Hello, fellow bookworms! My name is Kelly, and I recently finally got out of my reading slump. I'm devouring a new book almost every week now, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Part of the reason I was able to break out of my slump was because of some of the great reviews and recommendations I stumbled upon. Book reviews — whether they're by fellow readers or professional critics — can be really helpful when you're looking for your next great pick.
However, reviews can also be pretty frustrating sometimes. Recently, Reddit user u/Tea_4_thee asked, "What’s something you hate seeing in a book review?"
The question got a lot of interesting responses! Here are some of the top ones:
1. First, complaining about "unlikable" characters when they're not supposed to be likable.
2. "Reviews that are mostly just a retelling of the story. I've read some that made me feel like there was no reason for me to read the book anymore, because they already told me everything that happens."
3. "I really enjoy nonfiction, and I hate when a review is one or two stars because someone 'didn't like the subject matter.' ... Like, did you even LOOK at the description?"
4. "Reviews that say nothing but 'it’s sooooooo goooooooooood' or it’s 'sooooooooo baaaaaaad' without actual reasoning as to why."
5. "People who don't understand that writing [about] something objectionable is not a tacit endorsement of said objectionable thing."
6. "With YA [young adult] novels: 'One star. This book reads like it was written for teenagers.'"
7. "Reviews by people who haven’t actually read the book they’re writing about. If you haven’t read it in at least some capacity, you shouldn’t review."
8. "When reviews complain about content they could have picked up on from the blurb, trigger warnings, or first page."
9. "Anyone writing a review to complain about foul language, non-religious themes, sex, etc., in a book written for a general audience."
10. "Whenever someone complains about a book being confusing or annoying when there’s a non-linear narrative structure. I don’t know; something about that just makes me roll my eyes at the whole review."
11. "I hate when reviewers mention a plot twist."
12. "Things that have nothing to do with the content of the book. I stumbled across a one-star review where the reviewer said she liked the book, but the font was too small."
13. Criticizing female characters for not being written as "strong women."
14. "'I only got through a third of the book before putting it down, but I think...'"
15. "People complaining about plot holes, but they are just referencing a character making a dumb decision. ... A character making a mistake, doing something illogical, or having plans that aren't entirely realistic isn't a plot hole; it's realistic."
16. “'I just don’t relate' to the characters, subject matter, etc. Not every book is meant for you to relate to."
17. "I hate the 'it’s not that deep' type of review that completely disregards subtext, metaphors, and pivotal plot points just because they don’t want to look further than the surface. I get why people sometimes miss the little things, but no, Jeremy, the yellow wallpaper isn’t yellow because the author thought it was a pretty color!"
18. And finally: "The movie was better."
Now it's your turn! What are some things you hate seeing in book reviews? Let us know in the comments!
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.