I was inspired to do this post after watching one of my fave booktubers, Jack Edwards, post a video reading the highest and lowest rated books on his bookshelf. It looked like a lot of fun and I thought, why not give it a go cos it seems like a great way to continue slashing down the TBR!
I initially thought about cataloguing all the unread books on my bookshelf like he did, but I admittedly have a lot more and I was feeling a little lazy! 😬 So instead I decided to take a look at my Goodreads “to-read” shelf, which definitely changes up the dynamic because the list includes books that I don’t own and also books that aren’t published yet. I also realised that would affect the average rating more as I noticed many of the books have a lower number of ratings/reviews, which obviously skews the results that come up top and bottom. So, it was already a little more complicated but instead of abandoning the idea I thought I’d still go through with it and I’m glad I did!
I chose the books based on 1) whether it was out or not and 2) whether I had a copy (physical/digital/ARC)—it’s not a perfect solution but it did end up working for me! In the end, the two books I had to read were: With You Forever by Chloe Liese and The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada. Both were ARCs that I had on hand so that was a good start and again, I know it’s not the most perfect system, but I just rolled with it! Here are some stats for the books:
The Perfect Date
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication: June 2019
GR Rating: 2.61 (1,232 ratings)
With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication: September 2021
GR Rating: 4.73 (203 ratings)
HOW IT WENT: THE READING EXPERIENCE
Although I’ve been in a romance mood for a while, as a mood reader whose moods can flip very quickly, I was a bit hesitant to start the books, though I was also pretty excited about starting this small ‘project’ that I knew could help me get back into reviewing and blogging. Plus, I’d be knocking out two books from my TBR and my ARC list and what’s not to love about that, right?
Thankfully, things went pretty smoothly overall. I read the lowest rated book first which I thought might’ve been a mistake but it ended up working out well in the end. Both are also contemporary romances so I felt that put them on an ‘even’ level to start and I managed to read both pretty quickly, finishing one for each day of the weekend. That said, my reading experience for both books were very different. 🤣
THE NOT SO PERFECT DATE
To say that I didn’t enjoy The Perfect Date would be an understatement and after putting myself through the torture that was reading it, I can understand why this title has the rating that it does. Before I started I thought that it surely couldn’t be that bad—it’s got a cute cover, it’s a single-parent fake-dating trope romance that promises a sweet love story—what could possibly go wrong? The answer is a lot. I mean, a lot can go wrong and if there’s anyone who truly thinks this book had the “perfect date” I would ask them if they were okay. I know that sounds harsh but… this hero is the worst I’ve ever read in a romance to date. He was a condescending, egotistical, misogynistic asshole that did not change and I could not fathom how anyone would consider him perfect in any way. Long story short, it took me until the 10% mark to realise why I never finished this (very overdue) ARC in the first place but I truly wish that I had DNF’d it. It was a slog and I gave it 1 star—my first of 2021. 🥺
STAY WITH ME FOREVER
After finishing that perfectly hot mess, I was honestly unsure whether I wanted to keep reading romance but I thought: this is Chloe Liese, there’s no way I’m not gonna love it. As much as I jinxed myself when I said the first book couldn’t be that bad, I’m so happy to say that I wasn’t wrong about this one. With You Forever is a wonderful addition to the Bergman Brothers series and if you’ve been around my blog for a while, you’ll know this series is one of my all-time faves (shameless plug: check out my reviews for the first three in the series: Only When It’s Us, Always Only You, Ever After Always)! There was so much heart and tender emotion in this book and I only swooned about a thousand times because the slow-burn romance between Axel and Rooney was so not only super steamy but it was beautifully heartwarming as well. I cannot recommend this book (and this series) enough and you just might hear me gushing about it a bit more until release date. I gave it 4.5 swoontastic stars (rounded up)! 😍
DO I AGREE WITH THE RATINGS?
By the time I finished reading both books I couldn’t disagree with their respective ratings on Goodreads. Obviously, Liese’ book has a higher rating with a lower number of reviews, but I do feel that once the book is published and more people read it, its rating will remain high. I was also wondering whether my feelings for The Perfect Date were swayed at all by my knowledge of its low rating, and while I might’ve briefly toyed with the thought, I really don’t think that was the case. The totality of that book (characters, plot and writing) was just not good and I’m honestly a little shocked it was actually published by a major publishing house!
Overall, I had a lot of fun doing this little reading project. I thought it was a great way to bring some different content to my blog (although nothing ground breaking or anything) and it helped me get back into the swing of writing and reviewing! I’m quite tempted to keep doing this for books on my various TBRs: physical, digital, andARCs, and seeing whether those turn out as well as this one did!
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! Have you read either of these books or are they on your TBR? Do you have any fun ‘reading project’ ideas that you’ve seen or done yourself? I’d defo love to hear about them!