Books

My lowest rated reads in 2020

Last week I shared with you all the books that I gave top marks to in 2020, so for this week’s post I thought I would look at the opposite end of the scale and showcase the books that I gave the lowest ratings to throughout the year. I was fortunate through 2020 that I didn’t award a single 1 star rating, and I actually only gave one book 2 stars, so for this post I will include that one alongside the books that I awarded three stars to. I’m going to order them here in the order that I read them. I hope you enjoy reading!

Follow Me, Like Me by Charlotte Seager
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*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

When sixteen-year-old Chloe replies to a DM from a gorgeous stranger, she has no idea what she’s inviting into her life. As her online fan becomes increasingly obsessive, her real life starts to come apart at the seams and Chloe realizes she needs to find a way to stop him before things spiral out of control.

Misfit Amber’s online obsession with her personal trainer begins to creep into the real world. But when she hears a terrible rumor about him, she drops everything to try and prove his innocence – even if it means compromising her own.

In Follow Me, Like Me by Charlotte Seager, Amber and Chloe might find that the truth is much harder to swallow than the lies.

Excerpt from my review:

I was impressed by the subject matter, in a world where it seems everyone, but particularly teens are living their lives dictated by social media I think it’s so important to have literature that reminds of the dangers. Can you trust an online persona 100%? No, and this book highlights that. It shows how easily online activity can creep into real life and spiral out of control; a reminder of this is very timely and important these days.

MY RATING 3/5

Full review here

Blind by Cath Weeks
Blind: Amazon.co.uk: Cath Weeks: 9780349410630: Books

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

For fans of Diane Chamberlain and Jodi Picoult, this is an emotional, page-turning and high-concept debut about a mother who gives birth to a blind baby.

Twyla Ridley, resourceful, optimistic, has just had her first child. It’s what she and her husband, Dylan, have always wished for.

However, Charlie is blind.

For the first time in her adult life Twyla feels truly tested. She cherishes her son, showering him with love and boundless affection, but there’s a part of her that aches for him to see. So Twyla throws herself into motherhood with a very private agenda, because maybe, if she strives hard enough, she’ll be able to find a way to fix him.

But is it a risk worth taking?

Blind is about how hard we battle for our children and how blind we can be to the secrets of those closest to us. It’s a story that delves into the very heart of our dangerous yearning for perfection.

Excerpt from my review:

It had a great twist, I was really surprised and I didn’t feel as though there had been any indication or hints as to how the story was going to pan out. I was conflicted in my thoughts when the twist took place but then this is what books like this are designed to do isn’t it? It presents a moral issue, it makes you ask ‘what would I do?’ This is a question that I don’t have the answer to even now. It’s certainly a reminder of how quick society can be to judge, and how different things can appear when it is you in the situation forced to make a decision.

MY RATING: 3/5

Full review here

Wicked Girl by Jeanie Doyle
Wicked Girl: Amazon.co.uk: Jeanie Doyle: 9781912624256: Books

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

How do you teach a mother to love her child, when she’s still a child herself?

Jeanie Doyle nurtures, teaches and cares for young and dysfunctional mums, showing them how to care for their newborn babies, sometimes even taking the mother into foster care before the baby is born.

The first in a brand-new series of books by the foster ‘super-gran’, Wicked Girl is the shocking true story of the very first case Jeanie dealt with: a baby girl who was found abandoned on the steps of a church just before Christmas. While the 14-year-old mother was tracked down, Jeanie took her little daughter into her own care. But while she tried to help the two of them heal and bond, the terrible truth about the baby’s father was revealed…

A twist on the standard Cathy Glass books, Wicked Girl offers Jeanie’s rare perspective of fostering young women alongside their babies. Will mother and daughter be reunited for good, or will the vulnerable young mother make the heartbreaking decision that they are both better off apart?

Excerpt from my review:

It’s gripping, there is no denying that. It hooked me immediately. The author made the choice to get straight to the action so to speak and as a result I did not want to put this down. There was no sense of persevering, it was absorbing from the outset.

It goes without saying that the subject matter is difficult. It could prove triggering for a lot of readers, and it is without doubt not an easy read. It is handled sensitively however.

MY RATING: 3/5

Full review here

The Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin
The Wrong Move eBook: Savin, Jennifer: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

A dark, twisty domestic thriller about the perfect flatshare gone wrong for fans of Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door and Louise Candlish’s Our House.

IT WAS THE PERFECT FLAT
After a seemingly endless search, Jessie thinks she’s finally found a decent place to live in the four-bedroom flat at Maver Place.

THE FLATMATES SEEMED NICE
And when she’s befriended by fellow tenants Lauren and Sophie, Jessie thinks she’s got great flatmates to share it with.

BUT WHAT SECRETS ARE THEY KEEPIING?
Then disturbing things start happening – weird noises in the middle of the night and things going missing. But when Jessie learns a previous flatmate has disappeared, she starts to doubt if she can really trust these strangers after all . . .

When you flatshare, how well do you really know the people you’re living with?

Excerpt from my review:

On the surface this one seemed to have all the components of a great thriller: broken female lead, suspicious flatmates, a seemingly dodgy agency rep and a lurking dangerous ex. However, for me it just didn’t deliver. As I said all the components were there but I just didn’t feel as though they were developed enough. There was a lot of promise and as each piece was introduced I was excited for where it would lead, unfortunately I was disappointed with the destination. I persevered because I try to avoid not finishing a book if I can, and because I was hopeful for a great twist and a strong ending. Sadly it didn’t have either. I felt as though the ending was rushed, which was a shame because the pacing up to this point had been well executed. I just found myself unfulfilled as the book came to a close.

MY RATING: 2/5

Full review here

Ghost Music by Candida Clark
Ghost Music: Amazon.co.uk: Clark, Candida: 9780755301034: Books

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

An English spa town in 1935 is made famous by an American novel: a love-story. Three years later, a young married actress travels there alone and finds the love-story itself, as she falls passionately in love with a young English man. Then, in the present, history seems to repeat itself when an English girl, haunted by the novel, visits the town and falls in love with a young archaeologist working there, and the tragic secrets of the pre-war love-affair are finally revealed.

Excerpt from my review:

I found the language a bit of a struggle also. The only word I can think of to describe it, and the word I used when I was scribbling down some thoughts immediately after finishing the book is: flowery. I wish the author had just brought it back a little and avoided what seemed to be a constant over the top approach to description. I like imagery within a story but this was too much and it made it difficult to read if I’m honest.

MY RATING: 3/5

Full review here

Grit by Kelly Buell
GRIT eBook: Buell, Kelly: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

Nevaeh has a child with long term illness who loses his struggle to acute myeloid leukemia. She must learn to navigate her new life without him all the while surviving a turbulent marriage and dealing with sibling rivalry fighting for the job of her dreams.

Excerpt from my review:

I must admit that in my opinion there is just too much packed into this story. It is only a short book and as a result there wasn’t enough time to process one thing before another equally hard-hitting event was taking place. This left me struggling to keep up, but more than that it meant that the story became a little unbelievable. I think omitting one or two of the events that took place would result in a stronger book overall. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy what was happening as such, but more that I just felt a little out of my depth with it all.

MY RATING: 3/5

Full review here

For When I’m Gone by Rebecca Ley
For When I'm Gone by Rebecca Ley | Waterstones

*Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)*

Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind. So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late. But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything.

Excerpt from my review:

Sylvia (the character whom the story revolves around) was somewhat problematic for me also. I understand that she was designed to be repenting for past mistakes as her life came to an end, but some of the mistakes I just didn’t feel like she would have made. Instead they felt like convenient tools to drive the plot forward. Having said that her pain and anguish with regards her looming death and all that she would miss out on was heart wrenching, and I really went on that journey with her. Sylvia was probably my favourite character because for me she was the most relatable. She tried her best but she had flaws, she messed up from time to time because she wasn’t perfect but she loved her family. Of course it is known from the start that there is no happy ending with this book but I would’ve loved to see a miracle take place for Sylvia. Although, as I reflect on it now I wonder if the certainty of death was what brought out the elements of her character that I loved, and would she have been the same Sylvia if she had survived?

MY RATING: 3/5

Full review here

And there they are, all the books that I gave my lowest ratings to in 2020. What do you think of these titles? Any that you love/hate? Do you think they deserve the number of stars that they received? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!

Find me on: Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Until the next time…Jess x

11 thoughts on “My lowest rated reads in 2020

  1. You were lucky to have so few slightly disappointing reads last year – I think a lot of us were struggling a bit to love books as much as usual. I didn’t rate too many low either, but I abandoned tons of them too early to rate or review. Hopefully this year we’ll all have five star reads all the way! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reflecting on all reviews, including the books I read and re-read last year, I wonder if responses would have been different at another time ? For when I’m gone was the review – and the book, which has stayed with me longest. Sylvia’s pain and anguish are hard to bear. No happy ending is possible. Born blind, can a baby possibly see? Stressful living conditions, even if not actually sinister ? Human kind cannot bear very much reality ? Including, as in Grit, too many hard-hitting events ? Last year, borrowing from our village’s wonderfully generous book boxes, I turned to romance, craved happy endings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly was a strange year, and yes I wonder too if I would’ve felt differently about some of the books I read if it had been different times. I remember you mentioning the book boxes, I still wish there was something like that local to me. I don’t often, if ever, read romance but I can see why you gravitated towards that, I think we all are looking for a happy ending at the moment!

      Like

  3. It seems as though you still got something from the books you rated lower, and at least there were no real dudds among them. As it happens, I felt kind of stuck on 3 or 3.5 stars last year, certainly among my fiction reading. I’m not sure whether it was my mood, surcomstances or a shift in reading tastes, but I was really struggling to engage, and the majority of my 4 and 5 star ratings went to nonfiction titles. Very strange.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I thought initially that I’d maybe been too generous with my rating, but on reflection I don’t think that was the case which is good. I think last year was such a rollercoaster that it’s no wonder your reading shifted, I think it did for a lot of people (myself included). Strange like you say though that it seemed to affect only your fiction reading, I wonder why that is, perhaps just a struggle to switch off into a fictional world.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I did wonder to begin with whether I wasn’t been harsh enough with my ratings, but I think in reality I just got lucky with what I picked to read. I haven’t written a one star review yet no, have you? I feel as though if a book was to get only 1 star from me then it would probably be a dnf and I don’t think of reviewing them, I worry it’s unfair to review something that I haven’t finished.

      Liked by 2 people

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