2021 Re-read Project

As you may already know, I'm pretty good about evaluating my bookshelves and culling books but sometimes I just don't know because it's been so long since I've last read it. That got me thinking about re-reading old favorites to find out if I still felt the same way all these years later. So I chose a book/series to read each month in 2021 to help me decide if the book should stay on my shelves or make its way to the donate pile. I'm proud to say that I've completed my little re-read project and I enjoyed it so much that I'm going to do it again in 2022. 

But first, here's what I re-read in 2021 (in order) and how I felt about each! 

The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon | The timing for this re-read was perfect because The Mask Falling came out this past January, four years after the third installment, and I desperately needed a refresher. My ratings stayed exactly the same for each book (4-4.5 star range), with the exception of The Mime Order, which I rated slightly higher this time. And The Mask Falling ended up getting 5 stars. Each book just got progressively better! [Decision: Keep]

The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas | This was still a 5 star read for me but it hit me in an entirely different way this time around. The story is about a teenager who loses her mom to illness and how she copes with her grief in the aftermath of that loss. I related in a way that I just couldn't before, although I certainly empathized, but having been through this experience myself I could see how the author got the grieving process so, so right and with such heart and honesty. [Decision: Keep]

Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi | This series was quintessential YA dystopian fiction and I was all about it during 2011-2014. I had super high hopes for this living up but unfortunately it didn't age well for me. I still liked it and I still enjoyed its character but just not as much as I did at the time. My original rating was 5 stars across the board but during this re-read, I rated them all 3 stars. [Decision: Cull]

Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson | I still super enjoyed this series! My ratings stayed the same with 4 stars for the first two books and 5 for the last (technically on re-read, the final installment was more of a 4.5 but close enough!). But I must say I no longer consider it a favorite and as a result, I almost culled it anyway but honestly, I just felt so much nostalgia for the series and overall, it's still totally different from many of the YA fantasy novels that I've read to date. So I decided it was a keeper! [Decision: Keep]

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen | When I read this in 2012, it instantly became one of my favorite contemporary YA novels and one tiny thing that always stuck out to me was that it referenced my favorite movie of all time, Before Sunset, which alone scored major brownie points with me. So I was very disappointed that it didn't hold up all these years later. [Decision: Cull]

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | This is another instant YA contemporary favorite from 2014 and I honestly knew that it would hold up. And within re-reading the first couple of chapters, I got confirmation that it did. I just fell in love with the story, Isla and Josh, and their relationship, all over again. [Decision: Keep]

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills | Truth time -- I nearly DNF'ed my re-read of this within the first couple of chapters. Not because it was bad but I just didn't care to see it through. But I told myself that I had to for the sake of the re-read project and I am so glad I did. I blame it on my mood at the time but once I committed to keep going, I could see exactly why I loved this book in the first place. It was still a 5 star read. [Decision: Keep]

Just One Day by Gayle Forman | I still remember loving this book SO much at the time when I read it back in 2013 that I was actually afraid to re-read it. I didn't want it to not hold up. Luckily, this story still held the same beauty, charm, romance, and soul that I saw in it years ago. The ending gets me every time! (I immediately re-read the novella afterwards.) [Decision: Keep]

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorn | I felt fairly confident that this YA contemporary novel about a girl who's just lost her mother and then discovers that the father she never knew is running for President would not hold up. Guess who was wrong?! This book is still a fantastic 5-star read! It's still incredibly well-written and surprisingly relevant. [Decision: Keep]

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | This was another shocker for me. I assumed this would remain 5 stars but instead, it got bumped down to 3 stars on re-read. I still enjoyed the premise overall (food trucks, summer, friendship, family, and a bit of romance) but now that I'm older, I felt very little tolerance or amusement for Clara's antics. She kind of annoyed me, although I did root for her to grow up and change her ways. [Decision: Cull]

The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski | Overall, I still felt this was a great series on re-read, still different from a lot of its YA fantasy peers from 2014-2016 but it's no longer a favorite for me. I docked one star from the first and second book but the final one was still 5 stars. Rutkoski just did such a good job wrapping it up. Halfway through my re-read though, I was pretty sure I would cull it but because of the last book and the nostalgia the series evoked, I ultimately decided to keep it. [Decision: Keep]

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | My rating went from 4.5 stars (original) to 2.5 (re-read). As you can see, my rating changed a lot in 8 years and I’m not surprised. I had a strong feeling it wouldn’t hold up but I also want to be clear that I didn’t dislike the book. I just thought it was okay. I see a lot of plot holes I didn’t pick up on the first time around, unresolved issues with her family, and I really didn’t like having so much of the Carry On passages either. The kissing scenes were also cringey but the romance overall was sweet. I went back and forth between connecting with Cath a little bit and thinking wtf. The ending felt abrupt and not cathartic so it was just a lot of mixed feelings all around.  [Decision: Cull]

Have you re-read any of these books?
I'd love to know if they held up for you or not!

1 comment

  1. I love that you did this project! I'm planning on re-reading Fangirl in 2022 for the same reason! I'm so curious if it'll hold up for me or if I just have a nostalgic attachment to it.


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