Last month, I updated my review index – which I haven’t updated for more than a year. And upon seeing the list of my reviewed books, I started to wonder, “Would my thoughts and feelings for them still be the same?”.
I started writing book reviews more than three years ago. Who I am as a person and my preferences as a reader are different from then. So I thought, why not look at the reviews and ratings I gave and see if I would still like to keep them or nah? Hence, I am here to answer that question and explain why or why I would not keep the ratings I gave for the following books.
In order to help me choose the books to feature in this post, I asked my friends on Twitter to give me a number. I picked the books those numbers correspond with on my Book Reviews by Ratings index and skipped those books I have reviewed now that I am already in my 20s. I decided to just focus on those which I have read and reviewed in my teenage years, from 2016 to 2019. I was only able to do ten of them, but I will try to do the rest next time. 😊
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I read this book when I was 17 years old. I gave this 4.5 stars. And oh friends, it’s making me cringe so hard. I can’t even finish reading my review.
Based on my review, teen Karina loved this book so much and was so swept by the line “I love you,’ he whispered, and kissed my brow. ‘Thorns and all.” (🥴 ) She was also so whipped for Tamlin (which I hate to say) and loved Feyre and Tamlin’s steamy romance. She hated Rhysand (pains me to say ☹ ) and hated Amarantha even more. She didn’t expect the heavy focus on romance because ya girl was expecting lots of badass fights, and was disappointed that it focused on a love story. But overall, teen Karina was amazed especially because of the end.
20 year-old Karina probably would have really conflicting feelings about this book. I can’t remember much anymore, but I can vaguely remember some instances and I think I might feel iffy and uncomfortable about Tamlin being controlling – which I didn’t see before. I might still enjoy the steamy scenes (assuming that I know nothing about ACOMAF because ACOMAF is superior). I think I will still love the world-building, appreciate Lucien, and get confused by Rhysand. But given my expectations for a bad-ass story, Tamlin’s behavior and getting mostly just a love story, the disappointment I would feel might have a great impact on my rating.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. I will probably give this book around 3 stars.
The Passage, A Dance & A Little White Dress by Kristin D. Van Risseghem
I have also read this book when I was 17 years old. And gave this book 4 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina enjoyed this because it was entertaining, action-packed, intense, and went beyond her expectations. She saw a lot of improvements in this sequel and just generally thought it was better than the first book.
20-year old Karina would probably be disappointed by this book, mostly because of originality issues. I can remember how smooth the reading experience was for me given the writing. It was fast-paced, and yes, I will still probably like the action. But I can also remember that this book is just like a mix of a bunch of tropes, and books like Twilight, the Mortal Instruments and Fallen.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. I think if I will read this book at this time, I might give this 2.5 or 3 stars.
The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughed
I have also read this when I was 17 years old and gave this 2 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina was disappointed that this was her last read for 2016. The book was just okay. For a mystery book, it was pretty boring. She didn’t like the characters much. And the ending was infuriating.
20-year old Karina would probably have the same thoughts. I can still remember being bored and eventually being infuriated because of the end. I would also consider what the right people say about the autistic rep. I failed to see it when I was younger, but now, I think that this book used the death of an autistic character to tell the story of these other teenage characters who couldn’t even take responsibility for their actions. All the things about this book just screams “NO” for me.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. I’ll give this 1 star.
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
I read this when I was 19 years old and gave this 5 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina loved this book and she was, again, enchanted by the author’s words. She thought it was well-crafted. She was highly entertained and in awe of the illustrations. Out of the six short stories, she gave three of them 5 stars, while the lowest rating she gave for the others was 3.5 stars.
20-year old Karina could still remember the enchantment brought by the short stories in this book. I can also still remember how the experience was made better by the gorgeous illustrations. I am just still in awe of them. This book gave twists to the fairy tales we were used to. I think I would love this just the same.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. Given that I didn’t give all of the short stories 5 stars, I still won’t compute their average but I will probably lower it to 4 or 4.5 stars. Teen Karina was just blinded by her feelings for her favorite short stories in this book that’s why she gave that rating.
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener
I read this when I was 18 years old and gave this 3 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina didn’t love the main character but at least, liked her. She swooned over the alien soldier, which is, together with the romance, the main thing she enjoyed in this book. She liked the cliff-hanger. But she said it was a downer from the beginning and the world-building was the most disappointing aspect.
20-year old Karina doesn’t remember much about the whole book, especially the main character. I think I had pretty much mixed thoughts about this. I’m not sure if I will still enjoy the romance if I will read this now, but I think I will still be disappointed by the world-building and the boredom it brought.
Would I keep the rating or nah? I’m not really sure, but most probably nah. I might give this a lower rating if I won’t enjoy the romance this time since that’s one of the very few things I enjoyed.
What Girls Are Made Of by Elena K. Arnold
I read this when I was 17 years old and gave this 2.5 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina didn’t know what she just read. She didn’t like what Nina did with Seth and Apollonia. She appreciated the things she has learned about birth control and abortion and recognized that teens, especially sexually active ones, should be aware of these. She liked how it tackles bad parenting and shows how this affects a child’s life. She seemed overwhelmed by how this book talked about sex a lot. She also felt bad most of the time and didn’t like all the messages she was getting. Further, she didn’t like the plot that seemed like went nowhere. She liked how the question “What girls are made of?” was answered at the very end. And there was a part that offended her as a Catholic.
Upon re-reading the synopsis, I think this book is something 20-year old Karina might be able to understand more. I had pretty conflicting feelings about this one. I think there are a lot of issues in this book I should re-examine. I cannot say if I would like it if I will re-read this now or if I will just end up disliking it more, because I really need to see it for myself first. I think I wouldn’t be bothered as much by how it talks about sex a lot. And though I am not really religious, I might still feel offended by what Nina said as someone who grew up in a Catholic household.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Probably nah. I don’t know whether if I will give this a better or worse rating. This book talks about sensitive, important issues. I still have a lot of things I need to educate myself about, but I think if I will read this at this time, I can read this book with a more open mind and with a wider perspective.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
I read this when I was 18 years old and gave this 4.5 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina was surprised. She thought at first that this might be about the typical high school drama between rival students, but it slowly showed that it wasn’t shallow and that ordinary. This book has a good blend of fun and depth. She liked all of the characters except Clara’s mother and said the book gave her life lessons. She loved how it talks about Asian culture. And this became special because of how the father-daughter relationship made her feel.
20-year old Karina would most likely enjoy this just the same. I can still remember how I enjoyed and liked the characters. I think my opinions wouldn’t change. I will still appreciate the characters and their relationships with one another, Asian culture showed, the experience of working at a food truck and the bond between Clara and his father (which I will never experience lol). And would still probably hate Clara’s mom.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Yes, I would keep it.
The Other Side of Gravity by Shelly Crane
I read this when I was 16 years old and gave this 5 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina needed more. She said she will read the series until the end. She loved the concept so much. As well as the world-building and romance. She was so entertained and basically just thought that the book was perfect.
20-year old Karina doesn’t even know whether if there are already next installments published or not. Obviously, I was a liar lol. I think if I will read this now, there is a high chance for me to still like the world-building, given the memory of it I have left. But I’m not sure about the characters and the plot as I don’t remember much anymore.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. I think I was too amazed by the concept and world-building that I have probably overlooked some aspects of it.
The Ring & The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
I read this when I was 16 years old and gave this 4 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina was confused and frustrated at first. It also went irritating and boring, that she didn’t want to turn its pages anymore. She said that the book’s main message is that it’s okay not to be perfect, especially even if you are a royalty. She thought that it became magical, entertaining, gripping and heartbreaking. And she loved and hated the end.
20-year old Karina is also confused by the teen her. I used many contradicting words in my review. I think I would still be confused and frustrated by the same things. I can still vaguely remember few scenes in this book. I don’t think I would enjoy this now that much though, especially because of the writing. I don’t think I would be able to connect with the characters. I can’t even remember who they are anymore.
Would I keep the rating or nah? Nah. I don’t think it would still be 4-star worthy for me. I might give this around 3 stars. Maybe.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I read this when I was 18 years old and gave this 5 stars.
Based on my review, teen Karina fell in love with Dear Martin hard. She said it doesn’t speak, but it yells for the privileged people at the back to see and acknowledge what the reality is. The characters are realistic. Despite the serious topic it talks about, it still managed to be entertaining. There was a balance between heaviness and lightness. She loved the relationships in this book. She thought the author was brilliant and we need her voice. And this book tells a story everyone must hear and know about.
20-year old Karina loves this book just the same. I am still thankful for being able to read such a great book. I really love that while deeply diving into the serious issue of racism, Dear Martin still managed to put focus on the life of a teenager and the daily struggles he face as a teen. This book taught me a lot and allowed me to see a lot of important things. I still think Nic Stone is a brilliant author and her books are one of those kinds that we currently need, the past generations needed and the future generation will still need.
Would I keep the rating or nah? I will definitely keep it.
Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? How much do you think have your perspective, and preference changed over the years? Share your thoughts below!