Does Your Bookish Opinion Ever Change?


My opinions are shifting, tenuous little things, that are always, always, always changing.

I can like something one day. And not like it the other day. I fall in and out of obsessions just like every other teenager — or hey, person — and my opinions with them. I should also like to point out that I am a terrible opinionated person. And okay, okay, I try to temper them online (because hey, once you post it online, it’s there forever) but that doesn’t mean my opinions don’t change. They do. And frequently.

(One thing that WILL always remain constant is my love for fantasy. And dragons.)

I’m often mystified when I don’t like hyped books. THESE BOOKS ARE POPULAR FOR A REASON, RIGHT? And there are a few ways  to look at that.

  1. The book just wasn’t for me. There are books like that. It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to love every book you read.
  2. I wasn’t in the right mood/headspace for that novel. Sometimes I just feel like reading a fantasy, or a romance, or a science fiction.
  3. It was hyped up too much — and fell flat of my expectations. Which are usually waaaaaay to high.

Very early last year I DNF’ed The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

And that was highly usual for me, too. I read everything, and I finish everything. What if it got better? What if I’m missing out on something truly amazing? And, after gentle pushes from the blogging community, I decided to give The Bone Season another chance, and, now that I’m halfway through, I’m really, really, glad I did.

I’m halfway through it — and I’m loving it SO much more than I did the last time. It’s wonderfully written. Complex, intriguing worldbuilding. Curious, thought-provoking characters.

I don’t even know why I DNF’ed The Bone Season first time around, although I strongly believe it was a combination of 2 and three. All I needed was some time, and a fresher perspective.

I’d love to know what you think. Do your opinions every change, or are they steady, constant things? (I envy you people greatly.) Would you/have you ever re-read a book in an attempt to see if you’d like it better second time around?

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50 thoughts on “Does Your Bookish Opinion Ever Change?

  1. Heck yeah, my bookish opinions do change! Exhibit A: thinking Twilight was a work of artistic literature when I was in grade 7. Exhibit B: flying through The Mortal Instruments but now I can’t get past chapter 2 of City of Bones without rolling my eyes at some of the metaphors. I don’t know if that necessarily means that the book is inherently bad but I generally tend to dislike hyped books when I grow up 0_0 Except for Harry Potter and all the other non-problematic series out there of course.

  2. I’ve had the urge to do this occasionally. Like with We Were Liars (which I can recall was something we both didn’t enjoy over much). And it’s why I’m SO glad I gave Crown of Midnight a chance despite not loving Throne of Glass – I would have missed out on an INCREDIBLE series :)

  3. Yup, they change! Sometimes my opinion of a book heightens due to hype. Then I reread it and realize that it wasn’t as great as I first pinned it to be. This recently happened to me with Speak by Laurie Anderson. First time: 5 stars. Second time: 4 or 4.5 stars. Also, when I read other reviews on books, I realize “Alright, maybe that book wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.” Then I reread it, and I bump up my rating. Just like Ju, I sometimes feel that I grow out of books.
    I hope that makes sense :)

  4. YES. My book tastes and opinions seem to be always changing. For instance, I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns a couple of years ago and only gave it three stars. I just reread it and now it’s one of my favorite books! I’ve read Inkheart three times, and have had different opinions on it every time. I still don’t know what I think about that book(I might have to read it again).

    For a long time I was only into Christian Fiction. Now, I’ve grown tired of the genre and long to branch out. You could definitely say my opinions have changed!

  5. My opinions are constantly shifting and they are highly affected by my mood so when it comes to books, i often reread to see if I’ll like the story a second time. Sometimes I even reread books I don’t like to see if I would like them on the second try, especially if my mood was sour the first time I read them. With some, like “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, I enjoy the book on the second read; with others, like “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini, my enjoyment of the story drops when I reread. For the most part, the type of stories I like and the elements of the story that I most enjoy haven’t changed much.

    This happened to me with Mockingjay. I read it the first time and I was like ‘eh, I expected better.’ But then last year I read it for the third time and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT AND BAWLED MY EYES OUT!!!
    Amazing and original discussion post, Kara!!!!

  7. Oh yes my opinions on books constantly change! The second time I read Mockingjay I just NOPE. Couldn’t deal with it. I’m hoping that the second time i read raven boys I’ll like it, because the first time around I had to DNF :(

    Great post, Kara <33

  8. Yep, my opinions definitely change! I think sometimes mood, or what I ‘feel’ like reading can come into it, based on whether I’ve read a huge string of contemporaries and come across yet another one which I may compare to the others for example. Sometimes I’ll look back on a book and see that I think of it differently in hindsight as well. There are some that I really want to go back to and give another chance, just to see if I like them better now. Great topic Kara :)

  9. My opinions don’t shift *that* easily, but when I look back at some of the earliest books I rated on Goodreads that I love, now I’m just embarrassed. I know I loved them then, but looking back they were usually unoriginal and filled with over-used tropes and cliches, and poorly written. *shivers* But we all grow as readers!

    I haven’t read the Bone Season (though I want to) but I’m currently in the same situation with my read. I’d been told that Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff was really good, but the beginning was really slow and it takes a long time to understand the world building. I’m really glad I didn’t DNF it now because it gets so much better! Maybe adult fiction books don’t bow to the same pressure as YA to keep the pacing quick all the way through.

    • I’ve heard a couple of people say that about Stormdancer! I will, hopefully, read that one soon, so I’ll have to bear that in mind. I think you’re right, actually! A lot of the adult novels that I’ve read DO tend to be a little slower, and it seems to be more accepted as a whole.

  10. I fully intend to reread Wuthering Heights. I had to read it for school and the experience wasn’t great. But then there’s something like Huckleberry Finn that I am actively avoiding and will probably get rid of, rather than reread.

  11. My opinions change all the time, too! Well, not drastically, but I’m so indecisive about ratings I give books. My initial reaction to a book will often be much different than what I think of it months later. I’m also someone who will give books another try, and often times books I didn’t like or think much of turn into things I really end up appreciating. Also, fantasy and dragons FTW!

  12. My book opinions only change after a few years. Pretty much the only books I still like from when I was ten is Percy Jackson. But I still like most of the books I liked last year, and the year before.

  13. My opinions definitely change, and I think it often depends on where you are in in life and what you expect to see. There are books I used to love and don’t anymore, and there are other times when I’m glad I give my books a second chance because with a fresh pair of eyes I can see that they are amazing again.

  14. I completely agree – my opinion changes constantly Kara. I think it’s because we’ll read a book and think it’s “the best thing ever”, but then later on we’ll read another book that’s even better than the book we previously believed to be so awesome; and our opinion and perspective on everything will switch. Thanks for sharing and fabulous post! ♥

  15. My opinion often changes, too! I’ve noticed that it especially changes when I read reviews or discussions of books I loved or hated, and I’ll admit, sometimes I hate that.

  16. What a wonderful discussion Kara! My opinions definitely change, but not constantly. I think they definitely have changed over the years, so slow and steady. Looking back, I could see myself loving a certain book, but as I’ve become older (oh woe), and wiser (lel), my reading tastes have definitely shifted. I cannot STAND juvenile characters anymore, especially the TSTL ones, and that in turn leaves a horrible taste in my mouth when proceeding with the rest of the book. I hardly get a chance to reread books these days, so if I DNF (which doesn’t actually happen often), then I most likely won’t go back to it.

  17. Oh my goodness do my tastes change. I look back on some stuff I read and am like what??? Also I have DNFed some book sand started them again and have enjoyed them. I think my problem is always being in the wrong mood/headspace. But there are cases where it just isn’t a book for me. Great post!

  18. If I’m going to be completely honest, I’m very unpredictable and inconsistent.

    I might LOVE a book which in other circumstances might have been just ordinary, or I could hate a character firs time round, but soon come to love it. (Like Peeta, for instance. I used to detest Peeta, but I’m starting to warm up to him slightly now) LOVELY POSTT <3

  19. Yayy, I’m so glad you’re giving The Bone Season another chance! I loved it so much. But I do agree that the hype will make you constantly think while reading – where’s the awesome? Great topic to discuss Kara!

  20. My opinions change all the time as well! I can’t think of any book related opinions, but when I first tried to watch Teen Wolf I couldn’t get into it and now it’s one of my favourite shows haha.

    I agree with books that are too hyped by the way. They give you these huge expectations that might cause you to dislike a book, while you might have liked it if it weren’t for those expectations :(

  21. I definitely do change opinions on things. For instance, I really like re-reading. But when I pick up a book I loved the bejesus out of years ago, I’ll read it again now and suddenly I won’t like it as much as I did before. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I was a new reader back then, and I’ve read so much more now and have a better grasp of what I like and don’t like.

    But, same as you — always the love for fantasy.

  22. I was the same with Throne of Glass Kara. I read it and gave it one star the first time around. it was meh and at that point, I really disliked fantasy. After reading Red Queen and a few more fantasies, I read Throne of Glass again around a year later, and loved it! Our tastes definitely do change and I’m so glad I gave it another go and it sounds like the Bone Season did that for you too. Red Rising, tried to read it twice and hated it both times and still haven’t finished it. I’m all over the place really, something I like now, a year from now I might think it’s horrid.

    Pretty sure I’m opinionatedly dysfunctional :D

    • Eeek, SO glad you loved ToG! ADORE those books <3 <3 Speaking of Red Rising, I TRIED reading that book too… but didn't get into it for whatever reason. BUT, after rereading and loving The Bone Season — I'm going to give it another chance.

  23. While I hardly give books a second chance after I DNF them, I do think opinions can change and in a different mood I might like a book better or maybe less than the first time. My enjoyment of a book seems to get influences by so many things, ofcourse the book itself, but also what type of book I am in the mood for, if there is a deadline close by for which I have to read it, what book i read before it etc.
    And sometimes when I don’t like a book I conclude it just wasn’t for me. Like you said you can’t like every book. Expectations are a big influence as well, sometimes I expect certain things to happen or certain themes and get disapointed when that doesn’t happen or like with hyped up books I expected them to be really good and then the book falls flat due to those high expectations. Great post! I have The Bone Season in paperback and hope to read it soon, so I am glad to hear you are enjoying it this time around!

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