Recommending Books I Gave 3 Stars // the Queen of 3-star Reads has spoken

In case you didn’t know, I am the self-proclaimed Queen of 3-star Reads.

And I have a lot of feelings toward 3-star reads. In the long ongoing “Is 3 stars a good or bad rating” debate, I am a firm member of the “good” side. If I rated a book 3 stars, I still liked it and recommend it! Maybe I just didn’t enjoy it enough to rate it higher or there were some flaws that served as a detriment to my enjoyment. But bottom line, it’s a good rating for me. And today I’m going to recommend 10 books that I gave 3 stars.

In addition to why I recommend these books, I’m also going to tell you why I didn’t like them, because I love that 3-star reviews allow us to see both the good and bad side of a book! Plus, some of these books I rated 3 stars simply out of preference.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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Why should should read it: This is a classic YA fantasy complete with a fairytale-esque kingdom and political intrigue. The three main characters are all lovable and well-written, and though there are many opportunities for the romance to get insta-lovey, it stays deliciously slow burn. Also, the protagonist has cerebral palsy, which is representation we almost never see in literature, and a lot of reviewers with CP have praised the rep!

Why I didn’t rate it higher: I feel like this story didn’t do much to set itself apart from the numerous other Beauty and the Beast retellings in the market. Additionally, the plot and characters didn’t grip me enough that I would consider reading the sequels.

Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman

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Why you should read it: If you look up the word, “cute” in the dictionary, a picture of this book will show up!! Its story and length make it so easy to breeze through in under an hour! Plus, it has lovable main characters, adorable art, and a diverse cast.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: For me, this book didn’t carry much substance—it was just cute and fluffy. This reasoning 100% stems from just preference though!

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

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Why you should read it: This is one of those books that you know isn’t perfect, but love with your whole heart anyway. Reading about these characters finding friendship with each other and fighting against a corrupt government is guaranteed to warm your heart. Also, it’s a love letter to queerness, and if you’re queer, you absolutely have to read it! There’s ace and aro rep, along with a delightful sapphic romance.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: Again, this book isn’t perfect. The character and plot development could use some work, but I feel like Rosiee Thor simply fell into a lot of debut author traps. I’m excited to see what she does in the future.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

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Why you should read it: There’s literally no reason not to unless you’re Islamophobic or a bigot! In which case, stop reading my blog! This book is a testament to how powerful #ownvoices books can be. It’s unapologetically Muslim and unapologetically happy. If you want a diverse love story that will leave a smile on your face, pick this book up.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: Even though I know it was intentional, this book was still a little too cheesy for me at times. And since it’s a contemporary that follows a lot of “mundane activities,” if you will, I did get bored while reading it.

The Passengers by John Marrs

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Why you should read it: This book puts the “thrill” in thriller! Okay, that was sort of a terrible joke. But I kid you not, it is physically impossible to put this book down at times. The plot is so intense, and some of the twists left me shook for days. I’ve truly never read anything like it.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: I was incredibly disappointed by how the people of color were treated. Some characters were too caricature-like for my taste, and the plot got a little convenient and convoluted towards the end.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Why you should read it: In the same vein as To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, this book is an exploration of identity and what it means to be Asian-American set against the backdrop of first love and teen drama. Also, this is getting an adaptation! So you should totally read it before it becomes world-famous!

Why I didn’t rate it higher: A character in the book did something horrible, and what they did was simply… brushed off? They were forgiven WAY too easily, and I wanted the book to highlight the fact that what they did was wrong more. Also, I will keep on yelling from the rooftops that this didn’t need to be 400 pages. πŸ˜ͺ

Jade City by Fonda Lee

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Why you should read it: This is one of those books that you don’t realize is so good until a certain point and maybe months after finishing it. The worldbuilding, character development, and plot? Nothing short of masterful.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: I guess I just wasn’t smart enough for this book, because I lost about half my brain cells to its denseness and slowness.

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love, edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

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Why you should read it: If you love food (which, of course you do), you have to pick up this anthology, which is chock-full of mouthwatering food descriptions! Since many authors of color’s short stories are featured here, you’ll be reading about a variety of diverse cuisines. Every story is set in the fictional Hungry Hearts Row, so some of the characters and short stories are interconnected. Plus, the stories are in a wide variety of genres—fantasy, thriller, horror, contemporary, etc.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: As every anthology seems to be, some stories are weaker than others. And I found many of the weak stories towards the end of the anthology.

Prom and Other Hazards by Jamie Sullivan

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Why you should read it: This is literally only 35 pages, so if you end up hating it… Well, you won’t be losing a lot. It’s an adorable story about a lesbian who’s had a crush on her bi best friend for a long time, and, as the title suggests, they just might finally get together at the school prom.

Why I didn’t rate it higher: Much like Heartstopper, this was simply a cute and short read—not much else to it.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Why you should read it: Beautiful writing! Hawaiian setting! Angry girl protagonist! Explorations of grief through music and song-writing! A sweet cinnamon roll named Kai! Questioning aro/ace main character! Nuanced discussion on labels!

Why I didn’t rate it higher: This book could get so. Darn. Repetitive with the way it explored Rumi’s grieving process. Maybe that’s how it is in real life, but there must’ve been some way to make the story less repetitive.

Ah, I highly recommend writing a post like this! It’s so fun to shine a spotlight on books you didn’t love as much, but know other people could love more than you did! (Also, if you know me, I’m very hard-to-please, and 3 stars from me might as well equal 4 stars.)

Is 3 stars a good or bad rating? (You need to answer this so that I know if we can stay friends.) Have you read any of these books? Did you also rate them 3 stars? Do you plan on reading any of these books? What’s a book you gave 3 stars but still recommend?

57 thoughts on “Recommending Books I Gave 3 Stars // the Queen of 3-star Reads has spoken

  1. 3 stars is a good rating for me! There’s so many 3 star books I still recommend. I enjoyed reading your reasons why they didn’t get rated higher.

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  2. OOH this is such a cool post idea!! I love it!! For me a three star rating can be anywhere from “I loved this book but it had issues” to “this book was fun but nothing special” to “I hated this book but it was objectively great/had important messages” lmaooooo

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    1. thank you, Iris, that is the highest compliment πŸ€§πŸ’žπŸ’— i agree with your first two definitions for 3 star ratings! but i don’t i’ve ever hated a book that i knew was objectively great or had important messages πŸ€” i’m curious to know which books you rated 3 stars because of that, haha!

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      1. Haha I rated Sadie three stars because of that, and I think that might be it?? I literally could not stand the writing style but I was like… I 100% see that this is a great book and it’s just not working for me at all so uh THREE STARS!

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      2. lmao I usually would too but it was just like… came so close to working for me jhfghgjgh, it just didn’t. and also I guess hated was a strong word, just very much disliked hfhhjgh lmao

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  3. yesssss!! finally someone who agrees that 3 star reads are books that were flawed but you enjoyed them. idk why so many people believe that 3 stars are ‘bad ratings’ bc that just AINT TRUE!!

    i’m just gonna pretend ‘a curse so dark and lonely’ isn’t on this list……you know, so we can still be friends and all 😭😭😭 fjdlafjla the horrible thing that character did in loveboat taipei made me want to launch myself into the sun like wHAT??? and omg agree, that book was wayyyyy too long + love triangle 🀒🀒 ma’am i just got the jade city and im so excited to start it but the main thing holding me back is my current lack of braincells. relatable queen πŸ‘πŸ‘

    totally valid to have ‘hungry hearts’ on this list bc while i absolutely adored some of the stories, anthologies will always have stories you LOVE and stories you totally dislike, so that’s very fair.

    i seriously love this post bc there’s so many of our favourite posts dedicated to the most loved and the most hated books but everyone forgets and disregards those poor 3 star reads πŸ˜”πŸ˜” she deserves love too. great post (as always pshhh)

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    1. EXACTLY!! 😀😀 sure, it’s not the /best/ rating you could give a book, but it’s still a good rating dammit!!

      i really want to stay friends please keep pretending πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί (i still stan acsdal kadfjfjfd don’t hate me!!) i’m glad that we have the same thoughts on Loveboat, Taipei. it was a good book and I loved the representation. but looking back on it, some things were glossed over and handled poorly. it wasn’t just to photo incident, but i recently read a review from someone with a mental illness who was kind of hurt by the way Jenna was handled. and i was like, “yeah it always did rub me the wrong way that she was kinda villanized because of her depression.” :// don’t worry, I’m sure your brain cells are stronger than mine!! i seem to be one of the few who wasn’t able to appreciate it because it was so dense 😞✊🏼

      Yeah, I think i’m going to stop reading anthologies from now on unless they’re *extremely* praised. i’m sure a lot are good, but i’m starting to realize that every anthology i read has stories that don’t hold up as well as the others and bring the whole book down from 4 or 5 stars to 3 stars or less.

      omg thank you!! that was my reasoning for making it too! we talk about the books we hate and love, but what about the books that are kind of in the middle?? they shouldn’t be forgotten!!!

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  4. can you believe I’ve never read any of them? *hides* I really want to pick up Jade City soon!! And all those other books sound so interesting!! (Love from A to Z does sound admittedly cheesy, judging from the title, so I think I might pick it up when I need that sort of book) Plus i know there has been so much hype for Loveboat Taipei that I just can’t wait!

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    1. Ah, that’s okay, Miri! We’re all trying our best to manage our TBRs :”)
      I hope you enjoy all of these books!! Love From A to Z really is cheesy, but if you’re in the mood, I would highly recommend it. And I know right?? It makes me so happy that an ownvoices Asian book is so hyped πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί

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  5. This is such a great post Caitlin! I have yet to read any of these sadly. I used to think that three stars was a bad rating but slowly I think my opinion of this has changed and now to me three stars is an average book that I didn’t overly enjoy? So probably a bit lower on the enjoyment scale than for you but I know that everyone rates books super differently which is why I tend to focus more on the content of a review than a rating.

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  6. I am 100% on the 3 star ratings are good side as well. It is above average and when I rate book 3 stars, I have enjoyed them. I haven’t reached that obsessed level and I can spot a few things that I didn’t love but still recognise the good and I want to tell everyone about the good. People immediately see 3 stars as bad and I have done it as well but it isn’t and when you read the reviews of 3 star book there are usually a lot of positive thoughts as well.

    I definitely need to read many of these books such as Heartstopper which we recently talked about. Also Love From A to Z, as much as cheesy contemporaries are always my thing sometimes I want one and this book should be great for then.
    Hungry Hearts sound so interesting and I’m definitely intrigued, I do struggle with short stories/anthologies but I want to try more out and this is on my list.
    I’m really excited to pick up Jade City as well!!
    A book that I rated 3 stars but would recommend is The Boneless Mercies, it was an interesting book and I loved the writing but it didn’t break into the higher ratings as I found it a bit anti-climatic but still a solid read!
    Great post, you Queen of 3 Star Reads, haha!! ❀

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    1. Exactly!! 3 star is still good. When I rate a book 3 stars, I usually liked 55% of it and disliked 45%. Which may seem bad, but the good still outweighs the bad!! We shouldn’t discount the good just because there’s a fair amount of bad parts. I’m guilty of thinking that it’s a bad rating as well. Whenever someone rates a popular book 3 stars, I find myself thinking, “Ohhhh, tea.” BUT it’s a good rating!! it’s something I have to train myself not to do more often.

      Ah, I hope you enjoy all of them!! They really are worth the read, and I hope you’ll give them a higher rating than I did ❀ Yeah, Love From A to Z is so cheesy, looking back on it. I read it in January, but remembering some scenes still makes me think of the cheesiness, even though I know it was intentional πŸ˜‚ I feel like you should read it when you're feeling down, so that the gooey-ness doesn't affect you too much. Also, Hungry Hearts really is one of the best anthologies I've ever read! For me and a lot of other people I know who read it, the good stories outweighed the bad ❀

      Hm, I was never interested in The Boneless Mercies, and I honestly don't think I am even now:( Glad that you still enjoyed it though ❀

      Thank you, you blogging queen, haha πŸ’–

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  7. I also believe a 3-star rating is a good rating! For me, personally, is an “okay” book. I didn’t dislike it, but I also didn’t like it enough to be higher or a favourite. Maybe I wouldn’t exactly recommend a 3-star book with everything in me xD But I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book … The thing is, ratings are different for each one, so it’s not like if I see a 3-star book rated by someone else, I can say it’s an okay or average book for them, maybe it was actually pretty good. :/ Loveboat, Taipei also fits in this category. I didn’t hate the book, but there were *too* many things that I couldn’t let slide …

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    1. “Maybe I wouldn’t exactly recommend a 3-star book with everything in me” THIS!! this is exactly how I would describe 3 star reads, haha. Even so, I think they deserve some time in the spotlight, because we usually only give attention to those books we absolutely loved are absolutely hated πŸ₯Ί And yeah! the star rating system is whack. it’s so different for everyone, and we should honestly be using a more efficient system. But the star rating system has been around for so long, so that may be impossible, haha
      Personally, the Asian rep meant a lot to me, and it made me so happy to read an unapologetically Asian story. But yeah. Some stuff were handled pretty poorly, especially Sophie and Jenna :/

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  8. Loved this idea so much, Caitlin! I subscribe to the basic Goodreads star rating πŸ˜…, so 3 stars is β€œI like this story” for me! I really loved that you included what you liked and disliked about these books because 3 star books are not simple πŸ‘πŸ½.
    One thing I noticed is that YA novels often end up getting 3 stars from me. They’re cute and all and are great with rep, but that just doesn’t cut it πŸ˜…. Do you have a similar pattern with the YA books you read?
    Also, I need to read Love Boat, Taipei!! Iβ€˜m constantly in the market for good Asian American rep 😍. Though that is annoying that the character was never fully reprimanded 😷.

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    1. I’m so glad, Belle πŸ’› I use to basic Goodreads star ratings too!! I didn’t realize how well it worked for me until late last year, haha. Before then, my rating system was a whole damn mess. And yes!! that’s what I love about 3 star books! they aren’t simple, and the good and bad parts are sorta 50/50
      Oh, no, haha. I’m a YA reader through and through:( But I feel like my most used rating would still be 3 stars even if I read more outside YA. Such is the life of a hard-to-please reader πŸ˜… Though I should really read more adult!
      Yes!! the Asian rep is so good and spoke to me a lot πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯Ί But yeah, as much as I love it, some stuff weren’t handled well, especially that particular character’s storyline.

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  9. Omg YES, I just finished Loveboat, Taipei recently & I feel the same way! It was almost like what happened to this particular character later on in the book was used as an excuse for her actions? Which is SO not ok.

    Also, giving you a virtual hi5 because 3 stars is definitely my most used rating too πŸ˜‚

    πŸ’› Ngoc

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    1. Exactly!! Yes, they had a kinda tragic backstory, but that should never excuse someone’s bad actions. I honestly think the backstory was simply written so that they would be excused, and I hated it πŸ˜…

      Omg yes! I wish my most used rating was 5 stars, but alas… I’m just not that kind of reader

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  10. Honestly, 3 stars are such a mixed bag for me. Most of my 3 stars are given because the book was good, but not memorable, but there are a lot of 3 stars that I give because I straight up dislike a book. The “bad” 3 stars mostly comes from the fact that a book has to be pretty terrible to get a 2 star rating, so I assume the lower end of my 3 star ratings really would be considered 2 stars in most people’s book.

    But I still don’t think I’d recommend 3 star books! If I don’t think a book was memorable, or I didn’t enjoy the writing or plot or characters, (which is the case with most 3 star books) I don’t feel comfortable recommending it to the masses. On a person to person level, I think it’s different. Because if a person mentions they like XYZ, I can recommend them a 3 star book with the preface that I didn’t love it, but it has all the things that person enjoys. My general recommendations come more from a place where I feel anyone could enjoy the book because it was so well done, and I was able to form an emotional attachment, which only applies to by 4 and 5 star reads. But the funny thing is, I gave 4 or 5 stars to all the books I had read on this list of your 3 star recommendations! So now I don’t know what to think!

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    1. Yeah, the star rating system is super flawed and unreliable. I think that’s something we can all agree on πŸ˜‚ But based on your description of a book you rated 3 stars, I think 3 stars for you is 2 stars for me! I give 2 stars to books that were just plain bland. Like, they were objectively /fine/, but there was nothing special about them. Whereas with 3 star books I can point out something/s that stood out to me, but there were also a notable amount of things that stood out to me in a negative way. So yeah, again, the star rating system is unreliable AF. And I firmly believe that we need to implement a new one because everyone uses the star rating system differently that it becomes hard to tell someone’s true thoughts on a book unless you read their review (if there is one). Problem is, the star rating system has been around for so long already, and I can’t think of a more efficient one πŸ˜‚ Maybe a “not recommended,” “recommended,” and “highly recommended” system? I really don’t know

      thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Malka! πŸ’–

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  11. I love Brigid Kemmerer’s books, so I hope I like ACSDAL! 3 Star reads tend to be my “meh, it was okay” rating, and it’s honestly it’s my least favorite? I want to read books that are either amazingly good or horribly bad, not in between. Thankfully, according to my book stats, 4 stars is the most I’ve rated so far this year πŸ˜€

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    1. i hope you like acsdal more than i did!
      i think i view 2-star reads the same way you view 3-star reads, because 2 stars is my “meh, this was really bland rating”
      but i totally agree with you!! i’d rather read books i hate with a burning passion or love with all my heart than read “eh” books. 3 stars is a middling rating for me, but at least it still means i liked the book. 2 stars basically means that i wasted my time reading it :/

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  12. I agree that 3 stars is still a good rating. It means that I believe that book was complete and has elements that I enjoyed. In other words, I believe it was a good book; I just didn’t love it. I’ll recommend them depending on what I know someone enjoys in a book. I’ve read A Curse So Dark and Lonely and Loveboat, Taipei. Jade City is on my TBR.

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  13. I definitely get where you’re coming from regarding 3 star reads, but I can’t help but consider it a bad-ish rating. Not when others explain their rating system obviously, but when I myself rate something. For me, tt’s not BAD, but mediocre which means that it was okay but I wouldn’t strongly recommend it.

    I agree with you about Heartstopper – it was cute, but didn’t have a lot of substance, which was disappointing. I think I rated it four stars nonetheless? So I think that shows that I generally round my rating up to four when my feelings are a somewhat conflicted (because of personal preference, for example) yet I would still recommend the book. I want to show that it’s a “good” book, and 3 stars doesn’t accurately show that for me? IDEK, ratings are confusing.

    I do have a recent three star read I would still recommend, though!! The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo didn’t fully work for me for a couple of reasons, but so many people felt represented by it, so it’s definitely one I would still recommend despite me personally not enjoying it as much as I expected.

    Great post! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic, Vera πŸ₯° I totally respect that 3 stars isn’t a good rating for some people! the rating system is so subjective, and I honestly think that we need to get a replacement for it, haha. for me, 3-star-reads are *close* to being mediocre, but the good slightly outweighed the bad, so I’d still recommend them!

      OMG SAME!! I felt super bad about rating Heartstopper 3 stars, because it was a good book! I just needed a little–no, a LOT–more substance from it, and it didn’t deliver! i initially rated it 4 stars, but my rating bugged me for a while, because I knew in my heart that it wasn’t a 4-star read *for me.* but like you, i also didn’t want to rate it 3 stars, and give people the wrong impression! but in the end, i decided to lower my rating to stay true to my personal rating system. i just try my best to still recommend it when I talk about it! (again, the rating system has problems…)

      I read The Poet X a while ago and gave it 4 stars, but it was closer to 3.5 actually. stories like those don’t work for me either, but like you, i know that a lot of people feel represented by it. that being said, it was honestly a forgettable read for me, and it never crosses my mind when I think of books to recommend πŸ˜…

      thank you so much for the insightful comment, vera!

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  14. I rate A LOT of books 3-stars too…for me, that rating means I still enjoyed it, it wasn’t terrible and while I won’t actively recommend, if someone is looking for something specific, I would probably let them know about the 3-star books I’ve read! ACSDAL was a 3-star read for me too! I enjoyed it but I wasn’t blown away, though I know people love it. Heartstopper was a full 5-stars from me and I can’t wait to read Tarnished are the Stars and Summer Bird Blue! Great post as always Caitlin πŸ™‚

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    1. Same!! I rate books 3 stars left and right. I used to want more 5 star reads, but now rating a book 4 stars makes me happy already:( 3 star reads don’t come to mind immediately when I think of books to recommend but they weren’t bad, so that’s why I wanted to make this post, haha. I’m glad we have the same opinion on them!
      Oh, same! ACSDAL was super average. the only stuff that stood out were the CP rep and Grey πŸ™ƒ I understand how Heartstopper would get 5 stars from you! It was a super good read, and I think it’s the most subjective 3 star rating I’ve ever given.
      I hope you enjoy TATS and SBB! hopefully you rate them higher than I did ❀ thank you so much amy πŸ˜­πŸ’–

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      1. Yes, that’s exactly it! I very rarely rate books 5 stars (though I wish I could), 4 stars is a great rating from me.

        YES, the only thing I liked about ACSDAL were the disability rep and grey too 😭

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  15. What a fantastic post, Caitlin! πŸ₯° I agree with you that 3 stars is a good rating! Personally, I think that 3-star books are definitely ones that I enjoyed reading, it’s just that they miss a certain spark that would make me obsessed with them πŸ˜„ A 3-star read that I’d still recommend is A Study in Charlotte, it had such amazing characters (I’m all here for a female Sherlock) and I liked reading it, but somehow the plot didn’t really speak to me. Nevertheless, it was so much fun 😊

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    1. Thank you, Caro! I’m so glad that we agree on that! When I first read A Study in Charlotte, I gave it 4 stars, but looking back, it was probably more of a 3-star read. I feel like the plot and character development were clunky. But I liked Charlotte and her dynamic with Jamie. And overall, it wasn’t a bad book, so that’s why I’d rate it 3 stars. (i don’t think i’m gonna continue with the series though. i haven’t heard good things about the sequels, and i don’t think i’m invested enough to continue 😐)

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  16. AH what a cool idea for a post, I love it SO much and I love your recommendations! I feel like some books we rate 3 stars might not be “that” bad, it’s just that they weren’t entirely for us and that’s okay, too. I love Heartstopper so much, personally, but I get that it feels like a fluffy read and nothing more, and some readers like me adore them anyway, while readers like you feel like they need something more to rate it higher πŸ™‚ Wonderful post! πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much, Marie! ❀ ❀
      Ah, yes! that was entirely my intention with writing this post, because I know some people could enjoy this book more than I did!
      yes, you explained it perfectly :") I 110% get why it's so loved. it was totally an "it's not you, it's me" situation with that book. but it's an example of a 3-star read that I'd still recommend with my whole heart ❀

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  17. yay! i love this post, because i do find 3 stars to be some of the most β€œgrey area” ratings ever. i’ve given 3 stars ratings to a lot of books that i felt very differently about, so it’s interesting to break it down like this, since just because it didn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for others.
    i do also see 3 stars as a good rating. it means the book had more positives than negatives after all. however, as i said before, there are books i still think about that i gave 3 stars to, and others that were pretty forgettable and only enjoyable when i read them. so whenever i see people giving a book 3 stars, i know i need a review and further explanation, because i don’t think this rating says enough about their feelings. (no ratings do, obviously, but i think 3 stars is the one that can have the most mixed opinions).
    i’m currently reading a curse so dark and lonely and i’m very intrigued by it all, though a bit lost on the writing, since i haven’t read fantasy in a while.
    love boat, taipei is also on my TBR for this month and i’m already procrastinating it for being too long, hahah.
    i wonder if we’ll have similar ratings once i finish these books! i’ll definitely let you know.

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    1. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Lais! gosh, we feel the same way about 3 star ratings!! i know some books I gave 3 stars were completely forgettable, but nowadays, I just give books like that 2 stars, because my personal rating defines 3 stars as a good rating. I view them as books where the good *slightly* outweighed the bad, or books that I enjoyed but didn’t like enough to rate 4 or 5 stars.
      yes, ratings are so subjective, and reviews are 100% where it’s at! i’ve read some 2-star reviews wherein the reviewer absolutely tore the book apart. but i’ve also read some wherein the reviewer simply thought the content of the book wasn’t for them. I vote that we come up with a new way of rating books, honestly πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
      I hope you enjoy them both more than I did!! ACSDAL may be a bit confusing right now, but I think you chose the best book to ease yourself back into fantasy, because i don’t think the fantasy elements are that heavyπŸ˜… also, loveboat, taipei could’ve easily been a 4 or 5 star read for me, i’m sad:(
      can’t wait to know your thoughts on them!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. 3 stars is also a good rating for me! I totally agree with you on Loveboat, Taipei even though I rated it at 4 stars. I definitely think that character was forgiven waaaaay to easily. I also enjoyed Heartstopper for it’s fluffiness but it was maybe too fluffy? I love fluff but I also like some substance with the fluff if you get what I mean. I also rated that one 4 stars, I loved this post so much ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that you agree with me! Honestly, whenever I think of loveboat, taipei, I’m more and more unhappy with how it handled some things.
      Ahh, you described my feelings on Heartstopper so well! i really love fluff, but i need something of substance to rate a book higher:(
      thank you so much, clo πŸ₯° that makes me so happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is such an original post! I’m totally on board on what you say about 3-star ratings. Those are usually books I had some issues with, but I still don’t regret reading (I even reread them from time to time!). Not to mention, I still would recommend to the right kind of reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you so much! Yes, you summed my thoughts on 3-star reads up perfectly! The key reason why they’re good ratings for me is because I don’t regret reading them. There are some books I rated 3 stars that I’d recommend to everyone (Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a good example), but most are ones that I’d recommend to only the right reader ❀

      Like

  20. I can’t believe I still haven’t read A Curse So Dark & Lovely. It’s definitely high priority on my TBR, especially as I want to start picking up more retellings. And I love the sound of Hungry Hearts. I was kind of unsure about an anthology based around food tbh but I do love that it’s a mixture of different genres and that they even manage to link together at times. What you’ve said about it has definitely intrigued me.
    A three star book (I think, it’s possibly 3.5, I can’t remember what I settled on) that I’d still recommend is Spellbook Of The Lost & Found as I did think it was beautifully written and loved certain elements of the storyline but i also found it a bit too odd at times. I think this was due to the magical realism though so it could well just be a ‘its me, not you’ thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I finished A Curse So Dark and Lonely, I thought it’d be a forgettable 3-star read, but I actually look back on it fondly now, hahaha. I still stand by the 3-star rating, but I’d still wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s storyline is very cliched at some parts, but I liked the political intrigue, the side characters, and the fact that it subverts some classic YA tropes. Omg, yes, you have to pick up Hungry Hearts!! I’m so sad that it some of the not-so-good stories in it bogged my rating down. The food descriptions are so *chef’s kiss*, and many of the stories are such gems. It also blends different genres really well! Oh, I don’t think I’ve heard of Spellbook of the Lost and Found. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it. I’ve definitely rated books lower because I found them too odd/hard to understand, and I feel bad each time because it’s an “it’s not you, it’s me” situation πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am very excited to read it sometime. And it’s good that you still stand by your original feelings. I have one book that I keep thinking I rated too high and it kind of frustrated me now πŸ™ˆ
        I’m definitely looking into whether I can get it from the library or not ready for when they reopen. And anthologies can be like that frustratingly.
        Yeah it’s kind of an awkward one to review.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did have a reason for it – it was linked to a show and I have it a bonus star for capturing the tone so well but I think it should have been half a star tbh.
        Thank you ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

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