Looking Back on My Old 5 Star Ratings

Old FiveStar Reviews

Rose @ Stuck in Fiction looked back on her 5 star reads and shared how her opinions about some of those books have changed over time. I think a lot of us can relate to this and I wanted to talk about a few books that I loved when I first read them but upon reflection my thoughts on them have changed.

Looking for Alaska

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I read all of John Green’s novels when I was first getting in to YA novels, and at the time, Looking for Alaska was my favourite. It was unlike anything I have read before. Since then, I have read a lot more YA that tackles similar topics more effectively with characters I became more connected to. I would have to reread this book to really sort out my current feelings on it. I have such conflicted feelings about John Green’s book in general, but I did really love Turtles All the Way Down last year!

The Lovely Bones

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The Lovely Bones was all the rage when I read it years ago, and I wonder if that affected my feelings about it. Everyone loved it, so of course I wanted to love it too! It was so dark and heartbreaking but I look back on it with mixed feelings. That said, I have forgotten a lot about it so it is another book I would need to reread!

Nicholas Sparks

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I will admit that I still enjoy Nicholas Sparks novels and I will probably continue to read them! Looking back on my ratings, I have rated the earlier books five stars but the ones I have read more recently I gave three stars. I am not sure if that is because the books themselves are not as good as they used to be, or if my taste have just changed! I wouldn’t mind rereading my favourite of his novels, The Wedding, to see if I love it just as much today!

Anna and the French Kiss

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I think Anna and the French Kiss might have been my first YA romance novel and that is why I rated it so highly! My reading taste has changed a lot since then, and I prefer my YA romances to have a little more depth than this book. This is the first book on my list that I have no intention on ever rereading because I already know I would not enjoy it!

My Sister’s Keeper

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My Sister’s Keeper is another book that I read because there was so much hype for it! It is also one of the first books that made me cry. When I look back on it today, I realize how emotionally manipulative this book is! The ending actually makes me angry when I think about it now.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares

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I really loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares when I read it, mostly because it is set around Christmas time and I thought it was really adorable! I still think I would find it sweet if I read it today, but I highly doubt it would be five stars! It is rare that I give a fluffy romance novel five stars these days.


Have you ever looked back at some of your ratings and wonder what you thinking? I would love to know the books that you have since changed your mind about!


51 thoughts on “Looking Back on My Old 5 Star Ratings

  1. That’s interesting about Nicholas sparks and your reviews… I notice when I look back, my interests have changed and what I thought was amazing at the time, isn’t as good to me sometimes. I enjoy NS too…

  2. Lovely post, as always! πŸ™‚ I’ve been so conflicted about reading Looking for Alaska (all of Green’s work, tbh), and I’m glad I read your thoughts on it! If curiosity does get the best of me and I do decide to read it, I’ll know what to expect going into it.

    I really loved reading this post (also, I missed your blog). <3 This is such a cool idea.

  3. I definitely think my opinions have changed and now it takes a lot for me to give a book 5 stars. I haven’t looked back at any of my oast 5 star reviews, but I’m sure some of these would change if I read them now.

  4. I’ve done the same thing! But then I also don’t wanna change the rating to something else because I feel like that’s not genuine either if so much time has passed since I read it!

  5. I love this idea! I’m sure there’s plenty of books on my 5 star shelf I’d reconsider changing. Reading taste changing being one part & the other is more of an awareness with problematic writing. I also prefer my books to have more depth in them now, and my characters to be a bit more complex. I remember reading My Sister’s Keeper & feeling wrecked, I have never read another Jodi book since. i do own her latest Small Great Thing (think that’s the title) but it’s been a year since I purchased it sooooo yea lol! Great list! happy reading πŸ™‚

    1. I completely agree with you! I wasn’t as critical of what I was reading back then and my reading certainly wasn’t as diverse as it is now. I haven’t read a Jodi book in years even though there are a few I’m curious about! Thank you!πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Every once in a while, I see something in my Goodreads list that I read, and see the rating I left, and wonder what the hell was going on with me that week…

  7. I agree, I also loved Looking for Alaska when I first read it but since then I’ve read better. And I also don’t want to reread Anna and the French Kiss bc I have good memories attached to it and they might change if I read it now.

    1. That’s exactly how I feel about Alaska! I think there are some books that are best not to reread because there is a nostalgia there that we don’t want tampered with. I feel that way about Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants!

  8. I haven’t been rating books that long but I definitely have had experiences where I’ve re-read a book I remembered as being amazing and thought “meh” (or the reverse). Tastes do change, I think, and sometimes it comes down to how you’re feeling and how life is going at the time.

  9. What a fun idea!

    My guess with Nicholas Sparks would be the similarity of his books makes the more recent ones seem less amazing. I’ve only read 2, but my mom read a whole bunch, and they definitely seem to follow a formula. For me personally that lessens my enjoyment as I go. Dan Brown is my best example. Just a thought!

  10. I love this idea for a post! I’d be curious to see what you think of The Lovely Bones if you ever reread it.. I disliked it a lot personally. πŸ™‚

  11. I’m so scared of doing something like this! I think most of the books I gave 5 stars when I started to read YA would get lower ratings now, but I don’t want to reread them and I don’t like the idea of changing the rating without re reading them. So many of the book on this list would also be on mine, I remember giving 5 stars to Looking for Alaska, a few Nicholas Spark books, Dash & Lily, and Anna and the French Kiss.

    This was a really fun post to read. Great job! πŸ’—

      1. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. No matter how much I suspect that some of those book would be 3 stars if I re read them, I’m not willing to change the rating until I actually re read them.

  12. I have actually changed ratings on books based on a later re-reading of them. But I can admit that Nicholas Sparks will probably always be a guilty pleasure read for me. They are mostly predictable, but I still really enjoy reading them. Honestly, I haven’t picked up a Nicholas Sparks book in a couple/few years, so I’m not sure what rating I would give them now.

    1. His books are my go to guilty pleasure reads! I do think there is something different about his newer books that I just don’t connect with as much but he has a new one coming out this year and you know I’ll be reading it!

      1. My first Sparks was A Walk to Remember, but I think my favorite might have been True Believer, though I though Safe Haven was pretty good.

  13. I adored Dash and Lily. I liked Alaska, but it is probably my least favorite JG book. I know! I am a black sheep on that one. Anna was great too, but my favorite book was Isla’s. We got all that closure on the couples, and I thought it was the most straight forward, two crazy kids in love story of the three. I think I am a black sheep on that one too.

  14. I totally agree with Looking for Alaska and Anna and the French Kiss. I rated them so highly but if I were to re-read them now I’d probably give them a really low rating, mainly because there’s things that happened in each book that I didn’t notice the first time around which make me so angry now haha!

  15. Ooh, great post! I think so many of our childhood favorites tend to change with the times (and our mentalities), so I’m not at all surprised you think you’d find these conflicting now. I myself liked My Sister’s Keeper in middle school, but YIKES I agree it’s so emotionally manipulative for me now. So weird how perspectives change so much within a decade… πŸ˜‚

      1. At least you realize it now! I know so many people who still consider some really bad books (in my opinion of course) Shakespeare level lol. πŸ˜›

  16. Wonderful post! I was definitley more…generous with my five star ratings when I was just getting back into reading πŸ˜‚ I’m sure a lot of my ratings would change upon a re-read. But that’s just natural, tastes always change with time.

  17. Hahahhaa yes definitely! I used to give teenage erotica/steamy romance with mystery a 4- star atleast and now I just find them so so so trashy that I probably would never read those lol

  18. It’s so interesting to see what you thought was 5 star before but may not be now! I haven’t read Looking For Alaska or Turtles All the Way Down, so I think my opinion will be different from what others thought but still hoping to like it <3 Fun post xx

  19. I read My Sister’s Keeper when I think I was probably 18 or 19, I remember being completely hooked to it. I am now 26 and have been nervous to go back to Jodi Picoult, so many people have now mentioned the emotional manipulation in her books, I don’t remember feeling that at the time, but it was a long time ago and my reading has changed so much since then.

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