Hello friends! I’m so excited for today’s post, a follow-up to my previous post where I shared five books I own and am on the fence about reading due to their low(-ish) average ratings. If you haven’t read that post yet, I recommend you do so before reading this one, as it features a discussion about the topic at hand, as well as my expectations for the books I planned to try.
For today’s post, I read a few chapters of each novel, and I’m going to tell you all about them – did they work for me? why/why not? will I continue these books, or get rid of them? Find out that and more from my post.
DIAL EM FOR MURDER
average rating: 3.11
number of ratings: 238
thoughts: Wow, this is… bad so far. I purchased it because I enjoyed two of Bates’ previous novels; they are not the pinnacles of literature, but they are fairly well-crafted, heart-warming contemporaries. Dial Em For Murder is the author’s first venture into mystery, and sadly, it shows. The start is incredibly awkward – aspiring author Emmy is waiting for her coffee at Starbucks when an elderly man approaches her, scaring her as he gives her all kinds of dire warnings. It’s far from being an interesting or unique start, and it doesn’t help matters that Emmy reads as a really, and I do mean really, young teen. To be honest, Emmy feels more like an adult’s idea of a 16-year-old, rather than an actual 16-year-old.
verdict: I seriously doubt I’ll pick this up in the future. It’d probably be better suited for younger readers and/or those who are new to the mystery genre. (But who am I kidding? Based on the reviews it is hardly for anyone.)
average rating: 3.31
number of ratings: 2400
thoughts: I’m on the fence about continuing Suicide Club. I didn’t find anything overly wrong with the story, but it didn’t fully manage to capture my attention either. I like the writing – it’s quite flowery and wordy, but it works well so far. However, the characters feel sterile and interchangeable at the moment, and didn’t make me interested in where their life is heading.
will I continue? Perhaps. I’ll definitely read a couple more chapters to see if the characters manage to pique my interest. I think for a story about life and death, about the challenges of near-immortality, it’s essential to care about the characters to truly get into the story. So if they’re unimpressive, I doubt there’s a reason to read this.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
average rating: 3.38
number of ratings: 22,388
thoughts: As with the rest of the titles, I set out to read a few pages of I’m Thinking of Ending Things… then read a few more, and a few more… until I finished the whole thing. 😅 It was a bit like opening a box of chocolate intending to only see how it tastes, just to realize that it’s two hours later and there’s barely any chocolate left. I was definitely intrigued from the get go – and what makes a good thriller if not that – and even though the novel had its ups and downs, I could barely put it down. As for my rating, I’m sticking to four stars right now, but I might end up lowering it, as there were a few things – key things – I was dissatisfied with.
I’m also in a difficult place, because the novel clearly needs some serious trigger warnings, but telling them could very well spoil the whole novel – so if anyone needs TWs ask in the comments? I guess that’s the best I can do at the moment.
CERTAIN DARK THINGS
average rating: 3.65
number of ratings: 1992
thoughts: It’s obviously hard to tell after one chapter, but oh boy, I’m 99% sure I’ll love this one to pieces. The writing is very engaging and I’m incredibly fascinated by the characters – so far we’ve met Domingo, a young man who lives off of collecting garbage, and Atl, a vampire who pays him to let her drink from him for a period of time. It’s a unique premise with characters who have already captured my interest, and I can’t wait to continue it.
will I continue? HELL YES. It seems exactly like my kind of book, and even though I’ve read a lot – like, a lot – of vampire books, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s vampires seem rather different from anything I’ve seen so far.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME
Jennifer E. Smith
average rating: 3.68
number of ratings: 30,472
thoughts: This is fun and cute so far! The Geography of You and Me starts off with a meet cute – the hero and heroine end up stuck in an elevator together – and I love meet cutes. I have the feeling this is going to be very trope-y and fluffy, which is worrying me a tad, but it’s all good as long as the author is able to utilize said tropes in unique and creative ways.
will I continue? Yes! It has the potential to be a relaxing and lovely contemporary novel, and I’m a sucker for those.
Overall, I really enjoyed this experiment, although it was weird to start five different books in any day, with the intention of putting them down exactly when the story really starts. Three out of the five managed to capture my attention, which goes to show that the average rating doesn’t necessarily reflect what my opinion, my rating would be. I mean, we all knew this, right? But it was nice to get proof of this.
I already asked this in the previous post, but for those who haven’t been here – have you read any of these books? What books are you unsure about on your tbr – either because of the average rating, or other reasons? Can you recall any books you LOVED that had bad averages?