Rating the Reviewers: 10 Reasons Why I Might Ignore a Bad Review & Read the Book Anyway.

Somebody call Guinness, I’m back on top of my soap box…that makes *twice* this week.  What can I say, I have a bee in my bonnet and I need to get it out of my system. *g*


#1 Non-Readers.  If somewhere in the body of the review, the reader states that he/she did not read the book…this is just an automatic ignore for me.  Nothing this person says after that holds any sway with me whatsoever.  In fact, I consider this to be trolling.  Because honestly, what could he/she possibly have to say about a book that they haven’t even read???  Certainly nothing legitimate anyway.  And believe it or not, I have read a disturbing number of reviews that admit to this.  *Shakes head*  It boggles my mind that Amazon doesn’t purge these off their site.


#2 Premature DNFers.  These are reviews where the reader admits they only read 10 or 20 pages of a book before they gave up, lost interest, or got frustrated.  Or they only got to chapter 2.  WTF?  How on earth can you tell anything in 10 or 20 pages or 2 chapters??  I ignore reviews like this…It’s just not legit to trash a book until you give it a decent chance to engage you.  I generally commit to 100 pages.  If it hasn’t done something by then, I think it is at least reasonable to DNF it…although, many books I will finish even still.  (I have 7 DNFs in my GoodReads profile of 369 books read.)


#3 No Explanation.  The reader gives the book a one-star rating, but there is no review or no reasoning to accompany it.  Or, the reviewer makes some vague or inflammatory statements that still doesn’t offer a specific reason.  “It was boring.” Or ”I couldn’t get into it.” Or “The story sucks.”  This is not a reason, just an opinion.  Why does it suck?  Why couldn’t you get into it?  Why was it boring?  You can’t just claim that something sucks and then not explain why.  Until I get a reason, I don’t take the opinion seriously.  And on some level I’m a little suspicious they either have not read the book or they are premature DNFers which is why they don’t give an explanation…likely, they can’t.  Any book that I hated so much until I gave it a one-star rating, trust me, I can run it down exactly what I hated about it.  No problem.

Note:  I have been guilty of this once or twice in my early reading days, but it was more out of laziness than lack of reason.  I have long since reformed.  Now, I try to always give an explanation for disliking a book.


#4 Extreme Outliers.  If there is an overwhelming number of positive reviews for a book, with detailed reviews which provide great feedback…and then there is one or two outliers that pan the book for vague or suspicious reasons, I ignore them.  I am generally not a band-wagon type person, but in this instance, I tend to go with the crowd.  It makes more sense to me that the book is worth a look if that many people liked it and only one or two reviewers panned it.  Every author has haters.


#5 Baseless Reasoning.  The reviewer gives a bizarre or ridiculous reason for disliking, DNFing, or panning the book.  I have read some truly bizarre reviews…One stated that the book sucked because the word “alpha” was supposedly misused to mean something other than a dominant shapeshifter.  Yes, that is one meaning of the word, but if one looks in the dictionary, (or has lived in the real world) one would know that there are several other meanings for “alpha” which are just as legitimate.  One can have an Alpha personality and not be a shapeshifter.  It’s crazy to pan a book for such a silly and quite frankly illegitimate reason.  Other stuff I have seen…Some history buff reviewers crucify historical romances for very tiny historical mistakes…this seems petty to me, but I’ve seen some rants on Amazon over the color of ink that was used in the quill in the regency period…WTF?  Really?  So, the romance was totally ruined because the ink in the quill the heroine used to write a letter is black instead of red???  (Sadly, this is based on a *real* review that I read.)  I mean, good grief!


#6 Typos, Really?  The reviewer scorns the book for a few insignificant typos.  I have issues with typos, yes.  However, while I will mention them in a review if they are very numerous…I am not going to pan a book solely based on that.  It has to be to the point where they cause confusion and /or they diminish my enjoyment of the story…and I do not see that very often.  Even when I do, these are usually DNF books that have *other problems* on top of the typos which cause me to dislike it.  I would never write a review, give it one-star, and then state that it’s because of the typos alone.  I’ve read reviews that do this.  It shocks me because a couple of the books that got these kind of reviews were some that I read and liked.  While I did notice a few more typos than usual, it was nothing that diminished my enjoyment of the book.  There has to be some extreme lapse in logic or major inconsistency…to do that. (Ex. The main character’s name changed during the book…this is clearly an issue.)


#7 Serial Hate.  A reviewer reads and reviews a series of books and gives each successive book in the series a negative or nasty review.  I saw this a lot with The Twilight books and the Fifty Shades Trilogy…but also with some of the longer series.  And I honestly don’t understand why these folks aren’t labeled as trolls.  I mean, seriously, if you didn’t enjoy book one…I could see *maybe* reading the second book to make sure…but why go beyond that?  Why are you reading a series of books that you universally hate?  Just stop reading them.  If I read two successive books in a series and I hate both books…I’m not wasting anymore time (or money) on them.  End of story.  I’m always skeptical of reviewers who do this…I honestly don’t trust their opinion.  It tends to sounds like they just don’t like the author and it has nothing to do with the books themselves.


#8 Indecision/Inconsistency.  The reviewer’s rating or review changes from source to source.  For example, I have seen a reviewer rate the same book differently on two different sites.  Huh?  Unless the rating system is significantly different, I don’t get this.  I mean, either you liked the book or you didn’t…why would your opinion change from site to site?  That makes no logical sense…and I don’t trust an opinion that changes with the wind.  For me, this is a big trigger to ignore it.


#9 Hater-ade.  The reviewer uses any form of a personal insult/attack against the author of the book.  For example…”this writer sucks” as opposed to “this book sucks”.  I’m done, I don’t read any further.  This is a hater/troll and their opinion cannot help me make any sort of a reading/buying decision about the book.


#10 Opinion Supremacy.  The review/reviewer throws shade on the validity of other reviewers’ opinions.  I’m not talking about opinions given in an interactive group/message board about a book where two readers disagree and discuss why.  I mean, an individual reviewer posting a review which comments negatively about the opinions expressed in other reader’s individual reviews.  The implication being that the other reviewers are stupid for liking it.  I’ve always found this kind of thing to be odd.  I mean, just because you didn’t like the book does not mean that other readers who enjoyed it are somehow not legitimate or their opinions lesser than yours.  Why comment one way or the other about what the other reviewers think??  But I’ve read reviews that say things like…“I don’t understand how everyone else is giving this book 4 and 5 stars.” Or “How could *anyone* like this dreck?”.  Eh, because they have a mind of their own and they know how to use it, that’s why.  I have disliked popular books before, but it has never occurred to me to imply that others who liked it are somehow less intelligent just because they did not share my opinion.  Shame, Shame.


D. Alyce Domain

Related posts:  Top 10 Reasons Why I Might DNF a Book

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