To satisfy my random curiosity, I have a question to ask – has anyone ever written a book review they’ve wanted to take back part or all, either after some time spent thinking about your reaction, talking to people, reading others’ reviews, or even rereading the book itself? I feel this way about a review I wrote awhile back in my pre-blog days on a book which won’t be named because it still haunts me and I cringe at the idea of anyone running out and finding it on GoodReads. A part of me wants to delete it completely, but at the same time, after I finished said book, I to this day cannot deny that the reaction I had at the time was completely honest.
Beyond the criticism, I acknowledged the book was well-written, its awards well-deserved, and that it had many excellent qualities. But at the time I read it, overall I didn’t feel the same specialness that everyone else around me seemed to feel. It’s not like this has never happened to me. It’s happened to all of us. For example, I didn’t think Robin McKinley’s Beauty was amazing, I had some problems with Perfect Chemistry, and I couldn’t finish City of Bones. This time was different, though, because my opinion has never been so far from the norm. It made my issues seem nitpicky and silly. It made me feel like there was literally something wrong with me, and I was ashamed to have had the complaints I did in front of my reader friends, of which no one agreed with me. This feeling has muted with time, but still lingers. I think if I ever have the guts to reread it, I may feel okay with changing my review, mentioning my previous misgivings as well as my changed thoughts. I’ve learned a lot since then about not slogging through a book that continues to disappoint you or returning to a book that you’re having difficultly getting into later and have a completely different experience. For now I suppose the self-hated review will just exist, shame and all.
Anyone else have a review or blog post you regret, see as a mistake, or want to pretend never existed?