Today’s post is all about books that have low ratings, but I loved them anyway. Basically, it’s reverse black sheep? Madalyn @ Novel Ink did this, and I found it incredibly clever and fun, and a positive spin on some books that maybe not everyone loved. Maybe it’ll even convince someone to try out a book that they may have passed over because of a low rating, I don’t know. Look at all the wins in one post! So of course, I decided… why not? (P.S.- she got it from this video, to give credit all around where it’s due!)

Some of these shocked me with their lowness. Some I kind of expected. But these were all books I genuinely enjoyed, even if I am apparently one of the only people who did. Here are the top ten, in Goodreads Rating Order!


Goodreads Rating: 3.52

My Rating/Review: 5.0


Goodreads Rating: 3.45

My Rating/Review: 4.5


Goodreads Rating: 3.42

My Rating/Review: 4.0


Goodreads Rating: 3.39

My Rating/Review: 4.0


Goodreads Rating: 3.20

My Rating: I didn’t ever technically rate it, but I’ll go ahead and give it a… 4.25. Because why not?

Are there any books that you loved that everyone else seemed to… not? And what do you consider to be a low rating, one where you kiiind of don’t want to touch a book?

Posted December 4, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Funsies / 41 Comments


41 responses to “Reverse Black-Sheeping

  1. Yes! I love these posts. I frequently scroll through Goodreads, and cannot fathom why books I love have low ratings, or when I read a scathing review for a book that owns a piece of my heart. I am right there with you on The Glittering Court, Sin Eater, and 99 Days. In fact, I am excited that we are getting another 99 Days book, because I felt like that story was not over.

    • I agree with you! It IS weird- some of these really did shock me! 99 Days I knew was kind of… controversial, but I loved it. And YES, it did need a sequel, I am thrilled we’re getting one- now maybe it can end the way I wanted it to 😉

  2. Yay I loved When I am Through With You too!! I really love that author’s writing. ? It’s so disturbing and like different?!? The only thrillers I actually like. ? I’m unfortunately the low-opinion on The Glittering Court and Sin Eater’s Daughter but some of others I’m REALLY keen to read. Like Given To The Sea. (IS IT OK TO ADMIT I FREAKING ADORE THAT FONT?!?)

    And I mean…I can’t help myself…but one of my favourite (but low starred by the general populace) books is Half Lost.?

    • SAME! Her writing is SO good. Granted, her book before this one confused the crap out of me, but the writing was still incredible. She does a phenomenal job with disturbing and unique! I remember you hating The Sin Eater’s Daughter! I felt like that was the first book I ever really reverse black sheeped hah. Given to the Sea… it seems like the reviews are quite mixed, because some people (including me!) did really like it, but then some haaaated it. And NOPE, i love the font too!

      OHhhh yes, Half Lost, aka, one of my most hated books of all-time 😉 I AM glad you liked it though!

  3. I find I often love books that other readers don’t, so my list could go on and on! But I also find the opposite happens, I don’t enjoy books that EVERYONE loves. I adore anything Stephanie Kuehn writes, so I’m totally with you on that one?

    • Dude, SAME. I cannot even tell you how many times I hide from metaphorical flying tomatoes because people are like “WAIT you didn’t love that!?”. It’s so bad, but I can’t help it! I feel the same about Stephanie Kuehn too- she is SO underrated!

  4. Haha, I love your graphic with the sheep. I tend to rate books one star lower than the average on Goodreads. I don’t know why. I never look at the ratings before I read a book. Usually that makes me the black sheep instead of the reverse black sheep. Okay, I just checked Goodreads, and it turns out that a lot of people feel “Meh” about Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. I really liked that book.

  5. Haha great idea for a list! Yes, there were several books that no one but me liked. The one that comes to mind is Hunter By Mercedes Lackey.

  6. Yay, I’m so happy you did this! I really love these posts because knowing that a reviewer I trust has enjoyed a book encourages me to give the book a chance, even if it has a low rating. I haven’t actually read any of the books on your list, but I feel like I’ve heard mixed things about most of them??? So not too surprised!

  7. What a fun idea! I have not read any of these but I still want to read Stephanie Kuen’s book (she tends to get lower ratings but I enjoy her) and Down With the Shine. A rating that I’d probably avoid – unless the review makes me want to read it because I like what they didn’t like – would probably be a 2 or lower. 3 stars don’t mean the book is bad most of the time.


    • Aw thanks! DEFINITELY read Stephanie’s book. I love her books, and this one was my favorite of them all- REALLY well done. Down With the Shine was SO quirky and unique, loved that one too! YES I agree with you! I think a 2.5 would have me like… DAMN- because you know there are friends/family giving it 5 stars, so what the hell did everyone ELSE give it!? Hahha

  8. I guess that any book with a 3.0 average or higher is a “love it or hate it” book. I mean, people give 1 or 2 stars for all types of books, so you know that 3.3 book got some 4-5 star ratings too. I only get suspicious when the rating drops below 3 stars. Then again, I don’t know if I’ve ever looked at a rating before reading a book.

    I just went and played around with Goodreads sorting and found out that We Know It Was You has a 2.89 average, but I rated it 4, and There is No Dog has a 2.96 but I said 4. My lowest rated five star book (if that makes sense!) is Malafrena by Ursula K. Le Guin. Its average is 3.44.

    Such a fun topic! Thanks for prompting the research–and some consternation too. I did notice that many of my 5 star books that have below a 4 star average are classics, which to me signifies people were forced to read them and resented it. I know Ethan Frome and 100 Years of Solitude both have 1 star ratings from me because I was so miserable having to read them when I did.

    • YES I think you are so right! I agree about a below 3. As I was looking through, the only books that had below 3 were ones that I also HAAAATED, so I think it is a pretty good indicator- as long as there is a decent sample size, at least.

      OH I actually gave away We Know It Was You after seeing the rating bwahah (too many books, too little time ha) but I loved the cover so now I wonder if I was hasty in my decision! Ooooh I like the idea of checking the lowest 5 star!

      YESSS oh my goodness, yes, I agree about the classics! I know I rated a couple that stood out to me when I was forced to read them- and only ONE was positive! That is pretty sad, which is why I don’t love forced reading of classics, but I guess that’s a whole different discussion 😉

  9. I’m surprised about Down With The Shine, I thought that one looked really good and I saw some positive reviews. That Goodreads score kinda surprises me. Plus you’ve reminded me to read th damn thing lol. Same with After the Woods actually. Another one I never got to.

    Given to the Sea is one that frankly has me curious because of that premise? Plus the sequel is out now, I think? Surprised that didn’t rate a little higher at GR… and The Space Between the Stars just has a nice cover. 🙂

    • Down With the Shine is awesome, ignore all those naysayers on Goodreads. It’s quirky, so maybe those people are just.. boring and don’t like fun things. After the Woods REALLY shocked me! I read it super early and posted my review pretty early and so I never went back to check the reviews, and I couldn’t believe it!

      Given to the Sea… I honestly don’t understand the hate? Like if anything, maybe it was a *little* slow at times, but I definitely would never have thought people would be THAT opposed to it. It isn’t my favorite Mindy book, but it was quite good. The sequel is out in… April I think? (Might have it pre-ordered hahah.) The Space Between the Stars was SO good. I kind of wish I owned a physical copy because I both really liked it AND it’s really pretty.

  10. For me it‘s usually the other way around (see Throne of Glass ?), but sometimes I‘m surprised by low ratings. I also liked The Glittering Court, but I can totally see why people wouldn‘t. It could have done with a lot more editing.

  11. I’ve never really looked but I am sure there are plenty. I’m surprised Sin Eater’s Daughter is so low, I didn’t rate it as high as you but it was a good book and would have expected more positives. I really like the idea of this, I would love to know which books I’m a reverse black sheep for. I think we all have a few where we’re just confused by what everyone else seems to be seeing in a book.

  12. Sometimes you just end up loving those books that no one else really does and that’s that. I’m glad you could enjoy all of these! My personal answer is always Twilight until I remember that there are a lot of people who love the books just as much as I do as well. Mostly I don’t have books I love that most people didn’t like, but I don’t like the bookss that most people love… 🙁

  13. I enjoyed looking at your list. There are so many books that I’ve loved and others have been like BLAH. But then again, it’s hard for me to turn against a book.

  14. Your fav person ever

    OMG THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA FOR A POST. I CANNOT BELIEVE IVE NEVRE THOUGHT OF IT. I am sad I had to give you back your copy of The Glittering Court but someday, I’ll get to read it and might even be able to add myself to the reverse black-sheep list. Also, I cannot believe Down With the Shine has such a low rating. I haven’t read it yet but like, I *will* love the damn thing.

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