Hi, guys! I recently watched BooksAndLala‘s video titled Unpopular Books I Love, and I thought it would make for an interesting blog post! I followed Kayla’s method used in the video for this post: I went to my Goodreads “read” shelf, sorted it by average rating from lowest to highest, and chose the first ten books that popped up that received four- or five-star ratings from me. (I decided to exclude books that I read and rated prior to 2013, which was my junior year of high school, because that’s the point at which I feel like I started to come into my current reading taste.) All of these books have an average Goodreads rating of lower than 3.7. I hope you guys enjoy this post; I had lots of fun making it! Without further ado, onto the list.
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (avg. rating: 3.16 | my rating: 4.5) // I’m not surprised to see this one on the list, but I AM surprised it has the lowest average rating of all the books on this list. I’m also sad because I highkey really enjoyed this book??? I understand people’s criticisms of it, but I thought the way this story addressed heteronormativity was really clever and I actually loved the romance (plus, the premise is so cool!).
Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland (avg. rating: 3.5 | my rating: 4.5) // I was pretty surprised when Hello, Sunshine popped up, and especially surprised to find it in the second-lowest spot on my list! I had so much fun reading this book. Becca was an awesome character, and reading about her experiences and missteps trying to make it as an actress in LA was hilarious. Plus, it’s YA, but it follows a college-aged protagonist (thought Becca pursues acting in lieu of attending college), which I can always use more of in YA!
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (avg. rating: 3.5 | my rating: 4) // For some reason, it really shocked me that the three books I enjoyed with the lowest average rating were all 2017 releases! Although, as with The Love Interest, I was not all that surprised to find Mask of Shadows on this list. I’ve seen so many negative reviews for this book, and I just don’t understand why??? I thought it was a well-written fantasy opener with a unique world, an engaging plot, and characters I loved.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell (avg. rating: 3.55 | my rating: 5) // Unsurprising. Most people seem to really dislike this book, but although I dislike Rainbow Rowell’s writing, I loved this one.
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (avg. rating: 3.57 | my rating: 4) // OKAY I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS DISRESPECT. I was genuinely shocked that an Austen novel (well, novella) made my list! This is an epistolary novella, told entirely through a series of letters. Lady Susan Vernon herself is an intensely unlikeable character, but like all of Austen’s works, this book is full of wit and cleverness and charm.
Summer Days & Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins (avg. rating: 3.57 | my rating: 4) // Not terribly shocked that this made my list. I feel like short story collections in general tend to get low ratings, especially in YA. For the most part, though, I adored this collection, and in fact, I prefer it to its winter/holiday counterpart, My True Love Gave to Me.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (avg. rating: 3.61 | my rating: 4.5) // Again I say: THE DISRESPECT. Y’all already know I stan Libba Bray, and this book is no exception. It’s a genius work of satire that made me alternately laughing and thinking about how effed up society is. LIBBA IS SO BRILLIANT YOU GUYS PLZ READ HER BOOKS.
The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen (avg. rating: 3.63 | my rating: 4) // This seems to be many people’s least favorite Dessen book, but it’s actually my second-favorite of hers! To me, The Moon & More felt a little grittier and more grounded in reality than her other books (which is probably why it has a low average rating).
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (avg. rating: 3.65 | my rating: 4) // This book, as with all of Maureen Johnson’s books, gets very mixed reviews. Personally, this was one of my favorite books growing up, and I reread it fairly recently and still adored it. It’s a fun contemporary about travel and self-discovery and adventure.
The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle (avg. rating: 3.67 | my rating: 5) // I can totally see how this book’s subject matter (it’s about a teacher/student affair) might lend itself to polarizing reviews and lower ratings. Gah, I loved it, though. I thought it dealt with this topic so sensitively, and the three perspectives were executed wonderfully. In fact, I always recommend this book to anyone looking for adult fiction recs. It’s messy, human, and great.
Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you agree or disagree with any of my opinions? I’d love to discuss in the comments!