Throughout the years, I’ve become very picky when it comes to selecting what books to add (and keep) on my wishlist and to-read list. I’ll admit that I delete books from them relatively easily, but can you blame me? There are too many books, and not enough time to read them all, so seeing a negative review from a favorite blogger? DELETE. I keep forgetting what the book is about? DELETE. I’m tired of seeing the same book on my tbr, and thinking I’ll never get to it. DELETE.
These are fast ways to reduce my to-read list, and they work well for me, so even though it might be unfair for a book to delete it because I forgot what it’s about, I’m not mad I use these “methods” to lower the number of books on my tbr. But there is one thing I’m ashamed to admit – I’ve been known to lose interest in titles simply because they had a low(-ish) average rating on goodreads.
Thing is, I know this is a bad way of judging a book – especially when I’ve come to a point where anything lower than 3.7 makes my fingers itch to delete a book from my shelves. I’ve read plenty of books that had low average ratings, but I enjoyed the heck out of them, so rationally, I know that a bad (and especially a mediocre) average on Goodreads doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of a book. For one, I read The Hazel Wood in 2018, and I found it beautifully written, engaging and atmospheric – a strong four star read that was close to reaching the magical fifth star. Yet, I cannot let go of this way of thinking.
I’m also fully aware that extremely highly rated novels don’t always work for me. Why seeing a high average rating can strengthen my excitement, I doubt I’ve ever added a book I wasn’t sure I wanted to read solely because it had a nice rating. So why do I delete a books from my tbr solely because they have a bad/mediocre rating?
I really don’t have an answer to that question. But because I know this way of deciding is not the best, I’ve been working on unlearning in. Even so, I tend to have less motivation to read low rated novels than high rated novels, which is obviously not ideal. I should be able to concentrate on the blurb, and on reviews – see what aspects worked, and what didn’t for reviewers, and decide if a book is for me based on that.
In an attempt to prove to myself that low ratings don’t matter, I am making a post – well, two posts – for this topic. As you’ve seen, today’s post includes a discussion (and I can’t wait to hear your input as well!) and information about, plus my expectations for the five books I want to try for this series. The second post, coming on Saturday, will feature my opinion of the first few chapters of these novels – I’ll tell you my first impressions as well as my final decision: am I going to continue these books, or am I getting rid of them?
DIAL EM FOR MURDER
average rating: 3.11
number of ratings: 238
why so low? Reviewers found this book confusing and messy, some even said they couldn’t understand what was happening at certain parts.
my expectations: I’ve read and liked two novels by Bates before, which is why I originally purchased Dial Em for Murder. The fact that nearly every review mentions it being confusing seriously worries me, though. I mean, a mystery novel that leaves you not only unimpressed, but massively confused is the. worst. thing. ever. To be brutally honest, I’m not expecting to like this, at all.
average rating: 3.31
number of ratings: 2400
why so low? A common problem people had was the MC, who didn’t feel truly well-written. Also, some say the world building is well done, but if you think think it through, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
my expectations: The premise sounds unique and fascinating – a world where people can live forever raises a lot of questions, and I’m curious how they’ll be handled. It does worry me, however, that the heroine wasn’t complex or well-written according to many, because I’m more a character than a plot person. Still, with such a cool concept, I feel like I’m going to enjoy this a whole lot. We shall see, I suppose.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
average rating: 3.38
number of ratings: 22,388
why so low? I’ve seen people say that the plot wasn’t well-written, or was too weird – the ending is something more than one reviewer found hard to grasp even after reading it multiple times. Still, the general consensus is that the writing and story-telling is great, so there are good things here.
my expectations: I have pretty high expectations for this one, to be honest. I loved the way the blurb sounds, and it looks like something fast and short, but still impactful. I can be very frustrated when I can’t something, so I’m very afraid of that.
CERTAIN DARK THINGS
average rating: 3.65
number of ratings: 1992
why so low? Honestly, I had to scroll down a bit to get a negative review, which goes to show that 3.65 is not at all a bad rating. Some mentioned not liking the characters, or finding the plot lacking, but my favorite person has to be who claims CDT is “preachy” because it covers social issues. I mean, thank you for making me more pumped for this, I guess??
my expectations: As my previous sentence shows, I’m pretty damn excited for this, and I believe I’ll love it – from it being diverse to the unique world and vampires, Certain Dark Things is screaming my name.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME
Jennifer E. Smith
average rating: 3.68
number of ratings: 30,472
why so low? Oh boy, there are a lot of reasons why reviewers didn’t like this, some of the more common ones are how it wasn’t unique, how the romance was hard to root for because there was no chemistry, and how there seemed to be zero plot.
my expectations: I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, but dislike This Is What Happy Looks Like by Smith, so this could go either way, I suppose. I’m thinking it’s going to be okay, but somewhat mediocre. We shall see.
Do you judge books based on their goodreads average rating? Have you read any of these novels? What were your impressions? Don’t forget to check back on Saturday for the results!