Ok y’all, I’m back with more review reactions. It seems I’m not the only one who enjoyed my reactions to one-star reviews of books I loved, so now I’m going to post some reactions to 5-star reviews of books I hate.
As before, I might not always post a full review if it’s long and I’m not going to name any names here. I’m pulling from LibraryThing, Goodreads and Amazon.
Prepare yourself for a lot of caps. Also, I’ve linked some of my rants, for those of you who enjoy them.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I figured I’d start with a wildly popular book that I totally detest. If you’re new around here, you might not have seen me refer to Throne of Ass, but I tend to bring it – and my hatred for it – up any chance I get. The book pretty much sums up every reason why I dislike most YA books.
“Let me just clear things up. People are rating this book low because they don’t “like” Celaena, saying she’s “arrogant” or “self-centred” or “over-confident,” first of all, if Celaena were a guy, you’d be head-over-heels for her. But she’s a girl and now her story is being over-looked because, instead of drowning in self-pity, she decides to stand up, throw her hair over her shoulder and say “screw the world, I’m gonna survive.””
I don’t like Caeeealeaaeana because she doesn’t DO anything you’d expect the world’s best assassin to do! She spends her time flouncing around in dresses, napping, reading and swooning over cute boys. She never kills anyone! She’s barely aware of her surroundings because she’s too busy preening. If Celaeaeana were a guy, I’d STILL hate her just as much, but it would be more interesting to watch two boys swoon over him, comment on how thin and beautiful he is, notice how he’s still beautiful even when he’s dirty from the mines, and try to smooch him because he’s so beautiful. Also, this story is far from overlooked. People are eating this shit up.
“For once, she just happens to be an assassin. Not in a butch unkempt way (that would send princes and knights running… away) but in a girly-girl way, with lots of ruffles, and bodices and cushy things and passion for all the knickknacks. A refreshing approach, I must say. We’ve got more than our share of girls that kick butt for lunch, kick it for breakfast… Yawnfest. This one makes time for everything!”
Yikes. That butch comment doesn’t sit well with me. Look, I’ve got no problems with Cileaneaea being pretty and “girly”. It’s great that she enjoys the finer things in life. My issue is that we’re told approximately 1.5 billion times that, at the ripe age of 18, she’s the best assassin in the goddamn world, even after spending a year starving in a salt mine. Yet we never SEE her assassinate anyone and she hardly does anything badass. I’m not saying she needs to kick butt for lunch and breakfast (why not breakfast then lunch though?), but it’d be nice if I got the sense she could kick any ass prior to maybe the very last scene of the book. Also if you do know of any YA books where the heroine does actually kick a lot of ass, please, send the recs my way!
“Maas has painstaking developed 3-dimensional characters that are ever evolving, and that are relatable to all ages. She has also created an entirely new setting that is similar enough to other books of the same genre, like Hunger Games, yet it is entirely new & fresh.”
I’m not sure how relatable a “sexy” 18-year-old assassin is to “all ages.” Also, nothing stuck out to me about the setting AT ALL. Let alone anything NEW. Also also, I don’t see how something can be “entirely new and fresh” and yet still be similar to other YA fantasy books.
“I can relate to Celaena so much (not the part of being an assassin) but she’s just so snarky that it’s funny and she’s constantly eating and sleeping and she’s really just got a mind of her own.”
Oh yeah, characters who eat and sleep are totally relatable – funny how everyone does that (ok, or should) on a DAILY BASIS. #relatable
Black Lies by Alessandra Torre
I read this as part of my (weak) attempt to join my friend’s smutty book club. This turned out to be a disappointment for many of us, given the portrayal of mental illness in this book. I’m not a big romance/smut reader, but my issues with this book stem from the horrible writing and worse characters. UGH.
Omg the Goodreads reviews are so full of cheesy images and GIFs that it’s hard to even read the reviews.
“This is one of the most complete love stories I’ve ever read. It’s a standalone with a fully resolved, and heart-warming ending but with the way the story unfolds, you realize just how deep their love truly is….I felt like I was left with the strong message that if you never stop believing in it, love will always find a way and it will last forever.”
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how anyone could find this story heart-warming. I find it disturbing and I don’t think this story sheds a positive light on mental illness or the relationship that revolved around it.
“There is not a box that this story can fit into. It will stretch you, bend you to the point where you think you’ll break, it will turn you on and it will turn you inside out.”
The only thing that’s broken is this book. Maybe my stomach was turned inside out once I discovered the twist and what a cheap way it was used to portray the issue at hand.
This person refers to one of the main characters, Brant, as Grant…
“A wonderful roller coaster of emotion on this one. While the some may disagree with how some things are presented, it is a work of fiction and the author’s note explains exactly that.”
Of course it’s a work of fiction! That doesn’t mean we’ll all just like the book. My emotions were definitely only a roller coaster though. First I was intrigued, then I was mostly bored, then I was annoyed because I thought I’d guessed the twist and I figured, no way could it be that, then I was mad because oh yes, the twist was that.
The Gunslinger (Dark Tower) by Stephen King
My real issue here is the overall series. I didn’t love The Gunslinger, but was intrigued by the setting. However, the rest of the series was vastly different and I felt mislead by the first book. It was my own fault that I carried on an 8 book journey of misery and frustration. But I just kept thinking about how many people lose their minds over this series and I kept thinking I’d understand why. Turns out I never will.
“The main plot of the novel was interesting enough, but King decided to kick things up a notch. This novel just makes you thirst for more. Nothing seems adequate enough, and 6 more books plus 1 novella in the series seems like a good way to quench the thirst.”
Each book in this series left me thirsty for answers as to why everyone goes bananas over this series! 8 books is WAY too many. I was drowning in this awful series.
“But for the first timer – a lot of it will be just gibberish. And a lot of first timers will hate the ending or “non” ending and possibly curse the day King was born. That’s why I often suggest that virgin Tower Knights skip this book altogether. There’s nothing in the plot you actually need to start the journey. Because as a beginning this book is hopeless to the point where many will despair of the quest before its begun. But as a prequel this book is fantastic. It will be like returning to an old lover and discovering something deeper about their soul.”
If anyone told me to skip the first book in a series because there’s no necessary information in it, I’d never read that series. I’ve never seen a five-star review describe a book as being hopeless to the point of despair. This book isn’t an old lover, it’s your ex dragging all their baggage back into your life.
“He creates a universe, that slowly but surely was connected to most of his other books. It is amazing how all the bits and pieces of the other books fit into the Dark Tower series and you think `Yeah that’s how it should fit together.’”
Actually, I was thinking “shit, he’s crammed another book/reference into this asinine series?” then “omg no way did he just cram himself into this series too!”
The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee
This book sounded perfect for me and I loved the design, so I was even more disappointed when it turned out to be utter crap.
“I loved the language in which this story is written. It’s simple and clear, but beautiful and poetic at the same time.”
Nothing about this book was clear. I don’t know most of what the hell happened. In fact, many five-star reviews also mention that they have no idea what happened either (but loved it of course.)
“With this one I’m still a little bit mesmerised by it. It spun and weaved soo beautifully that I feel a little punch drunk with it.I can’t quite grasp what to write, it’s almost like it’s a ghost or a fairy that can only be seen out the corner of your eye; if you try and look at it head on, it disappears.”
I WISH this book would disappear.
“A wonderful book. A lovely book. A fairy tale of a book. Full of your worst fears. This book will pretend it is a lullaby and just as you are content within its embrace it will change into a monster, gouge your eyes and gobble your heart but still you will fall in love with it.”
This book IS my worst fear. I was never content for a moment. I was confused and frustrated. It was a monster from the start and there’s no love from me.
Lumiere by Jacqueline Garlick
Once I discovered the main character’s name was Eyelet (you know: a small round hole in leather or cloth for threading a lace, string, or rope through), all my expectations for this book disappeared. WOOF.
“Lumiére is a mystery wrapped in a mystery. It will have you clinging to every word, it will have you keeping notes as to try and solve the many mysteries that this book holds. It is a tale of two different people, from two different worlds, in search of cure. A cure for things the world, its people, believe is madness, broken, ugly. This book is one that should be read, studied.”
The first mystery is how the book was published and the second is why anyone likes it. I definitely think I should have taken notes to keep track of the sloppy magic system and arbitrary rules. Maybe it could be used in a study for how not to craft your world.
“I laughed. I cried. I cried even harder when I realized the book was over and I didn’t have the next one on hand to start reading!!! Ok…so I didn’t literally cry when the book ended, but I really was sad that it did.”
I cried tears of relief.
“Reading Lumiere is like riding your very first roller coaster. It was THRILLING! It made my gut churn! It made my soul LEAP! Garlick crafted an amazing tale with skillful use of dialogue, wit, detail, and imagery.”
My gut was churning because this book gave me a mix of such boredom and frustration that I couldn’t take it.
I think this post took me even longer to write than the previous one. I was really trying to find comments that had me feeling fired up. But, like me, many people find themselves just saying things like “wow, I loved this book!” I get it – when I love a book, it can be hard to go into detail. But man, when I dislike a book, I could go on for days. Funny how we’re wired, eh?
Hope you guys found this entertaining – if you did, let me know because I have another round of books I’m thinking I could react to reviews of.