Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Reviewed on My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “(First Ten) Books I Reviewed.” Eek. I have a personal policy that I don’t read reviews I wrote at the beginning of my book blogging journey. There is so much cringe. That being said, it was interesting to look back at what my first reviews on the blog were and try to remember how I felt about them. These are all books I read about 5 years ago, so the mind forgets…a lot. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund – This one remains one of my favorite Jane Austen retellings. If you are looking for a Persuasion retelling with a science-fiction flare, you need to check this one out. I still own this one and will likely keep it until the bitter end. Rating: 5/5

2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – I have yet to come across an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I like. I remember wanting to like this one because hello, zombies, but I hated this one so much. Rating: 1/5

3. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ve always been impressed with Stiefvater’s characters in her Raven Cycle series. I have fond memories of reading this one and one that I know if I ever reread, I’d be lost to a state of nostalgia. Rating: 5/5

4. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – This was one of the first YA fantasy series I really got into. I still think Graceling is the best, but this is my second favorite despite the fact that it is rather slow. I will also probably get rid of these books at some point though. Rating: 4/5

5. Gravity by Melissa West – I remember loving this first book in the series, but being completely let down by the second. I donate this book and its sequel to my library years ago. Rating 4/5

6. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund – This is the companion novel to For Darkness Shows the Stars. It’s a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel and I really enjoyed it. This along with Sharon Cameron’s Rook are my favorite The Scarlet Pimpernel retellings. Rating: 4/5

7. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell – This one used to be one of my favorites and I’m so sad it never got a sequel. I still have my copy of this one, but so many years have past, I will probably give it away. Rating 5/5

8. More Than This by Patrick Ness – I still love Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy, but I just could not connect with this one. I also vaguely remember this one feeling way too long. Rating: 2/5

9. In the After by Demitria Lunetta – I don’t remember much beyond really enjoying this one and feeling meh about its sequel. Rating: 4/5

10. Inhuman by Kat Falls – I don’t remember a thing about this one, but apparently I hated it. Rating: 1/5

Have you read any of these? Do you give away books even if you enjoyed them? How do you decide when it’s time? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

62 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Reviewed on My Blog

  1. I’ve been meaning to read Diana’s re-tellings as they sound SO unique. Haven’t gotten to either one yet (despite the beautiful covers), but I’m glad to know you enjoyed them! “Rook” is another one I’d like to read especially since I love this story from its film adaptations. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great post! I hated Alice in Zombieland with a passion, mostly because it was false advertising and had nothing to do with Wonderland. Oh, and the writing was awful lol I enjoyed Heartless but that is a Queen of Hearts origins story. Like you, I can never find any Alice ones I like.

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  3. I was a fan of both the Graceling and Raven Cycle books. I find Ness an acquired taste. I enjoyed the books of his, that I have read, but I found them something I had to get into.

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  4. Great list! I must admit I hear so many bad things about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland retellings that I think that’s why I don’t tend to pick them up – I think I might give A Blade So Black a try, though. 🙂 I remember seeing really positive things about All Our Yesterdays!

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  5. Of these, I’ve only read The Dream Thieves, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to reread for a while – it would be such a nostalgic experience for me, too.
    And I do give away books I’ve liked if I think I wouldn’t like them anymore and realize I have no desire to ever reread them. I started reviewing at 15, I don’t like the exact same things that I liked then, and that’s… normal, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I could only remember a couple of the first reviews I did, and I cringed a little at the writing when I went to go find the rest! But mostly, I didn’t like the formatting I was using.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t read any of these, but I like the sound of For Darkness Shows the Stars. If I really loved a book, there is no way I would part with it. However, I will part with books I liked, but aren’t destined to become a favorite or I don’t think I’ll ever re-read. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

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  8. I haven’t read any of these books, although I’m familiar with Alice in Zombieland and some of the authors. One of the interesting things about this week is seeing some of the older books that people who have been book blogging for a while (and who still have access to their earlier reviews) have read.

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  9. Oh man I feel you on this. I decided to do the post after reading yours and I am cringing so hard thinking about past me writing those reviews. I haven’t heard of some of these books though (For Darkness Shows the Stars, Gravity, All Our Yesterdays) so I’m totally going to check them out.

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  10. Great list, Alicia! This was a really interesting walk down memory lane for me. But I feel like I learned a lot over the years; this reflection put a lot in perspective for me. Do you feel like you’ve learned anything or grown in any way from reading these?

    From your list, Dream Thieves is the only book I’ve read. In fact, I’m about to start The Raven King! I”m so excited. 🙂 I really love Stiefvater’s writing.

    Hm. I don’t own many books, so it’s hard to say if I’d give away books that I enjoy. I dream of having a personal library someday, so probably not… Great question!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think I’ve gotten better at writing reviews or at least writing ones that better represent me as a person. I’m not sure if these necessarily made me learn anything, but I definitely think that working on reviews for my blog has made me a better writer. I hope you enjoy The Raven King!


  11. Only five years of blogging. Look how far you’ve come in such a short time. I was just thinking of Bitterblue this past week. I read the first two books in the series but never read that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I sometimes forget about All Our Yesterdays even though it was also a favorite of mine. I remember waiting for that sequel, which has now on a Goodreads shelf reserved for those books that don’t exist. I still need to finish the Graceling series.

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  13. I’ve only read the first book in the Raven Cycle. It is one series I want to finish because I remember loving the first book so much. I’ve read a couple Alice in Wonderland retellings and I’ve never liked any but sometimes I think it is because I don’t like Alice? I don’t know!

    I also have that policy not read past reviews just because WTF was I thinking. I’ve been indexing my blog and my past reviews are TERRIBLE.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely had similar moments while reading old reviews. I’m starting to think the lack of good Alice in Wonderland retellings is because the original is so strange and unique, it’s hard to add something to an already odd world. Just a theory.


  14. You know what’s funny, is the very first book I ever reviewed at Grab the Lapels was a reviewer copy an author sent me, and I hated it! I ended up using it in a creative writing classroom years later to teach students how to criticize stories without hurting anyone’s feelings. I mean, at least the author got 15 book purchases out of it — and she was none the wiser.

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  15. Ahh, I will always have such a soft spot for The Raven Cycle, too. It’s just one of those series, right? I need to reread eventually. Also, I’m with you on not having enjoyed Alice in Zombieland. It definitely wasn’t my cup of tea and honestly you’re the first person I’ve seen who agrees with me on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This is so fun! What a great look back at the beginning! I definitely give away books even if I enjoy them. I really try to only keep books that I know for sure I will reread again and again on my shelves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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