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Discuss: Reviewer’s Regret or Changing Your Mind About Books You Rated Awhile Ago

Let’s talk about hindsight, time and comparison can skew our perspective on books we read in the past.

Discuss: Reviewer’s Regret or Changing Your Mind About Books You Rated Awhile Ago

reviewer's remorse book discussion read breathe relax

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe you’re scrolling through Goodreads or Amazon and you see a rating of a book you read months or years ago. And you think to yourself, wait…I like this more/less than I did then. What happened?

For me, this tends to happen at the end of the year, when I’m looking back at Stats page. I stare at my ratings and am sometimes baffled that I wasn’t harsher or more forgiving. Or this happens because I was in a weird mood when I read the book, or read a better/worse book afterward that offered more direct comparison.

Is it just me? Or have you changed the rating of a book you read in the past? Why prompted you to change your mind?

I don’t offer star ratings on book reviews on the blog for that reason. I’d be updating old posts all the time. Plus, I honestly feel like reviews come down to one thing – do I recommend it or not?

Some books I’ve changed my rating on:

  • Lovely Vicious – I had originally given this book 2 stars then reduced it to 1 after careful consideration. It was really that bad.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – I re-read it recently, and loved it even more than the first time. It got bumped UP.
  • Suspicion – Brought down from 3 to 2 stars. Again, realizing how much I wasn’t impressed.
  • So, am I alone in this madness? Have you gotten soft in your old age or meaner (like me)?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Beth

    I try to allay that by writing my review, and then giving myself a week before I post it, just in case it was a bad mood influencing my first impression. But while my stars may change, it’d only be by one (up or down), and that doesn’t invalidate the content of my review (nor yours, I imagine!). I think, if you’re an author, it’s important to keep those emotional factors in mind if you’re disturbed by a review- it might just be someone being hormonal when they read it. Or having read the same type of book twice before yours. Or having a super-high expectation for your book before starting it, and struggling with disappointment. I think all of that is a pretty normal, natural thing!

  • Anya E. J.

    I resist this impulse because of how muddy my memories get so it could easily be that I’ve just forgotten finer details D: I accept my reviews are subjective and aim to have them reflect the feeling of being in the book instead of letting hindsight drive me nuts;)