Monday, June 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday » Books We Feel Differently About Now Time Has Passed

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week is a freebie week! Bloggers are either picking a TTT topic they missed or making up their own. Ellen decided to pick the past topic, "Ten Books You Feel Differently About Now That Time Has Passed."

Sierra's Picks

shipofmagicmad shipship of destiny

Liveship Traders Trilogy · Robin Hobb · Originally 5 stars, now ???

I picked up the first book, Ship of Magic, when I visited the US at age 12. My dad brought me the third book, Ship of Destiny, when I was living in rural India. I'm not even sure if I ever read the second book (The Mad Ship). These books were about 800-900 pages each. And when I say I 'read' them, dear friends, what I mean is that I found two perspectives that I loved (out of the 6-10), and followed just those to the end. Ergo, I cannot actually give this series 5 stars since I actually didn't read the entire book/series. I may eventually rectify that... but we'll see when that happens. But I still do get ALL the feels for Brashen and Althea, so those two still deserve all the stars!


Esio Trot · Roald Dahl · Originally 5 stars, now 2 stars

It PAINS me to say this. Roald Dahl is one of my absolute favorite childhood authors. I had a chance to re-read this short story with my little brother last year, and I found myself a little alarmed at the message it was sending to children. Patrick Rothfuss wrote a review about it (read it here). He does a much better job of explaining it than I possibly could.


Winger · Andrew Smith · Originally 4 stars, now uncertain

This is starting to become a familiar trend to me. This isn't very PC of me, but I DETEST reading books in the first person that feature teen male protagonists, primarily within the contemporary genre. I don't care how realistic they are, it just makes me incredibly glad not have been born a male. Although the subject matter and the plot was interesting, I slogged through Ryan's incessant chatter of girls and boobs. I will be re-reading this book in order to read its sequels, so I will be able to accurately rate it then.


Enid Blyton · Originally 4 & 5 stars, now feeling disillusioned

I'm guessing many of you might not know this author. She was a prolific writer of children's books in Britain, and was enormously popular when I was a child living in Singapore (an ex-British colony). However, I found out a few years ago that she was elitist, sexist, xenophobic, and racist, and that many of her books had to be re-edited to remove such references. Reports have also surfaced via her younger daughter's autobiography that Enid was a terrible mother. I should be able to keep her maternal ability separate from my opinion of the author. But Enid was marketed as such a loving and kind figure, and as a child, I imagined her reading so many of her stories out loud to me, that I can't help but feel betrayed. For what it's worth, this woman marketed herself brilliantly.

Note: I'm counting the Liveship Traders trilogy as 3 out of my 10 spots. And Blyton will have the honor of spots 6 through 10 since the woman has written hundreds of books.

Time to see what Ellen has picked out!

Ellen's Picks

uprooted cover
1. Uprooted · 
Naomi Novik · Originally 5 stars, now 4 stars

This was a gentle change of mind, not harsh.  I typically only give five star ratings to books that I know I'll reread over and over, and surprisingly, I haven't felt any desire to go back and revisit Uprooted like I thought I would.  However, I still really liked the book and it maintains a high rating.

illuminae gif cover

2. Illuminae · Jay Kristoff & Aimee Kaufman · Originally 4 stars, now 3 stars

The more I sat on this book, the more I realized that it had flaws.  I grew to find that I disliked the AI construct with real passion and I thought the main characters were less than impressionable. The book was still a unique and fun read, however, so it gets a middling three stars.

forbidden cover

3. Forbidden ·
Tabitha Suzuma · Originally 5 stars, still 5 stars

When I first finished Forbidden, I thought Suzuma's point had been won. [spoiler]The book makes a strong case in favor of the legalization and destigmatization of... consensual incest. [/spoiler]Now, my original feelings have crept back in.  Despite this, nothing about my rating has changed.  Forbidden is still a book that messes with your head and heartstrings in a powerfully bold way.

merchant of venice

4. The Merchant of Venice · William Shakespeare · Originally 4 stars, now 2 stars

I think that no Shakespeare play should be judged until it's been seen performed.  Perhaps also, no Shakespeare play should be judged before it's been studied.  I originally thought that Shakespeare was some sort of before-his-time hero when it came to issues of racism.  Just look at the amazingly moving character of Shylock (a Jew) in The Merchant of Venice!  

However, one of my college professors crushed my illusions during one office hours meeting.  In fact, he told me, Shakespeare intended Shylock to be a clownish, mockable figure. A man of his age, Shakespeare was an anti-semite.

pipers son cover

5. The Piper's Son · Melina Marchetta · Originally 2 stars, now 5 stars

This is the only book on my list that saw me change my mind for the better!  When I first read The Piper's Son, I was so confused.  I couldn't penetrate the Aussie slang and I couldn't get into how the narrators were so different — a young man, barely out of his teens, and a middle-aged woman. I just thought the whole book was weird, and so not in the vein of the Marchetta books I'd read before.

But then, because I find Australian accents incredibly soothing, I bought the audiobook (for the express purpose of falling asleep to it.) And something funny happened as I listened to The Piper's Son in fragments, over countless nights. I started loving it.  Now, I've both read and listened to the book many times over and absolutely adore it.

hallowed cover

6. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) · Cynthia Hand · Originally 5 stars, now 1 star

This book represents my most dramatic change of heart.  It has everything to do with the final book in the Unearthly trilogy. Not only did things not go my way in the last book, but it ruined everything I loved about the second novel. In fact, if My Lady Jane hadn't been written by two other, blameless authors, I probably would have skipped it, because I'm still so upset with Cynthia Hand!

flat out love cover
7. Flat-Out-Love ·
Jessica Park · Originally 5 stars, now 3.5 stars

As in the case of Hallowed, the later works in this series by affected my love of an earlier installment.  After Flat-Out-Love, I thought that Park's writing kind of went off the rails with her successive books.  Things got both cutesy and contrived, and worst of all — dull. Now, I can't remember Flat-Out-Love without feelings of regret.

lola and the boy next door

8. Lola And the Boy Next Door · Stephanie Perkins · Originally 5 stars, now 4 stars

With some time and perspective, I realized that Lola is my least favorite book in Perkins's contemporary collection. I still like the book a great deal, but I'm able to see its weaknesses, when before, I was totally dazzled with admiration.

sense and sensibility

9. Sense and Sensibility · Jane Austen · Unchanged rating

Like The Merchant of Venice, this is another book that changed for me once I'd studied it in college.  I used to think the novel was the pinnacle of romance, but really it was the movie adaptations that led me to believe that.  Until college, I'd never read this book all the way through.  When I finally did, I realized that, in actuality, Sense and Sensibility is quite bittersweet.  [spoiler]Both Marriane and Elinor marry, but Marriane doesn't marry her first choice and Elinor doesn't marry the first iteration of Edward that she believed in. [/spoiler]


1o. Twilight · Stephenie Meyer · Originally 5 stars, now 2 stars

I think Twilight is an excellent example of how my taste has matured over the past decade.  When I first picked up this series, I was sixteen.  I thought the book was perfect.  Now, I read more critically, and I bring a greater awareness of the world with me. Now I know... Bella is a drip.

Ellen: There we have it, folks. I have to say, I found making this list to be as easier time than I thought.  All I had to do was use Goodreads to look at my standing ratings and find the ones I was surprised over. I thought it was interesting — only one book saw an improvement for the better.

Sierra: I actually had quite a challenging time with this one. Apparently I'm a very decisive person when it comes to ratings.

What about you? Do you ever like a book more as time passes?


  1. Haha, I had Twilight on my list too when I did this topic a while ago - it got me into blogging, but definitely has not been able to keep the hold it had on me once.

    Forbidden was such a heartbreaking book. It has been a while since I read it, but I still vividly remember the experience of reading it.

  2. Ha! I'll have to go do a search on your site to find this list when you did it!

    And yeah, Forbidden is such a standout book to me. It's about the grodiest subject matter, yet pretty much everyone who reads it comes away 1) moved and 2) in a different frame of mind. That is such an accomplishment on the author's part.

  3. I've seen the movie adaptation of Sense & Sensibility but I've never read the book, so I'm really intrigued to see the differences and similarities between them. I find that movies often romanticize romance to the point where it seems perfect, but books are usually much more flawed and "real." Anyways, I'll have to read it soon and find out!
    One book that I've enjoyed more as time passes is J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. I first read it with my English class as a freshman in high school, but reading it on my own as a senior made all the difference.

  4. Through studying Jane Austen in college, I learned that she wasn't always a die-hard romantic. Especially in Sense and Sensibility, she explores more frustrations than she expresses ideals. I'll be interested to see what you think of the book!

    And Cather in the Rye! I read the book for high school as well and really liked it. I haven't reread it since, but I really connected to how Holden felt this inexpressible sadness and loss.

  5. I really need to read Forbidden! I think I started the first few pages, got flashbacks of Shameless (the tv show), and left the book alone because I wasn't ready for it.

  6. Catcher in the Rye - also a book I haven't read! I blame that on all the moving I did in high school though. I was never there at the right time for that book.

  7. I couldn't finish Illuminae. I liked it OK, and I liked the layout of the book and how it was told. But once the "romance" started back up again between the two leads it was so painfully cheesy I had to just stop. But everyone else I know loved it! So it's nice to see someone else who isn't so sure it's as great as everyone says it is :)

    My TTT.

  8. It's so nice finding other critical (in the unforgiving sense) readers!

  9. I actually surprised myself and really enjoyed both Winger and Stand-Off.

  10. I haven't read the books but they do seem to be polarizing, between people who laugh and people who are grossed out.

  11. Funny how most ratings seem to go down over time! I loved the Enid Blyton books as a child but haven't reread them as an adult and don't intend to – somehow I don't think their charm would translate beyond the veil of childhood and I don't want to ruin that reading memory for myself. Totally with you on Twilight – but at least she was a very convincing drip!

  12. hahaha! I love this list and I love that you're allowing yourself to mature as a reader. I haven't reread many books so I'd be interested in seeing how I feel the 2nd time around. I looooove Twilight when I read it, but that was years ago. Kinda don't want to mess that up for myself lol

    Fun TTT :)

  13. Yep. Only one book out of both of our combined list went up. I wish more were like that, though.

    I can't say that I read any Enid Blyton books myself. I guess that time of my life has passed, at any rate.

  14. Yeah, OH yeah, I was in love with Twilight myself as a teen. I thought it was all so romantic... until Eclipse.

  15. It is fun to see how our tastes have changed over time isn't it? The only series that I still love, years down the road and would still rate the same as the first time I read it is the H.P. series. I just adore it and the writing is always good.

  16. Sierra's tastes stand true while mine drift more. But I'm sure both of us would agree about Harry Potter. Those books transcend rating.

  17. Yeah, I was one of the ones laughing out loud! :)

  18. Interesting topic! I loved Enid Blyton's books when I was a kid, it makes me sad to think that she wasn't a great person, but I do love her stories, I think it's important to separate the art from the artist.

  19. It's great to see a Melina Marchetta book here. I beg you to read On the Jellicoe Road. Please. It will confuse the fuck out of you. It will make you cry. But you'll be a better person for it in the end.

    Sierra. Girl. Your books are just way outta my league. Still love you, though. <3

  20. Hehe I have to be honest... I still love Twilight an awful lot! And the Merchant of Venice is one of my favourite Shakesperian plays... did he really intend for Shylock's character to be portrayed that way? Oh, and I have to say that Lola and the Boy Next Door is also my least favourite in the trilogy. And that was easily identifiable when I first read it to myself (I haven\t had the chance to reread it and I read it recently.)

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