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.
- 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.
- 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?