Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Will Never Post A One Star Review

The only reviews you will see on my blog are three star and up. What's the point in me telling you what not to buy? That's like going to a mechanic and her telling you what you don't need to fix.

My philosophy on one star reviews is pretty simple. I believe that one star reviews come from a reader who read the wrong book. The reviewer either listened to hype and didn't take the time to preview the book to see if it was their thing before they started, or they like negativity.

I don't like being negative. I've had my fair share in my life, and I don't have time for it anymore.  Life is for living, for loving, for enjoying...especially where reading is concerned. I want to know what will give me enjoyment, so when I look at reviews that start picking apart a story or the author, I usually move on. I want to know how a book made someone feel because I want to know if it will likely do the same for me. I generally stick with three star and above because at three stars there was something within a story that I connected with.

I also think ratings are relative. I might not enjoy a story about a fisherman stuck out in the middle of the ocean for thirty days that has to find ways to survive, but someone out there will. My life experiences and choices give me a limited point of view, and if I don't relate to a character or can't imagine being in that particular situation it will be hard for me to have an emotional experience...and that above everything else is what I am looking for when I pick up a book. Do the characters make me think about my own choices, my own life? Does the story give me insight into a life I wouldn't be brave enough to live? Does the story move me?

I just read an amazing post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch about perfection. I loved this article, and I think most of you, whether you are an author or a reader, or both, could benefit by reading it. My favorite line from the article is this: "I’m here to tell you this: If you want a career as a writer, ignore your critics."

My husband is a pretty smart man. He's refused to give me advice on writing from the beginning. He knows he can't give me great advice on romance because he doesn't read romance. My stories have thus far been first person POV Paranormal Romance from a female perspective. He likes Reality TV and reading about real people. He's not even into fantasy much anymore, so why would I want to know what he thinks other than he is my husband? He told me once that he didn't want to influence me one way or another.  He said, "What if I tell you to remove something that is what makes your stories amazing to your readers?"

Pretty wise, right? Well, I've seen the wisdom in his stand, and I agree. I don't bother him about reading my books anymore because he is not my preferred audience, and I don't bother with rating books I couldn't finish because I am not the right audience.

I think if you want to know what other people think about a book before you buy it, finding reviewers with the same taste in books as you do is essential for obtaining reading bliss. Thankfully I've found a few I can count on, and I hope you do to.

So my question to you is: do you like reading negative reviews? If so, what makes them important to you?

Happy reading everyone!




  1. Awesome post, Christie! I agree with everything you said.

    I don't see the point of 1 star reviews, and for a few different reasons.

    Firstly, as an author, I know just how difficult it is to write a book. So when a writer accomplishes the amazing feat of completing a novel and getting it published, they deserve more than a quick brush off.

    If I read a book I don't like and (a) it's not in a genre I love, then that may just be the very reason I don't like it, or (b) it falls under a genre I love, then there has to be something I enjoyed about the book, and I prefer to dwell on the positive rather than the negative. It doesn't mean I'm going to praise a book I "hate", it just means that if I do review the book I will highlight the positives, point out the negatives (and why, to me personally, they didn't quite gel) and move on, rather than bashing the book!

    If I really hate reading a book that much then I'll probably not even finish it, therefore there will be no need for a review.

    Whew, that was a mouthful! :)

  2. Hey Roxy!

    Thanks for your comments. Exactly, why review a book you didn't finish? Seems weird to take the time to review a book that you didn't give time enough to complete. No one knows better than writers how much time and effort it takes to complete a book, and just how hard it is to not get caught up in reviews. If I don't like a book it's usually because I can't relate to what is happening.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I love that we have so many choices in reading. It's a great world when you can have so many books to read, you will never run out!

    Good to hear from you!

  3. Great perspective!

    I enjoy reading your posts because you always give me something new to consider :)

    Thanks, Christie!

  4. What a nice thing to hear, Julie! Thank you.

  5. Roxy took the words right out of my mouth, I agree with everything she said.

    I'm not a writing, but I do understand how much work goes into a book.Some times it takes years.So I would never just give a book one star.

    On my blog I get some heat for only writing reviews with three stars and up.But I'm very selective about what I read.So If I purchased a book I know I'm going to like it.Because either it's the genre I like, or something pulled me in. So I at least give it three stars.

    I see some people that give one star reviews and they go on and on about why they hated a book, basically cutting down the author.I know we have our own opinions, but bare in mind someone took the time to write this book and share it with the world.At least don't be rude.

    New follower BTW.Just wanted to share my thoughts

  6. Welcome Crystal, so glad to have you here, and thank you for your comment! I think you are spot on about being selective in what you read. Personally, I don't have time to read things that are not my preferred genres.

    I know I'm probably not going to be thrilled about certain things. Sorry to Snookie, but I really wouldn't want to read her book. That's just me, but I'm sure there are tons of people who wanted to read it and enjoyed it.

    I know some authors might get frustrated by picky book bloggers, but I'm not. I'd rather not have a blogger read my books if they don't like Paranormal Romance. It just doesn't make sense for them or for me.

    Great points! And thanks for stopping by! I hope you will come again. :)

  7. I totally agree with this! Authors put way too much time into books to be put down by just one person who didn't like it. I'm a new follower! :)

  8. Thanks so much, Haley! And WELCOME! I appreciate your comments and hope to see you back!

  9. Hi, Christie! I loved everything about this post. Well written, and well said.

    Your opening, "What's the point in me telling you what not to buy? That's like going to a mechanic and her telling you what you don't need to fix." Spot on! :D

    I feel exactly the same. If you would agree, I'd love to re-post this on my blog. July is looking pretty full, but I do have a day or two open. I think more people need to read this. Who knows, maybe it will sink in with those who do nothing but write bad reviews.

    As for your husband? Yep, he's pretty wise indeed. :)

    Thank you for sharing this post!


  10. Hi Sandra!!! So good to see you here, and thank you!

    I'd love for you to post this on your blog! I feel the same way and would love others to see have a chance to see it.

    Thanks so much for your kind offer, and for taking the time to read my article. It really is sad that there are people that want to spread negativity when there is a beautiful life to be had, if we will embrace it.

    I hope you will let me know when you post this!



  11. YAY! LOL. Thanks, Christie. You're awesome, I'm in full agreement, and it's my pleasure. :D

    I'll most definitely let you know when it will go up.

    Wishing you a super morning/afternoon/evening further. As it's 11:30 in the evening here and way past my bedtime, I'm going to see if I can get some peaceful zzzzz's in. :)