T10T: My First 10 Reviews

April 23, 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s theme is to highlight the first 10 books we ever reviewed! I had to dig for a bit to find my first 10 on Goodreads, as none of them were ever posted on my blog.

I’ll be starting with the 10th and working back, just to keep you all in a wee bit of suspense about what the very first book I ever reviewed was. 😉


The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson10. December 29, 2016
The Essential Calvin and Hobbes
(no star rating — I wonder why?)

What I said:
My tenth or fifteenth reread, and these never get old.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins9. December 28, 2016
My True Love Gave to Me

What I said:
I generally love anthologies, but this one was difficult for me to rate, because I absolutely loved about half of the stories, and could barely finish the other half. I decided on a solid 3/5, but want to throw in a disclaimer that there are a few titles (like the ones contributed by Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins) that are so enjoyable on their own that I’d still urge anyone to check the collection out.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
Yes! I plan on re-reading it this winter with a new, thorough review. I honestly bet I’ll like it more the second time around since I enjoy anthologies more now.

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison8. December 28, 2016
The Butterfly Garden

What I said:
5/5 stars. I could barely put this one down once I got started with it. The characters feel real and lovable, and the story kept me on the edge of my seat without reading like a typical thriller. I cried, I laughed, and more than anything, I held my son tightly and counted my blessings.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I want to reread and re-review it some time soonish, but I doubt my rating will lower.

Music of a Life by Andreï Makine7. December 18, 2016
Music of a Life

What I said:
4/5 stars. I found it a bit hard to get into at first, but once I really became invested in the story, I enjoyed it. I felt like a lot of ends were left loose, though, but I still gave it the rating that I did because the writing was beautiful, fluid poetry, and I was impressed that Makine managed to get so much of a story into only 109 pages.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I don’t think I’ll reread it, and I feel like my rating would lower to 3 stars if I did.

Let it Snow by John Green6. December 14, 2016
Let it Snow

What I said:
This book is a compilation of three separate short stories that are all interlaced with one another, and with John Green’s name on the cover, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I hadn’t read anything by the other two authors, but John is hit and miss, for me.
The first story was my favorite. The narrator was lovable and the plot was cute. The second story (John’s) was a little meh, but the romance was cute enough to enjoy. The third story, I barely finished. The narrator was horrible and obnoxious, there is some ridiculous misinformation about pet pigs, and the ending was disappointing and involved serious butchering of the characters from the first two. If I based the rating just on the third story, this would be 1/5 stars instead of 2/5.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I’d probably lower it to 1 or 1.5 stars.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer5. December 9, 2016

What I said:
This book has been on my TBR list for years, so I finally picked it up, and it did not disappoint! I loved the idea of a futuristic retelling of a fairy tale. I found parts to be predictable, but that didn’t stop me from tearing through it. Did anyone else desperately want an Iko of their own after reading this?

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I do want to do a full reread and review for this someday, but I bet I would lower it to 4 stars.


Looking for Alaska by John Green4. December 9, 2016
Looking for Alaska
⭐⭐⭐⭐, then lowered to ⭐⭐

What I said:
I would have given this a higher rating if Alaska’s character wasn’t so damn annoying in her never ending quest to be aloof, unpredictable, moody, and vague. This was actually my second attempt at reading this book, having first picked it up back in 2008 or so, and having been too aggravated to continue. That said, the narrator was enjoyable, and the storyline had a sad humor that John Green has perfected. It’s no TFIOS, but well done, Mr. Green.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
Funny enough, I reread it in July of 2017 and lowered it to 2 stars, adding:
“Whyyyy did I ever give this 4 stars? This is not a 4-star read. I think I was trying to be nice last year when I reviewed this, but honestly I spent 94% of the book rolling my eyes. TWO STARS FOR YOU.”


Four by Veronica Roth3. November 29, 2016
Four: A Divergent Story Collection

What I said:
I really enjoyed Divergent, but was disappointed with the rest of the original trilogy. I loved Four’s character, though, and had been meaning to read this for ages, so I finally picked it up. Maybe part of my rating is due to the fact that I read this years after reading Divergent, but I was incredibly disappointed. It felt very forced to me, and I found myself skimming passages frequently. Something about the way Roth wrote Tobias’s character felt unfamiliar and nothing like the Four that I had known and loved during the trilogy. I really regretted purchasing this one, honestly.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
NOPE. I am so done with anything and everything related to this series, sorry.


Horns by Joe Hill2. November 23, 2016

What I said:
As is the usual outcome, the book went leaps and bounds beyond the movie. When Ig awakens after a heavy night of drinking to forget his lover’s death, he finds himself submerged in a brand new hell. As he searches for the truth about her murder, he finds out that devils walk amongst us… and sometimes, they’re the good guys.

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I would love to re-review this! I’ve reread it once since November 2016, and I don’t know why I didn’t redo my review at that time, but it was still a 5-star read and I actually loved it more than the first time around.

And finally, for the first book I ever reviewed (and the first book I ever posted on bookstagram):

Cold, Thin Air by C.K. Walker1. October 18, 2016
Cold, Thin Air

What I said:
While the book could use a bit more proofreading, the stories were genuinely so enjoyable that I’m giving it 5 stars, anyways. Well done!

Will I ever re-review it, and do I think my rating will change?
I’m hoping to reread all 3 of the books in this anthology series before the year is out and definitely will give them all proper reviews. I’m HOPING my rating wouldn’t change, because C.K. Walker was my first ever indie author love and I want to root for her forever. ♥

What was the first book you ever reviewed?


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No Comments

  • Reply Greg April 23, 2019 at 12:10 am

    I love Calvin and Hobbes so much! How awesome. And My True Love was a pretty good anthology- I bet that would be a fun re- read! I’m tempted to re- read it myself!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:30 pm

      You should do what I’m doing and reread My True Love for the holiday season this year! 🙂

  • Reply Annemieke April 23, 2019 at 12:12 am

    Haha yeah I haven’t heard too many great things about Let it Snow. A shame because the idea was nice.

  • Reply Shayna R April 23, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Sadly I haven’t read any of these, although I’ve read the Divergent series otherwise, but I love how you included if you planned to re-read it, and if you thought your opinions would change. The first review on my blog was Throne of Glass, and I’m interested to see how I would react to it now (considering I just finished the final book recently!)
    Here’s mine if you’re interested in checking it out: https://clockworkbibliotheca.blogspot.com/2019/04/ttt-first-ten-books-i-reviewed.html

  • Reply ChrissiReads April 23, 2019 at 12:27 am

    It is really interesting to look back at our old reviews. I wonder if some of my 5 stars would lower to 4!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:31 pm

      If you’re anything like me, I bet they would! I really feel like my reviewing/rating style has changed so much over the last few years.

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators April 23, 2019 at 12:36 am

    When I first saw the title of this post I thought it referred to reviews on the blog only, and I don’t think I have 10 reviews up yet! I knew I definitely have some cringe-worthy reviews on Goodreads, but when I went to actually look them up I’m happy to see that most were just one liners about how I felt. I definitely would change a whole bunch of ratings if I reread the books though. Just looking at some books now I’m mystified at how they got the ratings they did!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      I feel you on being mystified by some of the ratings you gave! About 2 years ago, I went through my “read” shelf and sorted from oldest additions to the shelf to newest so it would show me stuff I read ages ago first. I was amazed by how many books I gave 5 stars that I strongly dislike now! I also occasionally see an old 2- or 3-star rating for a book I SWEAR I remember loving and it always makes me want to reread them. Hmm, that might be a cool readathon idea…

  • Reply evelynreads1 April 23, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I also did this T10T post, I loved looking back at my old reviews ahah! I only really started reviewing books when I started my blog a year ago, it was fun to see how much they already changed!

  • Reply Kelly | Another Book in the Wall April 23, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Cinder was one of my first reviews too!! *high five* And oh my gosh, Calvin and Hobbs! I was so obsessed with those comics in middle school! ?
    Great post, love!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:33 pm

      Look at us twinning! Calvin & Hobbes was THE best. I still think they’re hilarious! Thank you, boo!

  • Reply Brooke Lorren April 23, 2019 at 2:55 am

    I never thought about re-reviewing a book. Some of my favorite series will never have a review written for them, since I kinda review on first impressions.
    I wrote my first review on Epinions.com (which no longer exists) nearly 20 years ago, so I have no clue what my first review was. I just went over the first reviews on my blog instead.

  • Reply Louise April 23, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I love that you added in a bit about whether you’d rereview/ change your rating! It’s really interesting to see what you think now.
    I think I rated Cinder five too and I think I’d lower it if I went back too.
    My TTT for this week.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:34 pm

      It seems like this strange but very common phenomena that so many of us rated Cinder higher than we now think it deserved. ?

  • Reply Jess @ Jessticulates April 23, 2019 at 6:29 am

    Great list! Cinder was one of the very first books I reviewed, too. 🙂 My True Love Gave to Me is such a fun one to revisit at Christmas – it’s a shame that I’ve mostly seen negative reviews of Let It Snow in comparison, so I don’t think I’ll ever pick that one up!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:34 pm

      I love how many people are saying Cinder was one of their first reviews! That’s wild 🙂

  • Reply Meeghan reads April 23, 2019 at 7:05 am

    I don’t know that your review for My True Love Gave to Me will change. I read it at the start of this year and you are spot on – half of the stories are dreadful, and about a third of them are fantastic. There’s a small section of the pie left where they were ok. I think I gave it an average rating of 3.3 that I rounded up to a 3.5.

  • Reply iloveheartlandx April 23, 2019 at 7:30 am

    The first book I ever reviewed was Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I actually didn’t read Cinder till a couple of years into blogging, though come to think of it, that was also 2016!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/top-ten-tuesday-208/

  • Reply lydiaschoch April 23, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I love Calvin & Hobbes! It’s cool you took the time to review one of the collections of that comic strip. If only there were new ones still coming out.
    My TTT.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:37 pm

      If only! I remember as a kid, reading through all of the Calvin & Hobbes collections, and finally reaching the end, and just being devastated. Nobody in my family had told me there were no new comics at that time (I think it ended in 95? and I must have read through the entire run of C&H in… 99?), because they didn’t want to spoil my fun any sooner than necessary. I think I cried!

  • Reply ich lese April 23, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I love how you structured this post!
    Here is my TTT: https://ichleseblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/top-ten-tuesday-first-ten-books-ive-reviewed/.

  • Reply TeaPartyPrincess April 23, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Aww there’s some great ones on here, such nostalgia!
    Cora | http://teapartyprincess.co.uk/

  • Reply Poinsettia April 23, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I love Calvin and Hobbes! They never get old. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Reply Krystianna (@DwnritDystopian) April 23, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Cinder was one of the first ones I reviewed too. It’s still a favorite of mine!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  • Reply anovelglimpse April 23, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Oh! The Butterfly Garden! I read that one this past year. Man, that was disturbing!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:37 pm

      The Butterfly Garden really is so disturbing! I don’t think it gets enough credit for how dark it is and how willing the author is to “go there”, you know?

      • Reply anovelglimpse July 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

        Yes, I completely know. I couldn’t go further in the series because that one creeped me out so much.

  • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian April 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    I have always been, and always will be, a Calvin and Hobbes fanatic. ^_^

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      It will never get old! I’m catching up on missed comments and going through the ones on this post has me wanting to go grab one of my Calvin & Hobbes collections for a reread. 🙂

  • Reply T10T: (First Ten) Books I Ever Reviewed – The Wayfaring Bibliomaniac April 23, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    […] old worlds. I also added whether I think I’d have rated it the same or not because I liked Destiny’s (@ Howling Libraries) idea of adding current thoughts. I probably wouldn’t re-read many of them, but there are a […]

  • Reply Laurie April 24, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Yay Cinder! I read Looking For Alaska as well 🙂

  • Reply Jessica at Booked J April 24, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    SUCH a good topic this week. I’m so keen on learning what everyone’s first reviews were. Also, about Divergent and you saying, “I am so done with anything and everything related to this series, sorry.” SAME, SAME, SAME. So. Much. SAME.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 27, 2019 at 11:38 pm

      Suuuuch a delayed reply, but I cackled at your comment because I’m so glad I’m not the only one who is just absolutely DONE with the Divergent books.

  • Reply Sunday Post — April 28, 2019 – howling libraries April 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    […] My first 10 reviews (meme/list) […]

  • Reply April Wrap: The month of failed readathons! – howling libraries May 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    […] My First 10 Reviews […]

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