Posted in Fun Lists

Reading 5-Star Reviews of Books I Hated

“The town was in flames.”

First line in Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m looking at reviews again! Last week I found some 1-star reviews of books I really loved, and so in this post, I’m doing the opposite. I’ve found some interesting, maybe funny, reviews for books I gave 1 or 2 stars to, and now I’m going to try and see if I can understand what people like about these books I wanted to hurl across the room. One in particular is going to be a challenge. This is also a way of spotlighting a few books that I normally don’t mention on my blog because you might like them even if I don’t. Take a look.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Okay, this is difficult.
I’m choosing to latch onto the fact that the reviewer is an inexperienced fantasy reader, and that must be why our opinions differ so drastically on this book. I agree that the setting is accessible to non-fantasy readers, but mainly because it’s too simple. I don’t think many experienced fantasy readers will find anything unique about it. And the layered and compelling characters? Sure. I didn’t see them, but sure. Lastly, I agree with the statement that this book is feminist. I just didn’t like that it was so much in-your-face feminist. It was like the author had to make absolutely sure you knew about the feminist themes and therefore kept explaining them instead of letting the reader think for themselves.

The Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

This review really sums up what went wrong for me with this series. Blood of Elves is the third book, and I liked the first one alright, but then it went downhill from there. And you see, the first book was really just retellings of old fairy tales, and I love that! The more the books deviated from that, the more I disliked them. On top of that, there wasn’t any Geralt in this (if I remember correctly), and since he was the only character I was just slightly interested in, this story didn’t swallow me.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

“The books may be slow in some parts”. Excuse me, but that’s the understatement of the century.
Here’s where I could pretend to agree with some of the praise from the review, but I wouldn’t want to lie to you. These are the worst books I’ve ever read, and no, I’m not sorry.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Yes, the last line is why I picked this review.
I’ll admit that I went out of my comfort zone with this book, and maybe that was a mistake. It didn’t manage to rock my world as it did for this reviewer. I didn’t find it particularly well written as the characters were incredibly flat and uninteresting, and the plot was very predictable. However, I do agree that the science-parts were easy enough to follow, and that is often my big struggle with sci-fi.

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

I’m a bit confused as to why the reviewer said that characters were believable as if there was more than one character in this book. They say so themselves that Mox wasn’t clear and that Matt faded away. Sloane is the only character in this book, but she is believable, I’ll give them that.
I’m also not sure I would call it a great standalone as I did feel like the book only started at the very end, clearly setting up a sequel. But if you really like Sloane and relate to her, I can see how you don’t need much else from the book, whether it be plot or other characters.

This was way more difficult than the opposite version from last week, which really has sent my mind spinning. Why is it more difficult for me to accept that people don’t hate the same books as me than it is to accept that people hate a book I love? (Hope that sentence made sense). I’d love to know if you’ve experienced feeling similarly or if it’s just me. Of course, also let me know what you thought of my responses to these reviews and if you agree.

Posted in 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.