness or a blinding dislike based on that selective memory. So I thought it would be a cool thing to look back at some of my past reviews and see what my thoughts were then compared to now.
How does this work?
For each Throwback Thursday Post, I’m going to pick a particular year to go back to. Within that year, I’m going to search through my posts and pick 5 that I think are worth a look back at. Before I read my old reviews, I’m going to share my current thoughts about what I remember. Then I’m going to share some highlights from the original post. And once I revisit that post, I’ll share my updated thoughts/comments.
I’d love it if you would share your thoughts as well with a comment below!
This month’s featured year is:
What do I remember about my 2013 reading year?
I really only had discovered the online book reading community in the summer of 2012. Before that, I relied on scanning the bestsellers list on the Indigo/Chapter Books (the Barnes and Noble chain of Canada) website to get my reading fix. But in 2013, I was in my 3rd year of university and was LOVING having a big city library card. I would be on the Dean’s list for my non-academic reading if that was a thing!
This was also the year I started this blog! I was inspired to start this blog after reading the series I am featuring below as Throwback #1. I had always enjoyed HTML coding and designing things in Photoshop so starting a blog was a lot of fun for me. I took a brief review hiatus in the fall of that year to focus on school but I picked up where I left off soon after and have kept it going since.
When I think back to my reading for 2013, it seemed like a big year of big titles — or maybe I just posted reviews for those big titles to draw in readers 😉 Regardless, t was hard to narrow down the posts to throwback to just 5 (which is why I did 6).
Here are my throwbacks:
Throwback #1: Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver
Opening Thoughts: This is the series that inspired me to start my blog about reviewing entire book series. I had enjoyed the first two books in the series but hated how things wrapped up in the third book — I felt like it negated everything I had read and the time I had dedicated to the series. I also don’t really remember loving our lead heroine (her name escapes me!).
Original Review Summary: I loved the world building and really enjoyed the second novel in the series for its twists. But the third book was a struggle for my to get through and I felt let down by how things wrapped up. Lena (the heroine) also failed to win me over.
Throwback Reflection: Because I don’t write spoilers in my reviews and it has been so long, I really don’t remember what the huge disappointment was. I think with the ending I felt like a lot of things were left hanging and not wrapped up properly? I also think there was something about the romance I didn’t like. I hadn’t realized I enjoyed the second book so much. I honestly don’t remember being a huge fan of the books in this series — clearly the subpar ending for me overshadows my previous enjoyment of the other books in the series.
Worth a Reread?: No.
Throwback #2: The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
Opening Thoughts: Ah, this series was HUGE! I remember buying myself the boxset for my birthday and then letting everyone borrow the books (I have never even read the copies I own since I had read them all through the library). I think it is still such a popular culture staple as well — or at least the movies are when it comes to book adaptations. The original trilogy was great! I remember being made at some things in the final book (a certain character’s death) but my choice for the love triangle “won” so yay! I just read the prequel last year but it didn’t do much for me.
Original Review Summary: I loved the world, I loved the action and I would tell anyone who would listen that you should read the books in addition to the movie(s)!
Throwback Reflection: I had never really read a character like Katniss before; someone who was strong but imperfect. I think her character attributes–particularly her vulnerabilities–are more common now as readers gravitate towards characters that seem more human than perfect Barbie dolls. But she was a refreshing character for me to read. Looking back though, I actually have mixed feelings about the romance between Peeta and Katniss. Like maybe she really didn’t love him in the end but just settled? Maybe it has just been too long since I read the books so I am missing some of the finer details…
Worth a Reread?: Yes!
Throwback #3: The Sullivans Series by Bella Andre
Opening Thoughts: I distinctly remember hating the first book; it was just so cliché! But I really liked the lead for the next book and so I decided to try the second book–and really loved it! There are wayyy too many books in this series, I definitely didn’t read them all nor did I read the various spin-offs.
Original Review Summary: I almost stopped reading the first book in the series but pressed on since it was on the shorter side of things–only to have it end on a cliffhanger! However, the rest of the novels I read in the series improved the romances with deeper connections between the characters. The subplot drama would irk me though because it always seemed to wrap up to quickly and easily for my tastes.
Throwback Reflection: The biggest lesson I learned from this series–particularly when it comes to contemporary romance series–is that if you didn’t like the leads in book #1 but liked the other characters, you should definitely give the other books a chance. It’s like watching a TV pilot. Sometimes you just have to give it another episode to see what will happen next with the characters, plots and romances. The only reason I never finished the series was that I had to wait for new releases and my library just didn’t get them quick enough so I kinda forgot about them. I don’t plan on revisiting it though anytime soon, but I do look back fondly on this series as one that got me into the contemporary romance genre where the leads differ from book to book.
Worth a Reread?: No.
Throwback #4: The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
Opening Thoughts: I always think this series got better with each book. I think Cassandra Clare has an amazing talent for evolving characters over time. I remember not really liking Simon at the start of the series (for obvious love triangle reasons) but then being so addicted to his storyline by the end of it. I love this series so much–I should actually reread it sometime soon!
Original Review Summary: I binged this series hard and got super addicted to the characters and the stories. I highlighted why people might not like this series (the claims it “borrows” plots from other stories or that they might not like characters) but explained why it should be given a fair shot (tropes are common throughout the literary world, its just how you spin them that makes stories unique–which Clare does).
Throwback Reflection: For years, I would make sure I was on the holds list for the newest Cassandra Clare book so I could read it as soon as it was published! Life has gotten in the way the last few years but I still love this series and its worlds so much. It’s a gold standard for YA fantasy and paranormal reads for me. I didn’t really love the TV show though…
Worth a Reread?: Yes!
Throwback #5: Wondrous Strange Series by Lesley Livingston
Opening Thoughts: To this day, I still think of this series as one of my all time favourites. The covers reflect this beautiful world Lesley Livingston has created. The blending of Shakespeare and faeries by this Canadian author is unlike anything I have ever read.
Original Review Summary: This trilogy just delivers in every book. From the characters, to the drama, to the romance — I was a fan!
Throwback Reflection: This series made Lesley Livingston a must read author for me! I’ve read quite a few of her other series since but this throwback has reminded me that I really should get around to finishing The Valiant Series!
Worth a Reread?: Yes!
Throwback #6: The Selection Series by Kierra Cass
Opening Thoughts: I remember the first book of the series, The Selection, was super polarizing amongst my two friends. One loved it, the other thought it was the worst thing she had ever read. I was of the camp that is was so bad, it was good. There was just something weirdly addictive about this book even though I didn’t like any of the lead characters!
Original Review Summary: The idea of a dystopian Bachelor-esque competition with royalty was a cool idea to explore in this series. I hated the heroine, America, and I hated the love triangle she was in (neither choice was great). Overall, I felt like this series lacked something to take it to the next level. I also didn’t enjoy the spin-off series either thanks to its crappy ending…ugh.
Throwback Reflection: I think that “missing piece” is the lack of focus on the dystopian world. I’ve been reading another series that has a similar premise of a dating competition but with a paranormal spin and I’m enjoying it a lot because it has found that balance between the competition and the politics of the world. The Selection really lacked that for me. I still think of this series as a guilty pleasure but I can’t say that I will ever pick this series up again.
Worth a Reread?: No.
Agree to Disagree?
Did you love (or love to hate) any of these reads? Share your thoughts on my throwbacks below!