I feel like I start all of these introspective posts the same way about how I’m not sure if I’m alone in this. Generally the answer is no, but regardless, my topic today is specifically about why I have changed my ratings, more positive or more negative, days, weeks, months, or years after reading. Let’s talk about five reasons I seem to have when I do this.
I feel like rereads have the possibility of going one of two ways when it’s a book you loved the first time, either you still love it, or you realize your past self and your present self are not the same and that present you does not agree with your past self’s thoughts. I’ve experienced both of those possibilities before, but I always find it more interesting when I’ve reread a book in a series and discovered that actually, past me was incorrect and I love a book. Perhaps the most glaring example of this is Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh, which I originally gave three stars. I think I didn’t like the male lead when I originally read it, but looking back, I’m really amazed. Now it’s one of my favorites in the series that I re-read constantly. Another glaring example is White Hot, which I originally gave four stars and now it’s actually my favorite book in Nevada’s trilogy. I’m still not sure why I gave it four stars, but I was wrong.
I Can’t Stop Thinking About It
I feel like this happens to me most often with a book that while I’m reading, I notice really nitpicky things and I’m like, “Oh, well, can’t give this five stars because of x, y, or z.” But then they haunt me and I think about them all the time and eventually, if they linger long enough, I wind up bumping up my rating to a five. Most recently this happened with The Hitman by Katrina Jackson. I couldn’t tell you what the nitpicky thing was, maybe the beginning? I remember not loving that. But I think about The Hitman CONSTANTLY. It is one of my favorites of the year, I think, so I had to upgrade my rating from four to five stars for staying power.
I Originally Gave It 5 Stars and Can’t Figure Out Why
Okay, so in all honesty, I think I do this the most. If you’re my friend on Goodreads, you may have noticed that I tend to be generous in my ratings. My average rating is around a 4 star. In some ways, I probably am easy to please, but in other ways, I just feel like I’m being mean when I rate something low. This year when I went through my ratings a few weeks ago, I realized there were a few where I was just really lying to myself about my enjoyment of a book. One example of this is Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean, which I liked at the time, but as time went on, I just didn’t feel like that fit. Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite authors. She’s an autobuy for me and I was really highly anticipating Daring and the Duke. And… ultimately, while I enjoyed it, I just don’t think I loved it as much as I wanted to believe that I did.
Melinda Taught Me the Phrase “Aggressively Fine”
Melinda used the phrase aggressively fine and I seized on it because YES, this is in fact the way I feel about too many books. I had been giving those books four star ratings on Goodreads because, well, see above, but now I’m realizing aggressively fine books belong in the 3 star category so that my 4 star books make sense. I’m going to try and be more consistent in this rating in the future, but there were a number of books I moved into the three star category when I went through to fix that a month or so ago.
I Learned About Something Problematic I Overlooked
The most obvious for me is All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Byrne, which I wasn’t really enjoying, but wasn’t hating, and was therefore skimming a bit and missed some wildly problematic things at the end of the book. And then I read Mel’s review and I was like, “Oh crap.” So I downgraded my rating from 3 to 2. I think that rating is more accurate for me, but I’m not really sure that my ratings are consistent enough for me to swear to that.
And there you have it! If you’ve ever changed your rating after the fact, what made you do that? let me know!