Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: First Books I Reviewed on the Blog!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is: (First Ten) Books I Reviewed

This is a really fun topic that I've never done before! I decided to list the first ten books I ever reviewed on this blog, which was pretty interesting to go back and see what those books were. (I actually might do this topic again sometime and expand to maybe the next ten or twenty that I reviewed as well, just for the curiosity that I have--it's fun!) I decided to also go ahead and share the rating I gave each book and then some brief current thoughts on the review I wrote or the rating I gave it. This part was so cringe-inducing because I hate reading what I've written in the past, especially since the quality of my early reviews was, uh, well... they leave a bit to be desire. I've actually been slowly updating my old reviews to improve the quality, but I haven't gotten to very many yet. If anything, I just really need to update the formatting...

A few things stood out to me while putting this post together:
1. March 2015 was a busy review month for me. I have no idea why this was. I was still in college. What was I doing?
2. I had pretty much no schedule for posting at this point (it was still early).
3. My reading taste hasn't particularly changed, but I don't think this is the best indicator of my reading preferences since I'm a huge mood reader and the majority of these are within the same month or two. There isn't a lot of adult fantasy on this list, but that's likely just related to whatever my mood was at the time.
4. I really needed to proofread more. And that is precisely why I want to go back over some of them and uh, fix some things.

All that being said, let's jump into the first ten books I reviewed, starting with #10 and working our way down to the very first book I reviewed!

#10: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Date posted: March 31st, 2015
Rating:★ | Review
My thoughts: I'm not sure I'd give it five stars if I read it critically for the first time again today. However, it was one of the first popular major YA fantasy books that I read, plus it was during a time when my mental and physical health were horrible, so it really hit the spot for me at the time. For those reasons, I don't really feel bad about those five stars. Also, the typos...

#9: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hr. Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Date posted: March 22nd, 2015
Rating: ★ | Review
My thoughts:  This is definitely not a fabulous review by me. Apparently I had written it a while before and posted it then, but... I probably should have just not. Or rewritten it. I vaguely remember this book and would probably stand by my rating as well. 

#8: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Date posted: March 17th, 2015
Rating: ★.5 | Review
My thoughts: This was the first Lisa See book I ever read, and it definitely hasn't been the last! I love See's books and have continued to read them since. I still haven't caught up with her backlist, but hey, that just means there's more to read! 

#7: On the Beach by Nevil Shute
Date posted: March 9th, 2015
Rating: ★ | Review
My thoughts:  This was actually a really neat take on the impending apocalypse that I would definitely re-read some time in the future to get a new take on it, especially since I've read a lot of apocalyptic-type books since then. 

#6: Centurion by O.C. Shaw
Date posted: March 7th, 2015
Rating:  | Review
My thoughts: This was the first book that I ever had an author email to ask for a review, so of course I did it. I have since become slightly more choosy, but this was a really fun things for me to experience as a still-new book blogger.

#5: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
Date posted: March 2nd, 2015
Rating: .5 | Review
My thoughts: I really don't have any thoughts on this or my review, haha. I think this was a very average YA fantasy that I picked up because I'd heard people mention Kelley Armstrong before. It was decent, but nothing that really stands out to me now.

#4: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Date posted: February 19th, 2015
Rating: No rating | Review
My thoughts: On Goodreads, I have it down as five stars. And I would probably still agree? I just love Laini Taylor's prose.

#3: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Date posted: February 9th, 2015
Rating: No rating | Review
My thoughts: 
I guess I just didn't rate it at all? If I were to rate it now, I'd give a 2.5/3. On Goodreads, I have it marked as a three star and I remember being so disappointed by this book. Also, I was apparently extremely optimistic as a young blogger because this is the first review where I have an affiliate link for Book Depository on it. I'm not sure why I thought that would do anything when I probably had little to no people following my blog, but you know. I was new.

#2: Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund
Date posted: September 25th, 2014
Rating: 9/10 | Review
My thoughts:  No star ratings! I used ratings out of ten for my first two books and I sort of wish I still did that. Also, I still have good feelings about this book! I love Marie Antoinette books and this was a particularly beautiful one.

and the first book I ever reviewed on my blog was...

#1: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Date posted: September 22nd, 2014
Rating: 6/10 | Review
My thoughts: 
apparently I didn't use stars when I started out! I sort of wish I still did ratings out of ten, but I switched over to star ratings when I started using Goodreads more religiously. I remember not really like this book that much and I don't think that would change if I read it today. I still own my copy, though, because it's such a beautiful design!

Have you read any of these books? What are some of the first books you reviewed?


  1. Abundance does sound interesting!

    My TTT.

    1. It's really well-written and provides an interesting take. :)

  2. Throne of Glass was one of the first books I reviewed, it was just outside the first ten (number 11 actually!) but still one of my early reviews anyway, I think I'd only been blogging for a month at that point!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/top-ten-tuesday-208/

    1. It seems Throne of Glass is a good book for us in the early stages of blogging! That's funny how close our reviews of them are.

  3. Wasn't this week's prompt fun? I loved looking back at my first reviews, even though my blog layout was super silly at that time and I have evolved a lot since then.

    Here is my TTT: https://ichleseblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/top-ten-tuesday-first-ten-books-ive-reviewed/.

    1. It really was! It's been so much fun looking back at things.

  4. What a fun post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  5. Great list! I really wish I'd been younger when Throne of Glass was released because I think I would have been swept away by that series - I love that it was just what you needed, I love it when books like that come along. I really want to try Lisa See's work!

    1. Yeah, I think reading it young was really key to my falling into the series as much as I have. Now people read the first book and see only the tropes that have been beat to death by now, but back when they came out they hadn't been quite as overdone, haha. I highly recommend Lisa See, her books are so beautifully written and always really interesting!

  6. You seem to have settled into your star ratings system right away. I've only read one of these books, but I'd like to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Shanghai girls someday.

  7. Abundance is on my TBR for this year! I was surprised that I reviewed two nonfiction books among my first 10 reviews.

  8. I've lightly edited a few older reviews as well, haha, after going back and being a little appalled ay my proofreading (or lack thereof). It is certainly interesting to look at old reviews. :)

    Mr. Penumbra's I liked but didn't love it. I thought it was a good read though, and Queen of the Tearling- I think I didn't finish that? Or maybe I DNF'd the second? Anyway... another thing I found was that in the early days no one saw those reviews haha, so I'm thinking of revisiting some of them!

  9. I've not heard of Lisa See, but I'm going to check her out based on your recommendation :)

  10. What a fun prompt! I think one of the first things I reviewed on my blog was a Rat Queens or Lumberjanes comic! :)

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads