I hate Goodreads reviews

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Noob, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    People rate books 5 stars before reading them and the top 'reviews' are nearly always a collection of reaction gifs and "cool slang" usually by young women with posey avatars who want traffic to their profile/instagram account.

    Anyone else notice this?
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  2. ReguIa

    ReguIa Journeyed there and back again

    The reason I almost never read the reviews on the first page. I also don't understand why they don't change their ratings system to 10 stars..
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  3. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Yes GR is overflowing with this.
    I still find it usable. Here's how I do it.
    I read a couple of 5 star reviews, 1 star reviews and 3 star reviews. That way I get a decent image of what are book's strengths but also what are some issues that most people have. I can judge if there's way too many red flags for me personally or is it ok to read.
    I do this by quickly filtering by stars here

    I will also never read a review with 10 gifs, they are usually from fanboys/fangirls, and not of much substance.
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  4. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I found the 1-3* reviews much more useful than 4-5* reviews. More often than not if the reasons for a low rating are ones that are lame, or are ones that wouldn't bother me, then I won't be put off reading a book because of it.

    One review I read this morning gave a 1* review to a historical fiction book, simply because in the first chapter the word Britain was used in error instead of England. Seriously, I might 'tut' at something like that, but it wouldn't impact my enjoyment of the book whatsoever.

    In general I find the GR reviews much more useful than Amazon reviews.
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  5. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Me too.
    If I recall Amazon had a big problem with fake reviews, payed reviews and all that. There's some of that on GR as well, but sheer amount of people that uses GR and writes reviews usually drowns out the fake stuff.
  6. Maxal

    Maxal Drinks Elfbark tea with FitzChivalry

    Honestly, you have to browse through the Goodreads reviews in order to find the decent appropriate ones. Some people will take the time to write complex honest reviews of the given books while others would simply claim it was "The greatest book in the whole world". You definitely have to look for the longer ones and not those which sounds like complete praising.

    I agree with Tom, the best reviews often are the 1-3 starts one, the detailed ones as those readers would genuinely explain why they didn't like the book which alternatively might help us figure out if you would like it or not.

    For my part simply because a lot of people liked a book doesn't mean I will like it just as simply because a book has negative reviews doesn't mean I will not like it: all tastes are different, but I hardly base my next read upon reviews. When I run out of ideas, I usually ask on places such as this forum, composed of well-read people, which book they recommend I try next. I avoid Reddit as, on Reddit, even if you take time to detail your personal tastes and/or what you are in the mood for reading, people would still throw you out the same books... Still, I find it a good place to "hear about other books", I try to remember the names which I find I might be interested in reading, but generally I am sticking to my list. I have a good one for 2017, I already did good progress with it and I even added an unexpected book to it. So all is good.

    As for fangirls/fanboys reviews, well, it depends which book you are looking at... If this book has a strong fanbase and/or if it is YA, then yeah, you'll get them, but not all book gets such reviews.
  7. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    Not really had that problem tbh. But then I I rarely spend too much time reading the reviews there and when I do, its often because I've already read it and want to see what other people have thought.

    Can't say I had that problem last time I asked for books on Reddit either, although I do see it there, and I see it other places as well. The first five pages or so of the "I like *this* so recommend me..." thread here is terrible for it.
  8. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Tell me about it. When people put on their cheerleader outfits online (Amazon, Goodreads, Blogs, and forums to name a few I tune them out. Oh, so and so is just the cats meow... Not the most miniscule criticism ever. No specific reasons or very general. I figure they're either the writers mom, significant other, friend, paid reviewer or horror of horrors an authors groupie. You can usually spot them a mile away. They've never made a review in their life and if they had 20 they were all on skin care products or electric razors (or both-which brings terrible images to mind as does the guy in the cheerleader outfit for that matter).

    I can understand when an author takes it to heart when somebody doesn't like their stuff but either keep your mouth shut or improve from it if valid. But I will never understand anyone elae that takes it personally and gets angry or defensive. Hey, go get some counseling. Nothing wrong with that.

    I trust Amazon and their 60% fake reviews more than Goodreads. Which says a lot. But based on your post I will give GR a few more shots.

    The best place is right here.No contest. I'm not blind. I can read the reviews elsewhere but have very little confidence in them so I ask here anyhow, where I can get an honest and intelligent response. I think the vast majority here give honest unbiased reviews. And I "know" them a helluva lot better than GR or Amazon so I can filter out the very small minority that can't/don't.
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  9. Peat

    Peat Journeyed there and back again

    I have actually rewritten a review before because it was so complimentary I was thinking no one would trust it all. Not that I could rewrite it much, it was literally like I'd imagined the book into existence to make me happy. But I at least tried to give the reasons why dirty heathens would disagree about its greatness. A good review isn't about whether the reviewer liked it or not (although I like knowing that) but about what sort of work it is so people can measure it against their own interests.

    Completely agreed about relying on forum people for advice.
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  10. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I merely follow recommendations from like minded friends, members of this and BSFB forum. I also pay attention to opinions from authors I follow regarding books I'm interested in. Other than that, my GR account is just a great way to organize my books. In particular, my TBR shelf. I have many books in this shelf and already own 75% of them. It is visually nice and tidy. Love browsing through it!
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  11. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    If I owned 75% of the books on my TBR shelf, I'd be broke and have a house overflowing with books.

    My TBR shelf has over 1500 books on it.
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  12. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I love my only Goodreads review. It's -that- one. I'm sure @Ryan W. Mueller would love me to dredge it up, hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe.
  13. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    I think this is true for any crowd sourced rating and review site. Like rate beer, yelp, beeradvocate, untappd, good reads, Amazon, yahoo and the crowdsourced section of legitimate review sites, metacritic, rotten tomatoes,

    Too many reviewers with invested interests. Giving reactionary 5 stars, or flooding the review sites with 5 stars before release to increase demand for a rare product and the black market price as well (rare beer has a black market community right now) or giving 1 star to competitors.

    Too many reviews done by people who think it's an occupation.

    Too many reviews by people who have no idea what they are doing.

    Too many overreaction reviews ( that guy who only rates things as a 1 star or a 5 star.)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  14. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Yeah, you still need to fix that review. For some reason, you clicked one one-star instead of five. ;)

    And then somebody copy/pasted their one-star review over your five-star review.

    But, hey, at least we agree that A Memory of Light was awesome.
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  15. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I kind of want to make an 'it was me, Dio' joke here.
  16. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    To be honest - I don't visit Goodreads for the reviews. I find it hard to trust a site that enables reviews of books which do not even have a publishing date yet - it's just ridiculous.

    I am using this site, Reddit, a local fantasy review site, recommendations from real life or Facebook friends and that's usually it. I am also trying to stay away from any kind of spoilers about the books I am interested in( I even avoid the blurb most of the times), so I am very picky when it comes to sources of recommendations. For fantasy that is. I don't dabble in Amazon or Goodreads reviews - the people writing those might have a completely different taste compared to my own, so I keep to a few well-trusted sources of information instead. At least I know where my personal taste differs from the taste of my recommendation sources, I can adjust accordingly. It works quite well.

    Recently I am trying to read some YA, mainly for research purposes for my writing career and I use booktubers there - their reviews come a little bit cheesy, but YA is a lot cheesy, so it's only natural.

    The only time I am going to use Goodreads as a source of relevant info is when I google "Books similar to The Kingkiller Chronicles, etc" and it sends me to some of their forum threads, and I know the info there would be to the point.

    I love their quotes system, but everything else is kind of over-whelming or flimsy, and it's not very useful for a person who picks his books the way I do mine.
  17. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    New trend I've noticed: women hating on fantasy books where female characters don't do somersaults and easily overpower men for no good reason.

    Their 1 star feminist fueled reviews end up on the front page just as often as the 5 star reviews that some post before even reading it.

  18. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    There has also been a spate of these recently for Bakker's books where the assumption is made that they're inherently misogynistic but where the reviewer hasn't even read the book.
  19. Noob

    Noob A Muggle

    Check out this crazy lady, insulting people calling them beta cucks, and arguing with the author.

    How embarrassing

  20. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    He's making a mistake engaging in discussion of her review, regardless of who's 'right' here. He's an author of the book, and what he's doing is counterproductive.
    Reviews are there
    1) as personal opinions - she's just a person somewhere, not a professional reviewer getting payed.
    2) as a resource for other potential readers to decide on whether they should read a book

    I see this and I come to 2 conclusions.
    She hasn't learned what it means to be concise and to the point and is a big fan of rambling. He is incredibly unprofessional arguing with his reader on why they have the wrong opinion on his book.

    At this point it doesn't even matter who's wrong or right. I just see petty internet squabbling, fragile egos on both sides. So basically same as 90% of internet discussions.

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