GoodReads is a Paradox

12 Sep

Post: 2/17

There are few things in life that consistently shock me over and over again. That incredibly short list has a large star next to finding out someone hates a book I love. It baffles me. How anyone could hate a book that I love t is just bizarre. You have to wonder what goes through their head as compared to yours. Is it even possible that someone could disdain a  piece of literature as much as you love it? It’s likely the most dysfunctional paradox ever.

The reason I bring this up is because my dearest bookish friend just finished FIRE by Kristin Cashore the other day. And oh my goodness I am absolutely in LOVE with that book. I love everything about it; the characters, the plot, the moral, the world building. It’s all simply genius and I was so excited to have my friend read it. It’s a beautiful piece of writing and I couldn’t wait to rave and rant about it with her when she was finished.

So, I decided to GoodReads creep today.

And what I found was astonishing. She’d finished the book… and she’d given it TWO STARS. TWO STARS! Was that even legal? I was sure she’d miss-clicked, but no, her review said she’d given it as much. When I asked her about it she just kind of waved it off, “It was alright” she said. And this is where I’m dumbfounded.

I just think it’s funny how one book, the SAME book can get such opposite reactions from two seemingly similar people. My bookish friend is indeed quit similar to myself. In fact we are often told that we are “the same person” (jokingly of course) it doesn’t help that we say things in unison at times or finish each others sentences. And it’s like that all across the board. People all have a varied reaction to every novel. Matched by Allie Condie for instance. FAILURE. JUST FAILURE if you ask me, but there were plenty of people who gave her a five-star review!


Because readers bring something to a novel that the author can never expect. An X factor that changes with each one. A readers past experiences, values, and knowledge, all effect how the book is read and in turn experienced and received. The reason people hate books you love or love books you hate is because they see something you don’t or don’t see something you do in the text. When people say it’s all about how you look at things they are right as rain.

This my friends, is why GoodReads is a Paradox.

So go ahead and tell me about books your friends hate and you love or vice versa!


5 Responses to “GoodReads is a Paradox”

  1. quix689 September 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I know how you feel! One of my favorite books is Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. So many people absolutely loathe that book, due in large part to how “unrealistic” the main character is, but she is, to this day, the only character I’ve ever read that describes me almost to a tee. She has her faults, yes, and I share many of them, but that’s part of what made me love her so much. I could just to understand everything she did, even the parts that seemed to contradict themselves. I love that book. Yet almost every review I’ve read about it is from someone who hated it. It’s rather depressing.

    And I agree on Matched. I’m not sure what I eventually ended up rating that one, but it wasn’t nearly as good as everyone seemed to think. I also thought Starters by Lissa Price was so unbelievably boring, but almost every reviewer I’ve seen seems to love it.

    That’s what makes books great, though. The same book can influence people in such vastly different ways. 🙂

  2. lilacandivy September 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    You didn’t like Matched??? I would be interested to know why, if you care to share. 😀 I liked it although I must admit the second book grew a tad wearisome near the end since the main characters analyze everything and… have a lot of thoughts.

  3. gabriellan September 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    I hesitate to mention this, because I’m afraid thinking about it will give me high blood pressure one day.

    But a book that I absolutely hate and cannot understand why anyone would even remotely like is Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer. The ending made me so mad I threw the book across the room. Literally. That’s a big deal for me because a) desecrating books is sacrilege and b) I’m very careful with library books. But it made me that mad because Andrea Cremer took the easy way out of a corner she’d backed herself into.

    But I won’t rant. The thing that made me the most upset was that I read a couple of non-spoiler reviews beforehand in order to prepare myself for the end of the trilogy, and people said it was good! Unbelievable! And I’m ending this comment here because I’m getting mad all over again.

  4. Kylie September 17, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Matched was…meh. Well. It was okay, but I didn’t love it. And I think she could have done a lot more with it than she did, and I’m really getting tired of whiny heroines and first-person voices.
    I ADORE Fire, though…and Graceling. And I just read Bitterblue and it was SPECTACULAR.


  1. Bitterblue Review by Kirstin Cashore « NOVEL IDEAS - October 14, 2012

    […] it came out, and absolutely ADORED it. Fire, in fact is one of my favorite novels of all time (despite what others may say) and when I found out that Bitterblue was hitting the shelves i was […]

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