Discuss Darlings

Come discuss with us! All honesty is honored and treasured.

Most (not all!) of the time, when I see low ratings or negative reviews for a book I want to read, I don’t take it off my TBR. Sure, I’d lower my expectations down a notch, but these low ratings won’t cause me to diss a book completely.

I don’t know about you guys, but some negative reviews actually make me WANT to read a book even MORE than I did before reading them. Why?

  • I want to rant with you guys! Seriously, I love loving books, but I also love being frustrated with books. Any feels a book will give me, even bad ones, I will take. (Am I weird? I’m not making any sense, huh?)
  • I want to know if the book will make me want to tear my hair off my head. What makes it so bad? I’m curious.
  • Maybe I’ll enjoy the book! I am a weird reader.

We all have different interpretations of different books. One person can think a book handled something badly, but another person could think that it’s handled REALISTICALLY. It’s all in a matter of perspective, really. I mean, take a look at Boomerang by Noelle August. I just wanted to rip everyone’s heads off everyone to shut up, while a lot of other people said that it was a fun book.

So when do I decide NOT TO READ a book? When reviewers state that there are elements I can’t stand, (Ex. Cheating (by the main character/s), toxic relationships, etc.) a book would go on my mental “maybe-not” list. Other than that, I’m open to almost anything!

I know some people who only read books that friends or trusted reviewers rated highly or praised, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! I totally get why you’d want to be SURE that you’d love a book. This is just the way I see things. Like I said, we all have different perspectives.

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Do you like reading books with a lot of negative reviews?

About Aimee

Aimee loves books. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Reading books while eating chocolates! Yes, that would be absolutely lovely.

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47 thoughts on “How Negative Reviews Really Affect My TBR

  1. As you say everyone has their own opinion. One person’s milk chocolate can be another person’s bitter tasting, foul drink. If you don’t sample then you can’t comment. ;)

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  2. I have to say, if a book has a bunch of negative reviews, I won’t read it because there are so many books out there I know I’ll love and I want to enjoy my reading experience, rather than have my eyes ache from rolling so much. Plus, I worry if I bought those books they’d end up being thrown out the window and hitting some poor little old lady. So, REALLY, I don’t buy them to save old lady’s lives. I’m charitable like that

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  3. I’m half in half for it…usually I notice WHY the book’s got negative reviews. Like if everyone hates the main character because they’re whiny/irritating….I’m so not interested in the book anymore. It’s the ones that get really MIXED reviews that grab me! Like one person gives it 1 star and the next gives it 5. Then I absolutely must read it and find out. ;)

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  4. I no longer read reviews of books that I haven’t read yet, partly because of this. When I’d read negative reviews it did affect how I approached a book, and sometimes I would skip something because of a negative review. So now I only read reviews of books that I’ve already read and it’s working out much better :)

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  5. “I love loving books, but I also love being frustrated with books.” This is exactly the reason why I read Fifty Shades (*gags*) but even though I wished I could take back time, I don’t regret being able to tell exactly why I didn’t love it. But sometimes, I tend to stay away from books that are badly ripped by negative reviews because I just don’t have the time–or the hair–to get so darn frustrated. Mostly this applies to book, I’m not that really interested in. I do agree that it’s all a matter of perspective and what works for others, might not work for you.

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  6. That depends. If it’s an ARC I have, I’ll still probably read it, but if it’s a book in my TBR, already released, and it’s full of negative reviews, I probably won’t read it. Unless of course there’s another reason that has come up, but the likelihood without external factors would be pretty dim. As someone has said here, if I’m going to read a book that I won’t review, I rather it be a book I know I’ll enjoy!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  7. I think it really depends. If it’s a book that really interests me, then I’m probably going to read it whether other people like it or not. But if the majority of people have DNFed it or something (I remember that happening with this one book- Tumble & Fall?) then I’m probably going to take it off the TBR. Although sometimes I want to read books to see what all the fuss is about- like September Girls. Despite all the negative reviews, I’m probably going to read it at some point to see whether it’s really as bad as everyone says it is haha.

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  8. I would really want to read a book with lots of negative reviews because I’m curious and who knows? Maybe I’ll end up liking it and try to redeem the book in my review. I think I even like reading negative reviews because they can be some really fresh point of views. Most of my problems are with the positive reviews–they raise my expectations to a ridiculous level and I’d feel that I’m soulless/heartless when I feel nothing in the book…

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  9. Reading negative reviews doesn’t mean I will take that book off my TBR list either. I actually usually have a pretty good idea of what books I want to read or not. I will perhaps lower my expectations, but that’s it. If I was already interested in the book, I will probably still want to read it.

    However, I am affected by lots of positive reviews. When I see review after review raving about a book, then it’s piques my interest.

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  10. If I see a lot of negative reviews, I do become more hesitant about picking it up. I’ve had a couple of times that my expectations were SO low that I actually ended up enjoying the book. If I’m really interested, I will most definitely read it no matter what. But sometimes I see things I know I will hate and I will stay away from that book, like your example with cheating. I don’t care about that. So when I’m sure I will dislike the book as everyone else, it will go on the ‘not-interested’ list.

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  11. Negative reviews often make me think more carefully before reading a book, but other than that, they don’t really have much of an impact on what I read or don’t read. Besides, often I find myself enjoying books that have a bunch of negative reviews on goodreads. Of course, if the review talks about things I specifically don’t like, then it will probably influence my choice of reading it or not. Great post!

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  12. interesting discussion aimee! (:

    Personally I don’t read books that others haven’t enjoyed, just because I find my personal taste in stories are shared by trusted bloggers. Also, I already have a towering TBR as it is. Alike you I also have some things (like toxic relationships) that are definite no-gos for me.

    On the other hand some stories that my friends may rate 1 star I may still read. The one case for this is if I’m truly drawn by the synopsis and can seem a glimmer of potential.

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  13. Definitely not weird! I enjoy loving a book so much I’d fangirl about it for days, but I also enjoy hating a book so much that I’d rant about it for days. It’s the on-the-fence titles that get me annoyed so much, because I just don’t know what to make of them. That being said, most of the time negative reviews completely turn me off from reading a book. Since I have limited these days what with school and other responsibilities, I don’t want to waste time reading a book that sounds awful, even though it would be nice to roll my eyes at the stupid characters and complain about it to everyone for a ridiculously long time (*cough* Requiem *cough*).

    There have been rare instances when a book got so many bad reviews that I too was curious to see what it was exactly that ticked everyone off! Can’t think of a specific title right now, but I know I’ve come across some of those. But yeah, mostly I just can’t be bothered to read books with negative reviews, because they probably contain either the toxic relationships you mentioned, or the romance is just completely sucky, and I just can’t stand those at all.

    Interesting discussion, though! Thanks for making me think about it. ;)

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  14. I’m like you. If I want to read a book, I want to read a book, and the only way a review in going to make me change my mind is if I learn that there are book peeves aplenty. If someone who I typically agree with really doesn’t like a book I’m looking forward to, I may be more cautious, but unless I’m already on the fence, or I find out there are things that will make my head explode, I won’t take a poorly reviewed book of my TBR. Great discussion post, Aimee!

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  15. I’d say that usually, if a book ends up getting a majority of not-so-great reviews, I’ll take it off my TBR list. But occasionally there’ll be a book that has a lot of negative reviews, but I’ll read one or two positive reviews that just completely sell it to me and make me think that I should read it anyway. Maybe I’ll actually like this book! It also depends on why people are giving it negative reviews…if it’s because of something that I already know is probably not going to bother me, than I’m more likely to keep it on my TBR just in case.

    Great discussion topic!

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  16. Oh my god! Aimee, I’m the same as you! Only and only when there are elements that don’t appeal to me at all do I decide to diss a book, otherwise GIMME in all it’s glory! Provided I have the time to get to that book considering my massive TBR :P

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  17. Oh man, reviews affect my reading a lot! And on how I choose the next book to read. That’s why when I see negative reviews (especially from reviewers I trust) I gladly ignore the book. BUT, I agree with you that it makes me more curious =)) Am example of this is Beautiful Disaster. LOL. I know, I’m horrible. But I really want to know what the fuss was about. So… Anyway, I just ranted like I’m expecting. It was fun. :P

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  18. When I see negative reviews I don’t necessarily take it out of my TBR, but I do move it down on my priorities list. If all I see are negative reviews then I wouldn’t bother with it. I like ranting, but not when I know that a book is going to make me rant. As in, I don’t read books that I’m absolutely sure that I’m gonna hate. Why waste my time? xD

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  19. I don’t necessarily remove those books with negative reviews from my TBR. I have books in there that have received so much hate, but I still plan to read. I do want to rant about a book sometimes, but since I read for pleasure, I like to read books that have received high praises from trusted reviewers :)

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  20. Yes, I can totally understand what you mean. I LOVED Boomerang (sorry you didn’t like it. :( ) while I’m sure there are books that you loved that I couldn’t stand. That’s why what we do is so very important. Everyone’s tastes are so vastly different. Great post, Aimee! :)

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  21. I’ve really enjoyed books that everyone has hated. Other times I’ll read a book and love it without having read prior reviews and then be shocked to see that everyone else hated it! It’s weird.

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  22. LOL this is so tricky Aimee because if theres a book that gets toms of negative reviews than nahh i’m going to save my momey and time and pick the book people are saying i’ll love but i’ve also read some negative reviews where i’m like “hmm i wonder if that element would work for me?” So it all really depends. I have to say just because someone gives a book a negative review doesnt mean i’m not going to read it, if anything i’ll take it into consideration and check out what my friends on goodreads said about it and go from there. I got a whole system ready, Aimee!

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  23. I love this discussion! For me, it really depends on where I’m seeing the negative review and what book it’s for. I generally know who’s reading styles are most similar to mine. So if it’s someone that I usually disagree with, I’ll probably get really excited LOL! But if it’s someone who always has the same opinion as me, I’d probably give it a pass. But if it’s for a solicited review book that I already have, I’d probably just unprioritise it and then lower my expectations. :D

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  24. Not weird at all Aimee! :D I’m the same way! I don’t know what this says about me, but sometimes I want to read a book with relatively bad reviews just to see how bad the book really is. Is that a good habit? No, probably not, but oh well!

    However, if there’s something in a book that I know for a fact I’m not going to like (cheating, instalove, etc) I usually pass on it.

    Thanks for sharing Aimee! Lovely discussion! <3

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  25. Yea negative reviews that point out issues I myself would have with the book cause me to remove a book from my TBR. I have enough books on there already to include books I know I won’t like for whatever reason.

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  26. I relate to that Aimee, because I often read books that you hate and I loved them. :D Haha joke
    Kidding aside. I agree with everything you said, I often do the same. I guess it depends on the person if he/she will let a negative review affect her decision :D

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  27. I can totally relate Aimee about wanting to read books that some people review negatively! Sometimes points that they describe that annoy them would be ones that I look forward to lol. But there are some pain points that would take it off the TBR immediately, for example those books that are mainly insta-love romances masked as a dystopian or paranormal.

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  28. Seeing a lot of negative reviews can easily dissuade me from reading a book, unless 1) I already bought a copy so I must sample it or 2) the book really calls to me and I really want to read it. I’m an overly optimistic person so I personally do not like books that put me in a sour mood, and I really try to avoid that. I think we should definitely give each book a chance, but most of the time, I’m not really in the mood to do so. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but that’s just how I go about things, I guess. I commend you for putting up with all those books though. I don’t think I’d be able to handle them so well.

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    1. P.S. Your Goodreads rating of Boomerang totally made me doubt whether I should read it or not. Haha! I also saw a lot of positive reviews on it but your very low rating made me think twice. So I’m sampling that one for now and maybe I would love it or I won’t. :P

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  29. I can totally see where you’re coming from, Aimee! I don’t tend to read (or want to read) a book that I truly don’t think I’d like, but if I see several negative reviews about a book that I think has an interesting premise, I tend to want to read it more. However, if I see a lot of bad reviews of a book, I tend to take it off my TBR list just to try to keep my list of books to buy or get from the library is somewhat…manageable?

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  30. Ha really? I actually find writing “negative” reviews easier because I get to rant, haha, but I negative reviews don’t necessarily make me to read the book (though, I do love reading negative reviews lol).
    I totally agree that it is all about perspective, and that’s why sometimes you just have to read the book yourself to figure it out. Great discussion!

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  31. I have high ratings compatibility with some friends, but I don’t believe 100% sameness exists, so I usually believe in trying stuff out for myself! I certain weigh trusted friend ratings in, but it’s rare that I’ll be turned off completely, unless like you said, they hit on specific points that I know would also drive me crazy.

    A lot of negative reviews also make me want to read books. I’m friends with a lot of people on GR, for example, whose tastes are VERY different from mine. While I respect their opinions, sometimes I also know that their negative review means I will probably like it, and vice versa.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  32. Lots of negative reviews would definitely pique my interest! I’d be interested to know what riled everyone up and experience it myself. I’ll take a bad book over mediocre… at least then you have something to rant about :)

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  33. If I want to read a book, negative reviews won’t usually put me off. What it does do is make my expectations more realistic. I often have offbeat taste in books. For instance, the book I’m reading right now, Anatomy of a Misfit, has a really snarky, satirical voice that I’m betting will put a lot of people off. So far, it’s working for me. Things that are sort of dealbreakers for me are cheating plots, animal or child abuse, and high fantasy… I’m sure there are more that I can’t think of….
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  34. I’ll read a book because of negative reviews sometimes because like you said I just want to know…I’ve gotta see the train wreck. Or sometimes the neg review will say things that I am actually interested in. There are a few people if they rate and review a book very bad that it can sometimes influence me not to read it. Lol

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  35. I’m the same way! Literally, I’ll read anything if it interests ME. If my friend vehemently hates a book, I’ll probably read it just to see if I feel the same way. If anything, I’ll be able to talk to her about it. But I’m weird in a sense that if she raves about it or if I hear a bunch of good stuff about a book, I’ll probably steer clear of it for a few months, waiting for a negative or somewhat negative review to pop up somewhere. I hate conforming.

    The only thing that will keep me from reading a book for real is if it doesn’t interest me. Otherwise, if it interests me, then I’ll probably get my hands on it sooner or later! (:

    Tori @ Bookish Affairs

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