Have you ever let a review affect your thoughts of a book that you haven’t read yet?
Of course you have, because that’s why you read reviews. Most of us read reviews to find out what to read next, and whether they are positive or negative will affect their priority in our TBR- or whether we move them to the bottom of the pile. Books that are raved about consistently by my trusted bloggers almost always end up at the top of my TBR pile, whereas books that consistently receive negative ratings end up at the bottom.
When I feel like a challenge, sometimes negative reviews pique my interest because I want to see whether I agree with the review, and whether I can justify or understand why the book was written this way. For instance, I picked up White Space by Ilsa J. Bick and Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy because of the negative reviews I read, and I was curious. White Space for it’s confusing prose, and Side Effects May Vary for its unlikable characters.
When I think about it, negative reviews actually made me enjoy the books more, because I was aware of the problems with the book already and was able to adjust my expectations.
Let’s not forget the negative effect of too many positive reviews as well. Before I discovered Goodreads, I had read so many positive reviews on Hush, Hush being recommended to people who liked Twilight that when I actually picked it up, I was so appalled by the love interest I wanted to throw the book across the room. Positive reviews and hype have the effect of raising the bar too high so that when we read it, we may judge it even more harshly if it didn’t meet expectations.
I guess it comes down to personal judgement when reading reviews to discover whether you will enjoy a book or not. When reading a review, it’s important to see whether the reviewer enjoyed the same books that you did, whether the points they mentioned were things that you like or dislike, and whether the book is something you think you will enjoy (eg. genre, writing style, length). When it comes down to it, the best judge of your reading style is you, and reviews will help you make an informed decision on whether you’d like the book or not.
How have negative or positive reviews affected your reading?