Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Six Books That Changed Drastically Upon a Reread

So I actually DO reread books from my childhood. Like all the time. Not to say that there aren't plenty I've been wanting to get to, but I thought it would be more fun to go this route.  This isn't really a top ten list, because some of the book improved, some definitely did not, and some just revealed some stuff that HOLY MOTHER how did I not notice that the first time around?!

Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo


This was actually one of my favourite mangas when I first started reading them.  I may have been unduly influenced by the gender bending, because my response to gender bending is always YAY GENDERBENDING!! It definitely didn't hold up on a reread.  Not to say that it was bad - it's one of the few mangas I can remember being pretty positive towards homosexuality and the lead character isn't too aggressive/rude/broody that just...UGH I get about a lot of lead interests (particularly in K-dramas and manga).  But it definitely felt heavy on the romance which surprised me because I remember loving the side cast so much that I guess I forgot how IN YOUR FACE IN LOVE it can be.

Deerskin by Robin McKinley


I won't talk too much about this one because I've already talked about this book (and this experience) before, but this was DEFINITELY a case of....dear god what did you think was happening here?!? Because it certainly didn't process in my brain the first time I read it!

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen


Despite the fact that this will always be in my list of absolute favourite books forever, I actually have a complicated relationship with this one. I read it every year, and every year I flip flop between swooning and LOVING it...and then the next year feeling like Elizabeth married Darcy for his money/lands or at the very least that Darcy loves Elizabeth a lot more than she loves him.  It comes with where her change of heart starts appearing, and there's a certain line towards the end of the book that I can't recall off the top of my head, but it definitely can be read as Elizabeth just going "Oh well, he's not so bad I guess I'll marry him."  (Or at least that's how my modern brain interprets it every other year). I've never had a book change EVERY TIME I READ IT. And not in a wow-you-see-more-layers-every-time way like Harry Potter.

Redwall by Brian Jacques


I originally had this book pegged as a great pick for the seven year-old (Mouse monk warriors! What's better than that?) because that's around how old my brother and I would have been when we found it and the seven year-old is super into enacting battle strategies.  Then I started to reread it just to be sure...and holy WOW is it violent! Like...I knew it had battles and the like...but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so...

"Skullface had time for just one agonized scream before he fell. The iron-shod cartwheels rolled over him. He lay in a red mist of death, the life ebbing from his broken body. The last thing he saw before darkness claimed him was the sneering visage of Cluny the Scourge roaring from the jolting back-board, 'Tell the devil Cluny sent you, Skullface!'"

And that's just on page 25, and probably the least nasty death hahahahaha. Yeah we're holding off on this one...


I loved The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid, and I can't even tell you how many times I reread it.  I will say that neither of these books were my favourites when I was young...but it wasn't til I was older that I saw just how problematic they are. Like holy cow is The Horse and His Boy racist and WHY is that a logical reason to exclude Susan in The Last Battle. Whyyyy????  (I know, I know, product of the times etc.)


The first time I read this I was SUPER not ok with it.  It felt like Rowling just shoved a ton of Ron/Hermione romance angst down your throat after not really having any romance at all in the previous books and that the horcruxes weren't set up at all.  Each time I've reread this (three times, to be exact) I've warmed up to this book. It's clear upon a reread, that I was just straight up wrong about the horcruxes.  And while this will never be my favourite of the series and I still don't love the angsty romance...well, isn't that more or less how teen romance goes?  That would be like me saying the 5th Harry Potter book is crap because the main character was acting like a 15 year old boy ACTUALLY WOULD ACT. (Let alone one who has just witnessed a schoolmate being murdered before his eyes. Among the many, many other things going on in his life.  Was it a fun time? No. Does that make it terrible? No.)  


  1. I admire you. I'm SO afraid to read my childhood favorites and not like them as much!! Hana Kimi, oh wow, yes, one of my favorites as well! Girl in disguise, THANKS Tamora Pierce! If I'd let my 10s list include my teen years, she'd be on there! Robin McKinley! Another one I loved in my teens. I have all of her books and LOVE her! Narnia is absolutely on my list. I still read it again and again, honestly. THE LAST BATTLE always makes me tear up! Harry was a teen years read as well for me!
    Great reads!

  2. I read Little Women for a class and ohmygoodness, I hated it so much. I mean, I genuinely hated it. Like, how preachy and goody-two-shoes-ey they feel. Ugh. I'm so scared of rereading Enid Blyton because I'm an aware reader now and I know her stuff is problematic and I'll have a difficult time with even one book but oh the memories attached to her books...sigh. And yes, I never did like Hana Kimi. I mean, I liked the Japanese dorama but not the manga.

  3. I haven't reread many of childhood favourites. I really should though! Your thoughts on Harry Potter are interesting! I never thought of the Half Blood Prince in that way but I can totally see where you're coming from.

  4. This was such a thought-provoking TTT! I read Julie of the Wolves when I was in elementary school, and then again for a Children's and YA books class in library school, and HOLY COW did I miss something the first time around, also a rape. I think in this case, it was a bit more implied and not quite as overt as what you described in Deerskin (I've never read it, but I want to now!), but still. Also, I love your flip-flopping on Pride and Prejudice. That is one of my all-time favorite books, but there was a part of me that felt the same way when I read it.
    My TTT

  5. I know right? I feel like Tamora Pierce pretty much directed everything I loved growing up haha! She and Robin McKinley are pretty much tied as my #1 authors. Did you know McKinley has a blog? It's pretty entertaining, if difficult to follow (if I have a love of parenthesis, she has an unholy love of footnotes)

  6. I'm a little worried that's how I'd feel if I read it now. Especially since I pretty much only really liked Jo and Beth anyway (and I didn't understand why Jo had to marry at all). Oooh...I'm about to reread her Famous Five stories because I think they might be good dinner time reading for the kids, but...well I guess I just need to start assuming every book I loved that was written over twenty years ago is likely going to be problematic haha. And yeah...I think it was just the excitement of getting into manga - I'm pretty sure Hana-Kimi was my 3rd or 4th? Now I know better haha

  7. Yeah it's something I felt very strongly about, but I haven't met many people who felt the same way haha! In fact, it's a lot of people's favourite book, so I'm definitely the black sheep on this one!

  8. God I remember loving Julie of the Wolves! I'm pretty sure I had the same experience with that one too haha! (But then I don't suppose most second graders understand that sort of thing, luckily). (Also go read Deerskin!! Well, with the disclaimer if you are more plot-centric than character-centric it might not be for you. It's a lot of the MC on her own healing from the aftermath, so it's in her head a lot). And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about P&P! I'm a little afraid to ever mention it to most people since I've gotten some stink-eye for that sentiment before haha!

  9. Awesome post! I am always scared to revisit books from my childhood. Particularly ones I know that probably won't hold up to what kind of reader I am now. I would like to revisit some books that I DIDN'T like as a teen and see if maybe they resonate more with me now. The Handmaid's Tale is one I can think of off the top of my head. ;)

  10. ummm and Tamora Pierce still dictates what I read. New favorites such
    as Kristin Cashore and Rae Carson? A result of Tamora Pierce. Right now
    I'm loving Sherry Thomas' BURNING SKY trilogy for this reason, too! Oh,
    and have you read the underappreciated CADET OF TILDOR!? Yes, I totally
    follow McKinley's blog. We ARE book twins!! OMG, yessssssssss, the
    footnotes!!!!!! OMG yes

  11. I don't have anything fancy like Disqus. (Well, I thought I did...but it
    never installed properly) so I'll respond here so you see the reply ;)

    Book twins!!!! I love finding a book twin. It's so rare!! So Ella is
    worth the re-read, then? I actually just loaned it to a co-worker last
    week because she was talking on Facebook about how much she loved the
    movie and I was like, NO, READ! But the book is ancient and having it
    away from home is making me sooooooo nervous!

    Ahhhh and someone else in
    the world who knows A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT. You don't understand the
    happiness. WAIT. You do. Book twins!! This was the first book I read by
    her, too! I read the Wrinkle books later because of Reading Olympics.
    But I went back for her more "rare" books
    first choices!

    If we're book twins, you loved WITCH as much as I did in
    part due to the romance that only young girls will fall so heavily
    for! I seriously would make "fanfiction" in my head to that song that
    goes "In the meadow we can build a snowman and pretend that he is
    [insert WOBP boy's name]. I'll say are you married, he'll say no, ma'am,
    but you can do the job when you're in town!" and I'd make up these
    "romantic" scenarios. IDEK. that's all I remember.

    LOL!!! I'm overdue
    for a re-read of Philip Pullman, too. That should be a read-a-thon
    coming up! ;) And yes...these books tear my heart apart!! I didn't like
    the other Lowry books as much, either. But I'm hoping that re-reading
    them NOW as I'm older will change that. But now, I've also read so much
    dystopian that I may be like,

    UGH. A LITTLE PRINCESS won over TSG only
    because PRINCESS. <--fairy tale girl But oh, I loved them both! OMG,
    and yes, I wanted to be Sara with that transformation!! Have you seen
    the two different versions that B&N started selling lately? One is
    leatherbound with silver gilded pages and the other is from a new
    collection of covers from...idk, maybe Penguin? I want to buy them AGAIN
    AND AGAIN. I did recently buy the Penguin Threads SECRET GARDEN,
    though, and I have to tell myself to STOP

  12. I LOVE that Tamora Pierce is so active on Goodreads! When I was culling books from my TBR list, I'd be like...oh wait nope Tamora likes this one, gotta keep it haha! I actually haven't read any of these, but am DEFINITELY going to make that a priority.

    When she did an interviewish thing with Tor.com I was like...oh you poor fools hahahahaha. Even I get lost sometimes, and I'm well practiced at reading them these days!

  13. 1. I honestly don't know...I feel like it loses a little magic as you turn into a cynical adult, but it's still so magic/nostalgic/clever that I still loved it. It's a gamble really. Also NO THAT MOVIE JUST NO. Although I've actually run into quite a few people who liked it and hadn't read the book, but I just....how??? And yeah, that's one of the books I don't loan out. Plus I won it as a prize in 3rd grade and Gail Carson Levine signed it, so it's super special to me.

    2. Ahahah - I know! I do! And NO ONE else does!!! It's like...this book means SO much to me, and while I know people who really enjoyed it, I don't know anyone who really gets that enormous love I have for it. I AM SO EXCITED BY THIS YOU HAVE NO IDEA. Well, maybe you do haha! I've read all the Austen and Time Quartet books, but I'm still trying to catch up on the O'Keefe ones. I remember particularly loving Arm of the Starfish and Troubling a Star though (Yay Vicky/Adam!!)

    3. You have instilled a need to reread this so badly that I literally have just checked out the ebook haha. Also that is so freaking adorable hahahahaha!

    4. I know I've seen the leatherbound copy and *drools* it is SO GORGEOUS. I haven't seen the other though (probably better for my wallet that way)

    And hey-o it looks like your Disqus is up and running now!

  14. Yeah I'm worried about the ones I read as a younger kid - I read a lot of books that I'm guessing aren't PC that I wouldn't have picked up on as a kid (a la C.S. Lewis) And to be honest I'm a little scared about Anne of Green Gables after reading that other L.M. Montgomery book. I'm pretty sure there wasn't anything like that...but maybe there's some hidden stuff I didn't notice that my brain is going to be searching for next time I read them :-(. And you know what my vote is on Handmaid's Tale hahah! I'm with you though...maybe one day I'll try Heart of Darkness again or Gary Paulsen/Jack London's books. I'm 100% I will always hate Waiting for Godot though.

  15. Very nice twist on the topic! I'm really depressed and confused at how little I re-read but then you do have instances where a beloved favorite turns out to be horribly sexist or racist or all around irritating. Narnia is a favorite series of mine but it has its problems on many levels - I just try not to think about it too deeply so I can still try and enjoy them. Like it's always kind of irritated me, even as a kid that the boys are given weapons and Lucy and Susan are given healing elixir and a horn to use when rescue is needed. Susan is given a bow but it's still not the same...

  16. 1. I know, right? The movie is SO WRONG. I had to correct the error of her ways!!! So I HAD to loan it to her. She works with me, so she's careful BUT!

    2. Lovelovelovelovelove. I get it!!!! Vicky/Adam FTW!!!

    3. Oooh, I'm so jealous that you have time to re-read. ATM, I don't. Big two week event coming up next week, and then a reading ban is coming until BEA so I can write!

    4. SO PRETTY yes! The others are in the Juvenile Classics section.

    5. You inspired me and I fussed around and reinstalled Disqus. So now it's working...but all my Blogger comments are gone. I also got a warning about something changing with Google in April, so IDK if Disqus is even staying. UGH.

  17. I love when authors are so active! I just wish she was on Twitter...though I get how it's super unproductive!

    Um wait wait NONE? Book Twin, this is your homework assignment during 2015 now!!!

  18. You know, I reread Anne of Green Gables a few years back and I remember being fairly charmed by it still. The thing I was most offended by was that she didn't like her red hair! Hahaha

  19. Rae Carson's trilogy has been one of those things where I'm like...oh this is totally a priority! ...and then not done anything about it haha. YES WINNING - I just checked it out! It's NEVER available as an ebook (probably why it's taken me so long to get to). And not only is the first book available - the whole trilogy is!! I AM SO EXCITED THIS NEVER HAPPENS!

  20. It's funny - I never considered the Redwall series as being violent, but now that you mention it I totally see where you're coming from! I looooved those books as a kid...and even as a teenager in high school. My favorite was Taggerung - I had a crush (somewhat creepily, I'll admit) on the tattooed otter protagonist...

  21. It is!!! You may not think so by the end of the first book--some people are mixed--but by the end of the series, oh! AND Tamora Pierce blurbed it. And went on tour with Rae when she debuted.
    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. I can't wait for your thoughts!!!! SNAG THEM ALL!!

  22. Do you guys know the musical for Little Women? Jo and Beth are the best parts! Sutton Foster + Megan McGinnis!!!

  23. I'm pretty sure Anne is the reason I have spent most of my life wanting red hair haha! I'm glad I don't need to worry...I'm thinking of rereading the books AND rewatching the movies since I still have them!

  24. I honestly don't think I could get through life without rereading books haha! It's my go to stress coping mechanism! It's always pretty shocking when you discover things are...not too great. I'm a little scared to reread Roald Dahl because of those reasons. And YES!!! And having just reread The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - when Susan and Lucy are expected to stay out of the battle just because they're girls I was like O.O ARRGHHHHHH. And then I had to explain to the boys why - it was actually pretty awesome that they had to ask because they didn't understand the reasoning.

  25. Dude I can totally relate haha! I definitely had mad swoons for Martin the Warrior hahaha! And yeah I was like...how did I NOT realize a book about animals killing each other was violent?

  26. I don't! I do love musicals, so I'll have to see if I can find it on youtube!


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