Thursday, March 1, 2012

Has a Negative Review Ever Convinced You to Read A Book?

I have begun to notice that pretty much EVERYTHING is subjective. Almost everything is affected by a person's own opinions, moods, beliefs, background and what have you. (I totally just had to look up the phrase "what have you" to make sure I wasn't making it up and to figure out if it was one word or not).

For example, here is a conversation I had my with my friend Monday night. We were talking about making muffins together:

Strawberry muffins... tell me they do not look yummy!

Friend: What kind of muffins should we make?
Me: strawberry!!!
Friend: EWW
Me: What? Why! My mom said her friend made them once and they were really good!
Friend: That sounds... EEW!
Me: Why? Don't you like strawberries?
Friend: yahh

I still think my friend is not justified in thinking strawberry muffins are gross (I mean, she's never even tried them...), but this kind of shows how affected we are by our own ideas and opinions and just basically who we are.

So. This also applies to books. (HA you never guessed that I would say that, right?? Haha.) I have figured out that I like certain types of characters way more than other types of characters. I really don't like dependent, scared, hesitant characters that don't really know much. I absolutely fall in love with really clever, independent characters. For example, in the book Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (amazing book, by the way) my favourite character, hands down, is Dustfinger. I adore him. He's one of those clever, sort of goes-by-his-own-terms type of character that I like. I think this is also the reason that I liked the character Katniss in The Hunger Games, and the character Eugenides in The Thief, Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.

To be honest, until recently, I had no idea that it was me. I just thought lots of writers wrote really bland, annoying characters but as it turns out, I just wasn't interested in the characters because of me - who I am and what I like as a person.

That being said, different things will attract a person into reading a book. When I'm wandering through the library, my eyes usually go to the covers (and spines) that are unique, bright, and different. I tend not to be attracted to the darker, spooky covers or the covers with girls' faces on the front. It also depends on what I'm in the mood for. If I feel like reading romance, I look for titles and covers that hint that the book is a romance.

Whoops... kind of getting off track. Back to... different things attract a person into reading a book. That is why I think when reading a book review, different things will stick out to different people. Just like while I'm in the library, certain covers or titles attract me, certain things said in a review will attract me to a book.

SO that brings me to my final point... because of all this, has a negative book review ever convinced you to read a book? I can see it happening if, I don't know, the reviewer says something like "The character was just way too clever for me, I didn't understand them" (this would only be for me, obviously) and then I would be like... well, I like clever characters... maybe I should read that book.

So? Has a negative book review ever convinced you to read a book? If not, do you think it's possible that one could? What do you think?

Also go here for information on the 21 Minus Blogfest and Contest that I'm participating in... it starts tomorrow!


  1. I don't like to read thorough reviews pre-book, but I did have an experience once where all of the things a particular reviewer hated about the book I'd just read where elements that I had actually enjoyed. That was kind of cool.

  2. I'd hate to say it, but I can see a negative review encouraging me to read a book. Reading enjoyment is very subjective and so a negative review would prompt me to question if what they mention is really true. No better way to find out than to read it for myself.

  3. I have to day- those muffins don't look that yummy.

    And I am with Julie on this one - I don't usually read reviews before I read a book

  4. Yep! Sometimes I want to read it because I heard a scathing review while someone I know highly recommended it. Sometimes I just want to read it to see if it's as bad as everyone says it is. That's why my friend read Twilight -- she wanted to see if it was really so awful. She decided it was (lol).


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