Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: Don't Judge a Book by a Bad Review

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!
This Week's Topic - Don't Judge a Book by a Bad Review

DISCLAIMER: This is probably going to get quite ranty.

It makes me very sad when I see readers and especially book bloggers shun a book without reading it. I am all for an honest review but that's all it is - A REVIEW. It's is not the reviewer's intention to discourage you from reading it, the review only reflects on their own thoughts of a book. You can decide for yourself whether you want to read it or not but you do not have the right to form your opinion based on someone else's opinion.

What annoys me is when people read a bad review and then WITHOUT READING THE BOOK, go onto their own Goodreads profile and write some paragraph about what a crappy book it is. You know someone is going to read the uncalled for paragraph and back away from that book? THAT BOOK YOU HAVEN'T READ?

People who do this - you piss me off.

You have every right to decide whether a book is for you or not, after reading a review (after all, that's what they are for) but you don't have the right to go and write a ranty paragraph about how crap the book is SINCE YOU HAVEN'T READ IT.

There are People Who Write  - " After reading BLAH BLAH's review, I'm never going to read this book because it's a piece of junk that should be burned. Someone should go stone the author so they don't write anymore works of crap. WORST CHARACTERS EVER, this book is like just like [ Insert Title of Bestselling Novel] except it's written by a hobo. Don't read it because like, you'll go broke spending $15 for this crap"

My Reaction to Those People : 

Something Else that Get's on My Nerves - Readers ( and book bloggers) who write a review holding prejudice against the author or controversies that surround the book. When you take upon the role of reviewing a book, you're stepping into a professional position. Therefore please leave bias opinions you've collected by the door when you enter this zone.

A review should reflect directly on the book. Not the author or agent or whatever else you've found to hate upon. Going to use an example - The Selection by Keira Cass.

I'm going to start off by saying Wendy had every right to post her review because her review was fair. She backed everything up with quotes and reasons. What the author and her agent did in response to wasn't great, very unprofessional and I frowned upon that BUT what I frowned UPON MORE was those readers who started posting things like "never going to read this book" and do the whole "I haven't read the book but I'm going to burnnnnn the book with my two cents paragraph".

The author wasn't professional? Huh? AND YOU'RE PROFESSIONAL?

I have a few things to say to different people in response to this -

To Those Who Read the Book and Gave a Honest Review that wasn't Prejudice - Thank-you. You are the professional bunch *High5*

To Those Who Haven't Read the Book and Refuse To - You don't know what you're missing! Not every book is for everyone and for what it's worth - I LOVED THE BOOK.

To Those Who are Intent on Posting Opinions Without Reading it - Shame on You.

To Those Who Loved the Book and Weren't Afraid to Say So - I love you and your backbone.

I don't know what else I can say besides that I hope next time you read a bad review, you think back to this post. And I hope that those of you out there intent on doing the whole "I haven't read the book but I'm going to burnnnnn the book with my two cents paragraph" - DON'T.

It All Comes Down To - 

I just wish some of you would STOP hating or at least STOP TRYING TO GET OTHERS TO HATE. 

*rant pants off*

What's Your Opinion? :)

Badass Bookie xx


  1. This is why I refuse to have a Goodreads shelf 'will not read'. What's the point? I get why people do it, but really, I think it's kind of a cheap shot. If they've no intention of reading a book, why bother adding it? I have several that I'll never read, but I'm not going to broadcast it and maybe make someone else not want to read them either. That's not my job. My job is to share books that I AM interested in reading. I don't have time to push books that I don't want to read.

    I like that you brought up the topic. It's something that I've raised eyebrows at time and time again, but never spoke up about. Excellent post.

  2. Great topic! I can't stand seeing a review on Goodreads that starts with "I never read the book..." ugh! I also dislike seeing a 5 star rating with the words "I'm so excited!" or "Can't wait!" You shouldn't rate a book you haven't read.

    And for the record, regardless of all that happened, I still plan on reading The Selection. I'd hate to miss out on a good book just because I was being stubborn.

  3. Great post. I would be lying if I said that I never let reviews effect me. I have put off reading books because of them but never refused to not read them. The Selection was one of those books and I regretted it when I picked the book up. I LOVED it and was ashamed that I had let all the negative hoopla slow me down. I have never let someone elses review effect mine though. I will tell you what I think about that book no matter how you feel. Books wont please everyone that reads them but they will please someone :)

  4. While I understand the mentality behind refusing to support certain unprofessional authors, it's not something I do personally. I let their writing speak for itself, and the example you gave was a great one. I ready Wendy's review (which I still love!), but decided that I still wanted to give The Selection a shot. I really enjoyed it, but I can see why others, like Wendy, might find fault with certain aspects.

    I HATE when people review books (especially on Goodreads) without having actually read (or attempted to read) the book. I think the people who rate unreleased books with 5 stars because they're "so excited!!" are just as bad as those who rate books 1 stars because they heard about author drama or read a negative review from a friend or trusted blogger. Either way, the overall rating is being manipulated and isn't an accurate reflection from those who have actually read the book!

    Great post!

  5. I totally agree. People have different tastes, so you might hate a book I love and vice versa. I think if you voice opinions you should have given the book a fair chance and they should be yours.

  6. I love how you aren't afraid to talk about all these topics. Air high five to you, Lisa! I completely agree with everything, by the way. You should never judge a book based on what people say about it. You never know, you might end up surprising yourself and liking it. And about them haters who bash a book before they've even read it? It's just one of those moments where you are lost for words and you can be so glad that people can't see your facial expressions while online. I just...I just don't understand. That is all.

    I tend to have the opposite problem. I hear people rave about books and put off reading them, and when I do finally read it, I think I've read a different book to everyone else - I simply didn't enjoy it. Right now I'm writing a review for a book I didn't enjoy, but I'm not lambasting it with an OMG why on earth anyone wants to read this C**P is beyond me review. No, I state my personal opinions and move on. Not everyone is going to like a book - everyone is different. So people need to respect that, and seriously - move on with their lives.

    Great post!


    Your discussions kick butt!

    I loved hearing your thoughts and I COMPLETELY agree with you. Readers who diss books before even reading them should be put be put in the corner on timeout and I don't mean the chocolate kind, hehe :)

    P.S - Girly, you had no reason at all to be worried about this post. It's honest and not slam worthy at all. It is MERRICK worthy though. Care for a Merrick Sandwich? ;D

    In my best teacher voice: Keep up the great work, Lisa the Badass! 100 gold stars!

  8. Where is the logic in rating and reviewing a book you haven't read? Beats me. If I give a low rating for a book, I leave it at that with or without a few sentences explaining why it didn't appeal to me. It may be someone else's thing, why mock the author's efforts to get printed with crappy abuses?

  9. I thought this was a fabulous post, and I know you've been worried about it all week. (I get like that too. I have six posts that I've written but won't post yet.)

    I'm also amused by ratings on books that aren't even out yet (though I'm reassured that several people have given Spirit 5 stars while I'm still writing it. :-P). I love careful, well thought out reviews, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Goodreads for that purpose. I've found several solid reviewers that I follow, and I've bought several books based on their reviews. (Side note: Have you read "Easy" by Tammara Weber? I thought it was great, and it's been popping up on Goodreads a lot lately.)

    Anyway, fabulous post, and absolutely valid points all around. You truly are a badass. Has anyone told you you're beautiful? :-P

  10. I agree with you wholeheartedly on this matter. I tell my reader thousand times that the best judge for a book is yourself. Literature is a very subjective thing, so in order to really find the "quality" of the book, you just have to read it yourself.

    Well, maybe I live under the rocks, but I didn't know that there are people who post negative review before even reading it. That's just the lamest thing ever!

    And those who give 5 stars even before the book is released, well, shame on them.

    Great post!

  11. I finished reading The Selection the other day and I really, REALLY liked it. It was unbelievably awesome. I wasn't aware of all this contraversy surrounding the book, though. I personally think authors should avoid reviews on their books because of this... Or at least negative ones.

    And I don't really like it when people rate and write a review on a book they never finished. Sorry, but, last time I checked you didn't get the whole story, people!

    Butyeah. Great post! :)

  12. As weird as it may seem, I actually enjoy reading negative reviews! I've been turned onto a handful of books because a blogger wrote a very passionate and well-written negative reviews! And for the most part, I actually enjoyed reading the book that the blogger hated.

    I don't understand why people post negative things about books without reading it. What sheep! Just because one blogger disliked it doesn't mean you will.
    Buuut, I can say I understand people "boycotting" books because an author's unprofessional behavior. I don't really want to support an author that attacks readers. That being said, I wouldn't ever start or participate in any kind of public smear campaign either. I just think it adds fuel to the fire.

  13. I personally wouldn't write a review on goodreads for a book I haven't read. But I think it is within someone's rights to tag a book as "will not read" in order to remind themselves that they have a problem with an author's behavior and don't want to support them. It feels like there are a lot of authors on these lists too. I think everyone has to decide for themselves if an author's behavior warrants avoiding their books. I choose what I'm OK with and what I'm not. I think people should spend a few moments investigating before they make a decision to read something if they have an issue with supporting "bad author behavior" (which is different for different people). Having tags is a heads up for others who may not know about some issue.

    Yes, it sucks if you LOVED a book but people aren't reading it because they have a moral issue, and you don't have that issue. But they are allowed to make their own decisions.


    I agree with Kelly: "I HATE when people review books (especially on Goodreads) without having actually read (or attempted to read) the book."

    On the particular book in question, I 100% back the blogger. She did NOTHING wrong, she's a sweetheart, and she doesn't deserve a drop of the drama she's had to deal with. I also FULLY get people saying 'nope, I am not reading this due to poor author behaviour', but my line is drawn when they rate it it without having read it (note, Wendy NEVER does this. She'll shelve a book as 'won't read due to bad author behaviour, but NEVER rates), or the people who'll bash other people for having read it and liked it. I was kind of scared to read the book, and even more scared when I actually really REALLY enjoyed it, because I didn't want to hurt anyone... but... well, it'd be even worse if I was dishonest, right?