In this post, you’ll see how Goodreads has done me dirty. Don’t worry, it’s all fun and games with this tag. Do it yourself, if you’d like!
Ever read a book that was highly rated or recommended to you and you ended up hating it? Me, too.
As a high school English teacher, I’m highly critical of anything I read — which, if you’ve read my about page, you’re probably questioning why one of my favorite sub-genres is smutty romance novels (don’t question it, just go with it). My friends that are in my book club are surprised when I actually enjoy something that we’ve read, and because of this, I’ve reading the highly rated books we choose for book club on top of a book that I have on my list that no one else is interested in. Which leads me to this tag: the Goodreads Was Wrong Tag.
I originally found this post on Eleanor Sophie’s Blog and I immediately was inspired! Here are my opinions on Goodreads’ inaccurate ratings based on what I’ve read, liked, and disliked.
1. WHAT IS THE HIGHEST RATED BOOK THAT YOU GAVE A LOW RATING?
Directions: Sort your books in Goodreads based on average ratings and find the highest rated book you gave a low rating.
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.67
My mom had gotten me this book as a Christmas present when I had admitted to her that I thought I was depressed. She thought this would be an uplifting read, but it wasn’t. I just couldn’t get into the “self-help” motivational and inspirational vibe Hollis was giving off while also sounding highly privileged. I just couldn’t buy into what she was saying.
2. WHAT IS THE LOWEST RATED BOOK THAT YOU GAVE A HIGH RATING?
Directions: Sort your books in Goodreads based on average ratings in reverse order and find the lowest rated book you gave a high rating.
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.78
I read this after I read my first Regency romance novel. I was immediately hooked on the sub-genre, and on the time period altogether. I searched “Regency romance” on my library’s website and The Beautiful Ones came up. It’s Regency romance meets fantasy, magic, and mystery, and I absolutely loved it! I’m really sad that it doesn’t have a higher average rating.
3. WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR BOOK THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH THE AVERAGE RATING?
Directions: Sort your books in Goodreads based on number of ratings and find the first book you disagree with the average rating.
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.47 (with over 1 million reviews)
I hate to say this because the ending was good, but the first 3/4 of this book was soooo slow and it was very hard to read the colloquial dialect. I feel like it only got rated so high because it was recommended as a book club must by Reese Witherspoon. There, I said it!
4. WHAT IS THE LEAST POPULAR BOOK THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH THE AVERAGE RATING?
Directions: Sort your books in Goodreads based on the number of ratings in reverse order and find the first you disagree with the average rating.
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.78 (with less than 2,000 reviews)
Like I said above, y’all are sleeping on this book! I cannot recommend this story enough, especially if you’re into the Regency romance sub-genre, or fantasy or mystery.
5. CHOOSE TWO BOOKS THAT HAVE AN AVERAGE RATING OF 3/5 STARS, BUT YOU GAVE A HIGHER RATING.
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.75
The beginning of this book is very slow, but the ending? The twists and turns that happen in the end are worth the read!
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.86
What an interesting concept! This book stretches your imagination and really makes you ponder the meaning of life (at least it did for me). It makes you wonder if anyone actually “leaps.” I’ll leave it at that.
6. CHOOSE TWO BOOKS THAT HAVE AN AVERAGE RATING OF 3/5 STARS, BUT YOU GAVE A LOWER RATING.
Book 1: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.87
Yes, I rated the first book in the Bridgerton series a 2/5. What madness! Honestly, the show is better and Daphne is far less annoying on screen than she is in print. Plus, Simon on screen is 🥵 while Simon in print is 😕.
Book 2: The Mister by E.L. James
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.34
This book doesn’t deserve its average rating at all. If I could give 0 stars to a book, I would and it would be this one. It peaked my interest because I read 50 Shades of Grey and hated it, so I thought maybe E.L. James had grown into a writer and that this would be her breakthrough since my friend raved about it. Oh, I was so wrong, and no wonder there wasn’t a wait on this book at the library at the start of the pandemic. The male protagonist is the most misogynistic person I’ve ever met and he’s not even real! My message to E.L. James is this: Grow up, and stop creating misogynistic male characters and romanticizing their abusive qualities! That’s not what women want. #dropmic
7. CHOOSE TWO BOOKS THAT HAVE AN AVERAGE RATING OF 4/5 STARS, BUT YOU GAVE A LOWER RATING.
Book 1: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.23
I’m not a big fan of books written in first person to begin with (there are very few books that are written in first person that I think are done very well), but I wanted to read the book before watching the show. Kind of like the Bridgerton series, Outlander the show is way better than Outlander the book. And kind of like Simon, Jamie on screen is 🥵🥵🥵🥵🥵 while Jamie in print is 🥵, but not as 🥵 as TV Jamie (if that makes sense).
Book 2: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.34
I really wanted to like this book! This was one of the options I gave my students during our war book club unit while I was student teaching. So many students were interested in this book and it had so many rave reviews, so I couldn’t wait to get my own copy of it. I regret this purchase. I honestly think it would make a great movie, but the execution of the actual story described on the dust jacket is lacking and not executed well.
8. CHOOSE TWO BOOKS THAT HAVE AN AVERAGE RATING OF 2/5 STARS, BUT YOU GAVE A HIGHER RATING.
I don’t have any books with an average rating of a 2/5 on my read list, so I will choose my lowest rated books with a lower average rating from my list.
Book 1: The Mister by E.L. James
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.34
I think I’ve said enough about this book already, so I won’t give it any more attention.
Average rating on Goodreads: 3.67
Like The Mister, this book doesn’t deserve as much attention as I’ve already given it. Next question.
9. DO YOU TEND TO AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH GOODREADS’ AVERAGE RATING?
I’m a mixture of both! I don’t think it’s fair to judge a book by it’s cover or rating, so I think it’s up to the reader to decide whether it’s a good or bad book. Ratings are all based on personal judgment and analysis, and sometimes my rating is the same as the average, but sometimes it’s way off.
10. DO YOU USE GOODREADS AS A GUIDE FOR BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ?
My book club uses Goodreads ratings as a guide to help us decide on books, but personally I don’t use Goodreads as a guide when picking books for myself. If I like the dust jacket summary or the author, then I add it to my list regardless of what the average reader thinks. You never know if you’ll like something if you don’t give it a shot!
If you’d like to do this tag on your own, TAG, you’re it and I invite you to do it!
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