Ranking all my three-star reads

Howdy, friends. Before we get into the post, this is my 666th post, which is fun.

Anyway, today, I decided to undertake a large task: rank every single three-star book I’ve read. Why did I decide to do this? Good question, I have no idea, please don’t ask me. But, I did, and here’s the result to determine the Best Three-Star Book.

First though, I wanted to define what, for me, counts as a three-star read. They can be several things, but ultimately, it’s a book I enjoyed but didn’t think was special OR a book that was good but didn’t work for me. So that’s what most of these books are. Fun, entertaining books with not much substance, or books with substance that, for whatever reason, weren’t what I expected them to be.

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The process

To do this, I copied all the books on my Goodreads read shelf into an excel spreadsheet (yes, I did in fact use an excel spreadsheet for this). I excluded all the books that I ranked 3.5 stars but rounded down to 3 because those are all ranked 3.5 stars but Goodreads sucks so there’s no real way to indicate that.

Then, I had to remove some books for different reasons. I’ve been reading for 22 years now, and I’ve been using Goodreads since 2012 to track my reading, including books I read prior to that. So I have quite a few books on Goodreads that I know I’ve read, but I don’t remember enough to rank them. Therefore, I removed all books that

  • I never actually read but I said I did on Goodreads to Look Cool;
  • I’ve read but don’t remember reading;
  • I didn’t finish but liked enough to give a rating; and
  • I remember but not enough to compare them.

I also removed short stories because I didn’t know how to rank a short story in comparison to a full novel.

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SO. That left me with 41 books that I have rated 3 stars. Because I am a very categorical thinker, I categorized these books based on what they were:

  • objectively good books that just didn’t work for me;
  • objectively not-good but entertaining books;
  • the middle of a series;
  • books I wanted to like but didn’t as much as I thought I would;
  • books I read for school;
  • books that were different from what I was expecting;
  • books I read in junior high and loved but reread in high school and didn’t love as much; and
  • books I read in junior high and can’t bring myself to reread.

There were some leftover books as well. I then ranked each book within that category so I knew how much I liked them. I then looked at whether I liked the best-ranked books in one category more than the best-ranked books in another category, and finally ended up with this ranking.

Now, onto the ranking!

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First, there are some books that I recognize are objectively good books, they just didn’t work for me. I wanted to rank those separately because it seemed weird to rank them with the rest, with the exception of Paper Towns by John Green because I didn’t enjoy that book and I’m not actually sure that it’s objectively good. So here are the remaining four, ranked from my favourite to least favourite.

  1. Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  2. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
  3. The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
  4. Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1) by Haruki Murakami

These four are probably the best-written three-star books out there, and they all just didn’t work for me in some way. I have reviews for all of them, so go check those out if you’re interested in my thoughts.

Now, here are the rest of my three-star reads.

  1. Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles
  2. Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
  3. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
  4. Ingenue by Jillian Larkin
  5. My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
  6. A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray
  7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) by Michelle Hodkin
  8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  9. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  10. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  11. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  12. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  13. The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
  14. One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1) by Karen McManus
  15. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  16. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
  17. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  18. Slide (Slide, #1) by Jill Hathaway
  19. The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1) by Caroline B. Cooney
  20. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
  21. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
  22. Class A (Cherub, #2) by Robert Muchamore
  23. The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg, #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl
  24. Wish (Wish, #1) by Alexandra Bullen
  25. Paper Towns by John Green
  26. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  27. Switched (Trylle #1) by Amanda Hocking
  28. Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie
  29. My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend
  30. Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick
  31. The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  32. Silence (Hush, Hush, #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick
  33. If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman
  34. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  35. Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate
  36. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
  37. When the Bough Breaks (Alex Delaware, #1) by Jonathan Kellerman

I’ve linked to the reviews of the books I’ve reviewed on here, but if you have questions about any specific book, let me know!

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And that, ladies and gentlethem, is the (definitely definitive) ranking of all of my three-star reads! If you are interested in the other three-star books I’ve read that were excluded, as well as which of these categories each of these falls into, I put my excel sheet onto a Google sheet (because I’m a dweeb).

But anyway, thank you for reading! Have you read any of these? Do you agree with my rankings? Any I’ve rated too high or too low? Let me know!

Ally xx

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16 thoughts on “Ranking all my three-star reads

  1. Wow that’s some effort right there! I love that you went out of your way to do this 😊 I agree with (almost) all of your 3-stars except for Perfect Chemistry. I can see why you think it’s ‘meh’ but the characters really worked for me in that story. Personal preference probably 😂 great list though! Thanks for sharing 💙 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah. Hating a prof who makes you read / review / analyze a book can unfairly impact your take on the book. I’ve been there with other books (but I read The Hobbit for the first time in fifth grade, long before any teachers made me hate any books).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I dived straight into that excel spreadsheet because I just love looking at spreadsheets. The list is so interesting because there’s definitely some on there that I know I’d rate 3 stars as well.

    I think I’ve categorized my 3 star reads the same way you do. I know people find 3 stars to be ~controversial~ but I don’t think its a huge deal, I think its just a very decent rating. Not too exciting but not awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha I’m sorry!!!! I tend to rate a lot of YA-middle-of-series books as 3 stars because I always love the first one and then I’m let down by the rest lol

      A good portion of my books are 3 stars for the same reason! Like, yeah it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad either

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ranking books with the same star-ratings is always so hard for me, so I’m very impressed with this post – I also really appreciate how you go into detail about how you rate books and how you went about creating this post. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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