Feature and Follow Friday–Bad Reviews

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Q: Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

I don’t know that I have BOUGHT a book because of bad reviews. I can’t think of anything right now.

There are books that I am currently reading or have already read and I decide to look through the reviews more in depth and find bad ones that just make me roll my eyes. There is some defiance there if I’m still reading that make me finish faster and be sure to highlight what I’ve seen in bad reviews and why I disagree with them.

For example, I saw tons of negative reviews about The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls as I was coming close to wrapping it up. Most of them discussed the author’s lack of emotion and tone throughout the novel and how they wished she would have been more emotional. The lack of emotion made them give it 2 stars or what not, I COMPLETELY disagreed (even though I wasn’t done) and I made sure to take a note of that. In my review I mentioned how much I loved the lack of emotion because it gave me a chance to read and think my own thoughts without the narrator thinking for me. And since it’s a memoir, those are some pretty heavy emotions a person feels about the life she lived through. I was absolutely appalled by her parents in the book, but I also realize if she DID inject personal emotion into her writing, it would probably be to defend them in some way since they are her parents and she did love them.

That’s the example that comes to mind.

I think bad reviews are worth looking at. Had I not seen people talk about what they hated, I may not have been able to put into words why I loved the book so much. It didn’t really occur to me how much the author’s lack of emotion mattered to me in a positive way until I saw other people complain about it.


9 thoughts on “Feature and Follow Friday–Bad Reviews

  1. I try to avoid reading too many reviews of the book I'm currently reading — it's so easy for someone else's thoughts to taint my own.

    I heard so many great things about Andrea Cremer's Nightshade, but was kind of blah about it while reading; then I started thinking about the sexism inherent to that book and now if I ever see a copy anywhere I'm tempted to lob it through a window. 🙂


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