Top Ten Tuesday: My First Reviews (this took an unexpected turn into unpopular opinion territory)

Cool cool cool, so, ummmmm…whoops, sorry, the review I’ve been promising you all is coming for the past three weeks will now be posted tomorrow. It’s taken me forever to write cuz its fucking long, ok? You’ll understand tomorrow. Trust me.

On a far less I’m-literally-the-shittest-blogger note, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday! You know, the one thing on my blog that I actually post consistently? Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this weeks prompt is the first ten reviews you posted. Now, I have only posted one review on my blog so far, because A) I can’t read, and B) I can’t write. But I’ve posted nearly 40 reviews on goodreads since I started reviewing at the very beginning of 2018, so I guess I’ll share the first ten with you all.

Warning: this post contains copious amounts of cringe and self deprecation. Proceed with caution.

1. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Ok, this review wasn’t actually bad?? Like, I gave my basic thoughts on the book; why I liked it, and what elements might be controversial/polarizing, and summed everything up clearly and concisely. I even used spoiler tags so that people could actually read the review if they hadn’t read the book, which isn’t something I do now? (I always warn for spoilers at the beginning of my reviews cuz I’m not a complete arsehole, but I never hide them.)

However, the me of today would never be able to stop after just 3-4 paragraphs. My reviews are now so much more in depth (alternatively: way too in depth), and they’re structured a lot better (broken up into characters, plot, writing, etc). But I genuinely do actually like this review (even if I started rambling on about psychology halfway through because even back then I had no chill).

Also, can we just take a moment to mourn whoever the fuck that was that read this in only two days, thanks.

2. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Another review I don’t hate! I mean, look at all those critical thoughts, even if I didn’t go into much depth. This was the first book review in which I spoke about mental health representation as well, and I genuinely think I did a good job explaining the pros and cons of the rep in this book. Again, even if it wasn’t anywhere near as in depth as I’d go in now. I’m genuinely a bit weirded out right now, cuz I swear my old reviews were terrible (I haven’t looked back on them in 7 or 8 months), but I haven’t hated these so far??

Also, I apparently read this in one day…who the actual fuck was I??? Can I have her back now, please???

3. Otherworld by Kirsten Miller and Jason Segel

Well, the shit reviews had to start somewhere. This is, like, 5 sentences. They’re not even good sentences. I want to cry just knowing I wrote this. How did I regress so much?? I don’t even know what else to say about this one. I’m just glad I don’t review books like this anymore.

Pro-tip: don’t bother clicking on the link to read this review cuz that’s the entire thing. Yeah. As I said, it’s bad.

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Well shit. I completely forgot that my reviews of these books were some of my first. I’ve kind of been avoiding expressing my thoughts on the Harry Potter series because, well, I’m not exactly the biggest Harry Potter fan, and whilst legit everyone who knows me from goodreads knows that because of this review, I still worry about the reactions of people on new platforms cuz anxiety. But oh well, every single one of my HP reviews will be linked in this post, so I guess by the end of this you’ll all know my thoughts.

As for this review specifically, well, it’s garbage. I was so scared about what other people would think of my thoughts when I wrote this that I tried to cater to them with all the “I’m sure this was great at the time” and “I’m too old for this maybe?” bullshit, when in reality, I just didn’t think this was anywhere near as good as people say it is.

Also, low key starting to wonder if these are even my reviews, because how tf did it only take me a day or two to read each of these books???

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

I could just skip the rest of my reviews of this series, but I kind of feel like that would be cheating? Also, reading Harry Potter for the first time is such a massive part of so many readers’ lives, and the same can be said for me. It just so happened that I felt, well, differently about these books than most people.

I was definitely a lot saltier in this review, because I felt like this series was just letting me down, and it was pissing me off because it’s so hyped. Also, this book was truly the start of my intense hatred of Harry as a character, and you can really tell. But this still wasn’t really a good review to be honest. Like, don’t get me wrong, everything I said was totally fine. It’s just that it’s very short and I didn’t expand upon any of my thoughts, and I much prefer reviews that actually go into more depth.

6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

I think this is the worst review I’ve ever written?? I just immediately went off on this book cuz I disliked it so much, but I didn’t give any actual reasons for not liking it? Like, I say the characters were annoying…how, though? I never explain anything. So this just feels like me trashing a book for no reason.

7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

Ok ok I’m starting to get better at reviewing at this point. I mean, apparently I forgot that paragraphs exist, but I do start to give specific examples of what I did and didn’t like in this book, rather than just saying “yeah it’s predictable” or whatever. I also start to add some humour and jokes into this review, which makes it a little more entertaining to read. Overall, this was an improvement to the first two HP reviews, but it’s still not great.

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

This is the start of my reviews not being complete trash. Don’t get me wrong, this review isn’t great, but I discover paragraphs, continue to give more in depth examples of what I did and didn’t like in the book, and just generally articulate my thoughts better. I also give more critical thoughts in this review than in previous ones, which is always good. Though, of course since this is me, I do also write an entire paragraph complaining about stupid and irrelevant details.

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Whilst my intense hatred of Harry as a character began after Chamber of Secrets, it definitely peaked while I was reading this book. This was my first true rant review, and it’s genuinely pretty good. I definitely could have split a couple paragraphs in half to make it easier to read, but I explain all my thoughts pretty well, and it’s an entertaining review to read. This was kind of when I started to get the hang of reviewing, and while this review definitely isn’t perfect, it’s the first one on this list that I’m actually proud of.

10. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Apparently all my unpopular opinions ever are from February 2018. I mean, I don’t even dislike this book, I just didn’t love it like the rest of the world. But my review for this book was pretty good. I listened to this as an audiobook, so I forgot a few details by the time I got around to reviewing it, but for the most part, I do a good job of going through what I like and didn’t like, and why that lead to the rating I gave this. Though, just like with the last review, I deffo could’ve split the paragraphs in half to make this easier to read and understand.

11. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Uhhhh yes, I do know how numbers work, and I do know that this is meant to be Top Ten Tuesday, but this is one of my favourite HP reviews, and definitely my favourite early review, so I fuck it, I decided I’d share this one with you as well. And ooof, it’s a harsh one guys. But, and not to toot my own horn or anything, it’s kind of funny af? This review is really the first one that I managed to find a good balance between humour and actual intelligent thoughts. But. I. Still. Don’t. Know. How. Paragraphs. Work. Apparently. Seriously past Laura, new idea = new paragraph. It’s not that hard.

Welp. That didn’t go exactly how I expected it to. This post just kind of ended up being “hey, I hate all of your favourite book series, here’s a bunch of ranty reviews on it”. But oh well, this is my most unpopular opinion, and it was bound to come out at some point, whoops (please don’t hate me).

But I hope you enjoyed seeing my old trashy reviews, and kind of getting an idea of how I progressed when I was first starting. Tomorrow (yes, I swear I’m not lying this time) I’m posting my Muse of Nightmares review, so you’ll get to see even more of my review-writing progression and get an idea of what my reviews are like now. So hopefully that’ll be fun. But yeah, talk to me in the comments: what was the first book you reviewed? What’s your favourite review you’ve ever written? Do you have any super unpopular opinions? That’s all I’ve got for you guys for now, so I’ll see you tomorrow with my 4000 word review (I wish I wasn’t exaggerating). Byeeeeeee.

-Laura Herondale

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My First Reviews (this took an unexpected turn into unpopular opinion territory)

Add yours

  1. Haha I love reading your ranty reviews. I don’t like Harry Potter either (oh no, I’ve not said that online yet, hope no one kills me) so it’s pretty nice to see a different opinion on it than the usual love 😂

    Also I related so hard every time you couldn’t understand reading so quickly. I used to finish books in a day and now I’m like, it’s been a month?? And I’m still on this one book?? 😆 Anyway, great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahhh omg finally someone else who doesn’t love HP!! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Also lmao don’t worry, we can run from the angry mob together 😆

      Ughhhhh yesss. Like, shouldn’t we be getting BETTER at reading?? Why does it now take me a month to read 100 pages? What has happened?? And aww thank you 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay, but you being salty for every single HP review is the greatest thing I’ve seen today. I am not a huge Harry Potter fan, though I do like the books, and I’m surprised that you didn’t, but also completely understand all the things you pointed out? And the MATH THAT YOU DID FOR ALL THE STUDENTS AT HOGWARTS. Girl, I’m impressed. How did your brain even go there? Hahahh.
    I didn’t review many books back in the day, and I think if I looked back, I’d just be cringing because my English was SO BAD. I think I have so many Grammar mistakes or just sentences that don’t make any sense at all. I should probably look back on them too; it would be a good laugh.
    I’ll admit I’ve never used Goodreads to track the time I spend reading a book, so I’ll typically just add it the day I’m done with it, so it also looks like I finished it in one sitting when I didn’t. Perhaps, that’s why you have so many books that you read in one day as well.
    I completely agree with what you said about Simon vs., though, because I feel exactly the same. It’s an unpopular opinion too, since this is such a hyped book, but I really don’t get why, lol.
    Amazing post, Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahah thank youuu x I’m always so worried about those reviews because HP is so massive and people don’t tend to like it when people don’t like the series, so I’m that you got all my points and enjoyed those reviews 😊 But girl, omg, you don’t even know. My brain is so extra holy shit. For my Throne of Glass review, I literally counted all of the punctuation in the book just to make a point! 😆
      I mean, even if you cringe at your own reviews as much as I did at mine, you’ll at least get to see how much you’ve improved. That was definitely the best part about reading through my old reviews; it showed me how much better I am now at writing reviews and getting my points across while still being relatively entertaining, even if I ramble on way too much lol.
      Honestly, I pretty much do the same thing now. But I used to ONLY use goodreads to track how long it took me to read a book when I first joined, and didn’t really stop doing so until late 2018, so those books were definitely books I read in one day. And I’m still reeling, because HOW??
      Ahhhh it’s so good to find someone who agrees! Because you’re right, it’s such a hyped book, so it’s rare to find someone who rated it any less than 4 stars. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a bad book or anything, just way overhyped.
      But thank you 💕💕 And sorry it took me so long to reply, I suck. But better late than never, right? 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s totally fine, Laura! I’m late at everything too, so don’t worry.
        I am so shocked you literally went through all the punctuation. That’s COMMITMENT. I love that, hahah.
        Oh, right! I am actually planning a discussion on how do I use Goodreads and I think it will be interesting seeing in the comments how much people track with the feature. I know some people that only add books to their Goodreads MONTHS after they’ve finished it. And I’m like HOW? I solely read books so I can add them to my Goodreads profile and see the bar move a little bit further in my Goodreads challenge, hahah.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Omg it took excruciatingly long. And jfc, if you think that’s commitment, well, I also counted all the punctuation in two other books with relatively the same amount of pages for comparison… I know I know, I take extra to a WHOLE new level 😆😆
        Yeah, that’ll actually be super interesting to see, especially since I went from using the site for just for tracking how long it takes me to a read a book, to not bothering at all lmao. But how does one not add a book until weeks after they’ve read it, let alone months omg?? Like, sometimes it might take me a day or two, but I’m so behind on my goodreads challenge that adding the books I’ve read is the greatest feeling in the world!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahah thank you! And I’m glad someone appreciates them lol. I just cant help but see how much better they could be because I’ve improved so much at reviewing, so my old reviews always seem like a total cringe fest 🙃


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