books · discussion post · Uncategorized

Does Your Opinion Ever Change After Reading Negative Reviews of Your Favorite Books?

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Ah, Goodreads: the social media platform designed especially for bookworms. What’s not to love (besides the trolls and how it’s the perfect way to both grow your already huge TBR list and procrastinate)? And I’m sure everyone has looked up reviews of their favorite books at some point, expecting to see a sea of other like-minded people loving the book…and then been slightly horrified to also find people who rate this amazing book one and two stars.

Maybe the first few reviews you read are easy to ignore; people saying that the writing was bad, that the character was unlikeable, stuff that really comes down to reader preference and not the actual book. But then…some people make good points. Some people point out problems you may have missed, or loose plots, or other problems with the book.

Which leads me to my question: does reading negative reviews of your favorite books ever change your opinion on them?

It has for me before. Some examples of that are Reign of Shadows, Stung, The 5th Wave, and Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. With all of these books, I gave them a rating of three stars or higher, then went back and read reviews written by other point that pointed out problems, and my opinion and them got lower.

And, of course, this could also work in the opposite way; maybe there’s a book you felt iffy about, and then went and read several glowing reviews for it, and started noticing the good things about it. Or maybe your opinions are rock-solid, and aren’t changed at all.

Or maybe you stay away from reading negative reviews of your favorite books in order to keep something like this from happening; you don’t want your opinion to be muddled or changed. And so, naturally, I have created a handy dandy pros and cons list about reading bad reviews of your favorite books.

PROS

  • You get to hear other people’s opinions! Honestly, it can get kind of boring if you only talk with people who have the exact same opinions as you.
  • Your eyes might be opened to something more concerning about the novel that you might have not even noticed before.
  • You could potentionally find some really good reviewers you didn’t know about before! It’s hard to write a bad review without sounding like you’re badmouthing everything, and maybe you’ll find someone who writes a bad review but is still very nice about it.

CONS

  • It could make your favorite book not your favorite book anymore, which is always disappointing.
  • It could make you feel guilty about keeping this book as your favorite book. You shouldn’t feel bad about loving a book, and maybe finding out that the book has some problems will make you feel guilty about loving it.
  • It could make you mad/super defensive, which could potentially lead to you starting a fight. Which is never fun or a good idea.

So tell me, blogglings, do your opinions ever change when you read negative reviews of the books you love? Or do you ever read good reviews and have your opinions on books go up rather than down? Tell me which books! And is there anything to add to the pros and cons list that I may have missed?

Happy Monday,

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7 thoughts on “Does Your Opinion Ever Change After Reading Negative Reviews of Your Favorite Books?

  1. I don’t have a GoodReads – it sounds like something I would enjoy, but I already have too many social media to keep up with. *cries*
    I HATE FEELING GUILTY ABOUT LIKING BOOKS. Usually, I can’t be persuaded to dislike something I’m already in love with – my opinion will naturally fall over time. But I can be convinced to like something I wasn’t sure of before quite easily!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. It’s like the social media you can procrastinate on without feeling super guilty about because hey, you’re reading book reviews, and that isn’t bad, right?
      OOOOH, THE WORST IS WHEN YOU GO TO REREAD A FAVORITE AND IT’S NOT AS GOOD AS YOU REMEMBERED. This happened quite recently and I was so sad.

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  2. The first book that comes to mind with this is Eleanor and Park. I loved it. My favorite Rainbow Rowell. Five stars all the way. Then I started reading all these article about how problematic, at best, her portrayal of Park’s Korean background is. And I’m all, “But I don’t want to think about that!” which is, like the definition of white privilege. So now I’m feeling conflicted.

    I do change my mind after reading negative reviews that make good points I hadn’t thought of. I tend to just get caught up in the story, and skim past things that might be issues. Of course, sometimes the problems others have are not problems I agree with–I’m a big fan of multiple points of view, and I find many reviews of those books will claim it was confusing or disjointed.

    Interesting post!

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    1. Really? I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about that, if people think it’s a problem. What did the article say? And is it an older article. If it is, it could explain why I missed it, as I only read Eleanor & Park within the last year.
      I kind of do that, too, but I tend to chance my mind when I’m writing my own review, and thinking back over the book, and getting that kind of vaguely uneasy feeling that something isn’t quite right.

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