Friends, I’m so freaking happy to finally share this post with y’all. In February I had the (not so bright) idea to read the lowest rated books on my TBR. I saw Kayla @ BooksandLala do this on her channel last year so I thought it would be fun to give it a try. I’m proud that I managed to keep this TBR a secret and didn’t talk about it on social media, but slightly embarrassed that it took 9 months to complete. My initial goal was to read these five books in February, but that didn’t work out. If you’ve been around for a while this probably doesn’t surprise you because y’all know I can’t stick to a TBR to save my life. It is what it is. The mood reading life choose me.
My Lowest Rated Books
I sorted my Goodreads “want to read” shelf by average rating and selected the five lowest rated books. My shelf looks completely different right now (November) than it did back in February because I’ve purged a lot of books from my TBR, but these were the books with the lowest average rating at that time.
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty – 3.56 avg rating
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – 3.57 avg rating
Vox by Christina Dalcher – 3.64 avg rating
Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life by Philippe Girard – 3.76 avg rating
Pride by Ibi Zoboi – 3.76 avg rating
I kind of expected a few of these books to be the lowest on my TBR, but I thought the average rating would be much lower. Personally, I don’t think 3 stars is a bad rating. A low rating would’ve been anything below a 3 and there are none on this list. Let’s see where I fall.
1. Pride by Ibi Zoboi (3.76 avg rating) – Read February 2019
This is the first book I read for this challenge. I bought it last year after I heard Ibi Zoboi talk about her inspiration for the story at a book signing. Pride is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which I haven’t read because I don’t generally read classics. Although I can’t comment on the retelling aspects, I enjoyed this a lot. I didn’t like the romance, but I loved the commentary on gentrification, cultural identity, and the sibling relationship was fantastic. If you read my 10 things I love in books post then you know sibling relationships are my kryptonite. This delivered that. Also, the audiobook is narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo (author of The Poet X). She was fantastic.
Verdict: I gave this 4 out of 5 stars, which is higher than the 3.76 average rating.
2. Vox by Christinal Dalcher (3.64 avg rating) – Read February 2019
I DNF’d this at 102 pages (30%). I was bored and didn’t like the way the story was structured. I don’t rate books I don’t finish so this means I fell wayyyy below the average rating.
3. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (3.57 avg rating) – Read April 2019
I bought this book last year because a friend recommended it to me. Since buying this, I’ve read two other Roshani Chokshi books and have grown to like her.
Unfortunately, I was conflicted about The Star-Touched Queen. I love Chokshi’s characters, her worlds are intriguing, and her writing is lush and full of imagery, but her books tend to be confusing. TSTQ was no different. The conclusion I’ve come to after reading three of her books is that her writing is borderline purple prose. I liked this, but I wasn’t in love with it.
My Rating: I ended up giving it 3.5 out 5 stars. The same as the average rating. Mixed feelings all round.
4. Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life by Philippe Girard (3.76 avg rating) – Read September 2019
If you’ve been following me for a while then you probably know that I’m Haitian and that I talk about the Haitian Revolution A LOT. Well, Toussaint Louverture is a widely venerated revolutionary hero in Haitian history. I bought this book in 2017 because I wanted to learn more about his life.
This was a nuanced account of his rise from slave to leader of the only successful slave revolt in history, governor of Saint Domingue, and his captivity in France. The writing style isn’t my favorite, but it filled in some gaps and gave me insight into Louverture’s complicated and contradictory life as well as his legacy. I have a hard time rating nonfiction books, but I liked this a lot.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Slightly above the average rating.
5. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (3.56 avg rating) – Read November 2019
I finished Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty yesterday. This was my introduction to Liane Moriarty and it wasn’t a great introduction.
Nine Perfect Strangers was an incoherent clusterfuck. I rated it 1 out 5 stars because I genuinely didn’t enjoy any aspect of this story. I think Moriarty’s insight on grief, divorce, insecurity was great, but I was too distracted by how tedious and boring this was to actually appreciate that.
I read most of the Goodreads reviews after I finished this book and I agree with most of the negative reviews.
Wrap Up – did I learn anything from this?
I honestly don’t know what I was hoping to learn from this. I think I wanted to see if I’d love books other people hate. Unfortunately, the ratings weren’t as low as I expected. There are only two books I rated higher than the average rating (Pride and Toussaint Louverture), but my rating for them weren’t significantly higher. Anyways, I hope you like this post.