Throwback Thursdays: Romance Reads of 2013

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.

How does this work?

For each Throwback Thursday Post, I pick a particular blogging year to go back to. Within that year, I search through my old posts and pick 5 that I think are worth a look back at. Before I read my old reviews, I share my thoughts about what I remember. Then I summarize my original review and then I 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:


Why did I pick this year and why Romances?

For my first Throwback Thursday post, I did the year of 2013 which was the inaugural year of SERIESous Book Reviews! Since it is the month of February and Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to focus on the romance books I read that year.

In order to drive traffic to my blog, I read and posted about some big name romances my inaugural year. 2013 was also the year I discovered the New Adult genre of books–a genre I would almost read exclusively for the next few years afterwards. It’s pure coincidence that 3 out of 5 of my picks had movie adaptations made. And pick #5 is one of my favourite YA series of all time!

My Original Series Review Here

Throwback #1: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Opening Thoughts:
This is one of those (rare) instances where I prefer the movie to the book! I remember liking the plot of the movie a lot more and it’s still one of my favourite movies to watch whenever they show it on TV.

Original Review Summary: I couldn’t connect as much with the characters or the plot when I read the book versus when I watched the movie. I just thought the movie was much more charming!

Throwback Reflection: I really don’t remember much of the book but I remember the movie! I own the book but I have no desire to reread it.

Worth a Reread?: No – but I will rewatch the movie!

My Original Series Review Here

Throwback #2: Juliet by Anne Fortier

Opening Thoughts: I think a friend told me to read this or maybe a coworker? All I know is that I loved it so much, I made my mom read it! I know it was a blending of the past and the future for the plot and a rather long book. I remember thinking it was one of the coolest retellings of Romeo and Juliet I’d ever read (and I’d say that holds true to this day!)

Original Review Summary: It was a coworker who recommended this! I was enthralled by the current and the historical timelines and had a hard time putting this book down as the two weaved together!

Throwback Reflection: I think I actually own this book? I should check my bookshelf. I really don’t remember the finer details of the plot since it has been so long so I would love to reread it to see if I can solve the mystery!

Worth a Reread?: Yes!

My Original Series Review Here

Throwback #3: Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Opening Thoughts: I’m pretty sure I was in love with Edward Cullen the first time I read Twilight. Like I actually think I was love sick after I finished the book — super embarrassing but I was 15 so what can I say. I actually reread Twilight (#1) immediately after finishing it because I enjoyed it so much. I honestly enjoyed the series a lot until I read Breaking Dawn (#4). I still get super angry when I think about that book to this day. What a horrible way to end the series in my opinion. It felt like fan-service but in the worst way by introducing numerous fan theories into the plot. Ugh.

Original Review Summary: I was totally Team Edward, thus I hated New Moon (#2). Bella irritated the crap out of me in all 4 books. Eclipse (#3) was my favourite of the series. “In my opinion, the series could have ended as a trilogy and I would have been satisfied. I get the distinct impression that Breaking Dawn (#4) is bonafide fan fiction.”

Throwback Reflection: There is something addicting about Twilight. As a grown woman now, I can see the faults in the messages it gives its younger readers about relationships. It also isn’t the best writing of all time but I think it goes to show that stories don’t have to be masterpieces to resonate with an audience. Plus, a lot of well-known authors wrote Twilight fan-fiction back in the day so I can’t deny the influence it had on the literary world.

Worth a Reread?: No.

My Original Series Review Here

Throwback #4: Beautifully Broken Series by Courtney Cole

Opening Thoughts: I LOVED If You Stay (#1) when I first read it. I had honestly never read a story with such flawed characters before and it opened me up to the genre of New Adult and the somewhat darker side of contemporary romance (ie not Harlequin romances) that I hadn’t discovered yet.

Original Review Summary: I originally reviewed If You Stay (#1) (which I really enjoyed for its mature take on handling romance and addiction by communicating); and then updated the post for the rest of the series. I really loved books #2 and #3 but then the series started to go in a direction that was more dramatic than I wanted.

Throwback Reflection: I read Book #5, My Peace, only two years ago and I didn’t really remember the finer details of the series when I picked it up. I remember thinking it was super overdramatic and I’m curious to know that if I went back to read the first three books in the series now, would I find them to be too much now? I’ve read a LOT of New Adult novels since and I wonder how they would compare now based on my experiences with the genre since.

Worth a Reread?: No.

My Original Series Review Here

Throwback #5: Beautiful Creatures Series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Opening Thoughts: I adored this series when I first read it. Like I BALLED my eyes out reading Beautiful Chaos and I think I went through every emotion reading this series. I didn’t love the movie but it was great seeing this world brought to the big screen (I think the casting was hit and miss which was part of the problem). I don’t usually like books about witches but this one is a rare exception and one of my favourites. And the romances are so sweet!

Original Review Summary: I loved the weaving of the families’ history throughout this series. Everything was so intricate and complex that it really drew me into this world and the characters within it. The suspense had me flipping pages constantly, I was never able to put them down! Except the finale: I didn’t want the series to end!

Throwback Reflection: The movie was cheesy and didn’t do the complexity of the series justice. I think I should buy these books because I loved the series so much that I want to keep it with me always.

Worth a Reread?: Yes!

Agree to Disagree?

Did you love (or love to hate) any of these reads? Share your thoughts on my throwbacks below!

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