Eight Highly Rated Books I Was Underwhelmed By

Posted April 26, 2018 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Book Recommendations & Lists, Features / 17 Comments

I recently hopped on the “Low Rated Books I Loved” post bandwagon and had TONS of fun doing it, and was always curious as to how the inverse would work. What books are really hyped on Goodreads that I felt more “meh” about? I followed the same method as last time- I went to my Goodreads “read” shelf, sorted it by average rating (this time from highest to lowest), and chose the first eight books that popped up that received below four star ratings from me (only including books that popped up that I’ve read since I began blogging back in 2014).

I was actually really surprised by these results! I wouldn’t say that disliked most of these books- they often just aren’t my favorite installment in a series, or I had super high expectations and they were more mediocre reads for me. Most of the books fell in the 3.0-3.5 range, which I still consider a “good” rating, and a book I’d reread. It’s interesting to see that many of these books are even from my favorite series!

Empire of Storms (Average Rating 4.58 | My Rating 3.5) I’m not surprised about this one at ALL. I think my expectations were SUPER high since I LOVED Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, but this book felt super slow to me in a lot of places, and I tend to get bored of books that mainly take place on a ship at sea. It really felt like a bridge book in the series, just waiting for the lead up to the finale.

Winter (Average Rating 4.48 | My Rating 3.0) Oh boy, this book felt like it took me forever to read. I was SO excited because the cover was STUNNING and I remember trekking to Barnes & Noble late after work on release day to pick it up and make sure I received a pristine copy. However, at 800+ pages I was bored and felt like it lacked the charm the rest of the series had and felt like it fell into the typical YA dystopian mold. It was also a huge letdown considering how much I loved Fairest.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Average Rating 4.35 | My Rating 3.5 Stars) While I enjoyed the profound quotes and stunning cover of this one, but it lacked a clear plot and it was just super over hyped for me. Still a really important read that I can see myself revisiting one day, but I think the fact that everyone and their mother was flailing about this one set up unreachable standards for me.

The Raven King (Average Rating 4.31 | My Rating: 3.0) I mean who DIDN’T have crazy high expectations for the finale of The Raven Cycle. Also, THAT COVER. However the ending just really felt like a cop out to me which knocked my rating down quite a bit. Also the Glendower thing was a total letdown?? Definitely not the strongest book in this series for me.

Scarlet (Average Rating 4.30 | My Rating 3.0) I’m surprised that two Lunar Chronicles books ended up on this list- I swear, I really do love this series! I remember I just ended up getting bored after a while of the whole wolf soldiers thing, and the pacing felt super off to me. Also as much as I ship Scarlet and Wolf I felt like their relationship was a bit insta-lovey.

The Winner’s Kiss (Average Rating 4.27 | My Rating 3.5) While this novel had the same stunning prose and vivid writing as the rest of the series, it really, really dragged for me in the middle. I was super bored reading about the movements of the war camp and I felt the middle lacked dialogue as well.

The Fault in Our Stars (Average Rating 4.25 | My Rating 3.5) Honestly if I were to reread this one I’m sure I’d rate it even lower. If you’ve hung around my blog for a while you’ll know I am not a John Green fan, and the more I think about this book, the more I dislike it- the pretentious writing style, the fact that it feels like a gender-swapped version of all of his other stories, the cheesy dialogue. And the older I get, the more the whole “sick lit” thing really bothers me and seems exploitative and in poor taste.

Warcross (Average Rating 4.22 | My Rating 2.5 Stars) I’ll admit, I went into this one knowing I probably wasn’t going to like it, and I was right- Emika’s total “special snowflake” character combined with the way too convenient “hacking,” I found myself rolling my eyes many times while reading this one. But I have to admit, it was also super addicting, so I know I’ll be continuing on (despite the fact that the hype for this book was completely and totally out of control).

Have you read any of these books? Did they underwhelm you too? Are you surprised by the average rating of any of these? Let me know in the comments!


17 responses to “Eight Highly Rated Books I Was Underwhelmed By

  1. I actually really enjoyed all the Lunar Chronicles books, but I’m so glad to see The Fault in Our Stars on this list! Sometimes I feel like the only person in the world who didn’t like this book! Like you said, so pretentious! I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.

    • You are not alone!!! This book was not my cup of tea and John Green is really not a writer for me- i found this story to be so similar to all of the rest of his works just with a female protagonist instead of a male protagonist.

  2. I’ve been meaning to do this post on my blog ever since I did the one about low-rated books I loved! This was super interesting. I am so with you on Empire of Storms and Scarlet. I didn’t dislike The Raven King (I thiiiiink I gave it four stars), but it definitely was not as stunning as the rest of the series. I’ve heard very mixed things about Warcross, so I’m quite surprised to see that it has such a high overall GR rating!

    • It was super interesting to do! And hard too because almost all of the books came up were series! I feel like there were way more stand alones when I did low rated books! I think series tend to boost ratings even when not all of the books in them were fantastic…

  3. Mel

    I was also super underwhelmed by Aristotle & Dante. I really wanted the queer rep to be much clearer and more prevalent throughout the book than it was, and I remember wondering why it was getting all these queer book awards when I didn’t think the queer stuff ended up being that important compared to other issues in the book. I was also not super impressed by the writing, so overall, I just really didn’t like the book :/

  4. The three of these I read, I liked. EoS did get a lower rating than previous books in the series, but it was all about the battle, and if you’re not into battlefield stuff, I think this one would fall shorter for you. But, like, I cried at the end.

    Sam@WLABB recently posted: Review: Royals - Rachel Hawkins
    • EoS definitely had it’s moments, but you’re totally right- it was super battle centric which is not always my favorite! But I have to admit, I loved some of the relationship building (especially with Lorcan, lol) and that swamp place they went to was super creepy to me (in a good way)!

  5. Ash

    I’ve only read Scarlet and the Fault in Our Stars off this list. I can agree with Scarlet, it was really slow for what I thought it would be. I feel like nothing really happened in it.
    As for the Fault in our Stars, I saw the movie first and learned about this book AFTER it became super popular, and I think because it had so much hype, I was a bit disappointed.

    Ash recently posted: Bloggy Buddies: Meet Nicole
    • It’s so hard with that series because the first book is SO STRONG and I LOVED Kestrel, but I just feel like the sequels didn’t carry the same momentum- the author definitely has a beautiful writing style, so I hope to read more by her even though The Winner’s Kiss wasn’t a favorite of mine!

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