May 24th

Top Ten (Ok Nine) Books I Felt Differently About As Time Passed

Posted in Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Go check out their Top Ten and others on their site today!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is ten books I feel differently about after time has passed. There have been so many chapters in our lives as avid readers. Through each chapter our standards and tastes have evolved. Here are some books that haven’t survived these changes.

Kate’s Fickle 5

Matched

I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction; I read everything I can get my hands on. Not all of it good. When I first read Matched I was in love with the basic storyline. Now that I’ve read so many dystopian YA novels, this one just doesn’t hold up. It’s full of tropes and the writing just doesn’t meet my standards. I’d much rather pick up The Dust Lands Trilogy: Blood Red Road; Rebel Heart; Raging Star for a re-read.

Delirium

I loved this when I first read it, unfortunately like Matched, it doesn’t hold up over time. It contains the same tropes and mediocre writing. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu has taken its place in my heart.

Divergent

Riding in on the coat-tails of The Hunger Games, Divergent took the YA community by storm with its action and romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t pass the test of time. It is no longer the cream of the YA dystopian crop, and the movies haven’t helped this at all. While the writing is superior to that of Matched and Delirium, the plot is another trope filled mess with a completely unrealistic plot. I like a little more uniqueness in my plots nowadays. Try the Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick if you’re looking for something more unique with a more realistic plot.

Guilty Pleasures

Let’s talk plot. I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance in the past ten years. The more I read the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series, the more issues I find and the more I stop reading. Each new book seems to be the exact same book with a new bad guy and the same sex over and over again. No thank you, I’ll take the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning over this series any day.

Twilight

I will never judge anyone for reading or loving Twilight, read what you like, however, I have grown as a person and can no longer stomach this book. My biggest concern, aside from the terrible writing and the one dimensional characters, is the problematic romance. Edward is creepy, Bella is scarily codependent, and their romance is not healthy. Again, I will never judge anyone; it’s ok to like something problematic, as long as you acknowledge that it’s problematic. Side note, vampires shouldn’t sparkle. For a more realistic tale about vampires with a healthier romance and a more diverse cast of characters, check out Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series!

Oli’s Fair-Weather 4

The Hunger Games

I fell in love with The Hunger Games around the same time that everyone else did and I really loved it at the time. It left my sphere of interest just as quickly, though. I haven’t seen the movies but I did recently revisit the books–and they resonate with me in ways they couldn’t when I was younger. Now an adult who has lived through traumatic experiences, I find Suzanne Collins’ representation of its aftereffects to be profoundly accurate, especially in the sphere of what we typically see in dystopian YAs. Other things I appreciate more now: characters with a ride range of disabilities, a main character (whom I firmly believe is) a woman of color, and a storyline that–despite the Gale vs. Peeta hype–really isn’t driven by romance.

Boy Meets Boy

I read a lot of David Levithan when I was in middle and high school. A lot. Boy Meets Boy was always my favorite out of the LGBT+ literature I read around that time–whimsical, light hearted, and sweet, it was one of the few books I had access to on bookstore shelves that showed me gay main characters who weren’t afraid, ashamed, or both. Those weren’t the things I understood I valued at the time: I thought it was cute, and that was that. I still own the same copy of Boy Meets Boy and I have to admit that I visit it often. This world in which so many characters are gay and gendernonconforming and everyone is so accepting is so inexplicably valuable to me. I’ve seen it classified as speculative fiction–solely because a world like this is so difficult for us to imagine. I grow to love this book more and more as time goes by.

Luna

My opinion went in the opposite direction with this book. Julie Ann Peters is another author whose work I read frequently as an adolescent and again, I absolutely cannot describe the importance of that: access to books like these were integral to my development as a youth. While I liked Luna, it was definitely hard to read at times and a little essentialist. These things aside, this is an important book and one of the first I can recall reading that addressed transgender issues.

Queen of Shadows

My feelings about this series are consistently inconsistent. I was pushed to read Throne of Glass by my sister and wasn’t crazy about it, but was interested enough to continue with the series. I felt that the series made a continual uphill climb through Heir of Fire–which I absolutely loved–but Queen of Shadows left me a little…confused about my feelings? I felt it was very solid technically but I found myself feeling either ambivalent or irritated about many of the things that happened within this fourth installment.

What do you think of our choices? What ten books did you read that you no longer think about in the same way? Leave a comment and let us know!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Go check out their Top Ten and others on their site today!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is ten books I feel differently about after time has passed. There have been so many chapters in our lives as avid readers. Through each chapter our standards and tastes have evolved. Here are some books that haven’t survived these changes.

Kate’s Fickle 5

Matched

I am a huge fan of dystopian fiction; I read everything I can get my hands on. Not all of it good. When I first read Matched I was in love with the basic storyline. Now that I’ve read so many dystopian YA novels, this one just doesn’t hold up. It’s full of tropes and the writing just doesn’t meet my standards. I’d much rather pick up The Dust Lands Trilogy: Blood Red Road; Rebel Heart; Raging Star for a re-read.

Delirium

I loved this when I first read it, unfortunately like Matched, it doesn’t hold up over time. It contains the same tropes and mediocre writing. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu has taken its place in my heart.

Divergent

Riding in on the coat-tails of The Hunger Games, Divergent took the YA community by storm with its action and romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t pass the test of time. It is no longer the cream of the YA dystopian crop, and the movies haven’t helped this at all. While the writing is superior to that of Matched and Delirium, the plot is another trope filled mess with a completely unrealistic plot. I like a little more uniqueness in my plots nowadays. Try the Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick if you’re looking for something more unique with a more realistic plot.

Guilty Pleasures

Let’s talk plot. I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance in the past ten years. The more I read the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series, the more issues I find and the more I stop reading. Each new book seems to be the exact same book with a new bad guy and the same sex over and over again. No thank you, I’ll take the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning over this series any day.

Twilight

I will never judge anyone for reading or loving Twilight, read what you like, however, I have grown as a person and can no longer stomach this book. My biggest concern, aside from the terrible writing and the one dimensional characters, is the problematic romance. Edward is creepy, Bella is scarily codependent, and their romance is not healthy. Again, I will never judge anyone; it’s ok to like something problematic, as long as you acknowledge that it’s problematic. Side note, vampires shouldn’t sparkle. For a more realistic tale about vampires with a healthier romance and a more diverse cast of characters, check out Julie Kagawa’s Blood of Eden series!

Oli’s Fair-Weather 4

The Hunger Games

I fell in love with The Hunger Games around the same time that everyone else did and I really loved it at the time. It left my sphere of interest just as quickly, though. I haven’t seen the movies but I did recently revisit the books–and they resonate with me in ways they couldn’t when I was younger. Now an adult who has lived through traumatic experiences, I find Suzanne Collins’ representation of its aftereffects to be profoundly accurate, especially in the sphere of what we typically see in dystopian YAs. Other things I appreciate more now: characters with a ride range of disabilities, a main character (whom I firmly believe is) a woman of color, and a storyline that–despite the Gale vs. Peeta hype–really isn’t driven by romance.

Boy Meets Boy

I read a lot of David Levithan when I was in middle and high school. A lot. Boy Meets Boy was always my favorite out of the LGBT+ literature I read around that time–whimsical, light hearted, and sweet, it was one of the few books I had access to on bookstore shelves that showed me gay main characters who weren’t afraid, ashamed, or both. Those weren’t the things I understood I valued at the time: I thought it was cute, and that was that. I still own the same copy of Boy Meets Boy and I have to admit that I visit it often. This world in which so many characters are gay and gendernonconforming and everyone is so accepting is so inexplicably valuable to me. I’ve seen it classified as speculative fiction–solely because a world like this is so difficult for us to imagine. I grow to love this book more and more as time goes by.

Luna

My opinion went in the opposite direction with this book. Julie Ann Peters is another author whose work I read frequently as an adolescent and again, I absolutely cannot describe the importance of that: access to books like these were integral to my development as a youth. While I liked Luna, it was definitely hard to read at times and a little essentialist. These things aside, this is an important book and one of the first I can recall reading that addressed transgender issues.

Queen of Shadows

My feelings about this series are consistently inconsistent. I was pushed to read Throne of Glass by my sister and wasn’t crazy about it, but was interested enough to continue with the series. I felt that the series made a continual uphill climb through Heir of Fire–which I absolutely loved–but Queen of Shadows left me a little…confused about my feelings? I felt it was very solid technically but I found myself feeling either ambivalent or irritated about many of the things that happened within this fourth installment.

What do you think of our choices? What ten books did you read that you no longer think about in the same way? Leave a comment and let us know!

By Kate Woods

6 comments
Top Ten (Ok Nine) Books I Felt Differently About As Time Passed

  • I love that you’ve recommended other books to read instead, that’s so great. I agree that some early dystopians don’t hold up as well these days. I appreciate The Hunger Games still too, for all the reasons you explained. And obviously I need to reread Boy Meets Boy – it’s been much too long! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    My Top Ten!

    • The dystopian genre is definitely evolving! It’s so hit and miss these days, though–I tend to either really love or really hate whatever I read in that genre. Boy Meets Boy is such a great book to revisit! It’s definitely one of the books from my youth that I’ll never outgrow–it’s just so positive.

  • I do really like that about the Hunger Games too. Normally in these types of dystopian rebellion type series the good guys end up winning and everyone lives happily ever fter. I like that the characters in THG are mentally scared by what they have been through because it makes it REAL! Although I will admit the first time I read Mockingjay I found Katniss’ state of mind wuite confusing and all of the place, I now appriciate it for what it is and it’s just such a powerful representation of real life consequences of war.
    I feel like I should stop typing now as this is a very long comment. But just to say that I agree with you about Twilight too!

    • Exactly! I think The Hunger Games often isn’t appreciated enough for the scope and maturity it had, especially at a time when Young Adult Dystopian was really just becoming a burgeoning genre. I definitely agree with you about all of that! It really was powerful to reread as an adult with a more advanced understanding of all those topics.

  • I’ve read a few of these and totally agree! I read Matched way back when and never enjoyed it, but the Twilight series made my list too! I’d really love to re-read The Hunger Games sometime! I kind of agree with your thoughts on Divergent though. I do enjoy the movies, but I’m not sure the books hold up. :/

    Here are my Top Ten!

    • Kate Woods says:

      I’m glad I’m not alone in these feelings! I think if I hadn’t been so fascinated with and new to dystopian ya I probably wouldn’t have liked Matched the first time I read it either!

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