Bookish Rant or Raves: Negative Review or Personality Disorder?

Filed in Bookish Rant or Raves , Charlaine Harris , Draconismoi , featured , J.K Rowling Posted on May 8, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 12 comments

Dany-dragons-game-of-thrones-dragons-31085573-800-474I fervently adore negative reviews.  A negative review provides the perfect framework to fully interact with a book. That pissed off reviewer hates things about a book that I loved, is outraged by something I completely missed, or shares in the absurdity of the so-called worldbuilding the author alleges to have undertaken.


On any given day, I have to listen to an abusive oil lineman convince a Judge that the wife cut the brakes in her own car, or a Napoleonic landlord claim it was a violation of the lease for a family to light a fire in the fireplace in Alaska in the winter.

I want to read something cathartic; wherein the assholes get what’s coming to them. Alternately, I’m interested in something that gives me hope for the human condition. Either/Or. When I don’t get that…..

I. Am. Pissed.

But I fly right passed pissed into furious when I start getting shit for DARING TO HAVE AN OPINION.

Based on the imbalance of comments on my posts I suspect many of you prefer the pissed-off dragon to the enthusiastic one. Thank you internet for providing me an audience accepting of my never-ending snark and frequent outbursts of rage. (Seriously people, do any of you read my positive reviews?)

Raise your hand if you thought Harry Potter needed a good smack!

I don’t even need to fully read a book to express my firm opinions on it. I remember when the last Harry Potter book came out. I hadn’t read any of them since the abysmal 5th book.

In Harry Potter And The Contrivalitious Ending, Snape’s presumably complex motivations to work as an utterly reviled triple-agent in order to defend a pseudo-egalitarian society are retconned as a wish that he got to hit that back in high school.

Are you fucking kidding me? In the man’s entire life, he never associated with any magnificent adult women who were able to demonstrate the pathetic emptiness of his obsession with a teenage twit who had shit taste in men. (Raise your hand if you noticed James Potter was nothing more than an abusive jock!)

When I discovered this little development (thank you internet spoilers), I shared my outrage with my compatriots. At which point I got slammed by the fangirls.* How could I have forgotten the unquestioned perfection of the Fridged Mother?**

Which leads me to the current novel-induced internet shitstorm. The End of Sookie Stackhouse. (YAYAYAYAY It’s over!) In which Sookie’s Precious Magic Fairy Vagina ends up with something Southern-Fried instead of Viking-Shaped.

Let us now consider the different between a negative review, such as those referenced above, and a personality disorder.

In general, having a personality disorder means you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving no matter what the situation. This leads to significant problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work and school.

Let’s be unambiguously clear. Threatening suicide because the author did not write the Magic Fairy Wedding you wanted is a sign that you need immediate medical intervention. As in medication coupled with 24 hour sight/sound supervision. And you probably shouldn’t be consuming any entertainment more complex than My Little Pony.


This is you, Sookie Fandom.

If you have a problem with the ending, go write your own fucking book. It doesn’t have to be well-written or original to make you rich. Cassandra Clare and E.L. James proved that. (Derivative and plagiarized fan fiction ftw! I’m trying to speak in their fan-bases’ language. How did I do?)

In the meantime, I would be open to discussing any opinions people have on Sookie’s character’s new-found ability to permanently exit an abusive relationship in favor of something less likely to end in her brutal rape, torture, and murder. Be warned, I am not a fan and will drag Sookie through as much mud as her long-lost cousins over in Laurel K Hamilton’s world.***

*One of said fangirls was a very close friend. She pissed me off to the point that I didn’t talk to her for a month with all her bullshit. When she became a Twilight fangirl we chose to adroitly evade the topic entirely.

**Fangirls were noticeably silent on my mocking of the names of Harry Potter’s Purported Spawn.

***Not that I’m implying Anita would be rolling around in anything less than 75% santorum.

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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  • blodeuedd May 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I looove negative reviews, why, well duh. There is no book, I mean NO book in the entire world that everyone loves. So if I only see positive reviews I will avoid it like the plague. Neg reviews say so much, and they also say if I still might like it

    • draconismoi May 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      I’m okay with glowing adoration (I do some of that myself), but I have trouble bothering with a book if it is a bunch of sold 3 stars. All the “It was nice” reviews.

      There is nothing worse than apathy. GIVE ME PASSION AND RAGE. That will tell me if I should care about a book series.

      • Marlene May 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

        I had to hunt to see where you had glowingly adored something. it doesn’t happen often.

        I find that lots of things are 4 stars. Or B’s. Whatever. They’re really, really good, but there’s this one niggly thing that keeps them from awesome. As in up until midnight on a work night awesome. Or set my iPad on fire smoking hot awesome Whatever.

        Harry Potter did sometimes need a good smack. I also thought that the butcher’s bill in the last battle was too high, and that it was extremely convenient that EVERY character with even a slight tinge of gray in his background died. All black or white. Remus AND Tonks! That was overkill. One or the other, not both.

        Hermione was too smart to stay with Weasley, too. There has to have been more intelligent wizards available for her to marry. More intelligent doorstops, even.

        You SAID you wanted passion and rage.

        • draconismoi May 8, 2013 at 9:19 pm

          Ugh, that was the worst part of the stupid epilogue. I wanted to know WHAT everyone was doing, not WHOM.

          I do love books! It’s just hard to write about adoration. Rage comes easier to me. Even this post was hard, I started off all enraged, and then I found the Dead Ever After Tumbler where people were ripping Bill and Sookie apart (hee!), and all my rage turned to detached amusement…..


  • Susan May 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I like reading negative reviews, even passionately negative reviews, either before or after I’ve read a book. Not everybody likes (or should like) the same thing and I like to see other points of view. As you note, someone might bring up a point that completely passed me by at the time. Sometimes I say to myself, “OMG, how could I have missed that? Ugh!” Other times I’m just, ” Eh. That’s not something that pushes my buttons.” I’ve bought books *because* of negative reviews–someone else’s pet peeve might be something I really like. 🙂

    Passion is great, but what annoys me is when a reviewer takes a position that anyone who does/does not like a particular book is a moron.

    • Draconismoi May 9, 2013 at 1:05 am
      • Susan May 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

        I kinda liked that Slytherin girl.

        I think I read 2 of the HP books, and never could get into Twilight. I kept thinking I MUST be missing something about them since so many other people loved them. I had a (adult) stranger in the grocery line just start extolling the virtues of Twilight out of the blue. It made me sad in a way–why couldn’t I feel that way about the book (or ANY book) to the point where I’d start preaching to strangers? (I know, it was a bad book, but the point is I envied her zeal.) And my older sister is such a hardcore HP fan that it’s not even funny–but she’s never told me (to my face) that I’m a moron for not liking them.

        But I guess that’s why I like the negative reviews–yay for feeling something/anything that strongly.

        • draconismoi May 9, 2013 at 3:01 am

          Hah! Yes, I love the Slytherin girl. She is the reason I watch the Ask Hogwarts videos.

  • Susan May 9, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Possible spoiler below.

    I posted elsewhere that I read the Sookie book yesterday and was satisfied with it. Not the best, but an ok final book. She ended up with the person I expected she would–she wanted kids and a normal, small-town life and this was the most likely person she’d get that with. That said, I loved the last paragraph where she said she’d be ok even if it didn’t work out.

    The storylines in these books got more silly and convoluted (heck, even CH couldn’t keep things straight), but I found that they weren’t the real reason I kept reading anyway. I just really liked Sookie’s voice and her views on human (and not-so-human) nature. She never lost her joy in the small things in life, or a sense of wonder about the extraordinary things she experienced. I’ll miss her observations and unique turns of phrase.

    • Draconismoi May 9, 2013 at 1:12 am

      See? This is a “meh” review. Sparking absolutely no interest in a flame war, or all-night reading session.

      Not that Charlaine Harris needs to worry about wallowing in obscurity, or a fandom that is not, ahem, vocal in their responses to her books – but think about it. If this offering had come a little earlier in the series, say book 2 or 3, it would have been received with resounding disinterest.

      • Susan May 9, 2013 at 1:37 am

        Yeah, this was not a series that evoked passion in me–no fiery love or hate. No flaming whatsoever. And I’ve never watched any of the tv series.

        • draconismoi May 9, 2013 at 3:05 am

          And now you have inspired a post on book-to-screen adaptations.

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