I’ve been on goodreads for 5 years and I never write reviews for books I haven’t read, let alone books that aren’t even published, so I really need to rant about this. If you’ve been following the bookish community, you might have noticed a couple of recent cases in which this happened. Let me refresh your memory 🙂
Last month, a lot of people gave a 1-star rating for Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. This happened around a week before and after its publication date. At first I panicked! I freaked out and was super disappointed because I had a high expectation for EoS. I didn’t read any of the reviews because I was staying away from spoilers, so I didn’t know what made people rated it so low. I assumed it was because the book was that awful.
So I tweeted something about being nervous because of all the negative reviews and one of my follower told me that those are fake ratings from people who wanted to bring the whole rating down. I was shocked!! I personally have issues with Throne of Glass series but I would never intentionally do that.
That was when I actually read the reviews and one reviewer (one that I respect and whose blog I follow) said A LOT of bad things about it being so awful and insulting and that she was never gonna read it. I was like… wait, you didn’t even read it? I found out later that her opinions were based on spoilers she read on the internet. I must admit I lost some respects for her 😦 If she said all those things AFTER she read the book, I wouldn’t mind. I would’ve rant with her.
The same thing happened to Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman. It’s a debut novel that is scheduled to be published on May 2017 and it doesn’t even have a cover! Yet these groups of white supremacists tried to bring the rating down by giving it a lot of 1 star rating AND super mean, awful comments! If you saw this for yourself, you must have known how rude those comments were.
I never even HEARD anything about this book nor the author but I know that it’s a mean and awful thing to do. She never writes anything before, so what’s the deciding factor on giving it 1-star beside unreasonable hate and prejudice? A lot of people rallied to the author’s side and helped her by giving the book 5 stars and reporting all the fake reviews. That’s a really a nice thing to do, but now that goodreads already took care of it, I suggest everyone delete their ratings because rating it 5-stars isn’t fair either. It makes the average rating higher than it really is 🙂
You might also saw similar case with Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. Many people said that the synopsis was OFFENSIVE, rated it 1-star, and shelved it on their ‘never gonna read’, ‘hell no’, ‘NOPE’ shelves on goodreads. Pfffttt what is wrong with you people? Even if the synopsis was indeed offensive (which really isn’t according to me), that’s a mean thing to do. Like… if you found a synopsis boring, plain, or even offensive to you, then DON’T READ IT. Is it really necessary to bring it down altogether?
The first time I discovered this book, I freaked because I was excited! I enjoyed All the Bright Places (despite its flaws) and I couldn’t wait to read more books by Jennifer Niven. I was again shocked when I read the negative reviews saying that the synopsis was extremely offensive and the book shouldn’t even be published. I read the synopsis probably a million times and I couldn’t find anything offensive about it!
Sure she used the phrase ‘World/America’s Fattest Teen’ but I think it’s how the MC perceived herself. Or even how her friends called her and if it happens, then it’s not that offensive. Many people said that this WHOLE BOOK is offensive and I’m sorry but how would you know??? If you don’t read it, you wouldn’t know what messages the author is trying to convey! Maybe she’s going to break the stereotype about fat people and maybe she was trying to encourage fat people to feel good about themselves by sharing Libby’s story on her book. Niven has personal experience with mental illness and suicide so I’m sure she takes this kind of thing seriously. She wouldn’t just make fun of people.
Or maybe I’m the only one insensitive here for finding nothing offensive from the synopsis. But even if that’s the case, I still don’t think it’s fair to judge the whole book. So my question is…
My opinion is NO. It’s so not okay to rate a book 1-star before we even read the book, let alone write some super negative reviews about it. I think this is an extremely unfair, mean, and childish thing to do. It’s not fair to the author, it makes the rating unreliable, and it confuses people who actually look for real reviews. Same goes for pre-read 5-stars, there’s no guarantee that a book would be that amazing despite its marvelous synopsis. But today I kinda want to focus on the fake low stars 😛
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind negative reviews! I respect people who rate my favorite books so low and I personally rate plenty of books lowly. That’s okay if we have actually read the book! It means that we think the book is bad and it’s definitely not for us. And I’m not talking about the case of DNF-ing either! It’s okay to DNF a book, it shows that the book is just simply bad/boring that you can’t even finish it. Most people said ‘DNF at __%’ on the beginning of their reviews and I actually respect that because then I know how much of the book their reviews are based on.
But rating and reviewing books negatively before they even tried to read it? Or even before it is published and not even the ARCs are out? I think those (non) readers are not entitled to even give rating. How about you actually read the book before attacking it with hateful comments?
P.S. I don’t refer to those one line reviews-without-rating of how much you like the blurb, the cover, or the author. It’s even okay to say that a synopsis is offensive, like the case above, but there’s just no need to judge the whole book or rate it lowly. That’s just a first impression reaction.
What do you think about rating and reviewing a book before even reading it? All those fake 1-star rating? Or fake 5-stars? Do you think it’s cool to hate-review a book based only on its synopsis and spoilers we find around the internet? ANYWAY, could someone please enlighten me on WHY the synopsis of Holding Up the Universe was considered offensive? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥
As always, I encourage and welcome every opinions as long as everyone is being respectful 🙂
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