Not to be crass or anything, but opinions are like assholes. EVERYONE HAS ONE.
So why do people constantly assume that their opinion is “right?” That their opinion is the only one acceptable to have? I feel this way about everything in life – opinions are just that. People need to learn the difference between fact and opinion. But today I’m going to discuss this in the bookish world.
A while back, Asti @ Oh, the Books! made the post There is no “perfect” book or “right” rating. It really resonated with me, because it’s something that has crossed my mind countless times. One of her points was:
- Someone comments on a person’s review (whether Goodreads or blog) and argues how that person is wrong in their rating.
I’m going to elaborate on this particular point, because it’s something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a LONG time.
I am a very, VERY honest rater and reviewer. If I hate something, I’m going to say so in a vocal and blunt manner. Sometimes even sarcastically (that’s just who I am!). I will never disrespect the author, but the book is fair game. Apparently, it pisses people off. (Not that I’m new to pissing people off with voicing my opinions.)
First of all, if you’re putting something on the market, you have to be open to criticism. Not everyone is going to like the same thing. There is probably NOTHING in this entire universe that every single person likes. There will always be someone somewhere that doesn’t like it. You can’t please everyone. Yes, I understand that books are the authors’ “babies” because they spent so much time and effort writing them. I wrote a book once – I get it. I do. BUT. When you publish a book you have to let the negative reviews roll off of your back. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even read the reviews in the first place. Reviews are for consumers, not authors.
I digress. I got a little off track there, because that wasn’t the point of this discussion. (I just feel very passionate about this topic, okay?!)
My main point is this: I have a particular review of mine that receives a LOT of inflammatory, sometimes outright rude comments. My review of Zom-B by Darren Shan. I despised that book so much that I couldn’t bear to finish it. I did skim to the end, finding out the “twist” of the story, but it still didn’t make all of the horrible things that the MC did acceptable. It was an abrasive story in my opinion. But, Darren Shan fans are apparently hardcore. I cannot tell you how many comments I received on Goodreads and my blog (back on ASR on Blogger, so they are no longer accessible), calling me “dumb” for not understanding, saying I was “wrong,” etc. Comment after comment. Even the author himself commented to try to explain what he was trying to do with the story. He was polite, but it was still very awkward. It got to the point that any time I’d get a notification of a new comment on that review I would sigh and roll my eyes, thinking, “Oh boy, now who’s going to call me stupid?” It got to the point that I almost thought about taking the review down just so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore.
I should not have to feel ashamed for my opinion.
I always, always give specific reasons with examples for why I don’t like something. And, there’s things that may irritate me that may not irritate others. It all goes back to that one word: opinion. That’s all it is! I don’t understand why people take it so freaking personally when you hate a book that they loved. If you see a review like that, even if it ticks you off, LEAVE IT ALONE. It’s fucking ignorant to comment and tell someone that they’re stupid or wrong for not liking something.
Has this ever happened to anyone else?