Ten Low-Rated Books That I Loved!

Posted November 27, 2017 by Madalyn || 18 Comments

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!

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18 responses to “Ten Low-Rated Books That I Loved!

  1. I love BooksAndLala! If I did this post, Beauty Queens would probably show up for me as well. I absolutely adored the book! If you ever want to reread it, I would suggest listening to the audiobook. Libba Bray narrates it herself, and it’s flawless! I personally didn’t like Mask of Shadows, but only because the writing didn’t captivate me. I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and so the end of the book just left me confused. I’m interested in the sequel though, but I don’t know if I’m going to read it or not! I own Hello, Sunshine, but have yet to read it! I’m pretty sure it’s because I saw the goodreads ratings, but the synopsis really draws me in!

    • She’s one of my favorites! <3 YES to Beauty Queens. I have heard the audio is fantastic, and my library has it, so when I reread it I will absolutely listen to the audiobook. You're not the only one who didn't like Mask of Shadows! I really really ended up enjoying Hello Sunshine; I hope you like it, too!

  2. Oooh this is a FUN post, now you’ve made me want to scour my shelves and see which low rated books I liked! I am kind of surprised about Landline, I didn’t know people disliked it so much! And it’s funny, I have read some really fabulous reviews for Love Interest, and then some… not so great ones– but I am surprised like you to see it be SO low rated. Same with Mask of Shadows actually- every review I have read is like, either “5 Stars, new fave!” or “1 Star, what even is this hell?” bwhahha. And I agree with you, anthologies do NOT seem to do well, wonder why? (Also, I am seriously considering doing this, LOVE IT!)

  3. Landline is one of my favorite books. I thought it was such an incredible story about a woman falling back into love with her husband and fighting for her family. The Moon and More was a solid read (4 stars). I lamented about the ending, because it was a little too open-ended for me, but I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed going on the journey with Ginny in Little Blue Envelopes too. I read it last year and I liked the sequel too.

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