Imaginative Discussions: So Someone Didn’t Like the Book You Love

Posted July 29, 2015 by Lyn Kaye in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 21 Comments


I love you all. I have written many times on how the book community has actually helped mold me into a better person. I’m a lot more mature and open to different views. I no longer believe a disagreement is a personal insult. I am more aware and sensitive to social injustice. The blogging community gets a lot of heat, but there are a TON of good things that outweigh the bad things.

I have become so comfortable with the mature* –

*so mature

-atmosphere, that I often forget that there are others that are, let’s say, less bookishly evolved than us. Sadly, Goodreads and the internet still have its fair share of readers that are of the old mindset. I’ve been monitoring a few reviews on GR that have attracted the heathen readers, who shake their sticks and hurl rocks at those who dare to disagree with them. For the sake of research, I have compiled a list of things to do when someone does not like your favorite book, medieval-style.

Border Leaf

Get Angry. Very, Very Angry.

Like, you need to get FURIOUS. Use caps and a lot of exclamation points. Don’t even pay attention to your grammar – the message will be very clear. “YOU ARE WRONG, H8R.” If you are not unhinged with pure rage, then how are you going to defend your beloved book and smite this mean person? They’re only giving the book one star because of RATINGS.

Insult Anything and Everything.

Target, check. Anger, check. Disillusions that you are the only correct person on the site, check.

You see that 1-star rating and you are foaming at the mouth. You’re ready for book battle! Go get ’em, tiger!

First, you have to prepare for your eye-opening rant. Go to the reviewer’s profile and get everything you can about the person. Now you are armed for the war! Time to go teach that bully a lesson!

Find the review again. More than likely it has a lot of likes. People are so MEAN! And if anyone else agrees with this h8r, tell them that they need to make up their own minds and read the book for themselves! These people didn’t make an informed decision! They need to hear from YOU before they make their own decisions!

Declare War on This H8r.

Insult their name, their gender, their overall rating, their intelligence, their dog, their friends ANYTHING to teach them a lesson. If you liked the book, then there is no way someone else has another opinion! That is not an option! There is no possible way this book can be disliked by anyone! You read it and you loved it! That other person needs to shut up and instantly know that they won’t like a book before they read it! Simple logic!


Now the mean reviewer’s friends have swooped in to try to point out the error of your ways. Whatever. These are sock puppet accounts by that h8r. Start napalming the thread. You could do this all day. You need that review to come down. Difference of opinion? No such thing! A thoughtful, well-explained review does NOT MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT THEY RATED THE BOOK WITH ONE STAR! YOU WILL FIGHT THEM ALL TO THE DEATH.

Post The Same Reply Several Times.

They’ll get the point! Lob your insults, I mean, your wisdom at those trolls like this is D-Day! Repetition is the key here! They just keep COMING! “Respect” and “logic” have no place here in the foxholes of reading! That one star reviewer is going DOWN. Don’t forget to try to belittle someone’s reply. You know what is and isn’t a good book. No one else does, except for the people that agree with you.

Make A Few New Friends. And By Friends, I Mean Sock Puppets.

That h8r blocked you! They are taking away your freedom of speech! You are silenced! Time for our good friends at Hotmail to help out. Adding a few numerals to the end of your name, and voila! You can continue the fight! Also, when you sign back up for the book site, make sure you use a foreign country as the location. That will throw them off!

Return to the Battlefield.


Publicly Meltdown.

ARAJIANGVNOehwhegu1jashbwhrghewghadnfb kaebr

Get Bored, or Smarter, or Both.

Now you’re sick of making all of those accounts and fighting with all of those haters. You used the “friends” you made to rate the book with 10 or so 5-star ratings. That will show them.

You get an e-mail.

Sadly, your sock puppets have been reported for violation of service.

No one respects your freedom of religion and the first, or second, or third (you often forget) amendment! This is against the LAW!!!1!!one!

You go back and delete as many comments as you can from the thread because that stupid circle keeps popping up in the corner, and it seems that the mean old hag reviewer has made a lot more sock puppets, because there are pages upon pages where people are saying you are wrong. For attacking a person. When they deserved it! That is so unfair.

Leave one last comment and make it passive aggressive: “Whatever, have a good life. bye.”

There, mission accomplished!

See the Light – Come to Our Side. We Have Kitten Pictures and Boob Jokes!

Many of us have had our voices attempted to be silenced, diminished or mocked. Reading and then sharing your thoughts is such a wonderful experience, but as with many things in life, there are always a handful that want to ruin it for everyone. Luckily, this type of interaction makes up a small part of hobby reviewing, but it can sap you emotionally and bring down your spirits.

The booksphere is very rich with diversity, and there are so many great reviews of books, positive and negative. A positive review is so fun to read when the reviewer posts gifs and all-caps words. A low-starred rating can turn into a discussion or point out problems that might have been missed the first time around. A mix of high and low ratings can drum up more publicity for a book than a whole slew of positive reviews.

For those of you who face this type of person every day, know that there are those who will support you. Grab a friend, have a Twitter conversation, and keep your heads held high. We’re always here, just a Twitter handle away, ready to embrace you and tell you how much you are loved.

Because you are all awesome.

Lyn Sig Plant

Have you had a bad experience with other people on a book site? How do you handle a misguided message about your reviews? How has the book community helped you grow? 

21 responses to “Imaginative Discussions: So Someone Didn’t Like the Book You Love

  1. That author that got made at me, in the end her friend was SO much worse. So yeah, I have experienced it. Even if I liked the book and she liked the book, sigh. Such weird haters out there

  2. I have had this happen to me–once. It was on Amazon and, really, the book was just TERRIBLE. It remains the worst book I’ve reviewed on my blog! When I cross-posted it on Amazon, someone got VERY upset and went a little ballistic on it. Unfortunately, I initially responded (although I did remain unemotional and all and said something along the lines of “to each their own,” but the person in question said she was going to go down vote all of my reviews EVERYWHERE so that no one would ever listen to my vitriol again. Yeah, good luck with that.

    I did have another bizarre experience, also on Amazon, where someone used something I said in one review against me in another. I had written a not-bad (but not stellar) review on “Lean In,” where I mentioned that I appreciated that Sandberg didn’t malign women, like me, who made the choice to stay home with their kids. I later wrote another review (a positive one) on a book about raising strong girls and someone commented on that post that I as a blight on feminism for my choice. Again, whatever.

    Basically, I hold by the philosophy that we are judged by our own words and actions. If someone wants to go off the rails about something I wrote, let them. It says nothing about me.
    Melinda recently posted…Book Review: “The Interestings” by Meg WolitzerMy Profile

    • WOW. I am so sorry that you had this experience. This phenomenon has caused me to do some research in the harmful effects of pushing the entire “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” approach. We need to change that saying. Nice should be swapped out with useful. All of this fascination has lead me to quite a few articles where the author points out that, in certain situations and work environments, “nice” is going to cripple you or a project. How is “being nice” going to help someone with a horrible idea? They don’t need nice, they need honest. I’m so sick of “nice” taking a higher priority than “honest”.
      When you have something to say that is honest and not so nice, you are just a “hater” and a troll. It is so frustrating!
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: July Wrap-UpMy Profile

  3. Sigh, I’ve experienced this just twice, luckily, but the first time was the worst because the troll was someone I knew in “real life.” It makes me so angry. What do they think we will do? Do they think we’re going to suddenly change our opinions just because their words are “sacred”? And trolls in positive reviews are just as common. It’s sad how people are sometimes.
    Vane recently posted…Review: My Swordhand Is SingingMy Profile

    • They knew you IRL?! What the actual hell?

      Yes, a lot of people like to control others, and this is the easiest way to do so. I have found that a lot of people who argue and bully others have a lot of issues with control. It has become much easier to brush off these people, because it is more of a problem with them, not me. It helps to vent about it, and some of the reviews on GR spurred me to take a really crappy situation and try to put a humorous spin on it. Because laughter, at times, really is the best remedy.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: July Wrap-UpMy Profile

  4. Firstly: Colin Firth is life, great use of gifs, you have reignited my love for him, yay!

    Secondly: no, I’ve never (so far) suffered anything like this and I find it very wrong that I consider myself very lucky in this aspect. I don’t think I have enough followers or people that care about my opinion (boohoo) to really get it anywhere into the authors sights on Goodreads, you know? And I seriously hated some books – man, I ripped one book apart on Goodreads and was ready for the wrath, but no, I got nothing, and kudas to that author, my review would hurt them if they saw, but it’s an opinion in the end, and a lot of authors respect this.

    I did however find this hilarious to read, and it was so right too, so so right, and I’m sorry for all the bloggers that have suffered as part of this – it must suck, and I feel very lucky! Great post Lyn!
    Amanda @ Nellie and Co. recently posted…How To Change Your Blog Post URL (Blogger Only)My Profile

    • HE IS SO HOT IN THAT MOVIE! Like, I CAN’T EVEN. I love a man with thick glasses, an accent, and a nicely tailored suit. Lyn pron, right there.

      I am so happy to hear that you have avoided this. I have only had this happen a handful of times (one was over a THREE STAR REVIEW). I hope that you never have to deal with this. I get so upset when I see it happen to another reviewer or blogger. I am so not okay with that.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: July Wrap-UpMy Profile

  5. I have only experienced a hater once, but luckily it didn’t get too out of control. There was an adult book I read that I did not enjoy. In my Amazon review, I said that while the writing was beautiful, I found the plot to be a bit boring. Then someone commented and said she noticed I read a lot of young adult books. She said that I couldn’t appreciate “good” literature. Man that made me mad. I don’t understand why people have to get so up in arms just because someone disagrees.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: You And Me And Him by Kris DinnisonMy Profile

    • UGH. There was another reviewer who had someone dismiss her opinion on an adult book when she stated that she mostly read YA books. She was told that her opinion couldn’t be taken seriously.

      It makes me terribly sad to see Adult vs YA reader battles. There are so many articles and discussions that tear down adults that read YA. I wish we were over book shaming. I want people just to read what they like.

      I’m sorry that this happened to you. Hopefully it will be the LAST time.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: July Wrap-UpMy Profile

  6. I’ve never had to deal with a hater. Maybe because I refuse to full-out bash a book. I like to keep my reviews critical and civil; in a way that won’t anger people or get the die-hard fans plotting my physical pain 😉

    People like to hide behind the anonymity of the internet and forget that there are real people on the other side. It always seems silly to me that people get so rattled by people disliking something so subjective as reading. No two people ever read the same book so I don’t take it personally when someone else disagrees with my review. I take into consideration their opinion and respect it. It may disagree with it but I’m not going to attack them for it. To each their own!
    SERIESous Book Reviews recently posted…Monthly Inventory: July 2015My Profile

    • There are people who are always going to get angry at someone’s opinion. I know that we have had at least 2 3-star reviews here that were very balanced that were attacked by people and authors. Also, low star ratings for a book isn’t “bashing” a novel. There are a lot of beautifully written lower rating reviews that are better than some 5 star reviews.

      The big issue is that people do forget that there is someone behind the screen – I totally agree on this! It is like road rage, but worse. I wish more people would take the “to each their own” approach. That would make the book sphere so much better. I love reading different ratings of a book. It gives me a well-rounded view and it causes me to think about some of the points. 🙂
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: July Wrap-UpMy Profile

      • You bring up a good point! I realize I didn’t clearly articulate what I meant with the first part of my post (“full-out bash”) because you’re right: there are always going to be haters out there and low stars aren’t “bashing” a novel either.

        I think most of the time when I see people really hating on other people’s reviews, the reviews are the ones that don’t give reasons for disliking a book or, even worse, they attack the readers who do like the book. That’s what I mean by “full out bash”.

        But why someone has got to hate on someone for writing a logical review (regardless of stars/rating) that is nothing but civil will always baffle me :S I suppose we just don’t like taking criticism (it’s always awkward when an author reads your slightly negative review and comments on it in a passive aggressive kind-of manner; I’ve had that happen once)
        SERIESous Book Reviews recently posted…Monthly Inventory: July 2015My Profile

        • I see your point! I figured that this was a discussion that needed to go a little bit deeper. I think one of the issues stems from the Be Nice frame of mind, but I worry that being “nice” is shutting down some important conversations. I ripped apart a book recently for a scene that I felt was supporting rape culture, and I wasn’t nice about it, because that kind of topic in books worries me quite a bit, considering the main audience. There are times when things can go a bit far. One of the main things I want to see is honesty. If a book honestly made you that angry, then go at it. But if you are shredding a book dishonestly for the votes, then that isn’t beneficial to the blogsphere.
          Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Delicate MonstersMy Profile

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