Top Ten Tuesday #208


Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I had a rather busy one, with a final dinner for Trampolining on Wednesday, Sports Ball on Friday and then a day out to the Edinburgh Dungeons for a friend’s birthday on Saturday. The Edinburgh dungeons were really awesome, but it took us over two hours to get home because all our trains kept being cancelled which was severely annoying.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking the First Ten Books We Reviewed which should be a fun one, to look back at the early days of this blog, but I won’t be sharing links to any of the reviews because they were all pretty terrible (you can find them in the drop down menu if you really want to see them!). So here we go, the first ten books I reviewed:

  1. Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas

My first ever review, and it was a 4 star one, so a nice start to my blog. The review itself was pretty terrible, I hadn’t really got the art of reviewing down yet, but I really enjoyed the book, it was a fun and engrossing psychological thriller with an ending that has basically ruined all other thrillers for me, because it was so shocking that nothing else has ever lived up.

2. Skulduggery Pleasant: The Last Stand of Dead Men

Yes, I know, it seems strange for one of my first reviews to be the eighth book in a series, but I’d been reading Skulduggery Pleasant since long before I started the blog, I think I started them in 2008/2009? Anyway, this book is one of my favourites of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, it was such an exciting book and a great, what was then penultimate book to the series (it has since been extended).

3. Specials-Scott Westerfeld

The third book in the Uglies series, I’d got the first book as a birthday present from my friend Hannah and then got the others for myself because I enjoyed it. Sadly the rest of the series went downhill, and although my review of this book was quite glowing at the time, I’ve kind of changed my opinion in the five years since.

4. Son of Black Beauty-Phyllis Briggs

This book is kind of like a faux sequel to Black Beauty, but nowhere near as good, the story just wasn’t as interesting, and I didn’t really like the horse narrator, Stardust and it just wasn’t written as well as Black Beauty was.

5. Extras-Scott Westerfeld

This is one of those series that didn’t really need another book, and one was retconned in at the last minute because the trilogy did so well. I found Aya as the narrator kind of infuriating and honestly it barely tied into the main series at all.

6. Split Second-Sophie McKenzie

I really loved this book and I think it’s even more relevant now than when I read it because of everything that’s been happening with Brexit, it shows a very scary portrayal of what a corrupt government could look like, and it’s actually kind of horrifying seeing the parallels between the politicians in this book and our own.

7. The Maze Runner-James Dashner

I got this book from my friend Hannah as a Christmas present and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at first, but I ended up really enjoying it, it was a fun, fast paced dystopia with a really different premise and going to see the film of this was the first thing that Hannah, Zoe and I did as a group, so in that respect, it’s an important book for me!

8. The Scorch Trials-James Dashner

I think I was a bit generous on this book when I reviewed it for the first time, because when I watched the film, I struggled to remember why I liked the book so much in the first place, Still, I gave it five stars at the time, so there must have been something that I really loved about it.

9. The Death Cure-James Dashner

The final book in the Maze Runner trilogy and again I feel like I might have been a little generous on this book, I’m not sure I’d give it a five star rating if I read it again now, but at the time, I thought it was a good conclusion to the trilogy and I was feeling incredibly emotionally gut punched because of page 250 (Maze Runner fans will KNOW).

10. Burn-Julianna Baggott

The final book in the Pure trilogy, I’d read the first two in the couple of years before I started blogging. It’s a really cool concept, the world has been destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse and the world is split into Wretches, those who have suffered fusings(objects or even people attached to them) and those who were saved, taken into a safe place called the Dome and are therefore known as Pure. I did like the final book in the series and thought it was a relatively satisfying ending, though there were some things I still want answers to.

So there we go, the first ten books I reviewed. It’s weird looking back on it, because it’s quite a strange mix of books, only the one fantasy and the rest being dystopia and then Son of Black Beauty which is kind of an outlier. It does reflect my reading tastes in 2014 quite well because I did read a LOT of dystopia back then, but it’s not so reflective of what I read now.

Next week’s topic is Inspirational/Thought Provoking Book Quotes, which should be a fun one as I love sharing book quotes. Meanwhile, I should have a review up for you this week, as I just finished A Girl Called Shameless, so keep an eye out for that.

47 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #208

  1. Jess @ Jessticulates 23/04/2019 / 11:29 am

    Great list! I’ve seen a lot of dystopian fiction on everyone’s lists this week, which has been super nostalgic. I loved the Skulduggery Pleasant books – so much fun!

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:13 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, it seems like we were all reading a lot of dystopia when we first started blogging, which makes sense since a lot of us seemed to start our blogs in the late 00’s-mid 10’s. Yes, they are really great!

  2. Lisa 23/04/2019 / 2:36 pm

    Great list! I agree about the Uglies series — I really was into the first couple, but thought the series went downhill the further along it went.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks! Yeah started well and it was a cool concept but I think the author kind of lost steam with it.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:12 pm

      I mean fair, I just didn’t particularly want to link to mine, they are all still up on my blog if people want to see them

      • ich lese 23/04/2019 / 6:42 pm

        I didn’t mean to sound critical. 🙂

      • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:34 pm

        Oh no, I didn’t mean to sound defensive either, just wanted to explain why I didn’t!

      • ich lese 24/04/2019 / 2:42 pm

        Lol! Clearly we are both sweethearts.

  3. Marina Ermakova 23/04/2019 / 3:03 pm

    What you said about reviewing the eight book in a series–by the time I’d started blogging I was already in the middle of so many series (mostly urban fantasy) that it was impossible to go back and review each book without rereading everything. So I feel that conflict. In the end, I just did a blog post with my impressions of the series overall.

    I’m a little scared to reread books I’d read a long time ago overall, because I have definitely become more critical over time and might not like them anymore.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:11 pm

      Yeah I don’t really have that problem so much anymore, though for that particular series, I now have reviews from books 8-11 and nothing prior, and it’s still ongoing! I probably should have done something like that but you live and you learn. Yeah I feel the same way, plus I really just don’t have time for rereading now.

  4. Louise 23/04/2019 / 3:28 pm

    I love that an early one was eighth in a series! I find that I really struggle to review even newer books in a series I started before blogging. No idea why. XD

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:07 pm

      Yeah it was a struggle, because anyone who hasn’t read the rest of the series will have no idea what you’re going on about. No I get it, it’s hard starting to review a series from the middle, because people discover series at different points and if someone comes across your review who hasn’t read the rest of the series yet, you want them to feel like this is a series they want to read, but you don’t want to accidentally give away major spoilers.

  5. lydiaschoch 23/04/2019 / 3:39 pm

    Do you think you’ll ever reread any of these titles?

    My TTT.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:03 pm

      Probably not, I tend not to reread anymore just because I have so many new books to get to.

  6. We do feel emotionally gut punched by page 250 😭 not going to lie, I never read that series called Uglies, just thought it sounded like your kind of thing in the Bookshop 😂 glad you enjoyed it though! I really want to read Split Second now 😲 it sounds so good and I want to spot the parallels! I can imagine your writing has improved a lot given you’ve been blogging for so long and have done a whole course in basically writing since then 😂

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:00 pm

      We really do! I never actually saw the final film, the release date kept getting moved and I found the second one kind of disappointing, so I’m not sure I want to see the last one. Ha ha fair enough, I did like the first one, it was just sad that the rest of the series didn’t live up. Oh you should, as far as I can remember it was a really good book. Yeah, my early reviews were…..not good to say the least, I’m a much better writer now than I was then!

  7. Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) 23/04/2019 / 5:28 pm

    The Edinburgh dungeons sound interesting!

    I haven’t read any of these books. One of the books I reviewed before I started my book blog was Dead Heat, which was the final book in a series. I didn’t realize there were four books before it! When I went back and started from the beginning, I was a little disappointed, because the writer had improved over the series and his debut wasn’t quite as good.

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 5:57 pm

      They were! It’s basically like a live action horror experience, with actors doing different bits of spooky history, it’s very cool and they’ve got quite a few of them around the world, there’s one in the US, in San Francisco I think.
      Oh I haven’t heard of that one-that’s always awful when you accidentally do that, books always used to have a list of the series at the front, but I don’t see that as much anymore. It’s a shame because it avoided a lot of confusion. Yeah you’re bound to be disappointed in the debut if you start with the most recent book!

  8. tonyalee 23/04/2019 / 5:59 pm

    Dangerous Girls was AMAZING! What a good book to start your blog!

  9. ChrissiReads 23/04/2019 / 6:07 pm

    Dangerous Girls is such a great book! I so know what you mean about reviews in the early days!

    • iloveheartlandx 23/04/2019 / 6:14 pm

      It is! Yes, I didn’t really get the hang of good reviewing till about halfway through my first year so some of those early reviews, especially since I wrote a lot of them for Tumblr, are not great!

  10. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense 23/04/2019 / 7:19 pm

    I remember when everyone was raving about Dangerous Girls. I always meant to get to it, but never got around to it.

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:34 pm

      It’s being rereleased this year under a new title apparently, I’ll Never Tell.

  11. Melanie (TBR and Beyond) 23/04/2019 / 8:19 pm

    I loved Dangerous Girls when I first read it – I have no idea what I’d think of it now. Kind of scared to go back and see lol

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:32 pm

      I feel like it’s one of those that you probably wouldn’t be able to go back and read again because knowing what’s coming would totally ruin it.

  12. Alex @ WhimsyPages 23/04/2019 / 8:40 pm

    Oooh, great books! I’m still desperate to read The Maze Runner series. I LOVED the first movies, but for some reason never got around to actually buy the books.

  13. foreverlostinlit 23/04/2019 / 10:59 pm

    Dangerous Girls sounds like a great book for a first review. I started reviewing a lot of series a couple books into the series, haha. I always meant to go back and review the early ones, but… never happened. Great list of books!

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:30 pm

      It was, though the review is terrible! Ha ha same, I had so many intentions about going back and reviewing the rest of them and was then like, well logistically this isn’t really possible because I read a lot of those books 5+ years ago. Thank you 🙂

  14. kozbisa 23/04/2019 / 11:15 pm

    I read Dangerous Girls, because I would see it on so many TTT lists, and it was SO GOOD. They are re-releasing it under a new name soon.

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:29 pm

      Oh yay, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and wow, I didn’t know that.

  15. Ericka 23/04/2019 / 11:31 pm

    I can’t say that I’m familiar with any of these, other than the ones in the Maze Runner trilogy and I haven’t read those. That’s one of the great things about books, though – there are so many books to appeal to such diverse interests and tastes.

    Visiting from TTT

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:28 pm

      I mean fair, it’s quite an ecletic bunch of books and quite a lot of them are very British-specific. Yes, it’s definitely the best thing about reading.

  16. Jessica @ The Psychotic Nerd 24/04/2019 / 4:54 am

    This is such an interesting topic this week and I’m noticing that a lot of us are not only embarrassed by our old reviews, but our tastes have changed. All of us have also, hopefully, gotten better at reviewing! I hope you enjoyed looking back in time!

    • iloveheartlandx 24/04/2019 / 2:27 pm

      Yes it is. Ha ha yes, although that’s not surprising, the longer you do this for, the better you get. My tastes haven’t completely changed, I still read mostly YA fantasy at that point as well, just not during that particular time period apparently. Ha ha yes, it was interesting, if slightly cringeworthy.

  17. Poinsettia 24/04/2019 / 4:08 pm

    It is interesting to look back and see if the books we read years ago would hold up now! Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  18. Annemieke 26/04/2019 / 12:09 pm

    I’m glad you seemed to like The Maze Runner trilogy a lot more than I did 😀

  19. Ruthsic 26/04/2019 / 2:48 pm

    LOL i used to do the same thing in the start – randomly write a review for like a 3rd or 4th book in series. Now I try to review the whole series if possible.

    • iloveheartlandx 26/04/2019 / 3:49 pm

      Oh same, it was more when I started, I was in the middle of/near the end of a lot of series so there are a few that I don’t have whole series reviews for.

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