Reflections on Re-Reading

One of my 2018 goals was to re-read more and I set out with a list of books that I wanted to re-read, which I threw out pretty quickly, honestly. But I did achieve my goal and read 55 books! I also learned some things about myself and I went ahead and tried to rank just the books I re-read into a Top Ten for you. I’m nothing if not generous. (Although I should mention I left out all of the books I re-read after reading them for the first time, which probably means the real number of re-reads is about 30.) Anyway, let’s jump in.

I always thought I had a good memory for books and maybe I used to? When I would try to read books for a second time as a kid, I would get so bored because I already knew what was going to happen. The only exceptions to my dislike of re-reading were Harry Potter (because I was trying to figure out what was coming next–I still have never read the seventh book a second time) and Pride and Prejudice. I would try and probably succeeded with others, but mostly I remember just not really loving it.

But now I’m an adult who buys her own books and even though my parents were generous with my book allowance until I hit middle or high school, my access to books has definitely increased now and I’m reading over a hundred books a year consistently. So who knows when I started forgetting details about books, but all I know is that when I started re-reading The Golden Compass, it was like I was reading it for the first time. Unfortunately, I was also not loving it like I did the first time.

I think what I learned throughout the year with this re-reading project is that I actually love re-reading some old romance novels with the perspective that I have even a year later and nothing beats re-reading a series in preparation for the next book to come out. I also am now finding myself in a constant state of wanting to re-read some of my favorites instead of moving on to find new favorites and I think at some point, I want to pull a Lala and dedicate a month to re-reading my favorites just to try and figure out what my actual favorite books of all time are. At this point, if someone asked me, I think I would just be a literal shrug emoji. Is Pride and Prejudice really my favorite book of all time? Honestly, HOW DOES ONE KNOW?

Anyway, you’re not reading this to indulge my existential crisis so let’s talk about my top ten books I re-read this year! I’m not going to go into much detail about each book because… Well, because, but let’s go! Also, these aren’t ranked because they’re all so different and I can’t.

1 and 2. Hold Meand Trade Meby Courtney Milan

Hold Me was one of my favorites of 2017 and on re-read it absolutely held up and I adored it immensely. It’s a romance novel following Maria and she has an online persona that is anonymous where she predicts various ways the world will end. She and Jay know each other because of her online activities, but when they meet each other IRL and don’t know they know each other, they get off on the very wrong foot. Trade Me is one I re-read later in the year and fell in love with again. I had forgotten how much I adore Tina Chen. And Blake!! Oh man. This whole series is great.

3. Hate to Want Youby Alisha Rai

My other favorite romance of 2017, Hate to Want You was absolutely perfect both times I re-read it this year. I truly adore this book and the mental health rep is brilliant and wonderful and life-changing. This book follows Livvy and Nico, who loved each other as teenagers and then life tore them apart. They’ve met up every year on Livvy’s birthday for a decade, until this year, but Livvy’s back in town. It’s so good and so angsty and I just love it so much.

4. Pride and Prejudiceby Jane Austen

Nothing really to say about this, except that as much as I love the audiobook narration by Rosamund Pike, it’s weird having Lizzie Bennett narrated by Jane because I’m too in love with the 2005 movie and can’t quite wrap my head around Jane as the narrator.

5. Sabrielby Garth Nix

The Abhorsen series is really great and I really need to actually pick up Clariel. Maybe I’ll pretend to know when I bought it and say it was 2018 so I have to get to it this year. Jk. My TBR is so full. Help. I’ll just have to pick it up anyway.

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

I’m shocked this is on my list. I used to think it was my least favorite Harry Potter book, but I actually loved it?

7. A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

This erotic contemporary romance is a masterpiece in the genre. This is the book that made me fall in love with Rai’s writing and like… Yeah, no regrets on re-reading it. It’s so good.

8. Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

The Smythe-Smith quartet might be better than The Bridgertons, I’m just saying. Just Like Heaven is the cutest older brother’s best friend book I’ve read in a while, I think. I just love Honoria and I love her just waltzing down to Marcus’s estate to take care of him when he’s sick. It’s the most precious thing.

9. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I’m not going to say Heir of Fire is my new favorite in the Throne of Glass series because that would be a lie, but like Chamber of Secrets, I developed a new appreciation for this book. I’m not the kind of person to love the low moment in a hero’s journey and that is what this book really is. I don’t know what it was about this re-read, but I just really found myself right there beside Aelin as she became who she is and I just… Yeah. I love her. And Rowan!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

And now I’m cheating because I’m straight up listing this whole trilogy, but like… It’s so good? I love it so much. If you haven’t read it yet, you should so you’ll be ready for the TV show!!

Did you re-read this year? If so, did your opinions change on any of the books you read?


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