Reading 1 Star Reviews of My Favourite Books

It’s about time I hopped on this bandwagon and read some bad reviews of my favourite books! I don’t know about you, but I hate writing bad reviews. I feel terrible because I understand all of the hard work, love and time that goes into writing, and I end up feeling guilty or worried that I’ve missed something that makes that book special. Nevertheless, when I’m reviewing books, I always give my honest opinion, and I want others to feel the same and not pressured into liking something because it’s popular. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, and I was curious to see to why people hated some of my favourite books if anything these comments made me smile and laugh!

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Surprise surprise, it wouldn’t be a favourites post without including a bit of Sanderson! It’s no secret that I absolutely adore this series, even though it emotionally ruined me. I love everything from the well-written characters to the wonderfully unique magic system, and this book will forever be my one true love. So before reading some bad reviews, I prepared myself for the worst, but out of the 448,957 ratings on Goodreads, only 4000 of them were one-star reviews, so I didn’t feel that heartbroken!

Queasifying amalgam of bad theology, clichés, and preposterous action sequences, set in a bland, quasi-medieval monoculture. Don’t believe the hype.

‘Bland’ is not a word I’d use to describe Sanderson’s world-building and storytelling! I will admit things get a little intense at times and that this book is packed full of epic action sequences, prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster. I know that I hype this book up A LOT, but I’d have to disagree with this comment because this series deserves all the hype and praise!

This book would have benefited from having no characters. […] Every character without exception is, at best, a cardboard cutout without a spark of intelligence or an independent emotional life.

These characters are some of my favourites, they’re all so well developed, brilliantly heroic and unique in their own way! Don’t get me started on Vin, Kell and Marsh, I just love these three so much, and I could easily spend the rest of this post gushing about them! If we’re sticking to the paper inspired metaphor, then these characters are far from ‘cardboard cutouts’ instead they’re beautifully intricate origami masterpieces.

Mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Plot: A band of thieves spends 676 pages frowning, sighing, and raising their eye browns at each other.

I can’t deny that there’s lots of sighing and eyebrow raises, but I’d be doing the same if I had to keep up with Kell and the groups ambitious plans!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is one of those books, you either love it or hate it, so I wasn’t surprised to see a few more bad reviews!

This book was incorrectly marketed. It should have been sold as a sleeping aid because it is so blimmin’ dull. I fell asleep on five separate occasions while reading this. It bored me that much!!

If you’re looking for a fast-paced magical circus-inspired adventure, then you’re better off reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber, but what makes this book special is its magical and sparkling prose. Morgenstern takes you by the hand and transports you to the beautiful and enchanting world of Le Cirque des Rêves, it’s a place made from limitless dreams and a wonderful imagination!

I feel like I was tricked into reading a young adult novel that was written for no reason other than to have the screenplay bought by Tim Burton. […] It seems like the author ran out of adjectives about one-third into the book.

The whole black-and-white colour scheme and whimsically gloomy tone of the book definitely gives me Tim Burton vibes and I’d give anything to watch an adaptation of this book!

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I read this book the summer before starting university and fell utterly in love, and then discovered that we would be studying as a part of my degree. I was over the moon when I saw it on the reading list and it’s fair to say that I proudly dominated that seminar!

One star is not a bad enough review in my opinion. I hated this book with a passion. In fact, after reading the last page I threw it against the wall! The title is a lie, the whole book is a lie. I truly believe that the only reason this book became a best seller is because Hollywood hyped it up.

I will admit that there were a couple of occasions where I wanted to throw this book against the wall out of frustration, but it was that frustration that only fuelled my emotional attachment to this story. If you don’t fancy reading the book, then be sure to check out the beautifully shot adaptation, it’s stunning, and the casting is spot on! If you have watched the film then, please can we take a moment to appreciate the costumes, I have a strong emotional attachment to Kiera Knightly’s green dress, and I’d give anything to have one of my own!

I hated Briony. She’s right up there with Fanny Price, Bella Swan, Professor Umbridge and Lydia Bennet. […] My One-Star is for Robbie, and Robbie alone, because he is the only redeeming factor in this novel despite his inability to a) check his correspondence one last time before sealing the envelope and b) realise that if you give a child a letter to deliver they will almost certainly read it, so it’s better to hand deliver it.

I wasn’t originally Briony’s biggest fan, but after writing my dissertation on her and the trauma that haunted her childhood, I can see a different side to her that makes me understand her actions. I am by no means forgiving her for her actions, but I don’t think she’s on the same level as Umbridge! As for Robbie, I agree that A LOT could have been avoided if he’d just hand-delivered the letter himself!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

There’s so much hype around this book and it’s now a booktok/bookstagram staple, so I’m sure lots of readers go into this books with high expectations. This book left me in awe and I just want to re-read it again and again.

I hated pretty much everything about this. The only reason I didn’t DNF was because I wanted to watch them die suffering and begging for death. The main characters, that is.

I knew the story. I knew what was going to happen. But the enchanting quality in Millers prose lures us into the comfort of caring for these characters. The emotions shared between Achilles and Patroclus are profoundly physical, and those last five chapters tore the heart from my chest, leaving me empty and alone. I’m still unable to full comprehend my thoughts and emotions about this book but its fair to say that it has earned its place as one of my all time favourites.

I wasn’t four pages into this before I renamed it in my head as ‘The Worst Published Fanfic Ever.’ Granted, I haven’t yet read Fifty Shades of Grey, so that is liable to change. 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey, and The Song of Achilles is 10000% better! Also there’s nothing wrong with fanfiction!

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – 12 Days of Blogmas

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This is my favourite book of the year and it baffles me that it’s taken me so long to write a glistening review about it. I read this whilst I was on holiday and devoured this book in under 48 hours, everything about it is incredible. One of my favourite storylines are ones that involve a good old fashioned heist and/or improbable plan that is cloaked in magic and mystery, a plot that this book captures beautifully.  So if you’re a fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows then this book will be right up your street.

It’s been four months since I read this book and I’m still not over it. Sanderson’s writing style pulls you into the wonderful world he has created and will have you standing side by side with all his characters as they battle through everything that comes their way. You never know what to expect with this book, it’s intense, action-packed and filled with so many twists and turns making it an unpredictable and suspenseful adventure. But brace yourselves as this book will break your heart and try and put it back together as well as bringing you on a journey of that will have you experiencing every emotion under the sun. I recommend you have the tissues ready…

The whole concept of burning metals in order to access special powers is just so clever and intresting. We are given so much detail about this world and it honestly blows my mind just how intricate everything is. Some of my favourtie scenes were those that involved Vin training with the other characters and learning how to master the different elements of her power.

Brandon Sanderson is also a master at creating a cast of in-depth and unique characters that you cannot help but love. The book is told in the third person and focuses mainly on the characters of Vin and Kelsier. Vin is an amazing character and heroine who we are given the pleasure of joining on her realistic journey of discovery and throughout the entire book, I just felt so connected to her. Don’t even get me started on Kelsier, every time he appeared in a scene I got so excited because I just love him so much. He was everything you’d want in a protagonist he was clever, brave, funny, determined and just perfect.

If I had to read one book for the rest of my life then it would probably be this one, and I know that’s a bold statement but I honestly love this book so much. Please make sure this book is on your TBR for the New Year, I promise that you won’t regret it. If you’ve already read it then I’d really love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I’m desperate to find someone who loves this book as much as me!