Lately, I have been re-reading the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi from the beginning again, and each time I finished a book from the series, I went to Goodreads and re-read my original reviews waaaayyyyy back from almost five or six years ago…and oh my god friends, it was pure joy!
I’ll be the first to admit that my reviewing style was super immature back then, but was it entertaining?
In fact, I had so much fun re-reading the thoughts of younger little me, that I decided to write a post on the first 5 books I have ever reviewed. That’s right friends, today, we are gonna take a trip down memory lane where I’ll be re-reading the first 5 books I reviewed on this blog and sharing my thoughts about each of them. Let’s get to it!
Important Note: The first 5 books I reviewed were originally published in Bookish Freaks, my very first WordPress book blog.
1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
It’s so fun to see that the first blog post I published was a review of a masterpiece of a book, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
But was my review any good?
I’ll admit, I am more than a little embarrassed by the use of all the quotes I designed in PicMonkey. And also, what was up with all those giant paragraphs? *cringe*
Questionable graphics aside though, re-reading my review, it’s so easy to see what a big impact this book had on me. And I personally think the use of overdramatic gifs perfectly reflected my emotional state after finishing the book. Check out the review here.
2. For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund
It’s pretty clear that I had some very strong opinions about For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund, but wow, I did not realize just how poorly I wrote this review. Since I sort of vaguely remember the story, I can still understand exactly why I did not enjoy this particular book much…but did my choice of words offer a proper critique of the book?
No, it definitely did not.
That being said, I am still open to revisiting this book again, if only to see what my thoughts would be now that I am older and wiser. Already, I have learned to appreciate Persuasion by Jane Austen a little bit more than I did during my teenage years, so perhaps I will enjoy the retelling better when I reread it now.
3. Tandem by Anna Jarzab
Before I share my opinions on my first review of Tandem by Anna Jarzab, let me just say that this is a trilogy that deserved more love and attention from the community, and that’s a hill I will die on. It’s such a brilliant, Young Adult science-fiction, that I was genuinely shocked that the book did not make enough sales and eventually got canceled.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way….back to my review.
And oh dear, while this one is a bit better than most of my first book reviews, did I really write “It’s a concept I am very familiar with” when talking about fringe science and parallel universes?
As if watching a few science fiction movies makes me an expert on quantum physics and the multiverse?
Did I really do that?
Tanaz from years ago, WHAT WERE YOU EVEN THINKING????
4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
Next up on my list of the first 5 books I reviewed is a book that I will never ever pick up again.
Oh boy, I remember those times when The Selection by Kiera Cass had taken the book community by storm. I couldn’t help but get in on the hype train too–surely if so many people loved this trilogy so much, there had to be some good in it.
And I tried. I will not lie. I tried really hard to love this book, to the point where I pushed myself to finish the trilogy hoping it would get better.
I was so disappointed. And re-reading my review, my frustrations with this book are as clear as day.
It’s not that the book had no potential because it did. It had such an excellent premise, and even the writing was fun and engaging. But unfortunately, the plot was absolutely butchered and the main protagonist was just so awful and dumb. I’ll spare you (and myself) from ranting about what a disappointment this book was, you can just read my review of it from years ago here.
5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Technicially, this was my 8th or 9th book review I think. After reviewing The Selection by Kiera Cass, I reviewed The Elite and The One, but it would be quite repetitive if I mentioned them all over again, so I figured I would choose a different book to include in my list of the first 5 books I reviewed.
I mentioned at the start of this post that I have been re-read the entire Shatter Me series (including the extremely disappointing and bizarre continuation of the original trilogy). So of course, I had to mention my first review of Shatter Me in this list.
And what do you know, I still agree with 99% of the things I mentioned in my review from years ago.
Just like before, I still stand my ground that Tahereh Mafi has a unique, poetic prose that I still absolutely beautiful…but it’s not for everyone. It’s definitely hit-or-miss.
And I will always say that Shatter Me was marketed for the wrong genre. The dystopian science fiction backdrop is sorely underdeveloped, and the plot is…wait, where’s the plot again?
But, it’s definitely an excellent character-driven romance with elements of science fiction and dystopia, and Aaron Warner (from the original trilogy) will forever and always be my number one favorite book boyfriend. You can read about my pining for him in my review here.
Aaand that brings me to the end of my memory lane for today! It was a lot of fun going back all those years ago, re-reading the first 5 books I reviewed, and seeing how far I have come, both as a reviewer and as a reader.
But one thing I couldn’t help but notice while reading my previous reviews, is that no matter how badly written they were, no matter how immature I seemed, and no matter how many questionable GIFs I had used…you can tell that I had fun. And that’s something that I am trying to bring back to my blog posts again.
I have noticed lately that my posts and reviews have a more professional tone these days…and I want to get rid of it. When I am writing for this blog, I am not writing for an audience. While it’s great to send these words out and share them with you, and while I am grateful for all of you who are taking the time to read these silly blog posts…at the end of the day, I blog for myself first and foremost. I write for myself. And I want to always have fun while doing it.
Do you re-read your old blog posts? How much has your blogging style has changed? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time friends! <3