What Is The Point of Being A Nasty Reviewer?

Posted April 25, 2018 by Marsha in Discussion Post / 9 Comments

Every now and then I feel the strong need to vent about something I encountered in the book world.  My opinion really, and everyone is entitled to their own unique view on any subject.  Yet I do not understand the need to rip apart a story, an author simply because I read a book or own a blog.  I’m not some powerful genius, I’m a reader who enjoys talking about the books I’ve read.

So, a couple days ago I’d posted a review on Amazon, and like I often do went and looked over the other reviews to see what other readers were thinking.  I came across a scathing one star review that basically called the story inept and the writer an idiot for writing it.  Now, in my opinion, that’s not cool.  I clicked on the Kindle Reader’s name to see what else they’d reviewed… and this is a whirlwind of one and two star reviews.  Nothing this person’s read has met their requirements for a good story.  I found it interesting that they had followed one of my favorite, long, multiple author series from the beginning and every single title got a one or two star review with nasty, mean-hearted and downright rude comments.  Why?

Why continue to read a series if you truly do not like anything about it apparently.  Heck, some of my long time (decades) authors, who I auto-buy every release, has the occasional story that I really didn’t like or connect with.  But that’s like one out of one hundred and fifty, ya know?  Not every single story, and written by different authors.  So, I’m left with two conclusions – either this person is just a nasty, mean, rude person who doesn’t like anything at all or they have some vendetta against this series or one of the authors.  Truthfully, I think it’s the first option.

I think it’s just sad that a reader like this can affect a book’s rating with such ease and such careless disregard for the person behind the words that they read and didn’t like.  Hey, you can not like a book that’s your right as a human being – but why continue to read something you obviously hate?  That’s someone who has felt the power of giving reviews and using it to vent their own unhappiness with the world… or they’re just mean.  Maybe both.

I get into this discussion with friends often.  The value of one or two star reviews – some look for them because they often love what the reviewer didn’t and will go buy the book, others are just as puzzled as I am about the vindictive reviews.  Do you run to check out the books that have a one or two star review?  Do you believe it’s possible to give a low star review without tearing apart the work that someone bared their soul to tell?  I can think of a hundred and one ways to say I didn’t like a book without ripping apart the author, but that’s just me.

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9 responses to “What Is The Point of Being A Nasty Reviewer?

  1. OMG, I was just thinking about this yesterday! Whenever I finish writing my review for a book, I go on Goodreads and read some 5-star reviews and some 1-star reviews. I like seeing other people’s opinions. There’s a teenage girl on Goodreads who only writes really nasty 1-star reviews. She insults the book, the author, the book’s fans, everyone. She even leaves mean comments on 5-star reviews. I guess she gets attention for it, but I don’t understand. Why do people want to be trolls?
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    • Marcy

      I know. I don’t understand it and to be honest it really bothers me for the author’s sake and for future reader’s enjoyment. It’s not necessary to put someone down in order to make a point. So, no… I just don’t get it. 🙁

  2. I think it’s really immature and attention-seeking when people write mean reviews that attack the author like that. If I really didn’t like a book, I will give it one or two stars but I’ll always explain my reasoning and keep my discussion of the book respectful. I usually add a comment at the end that it wasn’t for me but it might appeal to others who like X, Y, Z.

    • Marcy

      Exactly. Not every book or author is going to be the right fit for each reader. That’s just common sense, but to totally rip apart an author’s hard work is, to me, completely unacceptable. Writers are intelligent creatures, they certainly know when someone didn’t like their book – but just because I bought it or was given an ARC does not give me the right to trash talk about a book that wasn’t for me, but that another reader would love to get their hands on.

  3. I couldn’t agree more! You do wonder why a reader continues reading a book by an author they already know they don’t like. Or… could it be that they don’t even read the book at all, but write the unpleasant review based on bits and pieces they’ve pieced together from other people’s reviews?? Just a thought.

    • Marcy

      Anything is possible, especially as the series I mentioned that she’s 1 or 2 stared every one is over 40 titles long with five different authors… really, why keep reading? So, your option is as good as any I’ve come up with. 🙂 I usually know after one book if an author simply isn’t for me. Not offensive in that, but we all have those “things” that make a story come alive for us, and with thousands of writers around, I can’t love every single one. So, I’ll usually give an author a second book, just in case it was the story not the writing that I couldn’t connect with. But over 40 titles, that’s dedication, or mean spirited intent.

      I don’t know why I let this person’s actions set me off on a rant like this post. I suppose that since I’ve been book blogging I’ve come to know how important reviews and those stars are to authors. Giving an honest opinion is one thing, I respect that no matter the number of stars… but when it’s done in a way that affects the overall rating, and is consistent on every book written, then… something else is going in in that reviewer’s mind/plans.

  4. I wonder has that “reader” really read the books or are they just a mean and nasty person spreading horribleness?

    • Marcy

      It’s impossible to know for certain – but I’d guess “no”. How can you read, continue to read, an over 40 books long series and not like at least one of them beyond a 1 or 2 star review? It’s not possible, in my humble opinion.

      I simply don'[t understand that single-minded dedication to something I hate. I, personally, think it gives this reader a feeling of power and gets attention… and I also think she just doesn’t care how it affects an author or their readers one little bit if it feeds her needs.

      I might even feel a bit sorry for her if her actions didn’t annoy me so much. I just don’t get it and I doubt I ever will.