books, ness talks about life

why i like one star reviews

DISCLAIMER BEFORE THE PITCHFORKS ARE FORKED, OR ER, PITCHED (?) IN MY DIRECTION: By ‘reviewer’ I do not mean ‘a malicious troll’. I mean a reviewer who is stating their opinion on the book in a fair, truthful, and often amusing way.

I am not a villain, cackling away behind the anonymity of a computer screen. However, I must admit that I like to read sparsely starred reviews. Yes, those ones. The ones that can often state – in clear, precise words – why the reviewer views the book as a tragic waste of tree, space, time, money, and so forth.

I drink that stuff down like a toddler who’s just discovered Coca-Cola.

Why? How could I? I write, I’ve self-published some novellas, surely I’d want EVERYBODY to have glorious and glowing reviews *throws confetti*

But … I have my reasons. Let me share them with you …

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come with me

i have an inherent distrust of good news

If the book is a fantasy and the reviews are mostly positive – I’ll listen. But if the book is a romance …. then I am wary and proceed with caution. If all the reviews are full to the brim of gushing words about the swooning romance, dreamy heroes, wonderful adventure, fantastic writing etc etc etc … I won’t take it at face value.

I’ve been burned and so I am painfully shy; I read the bad reviews. Because:

a) I am a practical optimistic pessimist (a state of being which I’ve just invented. join me) – if I know the worst, I can decide if it’s worth badgering my bank account for it

b) some folks’ idea of romance isn’t mine


b) … the reviews can be extremely entertaining.

eloquence, m’dear. it’s the eloquence

Sometimes, a reviewer can find a book – any book – to which they suffer an allergic reaction. This can provoke a beautiful response – full of sweeping prose, breathtaking analogies, and excellent use of gifs.

In short, it’s terribly interesting to observe this kind of reaction; reviewers are often very eloquent when they decide that this book is not for them and here is why etc.

I grab my popcorn and settle down to read, mesmerized.

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it can lead to beautiful things

I don’t always trust people who love every. little. thing that they read. Because I am a little cynical; how can I believe that this is the BEST BOOK EVAH!!! if you’ve said that every other book you’ve read is the BEST BOOK EVAH!!!?

(Maybe you do find every book you read to be wonderful. That’s fine. But again, my cynicism strikes like a pimple before a wedding. I can’t help it.)

If you are honest in your reviews, I can measure the bad against the good. You hated this book? You’ve stated the reasons why? Well maybe I agree with you – maybe I’ll search for your other reviews; for the books you really liked.

Maybe I’ll like them too.

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It’s a roundabout way to get a good book recommendation. It also works in the opposite way; if you hated this book, and I loved it … then maybe I won’t like the books you love, maybe I’ll like the books you hate – another way to a book recommendation. (Or if you loved this book and I loved it … we will both congratulate each other on our exceptional taste and stalk each other. Politely. In a friendly fashion.)

in summary, bad reviews can …

  • give a more rounded perspective of a book
  • save money
  • cost money
  • be entertaining

All right. You can … you can bring out your pitchforks now.Image result for galavant gif

8 thoughts on “why i like one star reviews”

  1. Hahaha, I’m laughing at this one. I couldn’t agree more. I like the constructive reviews. I had a few less than stellar reviews (I think this one was generous with a three-star review) and that’s fine, it helped me fix a few things. But the ones that left one stars said nothing.

    1. I like it when people explain their rating; and if they can amuse me while they do it … even better!

      Ohhh, that’s a bit harsh. I bet you feel like holding their laptops hostage and demanding answers pronto. ‘Tell me, in no less than three hundred words, why the low star. Make me laugh, make me cry … BUT TELL ME WHYY! 😀

  2. I DO THIS TOO!! Hoo rah, to the castle we go! Bad reviews are certainly more honest, and I want to know why people didn’t like it. If it was too chock full of profanity and R-rated scenes, then that’s a good book to skip. If it was disliked because the favorite character died at the end? Idk. There are things that bug people that I couldn’t care less about. Very awesome post!

    1. Thank you. You and me, we’ve gotta stick together. And I agree with you – There are things that bug people that I couldn’t care less about.

      ‘Though the heroine spoke up for herself, she didn’t suddenly have all the skillz in the world, and there was too much slow burn romance and dragons’ … Oh no. What a shame. GIVE IT TO ME NOWWWW! XD

  3. it’s all a matter of opinion so that is why I read more than one review of a book, not everyone will love what you love and that is a fact. but I do like an honest review.

    just like how people said they love one of Neil Gaiman’s book but they never pointed out how gross out some of the parts were and praised it like it was the most beautiful book in the world. I have read those praising reviews and that is why I was interested in reading the book and when I did read it, I was horrified by the gross out parts which not a single reviewer pointed it out. I know people can gloss over things but in this particular book, you can’t gloss over these parts, you can’t forget how disgusted you are by it, by you, I mean me.

    sorry for the rant but sometimes reviews can’t be frustrating, I suppose that is why I prefer honest reviews rather one glorified fan fare

    have a lovely day.

    1. Never apologise for ranting here. My blog is a safe place for ranting and rambling!

      I agree – they can be frustrating, and one honest review is worth a dozen gushing reviews which hold no substance as to WHY the reviewer liked the book. It moved you? Wonderful. But what moved you? You loved it? That’s great! WHAT did you love about it? It disgusted you? WHAT disgusted you? HOW did it do so?

      INFORM ME SO THAT I CAN MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION! … and maybe add a splash of humour. That would be great.

      You have a lovely day/evening too!

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