Bookish Discussions: Why I Prefer Reading 1 or 2 Star Reviews

Posted July 29, 2015 by Zeee in Discussions0 Comments





One and 2 star reviews – the horror!  I know there are a lot of authors who detest the dreaded 1 or 2 star reviews (and DNF reviews) but as a reader, I prefer reading these reviews.  Now, I am not saying that I want to read those that have author bashing and insults and those that are just irrelevant to the whole book – I am talking about those reviews that have meaning, that outline or point out the things that do not work for the reader or the plot as a whole.  I follow blogs that have those type of reviews and also read them on Goodreads.

Here are the reasons why I prefer them, as opposed to the 4 or 5 star reviews:

  1. They highlight those that are not working in the book, like plot holes, instalove.  I would want to know if there are plot holes in these books because more often that not, I end up DNFing these types of books.  I would want to know the negatives first before reading and/or skipping the book altogether.
  2. Some of these reviews are so well written that they actually entice me to read the book.   I know that’s weird but I have actually read new-to-me authors this way.  And this is not to say that I hated the book.  I ended up loving it!
  3. I love reading reviews that are completing opposite to what my review is.  This is the case when I gave a book a 4 or 5 star review, post them on Goodreads, and can’t help but see the 1 or 2 star reviews.  I think this gives me another perspective on things.  Plus, I love reading about things that disagree with my views since I hardly have anyone to talk to/discuss with about books (yeah, Pierre has a new hobby and he hasn’t been reading books so far).
  4. I feel like I find more honest 1 or 2 star reviews.  Mind you, these are by the reviewers that I do follow (and I don’t follow anyone willy nilly).  There is one reviewer who, despite having a lot of cussing in her reviews, she gives her honest view of it, and I haven’t read any author bashing from her end.  There is also another reviewer who I follow that give great negative reviews.

I just want to add that I do not condone author bashing or bullying or ganging up on authors (and even reviewers) through negative reviews.  I respect everyone’s thoughts and I know that not everyone has the same thoughts as mine about a certain book.  I have had great bookish discussions over books with a person who hated the book that I loved.  It was a very enlightening and enjoyable discussion that gave me a different perspective on the book being discussed.

What about you?  Do you avoid or read negative 1 or 2 star reviews?  Share your thoughts below.

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0 responses to “Bookish Discussions: Why I Prefer Reading 1 or 2 Star Reviews

  1. When I am looking into a book, I am more interested in what people didn’t like than what they did, because I have some strong opinions about certain things and I want to make sure those things aren’t in the book. So, like you, I tend to read more of the reviews that have given low stars. However, there are some reviewers (like myself) who rarely give below 3 stars, but still detail every problem or dislike in their reviews. The reason I rarely give lower than 3 stars is I usually don’t finish the book if it’s that bad. Why waste my time reading something that I don’t want to read? I’ve got a huge TBR of books waiting to be read that will almost certainly be better than the 1-2 star one.
    Jen Schaper recently posted…Review: The Morrigna by Rachel RawlingsMy Profile

  2. Your YA Blog

    Huh, I never thought about why it might be nice to read 1 or 2 star reviews, but your reasons make sense. The good ones (that aren't just author bashing) are helpful in that they let me know what (if anything) I'm most likely to dislike about a book. That's nice to know, going in. Sometimes that leads me to not read a book, but, like you said, sometimes I do read and enjoy these 1 and 2 star books. Occasionally I read these reviews and think, "the problems this reviewer found probably wouldn't bother me much, or I think the positive aspects I've heard about this book would outweigh these drawbacks." Then I end up reading the book, but I know what I'm getting into. Great discussion post! 🙂
    My recent post Review: Two Across by Jeff Bartsch

    • True. I mean, that is not to say that I don't read the 4-5 star reviews – I do! But sometimes the insights of the 1-2 star ones are very interesting. I mostly do this when it's a controversial book or a book that has gotten a lot of buzz. Sometimes I think some of the 4-5 star ones just gush and gush on and on and on… you get my drift 🙂

  3. I appreciate one and two star review s because I DO want to hear people's honest opinions. And, let's face it, sometimes negative reviews can be entertaining because people get really passionate when they don't like something. I agree with you that I'm not a fan of negative reviews that veer into author bashing though.
    My recent post Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 8/2/15

    • I have read those that attack authors and it's just horrible. I love that Goodreads show short previews of the review so I know which on it is off the bat so I can avoid those ugly reviews.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  4. tmleblanc01

    I am very much a fan of reading reviews with lower rating provided they have substance. I've learned that the reason you dislike a book good be the very reason I love it!

  5. rhireading

    I very much am the same. Not so much that I feel 1 and 2 stars are more honest but a well written one will articulate on things that that reader could not get past to enjoy it. Sometimes those are the very thing I want to find in the book (ie. love triangles). If I loved a book I often read lower star reviews after posting my own because it's interesting to see how other readers engage with a character or plot or writing style.

    • I guess I forgot to add that reason in, too! I read the 1-2 star reviews of books that I have rated a 5 because I want to find out what made them hate it so.. and sometimes,it's the reasons that I love the book so much make is an awful book for others! LOL