We all do it, we read a book and we make an initial impression of it, whether it is a positive or negative impression it doesn't matter- just the fact that we make one matters. And sometimes the impression that we make can very well be impacted by factors outside of the book (ie. our mood while reading the book, other books we were reading at the time, etc.). We then reread the book (which I don't know about y'all, but I am totally a rereader) and notice things we didn't see the first time around, come to understand those characters who bothered us the first time around or just come away from the book with a totally different idea of how we feel about it. As mentioned, I am a rereader sort of person, whether I reread a book right after my initial time reading it, or months, if not years later, well, I don't think that really matters, what I think matters is that with time something about that book hooks us, reels us in, and forces us to once again pick it up. I thought that it would be interesting if I were to reread some books that I have previously read and/or reviewed to see if my initial impression of the book has changed, hence this new little feature I like to call "Take Two".
Just in case you were wondering about the name change of this book/ series: Inara's publisher didn't feel like the titles of her books "Delacroix Academy: The Candidates" and "Delacroix Academy: The Watchers" fully conveyed to the reader what the series was about. Therefore they decided to rename this book, "The Candidates" (it is now called "The Talents"), and give it a new cover. They also did the same for "The Watchers", it's sequel (it is now called "The Marked"), and it will be released April 3, 2012.
You can find my original review of "The Candidates" HERE.
When recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy offer her a full scholarship, Dancia fears her days of living under the radar may be over. But Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses — why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make her feel welcome. And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at Delcroix, and he wants Dancia to help him figure out what…But neither Jack or Dancia could have imagined what’s really going on behind the gates of Delcroix Academy."
After having reread this book I must admit that there were aspects of it that I didn't enjoy as much as I had the first time (much like in my Take Two of "The Last Sacrifice" by Richelle Mead).
This time around I had a much harder time relating to the vast majority of the characters- I think that it could perhaps be attributed to the fact that I last read this book a year (if not longer ago) which means that I am a year older than the characters (Danica, the main character, is fourteen years old). Therefore we are at totally different points in our lives (these characters are just entering into high school whereas I am graduating university, Danica's biggest worries include such things as whether the school's cutest boy reciprocates her feelings, whereas my biggest concerns include such things as prepping for grad school and being a 'grown-up').
Furthermore, while the first time I read this book I disliked Cam I disliked him even more so in this book. He just reminds me too much of Nash from Rachel Vincent's "Soul Screamers" series, he is too 'perfect', too all American, too jocky, too cocky, and the likes of.
That being said, I feel even harder for Jack in this book. I hadn't comprehended how much time Danica and Jack had spent together and how much of an impact they had on one another. Furthermore, I also enjoyed the secondary characters in this book, while in the first time I read the book I didn't feel that they didn't made all that much of an impact upon me. I thought that Esther and Hennie brought a lot of much needed humor to the book.
All in all, while there was most definitely aspects of this book that I didn't enjoy as much the second time around, that isn't to say that it is a bad book by any means, there were also numerous parts that I enjoyed even more so this time. Furthermore, this is a book that I will read time and time again despite my complaints.