Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Favorite One-Star Reviews or Bad Reviews to Make You Laugh

One-star reviews never fail to bring out the emotions. Some of the most passionately written reviews are the single-starred ilk. So, without further ado, here are a collection of zany, zingy, zalongy one and two-star reviews:

Michal is Bella
This is such a juvenile romance that I could not force myself to finish it. How can I judge, then, you ask? Well, I am firmly of the camp that good writing hooks the reader. Absent that, it does not lose it's built in fan base. With historical fiction, there is the added burden of ringing true to what is known of the characters and times. This book fails on all three counts.

Woah! TMI!!!
O.k., I have been married for 6 years and have been the youth pastor's wife for all 6. That being said, I have given many talks on sex to teenage girls. I say that so you realize that it's not that I'm a sheltered home-schooler who has never heard the word sex. Now, all that said, THIS IS WAAAAYYY too much information!! This author is practically pornographic in her words describing the sexual relationships Michal has with David. I would say that NO teenage girl or unmarried woman should read this as it will only cause her to stumble in her thought life and fantasies. I was astounded by how graphic this author was, and I didn't even finish the book. Do not let your teenage daughter read this and don't even read it yourself - it's not even well-written and the content is IMO way too graphic. I didn't ever expect a Christian novel to be this way! Skip this book and try out Jill Eileen Smith's series instead - WAY BETTER!

Not for Me.
Every single bad thing that could happen happens to Jen, the main character. Somehow, she still manages to save the day with her tablet and fix the build.

With someone that is running from a bad past, I feel like she should be more concerned as to where her personal items are - phone, iPad, etc.

What I will say is that the author was a decent writer. And I would recommend this book to those that do not mind reading religious or technology lingo.

Compromise on the message, the skill, and the characters=EPIC FAIL
The straw that broke this camel's back came on the last page, just before the epilogue. She sweeps back his hospital gown to find no underwear and presses her body against his. Close scene. Quote BIBLE VERSE?!?!?!?!!!! I was saddened, disgusted, and then irritated. This type of compromise is unacceptable.

Hidden Under Her Heart Review
First of all, the characters made me SO ANGRY. The main characters can't make up their minds... ever! Honestly, Lucas. If you want to marry the girl, then pray about it like the good Christian man you are and propose with an ENGAGEMENT ring, not some empty-promise promise ring. Also, don't try seducing the pregnant women. How much more awkward can you get? Seriously, bro, get a grip.

And Maryanne... Oh, brother. I'd tell you not to get me started but it's too late now. She's absolutely INFURIATING. She can't decide if she loves Lucas or hates him, so she just goes into a downward spiral of death instead of trying to communicate. Hello? What if everyone did that? We'd be in the middle of World War XVI. Honestly. Pull yourself together, girl!

Do bad reviews serve a purpose, or are they just the ear-wax of a writer's life? One thing for sure, you can't avoid them. Nathan Bransford wrote a post about how you can't even see them coming. "You Can Never Predict Your Bad Reviews." A bad review shows you can't please everyone, and more importantly, it warns people who would dislike your book from reading it. Call it preventative medicine, but bad reviews actually ward off future bad reviews.

Okay, what do you think? Do you leave one-star zingers? And if you're an author, how do you react to bad reviews? Love 'em or hate 'em, they come with the territory.


  1. Honestly, I try to have perspective and take both wonderful 5 stars and horrible 1 stars for what I can get out of them. I love 5 stars, because it means I've found my target audience and connected with a reader. Sometimes, they have insightful things to tell me, or just help me feel good about what I'm doing.

    The 1 stars I figure are people who just do not connect with my work. If there is any wisdom to be gained in their post, I try to apply it in the future. I've been told my heroine was too stupid to live and that my hero (a very sweet, beta male) was a total jerk.

    Actually, the hardest for me are the 3-star reviews. This is likely a reader in my target audience who, for whatever reason, just didn't connect firmly enough with my characters or my plot.

    Whatever the rating, I appreciate readers who take the time to go back and review! Great post, Rachelle!

  2. In some senses, they got my characters. They might not have LIKED them, but they got them. Look at dedicated Jen, the Build Beeotch!

    Even though she was pummeled, kidnapped, attempted raped, knifed, shot a woman full of buckshot, teargassed and on crutches she sure saved the build each and every time! Too bad the bad guys didn't break her typing fingers.

    And Maryanne, LOL, I can picture the reviewer strangling her. Make up your mind, girl, you're starting World War XXX.

    Finally, Michal, what can I say? She's too sexy for her time. And then there's the red-headed David and the bad-boy Ittai. Yep, she's Bella all right. Now if Michal's Window would only sell like Twilight, yeah, that would be great.

  3. My two star review was someone who didn't realize my book was humor, and took the comments about villains not being allowed to have blond hair as serious. It was titled something like "Who is this Aryan?" and compared me to Hitler. But sadly someone must of complained to Amazon (not me) and within a few days the reference to Hitler was removed. More recently the whole review was deleted. Perhaps the author realizes how hilariously stupid they made themselves look? I sort of miss it, it was so over the top and crazy.

    1. I know, crazy, right? Yes, either the author realized how silly he was, or Amazon deleted it for offensive content. I know someone who had a "butt-crack" review and it was deleted.

      One thing for sure, a bad review elicited lots of emotion from the reviewer, so you know you hit their buttons.