46 comments on “Book Review Pet Peeves

  1. I could NOT agree more, Callum, on every one of these points. I almost hate reading reviews lately, because so many of the things you mention crop up. Especially spoilers, or just writing a review that pretty much outlines the entire story. And unless you are required to read a book for a class assignment or the like, why read something in a genre you immediately state you hate? My reading time is way too precious for that kind of nonsense, and I see no sense in reviewing a book you knew well in advance you weren’t going to like. *Facepalm* indeed!! 😀

    • Ah, it’s a relief to know I’m not alone! It does feel a bit like banging your head against a brick wall sometimes when it comes to book reviews. I suppose it makes it all the sweeter when we come across a genuinely useful, insightful and considered one – if I’m to find a silver lining in all this 😉

      • Rest assured, you are not alone, and I’m certain many others feel the same way, whether they express it or not. I barely have time to read anymore, so I’m way behind on reviews, but I hope to get back to them one of these days, as I do love sharing my favorite books with people. (I don’t leave negative reviews any longer, because if I don’t like a book, I’m probably never going to finish it, and I don’t like reviewing a book I haven’t read from cover to cover.) But the ones that do it up right ARE the silver lining, for sure. 🙂

        • I wish I had the willpower to put books down when I’m not enjoying them, but once I’m committed I really struggle to DNF – much to my own annoyance!

          On the plus side, I think over the years, most of us get better at hunting out the reads we think we’ll enjoy, so I don’t have to write a truly negative review all that often, thankfully 😊

  2. Connected to (4) but about films: People reviewing things that they didn’t really want to see anyway, and surprisingly (!) didn’t like. And, even more, saying they weren’t bothered about seeing.

    This frustrates me immensely, I don’t think it can be classed a review and, furthermore, it baffles me why they put themselves through it!

  3. I have never understood why someone stars a book they haven’t read. It makes no logical sense. And please don’t tell me the entire story! Blurbs that do that are not a favorite of mine either. Why do I need to read it if you just told me the entire story in your review?

  4. YES to all of these! I get so annoyed at people who rate books without reading them.

    Slightly more controversial, but I also find it irritating when people rate books they didn’t finish and didn’t even make it half-way through. If you made it most of the way before DNF-ing or if the book was offensive (misogynistic, homophobic etc.) then yes, by all means warn others away, but I don’t understand why someone would read a fifth of a book and then rate it.

    • Oh yes, that’s a great one! As you said, if you felt compelled to DNF a book because it was genuinely offensive in some way, by all means try to warn people, but it really bothers me when I see 1 star reviews that just says something like: ‘DNF at page 24’ 😫 So harsh!

      • And unfair! Some books do get off to a slow start, but unless it’s just plain unreadable, you should either give it a bit more of a chance, or stop and don’t review it at all.

  5. A GREAT POST. I’m tempted to do one of these myself. I agree with all of your points, especially 4, oh my goodness. Books I don’t like that I didn’t think I was going to like are the ones where I’m most lenient in my ratings, because how can I hold it against the book when I KNEW what I was getting into?? I see that ALL THE TIME with thrillers, where they’re rated low for being ‘too dark.’ No offense but what did you expect???

    • EXACTLY! If you’re fairly sure you’re not going to like something, and then don’t, it’s not exactly the book’s fault 💁🏼‍♂️ By all means point out that you were trying something out with your usual taste, but at least be a little more in depth in your analysis than: ‘I don’t like books set on boats’. WHAT DOES THAT TELL ME?

      I’d be interested to read your thoughts if you decide to do a post of your own!

  6. So glad to see that I don’t commit any of these sins (or not that I’m aware of anyway!) I totally agree with reviews that rehash the blurb – whenever I see this, I start skim-reading. That’s why I include the actual blurb itself before my review so that people can read it if they want or they can just skip it and move straight on to my thoughts on the book. And spoilers are the work of the devil!! Great post as always 🙂

  7. I whole-heartedly agree with all of these… Although I am utterly shocked that people actually review books they haven’t read. Like, what!? That is not how reviews work!

  8. I’ve never seen a book blogger attack readers, but I’m 100% with you on the other concerns. Before Roxane Gay finished writing Hunger, people had added low ratings on Goodreads. I personally wonder why a book is on Goodreads before it’s published (I know there are marketing reasons) because people pre-rate a book to show enthusiasm. Why does Goodreads just have a thing you can click to show you’re pumped about a book?

    • I’ve seen it a far few times, though more often on Goodreads than blogs. It’s a shame that some people can’t simply live and let live, but alas – the perils of the Internet! 😋

      Exactly! I get why books are listed before release, but I’ve often wished Goodreads wouldn’t activate the ability to rate until a book is out. I suppose they don’t because it would throw up problems with ARCs and whatnot, but it’s still a shame that some books are specifically targeted and have their stats unfairly skewed.

  9. Great list.
    The ‘I don’t like the subject matter’ one is both hilarious and wtf?! Sort of people that do that watch a TV show they don’t like when they could change a channel, or go and watch a comedian that they know will say things they don’t like and complain. /heavyfacepalm

  10. Completely agree with you… all these things are super annoying! I would add “lack of detail” to this list. Like, ok, you liked it or you didn’t, great. But why..?

  11. All amazing points! I’ve gone on many rants about people who rate a book without reading it. Whether it’s people anticipation a release and giving it 5 stars before they even have it in hand, or people who give something 1 star and put it and DNF… You didn’t FINISH the book! How can you give me a valid opinion on it??
    I also agree with the re-hashing of the book. I understand a brief synopsis or something so I know a LITTLE of what the book is about, but I don’t need a play by play of what happens… Aren’t you supposed to be convincing me to READ IT?? I don’t need the Cole’s Notes! (is that still a thing? Or am I just showing my age. Ha ha!) 😂😉🍻

  12. Spoilers. And people who say how it should have been written–as in “first person is lame, if only they’d…” or “OMG another texting section and I’d have….” I’ve probably done some of this myself, but I do TRY to be conscious of this!

  13. Completely agree with all your points. I think the blurb is really important to a reviewer because it shows how much the author wants to reveal. If its not in the blurb I don’t mention it. However, I would never just rehash what the blurb says. I think some people think that a long review is a good review, it’s not always the case. Sometimes I think ‘there’s no point in reading it now, I know what happens! I think you should say if you liked it and why instead of going into too much detail about the storyline. Also, if someone leaves a bad rating, back it up with a detailed explanation and give a thought for the author!

    • Exactly! I’d much rather read a brief, succinct review that outlines why someone did/didn’t like a book than a long, verbose one that actually offers little insight.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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