I posted a pic of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on my Instagram a while ago and someone asked me what I thought about it. I told her that “I thought it was pretty good (it has some really beautiful quotes), but it’s not a book I would reread.” Then yesterday I was going through my review archives when I noticed I actually gave it five stars. -__- The description I gave on Instagram was not one that belonged to a five star book. Obviously sometime between publishing my review and now, I changed my mind about it. Now I’m kind of debating whether or not I just write an update on that review. But it got me thinking… how could that change of heart have happened?
Friends & Peers
Besides the obvious answers of time and memory, friends and peers can influence you to think a certain way. Back when I first read TFiOS last summer, it was cool to like it and it was actually gifted to me by a friend so I kind of felt I had to like it. But now, more and more people say it’s overhyped (I agree) so it’s more cool to just say it’s okay. Okay?
Also, I feel like my review really only touched upon the surface of the book. Later when I was talking about it more in depth with some other friends, I definitely thought about things I hadn’t before. Things that would have lowered my rating.
Because I was curious, I reread TFiOS… and I stand by my second opinion. It was a good read, but not a five star one. Maybe 4.5 or a 4? I’ve found that rereads can change my opinions about books too. Sometimes I’ll just remember them and how I felt reading them differently only to reread them and go huh. That was better than I remembered. Or how did I ever like this?
Okay, so this one doesn’t apply to TFiOS, but I had to bring it up. We all know crappy sequels can taint our memories of other books. The first book sets a standard. If it’s not met or exceeded by the other books, your memory of the first book is kind of ruined. And instead of remembering it as “spectacular”, you may just remember it as “okay” because the sequels were horrific.
Do you ever change your mind about books?
Why? Or why not?