Is It Any Good? (3 Reasons Why You Should Give a Badly Reviewed Book a Chance)

Is It Any Good-

So it’s movie night and my husband and I were searching for a movie to watch. Better yet stream. I suggested Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. He then asked me if it was any good.

“Is it any good?” How many times we asked or have been asked that question? The most obvious way to find out is through reviewers, critics and recommendations.

But what if valid points are provided to why something (movie, game, play, book, etc) isn’t good? Should we just listen and avoid it like the plague? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discount their assessment. They’ve dedicated their time to read, appraise and write up their thoughts and I respect that. I myself provide reviews and critiques on And once thought about including poetry reviews on my blog, which I still haven’t done. Sigh.

I just rather like to view them as commendation guides. After all, all writing and other forms of artistic expression is subjective. So the final decision to read or not to read a book, remains with the reader. Here’s why:

  1. Even a bad review is a good review. Writers use their blood, sweat and tears to bring out the fictional worlds living inside them. Why? Because it has to come out. But not everyone would share the same feelings about the story. So before you give up on a book, research the author. Find other short works they might’ve written. Do you like their writing style? Their voice and or the themes explored? Whether the answer is yes or no, the decision to read a longer work, like the book in question, is up to you.
  2. One reader’s garbage is another reader’s treasure. Not everyone reads eye to eye. There’ll bound to be certain aspects of the story the reviewer didn’t like. But that might not be the same for you and shouldn’t deter you. Just ask yourself if the genre, sub-genre, plot, blurb, etc. is to your liking. If it is, then you’d probably struck gold. Never walk away from a reading opportunity. You might regret it.
  3. It’s better to have read and lost, then never to have read at all. Reading is important. In a time where the world is at our fingertips due to technology, at times we’re awfully disconnected. Ironic isn’t it? But by reading, we become more self aware of the issues today, even in the lies of fiction. Writers write because they have something to say. What that is, is only known if we read. The question then remains if you’re willing to find out.

As a book lover myself, I know the importance of finding a new book to read, love and add to our library. Which is why I hold book reviewers in great esteem. For without them I am made more aware of the books I’m currently not reading. Could and should be reading. Yet, by the end of the day, they’re not the only factors that goes into my book reading decisions. How about you?

Have you ever read a gem of a book but it had received a negative review? What are your thoughts about book reviews? Please share in the comments section below.

PS Submitted 2 new poems to my local writing group’s No Additional Postage Necessary, Vol II anthology. Doing another poetry submission to the Tinder Box Poetry Journal. And I’m still awaiting the results of my submissions to Black Fox Literary Magazine. Wish me luck!



16 thoughts on “Is It Any Good? (3 Reasons Why You Should Give a Badly Reviewed Book a Chance)

  1. I tend to go more on word-of-mouth as well as a book’s premise than reviews in choosing which books to read. But that being said, I also like reading reviews. But too often I find spoilers, especially when I look through Amazon or Goodreads reviews, so I’ve found I actually enjoy reading them more after I finish the book! I like to see what others thought and compare it to my own takeaways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t mind being spoiled either and enjoy hearing what others thought about a book too. And word of mouth is a great way to find out about a book. There’s nothing more contagious than the enjoyment from one reader to another. And to the next and so on, because of a particular book(s).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All books receive negative reviews. Even the books in my top 5 favs list have them. I tend not to look too much into them because it comes down to taste, and I’ve noticed many negative reviews come from malcontents who negatively review most of what they read. Wouldn’t it be fun to live with these people? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I imagine it’ll be as fun as undergoing a root canal. Speaking of which, why is that? Are they writing negative reviews on purpose? They really that hard to please? But I understand what you mean. Reading, like all activities pursued for pleasure and relaxation, comes down to a matter of taste. What others like, you may not and vice versa.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Some people just really enjoy complaining. I try to limit exposure to them in my day to day operations.
        The way I look at it when I get a less than stellar review is that reader wasn’t in my audience. I did a good job with the marketing, it just wasn’t the book for them. In some ways, those reviews may help sales because what one reader didn’t like may be what another reader likes! You never know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess they do. And that’s a good outlook to take, ‘the reader wasn’t in my audience.’ It’s a much healthier and positive way to deal with a negative review.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. When evaluating whether to give something with a lower rating a shot, I generally read over a few of the negative reviews to see what they didn’t like. If several people mention something that’s also a peeve of mine, like a protagonist who acts in stupid ways or a plot that hinges entirely on people who fail to communicate with each other, I’ll pass. I agree with you that reading is better than not reading, but given that there are WAY more books available than I could ever read, some selectivity is still needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, some selectivity is needed. That’s why research is important. Including like you said, going through the general reviews by other readers. I do the same, even with shopping online for clothes. I read the customer reviews. And once I see way too many “doesn’t fit,” “shows too much,” etc. from fellow busty gals, I steer clear. Because no one knows the plight of a curvy gal then another one. Especially when it comes to tops. Anyways, as long as you know your tastes, likes, pet peeves, etc. there’ll always be an infinite amount of books available to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just goes to show, that some times the critics don’t have it right. I’m very interested in reading The Casual Vacancy and the detective series written under the pen name Robert Galbraith. But haven’t as yet 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Word of mouth carries a lot more value to me than one review, be it bad or good, but if a book (or movie) has a mountain of the same kind of review, I will tend to listen. I like the idea that it’s better to read and lose than never read, but I have so little free time, that my reading time is precious, and I’m careful what I fill it with!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a reader, I don’t give too much weight to book reviews. I like to decide for myself, by reading the first page, whether or not I’d like to take a chance on the book.But reviews do sway MANY readers, so it’s extremely important for us to review the books that we read. But if I hated something, I won’t leave a review because the last thing I’d want to do is discourage someone or hurt their feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the consideration. I myself, also like to read the ending of a book. And if I like the blurb, cover, title, etc of the book makes me interested enough to find out how the story goes from A to B, then I’ll give it a chance. Good review or not.


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