Fun Lists

Reading 1-Star Reviews of My Favorite Books

“There was a boy in her room.”

First line in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I’m a firm believer in the statement that art is subjective, and that includes books. We all know this, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to smile and nod whenever someone trashes your favorite book. However, I felt inspired to give it try and looked up some 1-star reviews on Goodreads for some of my favorite books to see what people aren’t loving about these obviously amazing books. I needed to share my agony with all of you guys and also my attempt at accepting other people’s opinions. But, guys, I found some crazy ones so check it out.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This review starts out alright. The Hunger Games is quite brutal, and not everyone is going to be into that. It starts getting a little weird when the reviewer claims they don’t like present tense. I rarely notice the tense myself, but sure, let’s say that’s a valid complaint. Then we get the plot twist, which is that the reviewer didn’t even manage to read the first chapter… I’m sorry, what? So basically, this person decided to rate a book 1 star on Goodreads purely based on what they had heard the book was about. I cannot stress how wrong that is, but sadly it was something I saw a lot of while looking for reviews for this post. “It was such a bad book! Couldn’t even get through the title. 1 star.” Please, stop.

I’m also personally a bit affronted over the eye roll for the amount of romance when The Hunger Games is one of the YA books with the least amount of romance I’ve ever read. It’s very clear the person never read it.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Ah, the ever-prevalent assumption that if a book is written by a woman it must be YA. The Winternight Trilogy is adult!
That they thought the book was boring, that’s fair. I know I love a lot of boring books, although I would categorize the first book in the series, The Bear and the Nightingale, as more boring than The Girl in the Tower. The plot really picks up in the second one, so I wonder why the reviewer even decided to continue on with the series. They must have hated the first one even more.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley


I’m sorry for that outburst, but I just can’t relate. That mechanic octopus is possibly one of my favorite animal companions.

But that the story is boring? Yes. Not a lot happens, as it focuses on the characters a great deal.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I had to include this so that you can all get the mental image of Sanderson and Rothfuss tipping their fedoras at a screen.

Now, I’m also quite baffled over how someone deems Sanderson and Rothfuss “straight up bad writers”. Yes, Sanderson’s character-work is lacking, but not to an extent that makes it unreadable. There are so many other aspects he does incredibly well, so ‘bad writer’ seems a bit unfair. I’m actually curious to know who the reviewer considers a great writer 🤔

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I can respect continuing with a book simply to witness the deaths of hated characters. And that they call upon Melisandre is an… innovative way of bringing it about. I can’t really fault them for anything here. It is the crossover between A Song of Ice and Fire and The Iliad we didn’t know we needed 😂

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

I’m sorry, but We Are the Ants is sci-fi. It might have a contemporary feel, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are aliens in this book. I generally think this reviewer just went into this book with wrong expectations and rated it low for not being what they wanted. Because, you know, if you don’t like books with “super whiny and emo”-characters, maybe don’t pick up a book with a severely depressed main character. Just a thought.

That was actually quite fun. I learned that I love a lot of boring books, apparently, because that was the main complaint in most of the reviews I found. I can accept that as many of the books I love are character-driven stories with zero plot. However, I also ran into many of those weird Goodreads reviews where you wonder why everyone is allowed to review books, even when they haven’t read the book. We know the average ratings mean a lot, so it’s just very frustrating to see.
But anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I plan on doing the opposite of this so 5-star reviews of books I hated, which could possibly be even more challenging for me.

17 thoughts on “Reading 1-Star Reviews of My Favorite Books

  1. I love these types of posts and am getting really tempted to try this myself sometime! 😁
    Though I am also very upset now – how dare that person give The Hunger Games one star WITHOUT EVEN READING IT?!?! And then 30 other people liked the review?! 😱 I am affronted.
    And I totally agree, The Girl in the Tower is not boring! But I guess I can kind of see why someone might think so? It is a rather slow-paced book. And at least they read the whole thing (I assume)… Though I am still upset.
    And also – you’ve reminded me that I really need to get my sister to bring me The Way of Kings so I can read it! She owns that series because I dragged her to the Leipzig Book Fair with me so we could meet Brandon Sanderson, and she wanted him to sign a book for her, too. So since I wanted a signed copy of the Final Empire and hadn’t read Way of Kings yet, I gave Way of Kings to her under the condition that she would let me read it afterwards. And then she moved out, took the books with her, and keeps forgetting to bring them back, even though it’s been about three years!! I am almost as upset about this as I am about the bad reviews, so I guess maybe I should just get my own copy 😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I find these kinds of posts so funny so I would love to see your version! 😀

      There were so many reviews where people hadn’t even read the book!! I couldn’t believe it. I guess it mostly happens with very popular books that people know about without reading them. Then they can appear “cool” and hate popular books without having to do the reading part. People are idiots.

      And failing to bring books back is a punishable crime, right? But that sounds frustrating. All I can think about now is that you will one day read The Way of Kings and I’m so incredibly excited about that 😄

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, that is so weird! It’s also not as if the book is going to convince them to read it anyway after just 5 pages. But yeah, they clearly have strong feelings about not wanting to read it in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “if you don’t like books with “super whiny and emo”-characters, maybe don’t pick up a book with a severely depressed main character.”

    That had me laughing and cheering!

    According to StoryGraph, I’m also partial to slower paced books, but I think where I and can be a factor of how I feel about a book. However, that applies more to ones I can’t get past a first chapter than one I finish and hate, which is relatively rare.

    As to Hunger Games: I was at a writing retreat at the height of its popularity, and a snide comment was made about the writing in it. A huge pile on ensued. I think I read it after the event because I remember being really puzzled about the virulent response while I was reading it. I put it down to the snobbery of “if it’s popular, it can’t really be good.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to bring some joy! 😂 I thought the reviewer made a stupid decision and had to point it out.

      Oh, book snobbery is the worst! And no, Hunger Games isn’t exactly literary fiction, but it doesn’t have to be to be worth reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love literary fiction, but I don’t think it’s the only one with value. People who have that attitude are analogous to someone who only eats steak and refuses to eat burgers, and then assume all burgers are McDonalds. Sometimes you just want a burger, and sometimes they’re gourmet, and sometimes they’re fast food, but they will never be steak—and that’s a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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