Bookish List

The Lowest Rated Books I’ve Read

Hi everyone!  Today I’m going to be chatting about the ten books I’ve read with the lowest average rating on Goodreads and how I felt about them.  I imagine their exact ranking probably changes as more people read and rate the books, but I’m putting this list in the order it was in when I first looked at it, from lowest to highest.

Before I get into the list, I want to say that I don’t typically take any notice of a book’s average rating unless it is unusually high or unusually low (in which case, I will check some reviews) because I  think know it’s an inaccurate measurement.  I will even prove that to you with this post.  So please, don’t ever write off a book just because of its average rating!

1.  Marvel Knights: Spiderman: Fight Night
by Matt Kindt (author) and Marco Rudy (illustrator)

Average Rating: 2.70 stars
My Rating: unrated

Thoughts: Though I read this one in 2016, I still remember quite a bit about it.  The reason I left this one unrated is because I enjoyed the art style and, of course, I love Spiderman, but the plot was confusing, all over the place and totally rushed.  You’ll find most of the top reviews had many similar thoughts to me – but a lot of those people said they rated the book solely for the story and did not take the art into account (and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that).  I can only assume that’s why this comic has such a low rating – compared to the other books I’ve read, anyway, because 2.70 is still more than 50%!

2.  They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

Average Rating: 2.91 stars
My Rating: 3 stars

Thoughts: I was actually looking for a different book when I came across this one and decided to pick it up on a whim.  I found out later that it was a retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which I have never experienced in any form, so maybe that had a positive impact on my enjoyment compared to everyone else.  As you can tell by my 3 star rating, I neither loved nor hated it.  I found the first half to be quite boring and the writing wasn’t perfect for me, but the second half was thrilling and I loved the isolated island setting.

3.  Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

Average Rating: 2.98 stars
My Rating: 1.75 stars

Thoughts: So yeah, I didn’t like this one.  Not going to lie, I don’t remember too much about it but I recall that it was boring, predictable, had a least one of my least favourite kinds of plot twists and did not have any likeable characters.  On top of that, there was a cliffhanger ending but the sequel was cancelled*.  This is definitely one case where I tend to agree with the low average rating.

*If you have read this book and want to know what would have happened in the sequel, the author has mentioned that you can message her and she will happily email the outline, which I think is pretty cool, at least.

4.  The Furies by Katie Lowe

Average Rating: 3.06 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts: More people need to read this book!  I’ve spoken about it a little bit on the blog before, saying that it was like a mash-up of The Secret History by Donna Tart and Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson.  I think unfortunately some people are turned off of it because it’s listed as a young adult thriller when I think adult dark academia describes it better, as it is about a woman recounting her days at high school.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere and honestly, almost everything else about the book too.

5.  The Fever by Megan Abbott

Average Rating: 3.12 stars
My Rating: 3 stars

Thoughts:  As with The Furies, I think this is mistakenly listed as young adult because it feels more like an adult book.  I can’t put my finger on exactly what changes the age group for me, but it does have chapters from the POV of an adult and it has mature themes which definitely adds to it.  I don’t remember being super impressed by the resolution of the book, and to be honest it took its time even getting there, but I liked the writing and the steps along the way.  I can still picture a lot of the settings in my mind which is a good sign too!

6.  The Need by Helen Phillips

Average Rating: 3.18 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts:  The Need is really weird, so I get it, I do.  But this is once again a book that I really enjoyed.  It’s hard to box it in to any one genre, it’s a bit sci-fi, a bit horror, a bit thriller and probably a bit of something else as well.  It was a book that I found to be less about the plot and more about the concept and really thinking about the main character’s situation.  I still remember feeling so unsettled by everything that happened.  I want to try some of the author’s other work at some point soon – especially knowing it has higher average ratings!

7.  Alone by Beverley Farmer

Average Rating: 3.30 stars
My Rating: unrated

Thoughts: I read this story for a class at university… and I dropped the class.  To be fair, it wasn’t this book’s fault, but it may as well have been because I did not like it.  The one thing I remember vividly about this one is that the main character was obsessed with describing her own urination and we had in depth class discussions* about that.  I didn’t like it, and I’d like to stop talking about it now. 

*And so the the true reason I dropped the class is revealed – I was being marked on class participation.

8.  Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Average Rating: 3.31 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts:  This was one of my favourite books from 2018 so I am distressed to see it making this list along with another of the author’s books!  I’ve talked about this on the blog before (as with the next two books), particularly in reference to it being a predictable mystery that I still loved.  For me, it was less about the plot twists and the mystery and more about the discussions it has and the character relationships.  I also enjoyed the setting and the way it switched between the past and the present.

9.  Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Average Rating: 3.32 stars
My Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts:  Not only have I also talked about this book before, but it was in the exact same post as Give Me Your Hand – books that were predictable, but still good.  I’ve discovered that this is a common theme among this list, because I think, upon reflection, both The Furies and The Need could be classified this way.  So, I guess that says something about my taste.  Back to Genuine Fraud though.  I remember when I first read it that it surprised me because it was so different to E. Lockhart’s last hit, We Were Liars.  For me, this was a welcome surprise, but I know it was the opposite for a lot of people so to be honest, I’m not all that shocked to see it among the lowest rated books I’ve read.  I need to reread this one some time and see if I still feel the same way!

10.  Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

Average Rating: 3.32
My Rating: 3

Thoughts:  I actually have a full review of this book here, so forgive me for repeating myself when I say that this book had so much potential that it unfortunately did not entirely live up to.  Having said that, there were several parts that I absolutely loved, like the setting and atmosphere. I wish the author had leant more into the bizarre elements she included and that there had been more hints toward where the second half of the book was going to go. So, I think the average rating fits pretty well in this case.

What do you think?

Do you know what the lowest rated books you’ve read are? Do you tend to agree with the average rating for books? Have you read any of the books in this post? Let me know!

22 thoughts on “The Lowest Rated Books I’ve Read

  1. This is such an interesting post 🙂 I bought Genuine Fraud around 2 years ago because I loved E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, which happens to be one of my fave mystery & suspense novels. At the time that I was reading it, I was in a huge slump, and ended up not finishing it. I actually did notice the low ratings on Goodreads, which surprised me. I’m not sure if I didn’t like the book because I was in a slump or if it was cause of the book itself, but I definitely need to reread it again like you to see if I still feel the same way 🙂 awesome post!!!

    jillian @ jillian etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does The Furies have any Greek mythology subtext to it? With the title and the tie to The Secret History, I just assumed that it might have some mythology undertones. Because if it does, then that might be the book for me! I will pretty much read anything with a mythology subtext lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does have some significant links to Greek mythology! I wish I had the book on hand so I could confirm this for you, but I think the main characters even study it in class at some point.
      I need to read more books inspired by mythology!


      1. Ooh that’s good to know, thanks 😀 I’m in a serious Percy Jackson re-read phase right now so I’m pretty much like: GIVE ME ANYTHING MYTHOLOGY lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it really interesting to look at the avg highs and lows and see how my ratings compared. I have avoided Lockhart’s book because it has such a low rating. My co-blogger, Noor, loved it. I think I will give it a try one of these days, because I like Lockhart’s writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The one thing I remember vividly about this one is that the main character was obsessed with describing her own urination and we had in depth class discussions* about that.”
    *bangs head on wall*

    This was a fun post! I have this one series that I really don’t agree with Goodreads about, and I did pick it up EXACTLY because I read the negative reviews and they mentioned things I knew I would love/was absolutely ready for (I tend to like complex books that colour outside the lines). It’s the Dark Passages duology by Ilsa J. Bick (ratings so far: 3.25 and 3.52; my ratings: 5 and 5! And I wish I could give it more stars).

    Liked by 1 person

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