Booktrovert Reader Podcast

When 1-Star Reviews Make You Laugh: Reading Negative Reviews of Our Favorite Books

July 13, 2023 Charity the Booktrovert Reader Season 1 Episode 19
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
When 1-Star Reviews Make You Laugh: Reading Negative Reviews of Our Favorite Books
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript

Hello Readers!

Have you ever gone on Goodreads or Amazon and read the 1-star reviews of your favorite books?

Today I have and I thoroughly enjoyed reading other people's opinions about some of my favorite reads.

What is your opinion about negative ratings?

Books Discussed:
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros.

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 Hello readers. This is Charity, the host of Booktrovert Reader coming with you. A very interesting topic I've been coming across lately, and that is one star reviews on your favorite bookstagram. I come across a few posts about hey, choosing my next read based off of one star reviews, which has been kind of my favorite because I'm always baffled about what people have to say about books they don't like. Or another one I've seen is oh, here's my favorite five-star reads and these are the one star reviews. So I kind of felt very interested in the topic just because of the fact that I love hearing other people's opinions, whether it is good or whether it's bad. I find that some people can get a little too sensitive about negative one star reads. I feel like the opinion is a lot of times is valid. I might not always agree with it, but hey, I find that reading is subjective. It's all based on the person's preference, what kind of mood they're in at the time. I know one time I didn't particularly like a book just because of the fact I was going through something personal that book related to my situation personally. And I just like I just don't like this book because of that reason. So star ratings is kind of in a way controversial. I noticed that YouTubers have lately have been just saying they read the book instead of putting the star rating on there just because people get so into why did they get their favorite books rated so low? And the YouTuber just kind of started transitioning, stopped doing that because it was too stressful for them. I feel like it's kind of interesting how the emphasis of what kind of star ratings you give somebody, how that affects a reader. Star reviews are very important when it comes to authors. It helps them get in front of other people, helps readers decide whether they want to read the book or not. Sometimes it can be a good metric of whether to read the book or not. I know for me, if there's like thousands of reviews and it's rating a 3.5, I find it like I'm still interested in the book but I may put this as a lower priority for reading the book. And I do kind of am noticing one thing, that it's not a pet peeve of mine, but I can get a little irritated at this, is that when people put a low star review, like one to three stars, and then they say, oh, this is a great story. The characters are very interesting 1s and kind of say good things about it in the review, but they give it a low star rating. And I'm personally like, why didn't you like the book? What made it a three star review? At this point I would rather hear oh, it sounds like something I've read before 500 times is better than just kind of saying, this is a great book, but I'm going to give a three star review. With that said, I'm curious about what people say about my favorite five star reads, so I decided to go to Goodreads and filter out the comments just for the one star reviews for some of my favorite books. The first one is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. If you don't already know, I did a chapter by chapter summary of the first book. It's one of those books that I DNF the first time and then years later I decided to go back to it. I really loved it. The second time around I gave it a five star. So I'm not going to give any names. I'm pretty sure you can probably find these people on Goodreads and who this belongs to, but yeah, I would just wanted to see what they say. One person wrote DNF at page 173. I just how the F is this book so height? I expected it to be a fantasy with political intrigue and complexities and instead I get high school drama bullies and one dumb as hell main character. No thank you. Now, when I first read it the first time, the bully aspect of it was a turn off for me the first time just because of the fact that I just I don't know, I never got exposed to that quite yet. And I was like, you know, I don't want to read these kind of books. And now that I've read Zodiac Academy and stuff like that, it kind of opened myself up to it a little bit more. So I enjoyed it. So here's another one. Thanks to this book, a useless butt has something to add to my resume. I finished A Cruel Prince even though I'm bored to death and really hope that whoever my future boss is the geeky enough to know how difficult it is to finish a boring book. Because honestly, I think this is the only thing I'm good at, wasting time on trashy books. I'm so furious at this book because it's so effing soulless. So this is one of those long reviews that if it's like a page synopsis, basically, and about how boring this was, there's no world building and everything. Obviously I have different opinions about that, but I know that in some ways it could be really hard to get through the first book. I felt like it got very interesting once you got past the half of the book. So this one says, please don't bother reading this if you love this book and would be insulted or offended by anyone writing 3000 words. Why, it was horrible. As everyone can see by my reading, I did not like this book. No wait, that's putting it miley. I can't stand this book and it pays me to say that because I used to love stories about Faye and a lot of my friends adore this book. I can sum my reading experience in two parts. The first part is literally just me sign, rolling my eyes and staring at this book with so much pain in my eyes that my mother sitting next to me got worried. The second part is me looking up into the camera like I'm in the office mixed with something. But what does that even mean? I want to know. So I like how it says in the preface to say that if you like this book? Don't even continue reading this because you'll get offended. And that's what I noticed that I mentioned earlier, was that people get a little too sensitive about people not liking their favorite books. I think it's always good to subjectively see, like, hey, this person didn't like it. Why they didn't like it? What's their point of view? This one says, I lowkey hate my friend for telling me to read this book. This was ridiculous. I much prefer SJM's take on fairies lol. Should I even bother with the second book? I heard a lot of reviews saying it gets better, but like but like, honest. Honestly, I don't even know the main character's name and I just and that was it. I find it very interesting how a lot of people compare almost any book to just Sarah J. Mass's books on fairies. And it's kind of like almost not a fair comparison if you're comparing anything to her work. Something I'm noticing that a lot of people found this book boring and it's hard because I find it very fascinating, but to each of their own. Yeah. I don't think this is for me. This was oh, boy. To be fair, I think Holly Black is a talented writer, but specific brand of Ya storytelling is not something I find any enjoyment in. The relationship dynamics are very unappealing to me. I'll be interested in see this writer try a different genre or style narrative, though. I like that opinion just because they say, hey, I didn't like it because of this type of writing style. It's just not something that I appeal to. And I like that because they're not being harsh about it. They're just saying, this is not for me. Oh my. I cringe so often during the story, during this read. Rushed through to the end just to be done with it. Really lacked solidity, and characters were unrelatable. They like someone, then they hate them, then love them. With a little development in between. We just have to accept these changes. So oh, DNF Cardin not a real man. Sorry. Get the tail removed and then tried to bully people. 1s So one thing I was surprised about is that he has a tail, and it kind of was very subtle, but it's there. But I don't know. What is your opinion about whether Cardin is a man or not? He is considered a morally gray character in this story. So 1s subtle to the point, eh? Yeah. That's it 1s not for them. So another one of my favorite reads is Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. I did do a book review with another bookstagrammer on this one, so yeah, check that one out as well. Shameless plug. Once upon a Broken Heart is basically about a girl who has a broken heart and she goes to the Prince of Hearts to make a deal with him to stop the wedding of the guy that she fell in love with but is marrying somebody else. He made a deal with her that he'll stop the wedding if she gives him three kisses. The thing is about his kisses is that the fact that anytime he kisses someone, it actually kills them. She makes this deal and the story evolves around her just filling those wishes and trying to solve some problems and everything. And I really enjoyed this one just because of the fact that there were some unexpected twist and unexpected storylines that happened in this book that I felt very fascinating. So I'm going to read what people didn't like about this book. Out of 123,000 in reviews, there was only about 1413. Evil that gave it a one star review, and that's pretty good. Put it simply once upon a broken heart is a hot mess the premise promises a fairy tale, but what Garbert delivers is a confused nightmare with an annoying naive protagonist, a one dimensional cast of supporting characters, and a truly what the f inducing plot. The book only saved graces are the short chapters and fast pacing, which at times can be too henrindas to enjoy and desire to rate this book higher than you actually will. 1s That's tough. 2s So this one says no because what WTF what was that? So this one's kind of confusing. This person gave this one star review, but the review gets me thinking. It says, this was terrible. Worst book I've ever read. Neat. The sequel immediately, or is this person being facetious? Or it was so bad, but interesting enough that they want to continue reading the story? I don't know. Makes me want to go to that person profile to see if they read that book at all or not. Or did they just never read it? Person's profile is private, so I'll never know. So this person put well, this was a bit twee and vapid. I can't believe I wasted so many brain cells reading the Carnival Trail for the sole purpose of reading this book. Mistakes were made, and I never thought I met a character dumber than Scarlett and Donatella, but Evangeline was incapable of making a single logical decision. Now, yeah, I did hear that you're not supposed to, but it's kind of recommended to read the Caravel trilogy before you read the Once Upon a Broken Heart trilogy as well, because there are some characters in the Once Upon a Broken Heart that you see in Caravavel, and I didn't do that. You can still read the book without reading that series first. But I want to read that series first before I move on. Personally. One person put one star review because says not enough. Jax. Jax is one of the is the Prince of hearts in this book particularly. Yeah, he's not like super in the forefront of the story. He does show up a lot more at the end, but he's not a lot it's a lot of it was Evangeline's point of view and what she was going through, and she barely did have much interactions with Jax, with her rating at one star review because she didn't see enough of the character. I'm kind of like, really 3s I know this is subjective and I know this person's opinion, but I'm like, did you enjoy the story at all? Did you enjoy the parts that he was in there? So I don't know if that really justify one star review, but 1s I don't know, that's a little subjective. If Stephanie Garver has a million haters, I am one of them. If Stephanie Garber has one hater, is it it's just me? If Stephanie Garner has zero. Haters it's because I'm dead forever and always keep the Caravel universe away from me. Now, I think she has a very strong opinion that she doesn't like this story, 2s I guess. So. The next book series that I did was a duology called Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I really enjoy now, I will say the pacing was a little bit slower in the Crooked Kingdom book, the second book in the series. But I really enjoyed Six of Crows just because Six of Crows did kind of slow pace. It was like one bad thing after another. So I was like, is these people ever going to escape this ice Court? I enjoyed it. I enjoyed going through it and doing a chapter by chapter summary about it so we'll see what other people say, because I know this is kind of like also a Netflix show as well, or at least they're kind of cameos in it and somewhat so. This has over 800,000 ratings, and out of the 800,000 ratings, there's about 6301 star reviews. It took me all of two chapters, maybe 20 pages, to realize this is not the book for me. It's got tons of names you can't remember or pronounce. Political intrigue out the wazoo, a sadistic streak, a heist caper plot. All these elements immediately turn me off. This book not my cup of tea at all. Oh, I will say that Leibar Dugo does a great way of dividing the chapters up in people's point of views and introducing characters slowly. And I personally feel like doing only two chapters is kind of unfair to give a one star review. I don't know. I'm personally a let me at least get through 50% of the book before I kind of say yay or nay on DNFing a book or whether the star reviews are going to be low or not, just because I feel like it needs to be given an honest chance. And sometimes I find that a lot of books are not good. If I gave it a chance, 35% or more, that just seems to be a sweet spot for me, 35% to 50%. I figure out whether if it's a really good book for me or this is kind of a crap shot for me. So I personally feel like 20 pages wasn't enough to give this book a fair chance. But some people just don't prefer some morally gray characters because this is very morally gray. I wouldn't say this is political intrigue. It's just trying to upset one or the other. And this is really based on the heist getting the crew together, taking them to the Ice Court. And there was a lot of things in between, a lot of character development that I felt like was there. So I don't know. What's your opinion? I'm kind of wondering if that is a fair judgment of a book book if you only read 20 pages in two chapters in quickly. I am noticing. That a lot of people had something to say about too many characters names and how hard to pronounce names. I didn't struggle with that. I've read some fantasy books that it was extremely hard to know the difference between anybody, but I found this one wasn't so bad. Like I said, Leah Bargo felt I felt like she did it very well because I came across so many books that are really hard to break down and to know the difference between the people and she did an amazing job, I personally felt. So this person said when this book first came out, it got a lot of buzz. I wanted to check it out but never got around to it. Finally I nabbed a copy and off I was. I found myself confused at the start, wasn't sure of the factions and who was who. I made it halfway through, figured out some things, but for the most part I realized I didn't care. As this is the second book from the author that I dnupped, I think she isn't for me. Okay, that is so fair. Why? She gave a one star review. She tried it and she gave a good section of it a try and just realized that Leigh Bardugo's writing style is not for that person. And I really think that's a very pretty valid base as to why they maybe have given a one star review. I don't think star reviews are like the be all be all of opinions, but it does kind of like if you didn't like it, just read it. This person gave a very valid reasons why they gave a one star review and they probably are not going to continue the series or any other books from this author because of the fact they're not enjoying the writing style, which is so okay. So this one says, made it to about page 130 before giving up. I hate all the characters. They were bland and flat and when they did have a personality, it was awful. 1s That one's subjective. 1s That's going to be my key word for this, subjective. I thought the characters had some death and some character to them. As you read more into the chapters and the second book, you find more about these characters and who they are and why they are. And I felt like that was good and interesting and just getting to know these characters. So the only thing that this person liked is that some of the pages were black, yet you're not familiar with Six of Crows or Cookie Kingdom. She divides these books up into parts and chapters. So in each part she just gives part a title and then it's like a black pages. And I kind of did my podcast episodes based on those sections. This person liked how they did that, but other than that, they said too wordy, too slow paced and I didn't care about any of the characters. I'm finding it also, another thing is that a lot of people just don't care for the characters that are happening. So I'm going to come right out and say it. I could not finish this book. In fact, more specifically, I could not bring myself to pick up the six of crows after I reach the second half of the story. I prefer. To leave these stories that I have not completed unreaded. However, I feel that my rating of one star is warranted by the sad actuality that I read up to page 201 and suffered the same indifference and mundane feelings about it that I convicted from the beginning. Honestly, nothing lured me in. Zilch entranced me with fascination or promotion. Moreover, I was not enraptured in the slightest. The story just moved along while I read the words, but I wouldn't often think about why I was devoting my time to it. Additionally, I fell into slump after leaving this novel in the corner of my room, a dust jacket off, which felt wrong to me and therefore added to my prevailing gloom about literature as a whole. In short, I thought the story was insisted. The character is cliche and overdone and unconvincing. I think that is the worst thing that you ever can do is when you're finding a book that you're just not loving. You feel like you're having to finish it or push through it because it's a very popular book and you push yourself through it, and then you get into a book slump. I loathe that with every fiber of my being. I recently went through that. I read a very popular book and I finished it because it's a popular book. If you're on Instagram or anything, you have to do things that are trending sometimes to get in front of people. I finished it, and I think it was romance specifically, and I just hated all romances. I was not enjoying it. I hated it, and I felt like everything was starting to be cliche. And I was struggling so bad through any kind of romances, even in fantasy, rolling my eyes. And what was funny is that this would be the next book I do is Fourth Wing. I read that book Fourth Wing after I read that particular romance that got me in a kind of a romance slump, but I was just not enjoying it because I just felt it was so cliche. There was a sentence like, I loved you since the moment I saw you, and I was just like, rolling my eyes. I think that if I wasn't put in that slump before reading Fourth Wing, I probably would have enjoyed that book a lot more. That said, I'm kind of curious about what people are going to say about Fourth Wing. Now. If you're not familiar with Fourth Wing, who isn't familiar with Fourth Wing? Everyone's talked about Fourth wing. Fourth Wing is one of those books that even I feel that romance readers who specifically read romance genres or other genres other than fantasies can read this book and really enjoy it. Fourth Wing is about our main character, Violet, who kind of presents her as weak, and people are always putting her in that position where you can't do something because of her physical ailments. And she gets into Minute, into the Dragon quadrant, which is you get to train to hopefully one day be able to ride a dragon. And she has to overcome a lot of obstacles. And one of the obstacles is Examin, which is. Which is one of the rebellion kids that hates her. A lot of them hates her just because of her last name. She is a daughter of a general, and everyone's after her. With that said, Fourth Wing is kind of one of those phenomenal reads that it just took off storm. A lot of people love it. Very few people hate it. What makes this a really good read is that out of almost 150,000 ratings and only 969 people gave us a one star review, out of 150,000 reviews, only 969 people didn't like it. That is crazy. All right, this is unfair. Who had a gun to the head of everyone who rated this five stars? Okay, I get that not every book is going to appeal to every single person on the planet. I get it. Not every book is for that person. But that's kind of I mean, I almost think that's unfair and judgmental of you saying that if you gave it a five stars, you were under compulsion. You didn't really give it five stars. You were supposed to give it something else, but you gave it five stars anyways. Do I feel like people are giving it five stars because of the hype? Yes, I do feel that way. Just because people are afraid to give a different opinion to what everyone else is giving. Do I feel like that comment where if you gave it five stars, you must have had a gun in your head? No, I don't think that's fair. I would rather know why you didn't like the book. Why didn't you like this book? Was it the characters? Was it the storyline? I mean, I personally didn't feel like Violet was like, oh, that person's hot and all that stuff. That was just juvenile to me. So I didn't like that part. I would love to know why someone just didn't like it, not judge other people who gave it a five star. That's just my opinion. Two cent into that equation. So some of you are about to be real mad at me, but this is an SJM. And Ali hazelwood had a baby also. If this is Enemies to Lover, then, oh, how mighty have fallen. The amount of time I cringe was insane. I'd rather stick to molten hot needles in my head than read the sequel. Okay. I don't see the combination of the two, but in the love department, I do think that it was trying really too hard on the enemies to love her situation. So, yeah, the second hand embarrassment. Girl, get up. Set back women rights by a century. I wish this person gave a little bit more context as to why they felt like the main character, Violet, has set the rights of women back by a century. I don't see it. I felt like Violet was a very strong character from the very beginning to the end. I do feel like she was kind of her mindset did change a little bit once she started falling for the love interest. She was not as focused on the school anymore or getting that dragon or training for that, but hey, teach their own new half year resolution. I need to stop. Taking recommendations from booktalk. I'm not going to lie here. If this series hasn't been raved about everywhere I looked online, I probably wouldn't have read it. I stopped reading TikTok popular books some time ago, but the rating in this book made me pick it up. Fourth Ring was my first Rebecca Yarrow's book, so I didn't know what to expect. At least now I know that this will be my first and last book by this author because it turned out not to be for me. This review probably won't cover all the things I didn't like about it as I started skipping pages about 60% of the book. So what exactly didn't work out for me in this book? The story didn't hook me up in the beginning. The main reason for this is probably because the writing style didn't speak out to me. I actually DNF in the day before, but decided to give it a chance because I thought it might not be the day for this book. At one point I was glad I decided to give a chance, but it didn't last long. Another 40% I was pretty invested in a story when the dragons finally appeared. Unfortunately, it turned out I was only interested when the dragons were evolved. The rest was just boring to me. Now, she did mention in this book about Xandin. I do kind of agree with this comment about how Violet's description of Xandin when she first lays eyes on him and moving forward, she put flaming hot scorching hot gets you in trouble and you like it level of hot. I'm like that's kind of like immature. I don't know, I didn't really resonate with that, so I kind of agree with her opinion on this one. And she also put you have incredible touchable skin. And some people are saying that they really enjoy the dragon aspect of this book, but other than that, that's about it. I guess a lot of things that a lot of people are also managing in their reviews is that they kind of regret following a TikTok instagram trend and they read the book and they kind of regret it and they kind of feel let down about it in a way. I know one person, one instagrammer I talked to for the book review was that she's like, I had to step back for a little bit, separate myself from all the hype. So when she went back into the book, she didn't have this expectation to go in that this was the best thing. And I know for me, because I was kind of going through a reading slump and I was going into this like this was the hyped book of the year, of the month, of the century, basically, that I was like, oh, this has to be good. And for me it was a little anticlimactic. I'm not saying it wasn't good, it was very good. I loved the story, I love the characters I love how the story developed, but it was just like that was it. This is what people are saying that they're getting book slumps for. I didn't get a book slump from this book, but I did enjoy every moment of it. That's what a lot of people are saying, is that they're going in with this big book hype and 1s they're being let down. I think that's kind of something you have to be careful with is not letting the hype affect you to the point that when you do read the book, you're not enjoying it as much because it's not meeting your expectations. I learned that with Fourth Wing, and now I am having to go approach each book based off of what the story is about and not based off what other people are saying. So let me know what you think about one star reviews for your favorite books. Give me a book that it's your favorite, but people have one star reviews about and particularly what they said. And also let me know what your opinions are about star ratings and how you base your reading and your TBR based off of ratings. Well, it's great talking with you readers and read with you later. 

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