Reacting to One-Star Reviews of Books I Love

Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope you’ve all had a great start to October, and that you’re reading loads of spooky books to make up for the fact that I’ve been reading nothing! Well, nothing except for plenty of mathematical papers, that is… My thesis is coming along slooooowly, so I’m still spending pretty much all day at university, typing, coding, and thinking like crazy.

The problem is that there are still plenty of sections that look like this…

…because I was too lazy to think things through properly the first time πŸ™ˆ And then the whole second half explaining the database I programmed and all of my results still needs to be written from scratch… Why didn’t I start sooner?! 😫

So yeah, I’m still very much preoccupied with mathematical stuff and have next to no free time at all, so I thought I’d just continue lazily exploiting other people’s bookish thoughts… 😁 I mean, since I already gave you my reactions to five-star reviews of books I hated, I kind of had to do this post too, right? I’m already late to the party as it is, so without further ado, here are some of my thoughts on one-star reviews of books I absolutely adore!

Book #1: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Hahahahaha 🀣🀣🀣🀣 Even though The Stormlight Archive is my newest obsession, Jon kind of has a point. “Three storylines about moody brooders trapped by circumstance” is probably one of the most accurate descriptions of The Way of Kings that I’ve ever heard.

But the thing is, these moody brooders are just so interesting that you can’t help but fall for them! Especially Kaladin! πŸ₯° Even if he is most definitely a Chosen One character, the fact that he cares so much about everyone around him that he is willing to sacrifice his own well-being to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves is what makes you love him so much in the first place. And also, who says Dalinar’s mysterious visions aren’t ooooOOOOoooo? They’re such an interesting glimpse into the past of this world! They immediately make you want to know more!

And yes, maybe getting into this book does take some time… I wouldn’t say 900 pages, necessarily, but maybe around 500 or so? πŸ˜… But Jon – your friend is right! You’re just about to get to the good part! You can’t stop now! Seriously, all the initial confusion is so worth it once you start understanding stuff and getting invested in this world! Just give it a bit more time and you will gladly spend thousands of pages reading about Dalinar walking across the same barren wasteland as in book one. I guarantee it!

Book #2: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Actually, Joey, I’m not sure you did understand the point of this novel… If all you got out of it was the impression that Anne of Green Gables is trying to teach grumpy adults and overly energetic young children a lesson, I feel truly sorry for you.

Because this book is so much more than that! It’s about growing up in early 20th-century Canada. It’s about family and how family can be about so much more than blood. It’s about a young girl with a vivid imagination, and all the joys and sorrows that accompany her growing up.

I absolutely love all of Anne’s chatter and creativity, and I don’t think she should ever stop talking to please all of those annoying adults who think children should be “seen and not heard” πŸ™„ And, honestly, do you really think Anne should be heavily punished for apparently losing a brooch or accidentally dyeing her hair green? If that’s the case, all I can say is that I’m very glad I was raised by parents whose style of upbringing was closer to the one preferred by Marilla and Matthew…

Book #3: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Since I reacted to a review of my most hated book of all time in my other post, I thought it would only be fair to include my favorite book of all time in this one πŸ₯° Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is absolute perfection, so obviously, Ren the Unclean, you are wrong on so many counts! This is the best Harry Potter book! And if you think its awful movie adaptation comes even close to the original’s brilliance, I’m afraid we will probably never be friends…

And what, exactly, do you think is unrealistic about this book? People refusing to accept the truth because it’s scary, and denouncing it as fake news instead? People condemning and mistreating others because they have opinions that don’t match their own? A teenager who feels like he has the fate of the world resting on his shoulders, who had to watch people he cared about die while being powerless to help, who feels like no one is taking him seriously or even listening to him, being angry at the world? I relate to Harry so much in this book, and, honesty, I think the political and social tensions in Order of the Phoenix mirror our own world brilliantly.

And that death! It hits you so hard precisely because it is not overly dramatized. When you lose someone so suddenly, it comes as a huge shock. You don’t have the time to dwell on your feelings immediately, and then when they do hit you, there’s that feeling of senselessness, denial, anger, and loss that is captured perfectly in Harry’s anger at Dumbledore or his conversations with Luna and Nearly Headless Nick.

I don’t care that you don’t like this, Ren. I will forever love everything about this book. It has Dobby suggesting a place for DA meetings to Harry. It has Professor McGonagall telling Peeves that the chandelier unscrews the other way, just to get back at Umbridge. It has that portrait in St. Mungo’s mistaking Ron’s freckles for spattergroit. It has the main characters cleaning out Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place and finding things that turn out to be rather important, like a mysterious locket that no one is able to open. None of this stuff made it into the movie, and all of this stuff, as well as about a million other things in Order of the Phoenix, was absolutely wonderful! So if you think this book sucks and the movie is better, your taste in books is most definitely not my cup of tea.

Book #4: The Martian by Andy Weir

Ugh, no, why would you want Mark Watney with Johanssen?? That romantic subplot between her and Beck was possibly the only thing about this book that I wasn’t fully on board with! And besides, the whole point of this novel is that Mark is stranded on Mars – you know, alone. I’m not sure how you would work a love affair into that…

Still, I do agree with you that Mark would probably get on my nerves if I knew him in person. He has a very immature sense of humor and makes plenty of awful jokes – so obviously, I found them tremendously funny 😁 Apparently, my level of maturity hasn’t really progressed much since I was four…

And then there was all the science!! So much wonderful science that made my math major heart swell with joy, and so many dramatic problems that Mark had to use his wits to solve!!! I mean, sure, he worked them out in the end, but c’mon, what were you expecting? Letting your protagonist die halfway through the novel hardly ever makes for a particularly satisfying read…

Book #5: The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

I mean, you loved the The Binding, so I guess I’m willing to forgive you for hating this one, Alanna πŸ˜‰ And you’re pretty on point about some things! It’s true that Bridget Collins never explicitly says what the grand jeu is, and that the political history of this world is never fully spelled out.

But then again, I don’t think we needed these things to be all that explicit! I loved how the gloomy political atmosphere was always a dark shadow in the background; something that everyone knew about but didn’t really want to acknowledge. There was so much historical depth to this book, and the paradoxical nature of this society, which is so focused on academia and yet perfectly willing to accept that some people are worth less due to their religion made me think a lot about the history of my own country.

Also, there were so many details surrounding the grand jeu that I built up a very clear picture of what it is in my mind. Of course, they might not match what other people pictured, but I’m perfectly content with what my imagination came up with. The setting was so vivid and real that I had no trouble extrapolating a little, and I liked how the book gives its readers plenty of opportunities to theorize!

And as for the characters, I guess things are just subjective. I loved them. They were flawed, ambitious human beings who made plenty of mistakes, but still had hopes, dreams, and aspirations that made them relatable. Carfax especially, I adored. And the romance πŸ€— I was totally on board!

However, I do get that this one is a bit divisive. It’s one of those slower, thoughtful books that meanders around a lot and never really comes to a concrete conclusion. In my opinion, though, this one is dark academia at its best. It makes you think a lot and has all these broken characters you can’t help but root for!

Book #6: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

What are you talking about, A.R. Collins? You did give this one star!

Also, is this a bad time to mention that I was off alone in the woods when I was much younger than ten? My parents even gave me a pocket-knife when I was six, so after that, I was technically off alone in the woods wielding a potentially dangerous weapon… Or sometimes, I wasn’t alone, but with had my even younger toddler siblings with me. Whom my parents then told me to keep an eye on.

Maybe I was just so neglected that I don’t realize how awful this is, but I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything! I love how much freedom we had as kids. My parents were always there when I needed them – like Quigley Woods in the Penderwick books, our woods were in easy running distance of our house – but they never hovered when I wanted to go off exploring by myself.

And, quite frankly, a bit of responsibility at a young age can’t hurt. I don’t see how Rosalind picking her little sister up from daycare, baking a cake, or keeping an eye on the neighbor’s son while he is playing with her sister amounts to child abuse. Especially when she actively seeks out those moments because she wants to spend some time with her family or have some time for herself to think.

Yes, this book focuses heavily on the characters’ personal lives. And yes, they all kind of have their noses in each other’s business – but then again, do you really want family members who are coldly indifferent to what you do? I love the Penderwicks precisely because they are so relatable. I come from a chaotic household with four kids, a scatter-brained university professor parent, a second slightly less scatter-brained physicist parent, and lots of pets. My siblings and I used to hold top secret meetings when we were younger. They were called Dunkelpantherbandetreffen instead of MOPS, but that’s beside the point. I share Rosalind’s love for languages, Skye’s obsession with math, Jane’s book-nerdiness, and relate a lot to Batty’s fear of strangers. This book is just so wholesome and cute that I don’t understand how you can not love it!

Book #7: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

😱😱😱 Characters in homosexual relationships?! We definitely wouldn’t want to endorse any of that, now, would we! And sex before marriage is definitely a big no-no, too!

Although I’m actually very surprised that this is what you seem most hung up on, Tori, because Bitterblue is actually quite tame as far as romance is concerned. The majority of the YA fantasy books I’ve read are probably more explicit in that department – Bitterblue is much more focused on politics and uncovering the traumatic legacy left to an already struggling kingdom. Bitterblue grows so much as a character as the book goes on, and I’d argue that it is about her and her finding her role as a monarch much more than it focuses on her love life!

In fact, the only thing I agree with you on is that this book has a maze of subplots. Which is one of the best things about it! It makes the world seem real and complicated, it makes the story become so much more than just words on a page, and it constantly keeps surprising you. After the seven Harry Potter books, Bitterblue is probably my most reread book ever. It is just that good! πŸ₯°

And there you have it – that was it for this week!

I hope you had fun reading, and do let me know down below what you thought of these reviews and my reactions to them! Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with me about their awesomeness, or would you rather go and write a rant review yourselves?

And which do you prefer: reading good reviews of books you hated, or bad reviews of books you loved? Personally, I’m always here for the drama and think the one-star reviews are way more interesting, but then again, my heart does ache a little when people have so much hate for my faves πŸ˜ͺ

20 thoughts on “Reacting to One-Star Reviews of Books I Love

  1. FangirlFlax says:

    I love this post idea! And I agree with EVERYTHING you said about Order of the Phoenix. It’s my second favourite of the Potter books (second only to Azkaban, because that one has copious Sirius without the tragedy of Phoenix) and I love that it’s so long–more to love! Also cannot fathom how someone could prefer the movie. The longest book but one of the shortest movies–doesn’t that show how much is missing?! (I’m also rereading Bitterblue later this year and more excited to than ever!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m so glad you agree! Seriously, thinking the Order of the Phoenix movie is better than the book is a travesty 😭 What about Hermione knitting all those elf hats? Or the swamp that Flitwick left in memory of Fred and George?
      But obviously, I also love Prisoner of Azkaban, too πŸ₯° It’s probably my fourth-favorite book of all time because Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows still rank ahead of it 😁
      And, of course, I’m thrilled to hear you’ll be rereading Bitterblue inspite of its apparently blasphemous content! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Line says:

    That review for Way of Kings πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ The “oooOOOooo” had me snorting! But like you said, he has a point so I wouldn’t say he’s wrong. He just likes different things in books. However, I’m agreeing with him on Dalinar. He can walk across as many barren landscapes as he wants as long as I don’t have to read about it 😬

    And imagine thinking Order of the Phoenix is the worst Harry Potter book πŸ™„ I’m really curious about those holes in the world that she’s talking about in that first paragraph because I really can’t figure out what she’s talking about. I know there are minor holes here and there, but she seems to be talking about something major.

    I kind of agree with the review for The Martian actually. The characters weren’t that fleshed out and problems were solved a bit quickly (which I’d argue is because of this diary-format it’s written in), but I still think the book did what it set out to do. It was fun and heart-warming and that didn’t require that the characters had a hundred different sides to them or that the plot was super difficult to follow. It was meant to be more easily digested, I think.

    Also, that review for The Betrayals left me wanting to shout: YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!!! I’ve read other negative reviews of that book and it’s the same problem every time πŸ˜… Totally agree with your defense of it, obviously. I actually found it curious that the reviewer loved The Binding because when I read it again, I actually thought the world in that is pretty vague as well, like that’s just how Collins writes her worlds. So I’m wondering why it worked for the reviewer in one book but not the other.

    Finally, because this is already a very long comment even for my standards, Dunkelpantherbandetreffen is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      The Way of Kings review had me chortling! πŸ˜‚ Honestly, I didn’t even mind (much) that the guy didn’t like the book because his thoughts on it were so funny! Though I do agree that Dalinar is not as interesting as the other characters… At least not yet – I’m hoping that once I finally have the time to read a bit more Oathbringer, I might be even more invested! I do like his ooooOOOOoooo visions, though 🀣

      And yes! What are those gaping HP plot holes?? πŸ€” If that’s such a major critique point, why not spill the tea on where, exactly, we can find them? Because I’m genuinely curious!

      And yeah, I do also see where The Martian review is coming from; Mark Watney really was kind of backstoryless… But, like you said, it honestly didn’t matter all that much, since the whole focus was on him surviving and figuring out all the problems that were thrown at him. His personality and all the drama more than compensated for the lack of details about his life back on Earth in my eyes! 😊 But I’m also not offended by anyone thinking the book was annoying, because, truthfully, Mark can be a bit much πŸ˜‚

      Also, yes! There is so much lack of understanding concerning The Betrayals 😭😭😭 Although I do think it leaves even more open ends than The Binding does. In The Binding, you do at least eventually figure out how the whole book binding thing works and the main drama is resolved. So maybe you don’t notice as much that the world-building is very vague as well – because I definitely agree with you that there’s not much difference to The Betrayals in that regard!

      And of course, I’m glad you approve of the Dunkelpantherbandetreffen! Our sibling whatsapp chat is actually still called “Dunkelpantherbande” in honor of our glory childhood days 😁 (And, obviously, I have nothing against comments that are long even by your standards πŸ˜‰)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line says:

        Mark can certainly be a bit much but I just cannot relate to people who don’t laugh at pirate ninja πŸ˜†

        And yes, The Binding definitely gives more answers, and I really don’t mind that she doesn’t provide a lot of information about the world when clearly that information wasn’t necessary to tell the story. But I guess that’s not everybody’s preference πŸ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ThoughtsBecomeWords says:

    Thank you for an enjoyable look at both sides of the story. I get annoyed with reviewers who approach a book with preconceived ideas and instead of adapting their outlook, they write a knee-jerk reaction which I think is unfair on the author and future readers – Gretchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed this! I also really like when reviewers try to give a nuanced depiction of a book, even if it might not have been what they were originally expecting. Sometimes, though, I also think it can be quite funny to read through people’s rants on what they hated, even if they might not be the most objective 🀣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nehal Jain says:

    Seriously, McGonagall telling peeves that the chandelier unscrews the her way was everything 😭😍. I can’t believe why people hate this book, it’s the best in the series!! 😍 great post, naemiiiii..!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Exactly! Professor McGonagall is just the coolest teacher ever, and I can’t fathom how anyone could have thought cutting Peeves from the movies was a good idea! 😭πŸ₯°
      And, obviously, I’m still glad we agree Order of the Phoenix is the best in the series!

      Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks so much! πŸ’™ (Also, sorry it took me a while to reply! Other book owls are always welcome here, but apparently WordPress doesn’t know that and put your comment straight into my spam folder πŸ™„) I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my reactions and that Order of the Phoenix is getting the love it deserves! πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s