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.
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.
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!
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.
- Women Talking by Miriam Toews
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
- The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
- 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.
- Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) by Simone Elkeles
- Gillespie and I by Jane Harris
- Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
- Ingenue by Jillian Larkin
- My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
- A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray
- The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1) by Michelle Hodkin
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- Night Film by Marisha Pessl
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- The Hobbit or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
- One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1) by Karen McManus
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
- Slide (Slide, #1) by Jill Hathaway
- The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1) by Caroline B. Cooney
- Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
- Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
- Class A (Cherub, #2) by Robert Muchamore
- The Boy in the Suitcase (Nina Borg, #1) by Lene Kaaberbøl
- Wish (Wish, #1) by Alexandra Bullen
- Paper Towns by John Green
- Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- Switched (Trylle #1) by Amanda Hocking
- Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie
- My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend
- Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick
- The Pact by Jodi Picoult
- Silence (Hush, Hush, #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick
- If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate
- Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
- 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!
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!