I will admit that when I first saw the subject line for this week’s TTT, I assumed it would be like that episode of Friends where Joey puts his copy of The Shining in the refrigerator, and we’d have to name ten books we were afraid to re-read because they scared us.
This is, however, not the case this week. Maybe I will suggest “top ten freezer books” to Jana, though, who runs Top Ten Tuesdays over at her blog, That Artsy Reader Girl. What this week’s topic actually is about is the top ten books you read once, loved, and are afraid to re-read now because they won’t be as loved the second time around, for whatever reason. I haven’t actually been able to name ten books for the last few weeks, so I am pumped that I can actually name ten this time!
- Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
This pretty much goes for all of the Sookie Stackhouse books. My childhood best friend brought the first one of these books into class one day – a recent acquisition from the “new releases” library shelf – and told me I had to read it. So I did. I know for a fact this book contained the first sexual imagery I’d ever read – something about Bill in the shower? – and I read that scene a few times over. We read these books as they came out until there were maybe six or so, then we stopped. I know now that if I went back and tried to pick these up again, it would be an abysmal failure – these books are not written well.
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I read these first books by Cassie Clare before I knew about the drama concerning plagiarism, and the fact that it was a weird, uncomfortable fanfiction gone wrong. I actually enjoyed them – and I was too old for them really, 20 years old or so in college – but I know if I looked back at them now, I’d be appalled that I’d given money to this franchise. I just can’t do it.
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
This should really speak for itself, but I used to love these books. I remember going to the library to get my release-day copy of New Moon. But at some point between books 2 and 3, I realized that Edward Cullen was a weird dude. Then I learned about the Harry Potter fanfiction and the thinly veiled Mormon agenda underlying the plot and I just … no.
- Storm Front by Jim Butcher
I loved and adored the Dresden Files for years, having read over half of the series. But at some point I went back to pick up the first book in the series and get reacquainted with Harry Dresden, and I was appalled to discover that my memories were pretty rose-colored, because this guy was a grade-A misogynist, who rationalized every move he made and thought of most women as objects that were either beautiful or ugly (or had weirdly dainty hands?). I just couldn’t do it again, and I am sorry because I know he gets better at writing as the series goes on … but nothing will fix this one for me.
- White Oleander by Janet Fitch
I am not a big re-reader, if I am being honest. But in high school, I read this book like it was my Bible. Tragically, 11 years removed from the high school setting, I remember almost nothing from this book. Yet when I recall it, I have a warm, effervescent emotion bubbling up inside of me – this is a nostalgic book for me, one that reminds me of a time in my life when I was confused, but so were my peers. I think if I picked it back up again today, I wouldn’t get that magical nostalgia back – so I don’t want to even try.
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I enjoyed this book well enough when I first read it, right when it came out. But once people started pointing out the problems with it – how the main love interest is pretty problematic, how people cheat with an alarming regularity in Perkins’ world and everyone seems to be OK with it for some reason – I couldn’t ever get back into the mindset that this was a sweet book. It’s sweet … if you like cheating on your partner.
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
The biggest appeal of this book to me was the “whodunit” aspect – we had no idea who had killed and who had been killed. I absolutely adored this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a little light reading material, but I have no impetus to reread it now that I know the story between the covers, even if it is excellent.
- We Were Liars by e. lockheart
I want my money and hours I wasted on this book back. This is one of the worst “twists” I’ve ever read and I will take that opinion to my grave. Sorry to everyone who loved this one but I just … no.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I read this when it was a new release, and loved it. But like several others on this list, I realized how problematic it was long after I’d finished it. It has an awesome premise, but the world really don’t need any more egocentric white men telling us how they are the best at life, you know?
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book messed me up in a way I can’t even explain. I mean, seriously. But I can really only get that total “whaaat?!” once out of a book, and unless we invent some sort of mind-erasure tool that lets us re-read books like we’ve never read them before, I’d never get the same enjoyment out of Gone Girl the second time that I did the first.
I’m just glad that I was actually able to name ten books this week! A promising start to the week.