If someone read and reviewed your diary, how many stars would it get? Well, it depends on how juicy and engaging the content is — according to some harsh critics on Goodreads, at least.
While perusing 1-star reviews of iconic books on Goodreads, writer Anna Fitzpatrick discovered something astonishing: scathing comments on Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Yes, the Anne Frank who chronicled life as a Jewish teen during the Holocaust in her now-famous wartime diary she fondly called “Kitty.”
“Do you ever log on and read 1-star Goodreads reviews of iconic books from people who missed the point just to remind yourself that nothing matters?” Fitzpatrick tweeted. (Nope, can’t say I have!)
1-star Goodreads reviews of the Diary of Anne Frank pic.twitter.com/IJErDGMk94
— Anna Fitzpatrick (@bananafitz) December 11, 2018
Of the two million reviews of The Diary of a Young Girl, published in 1952, most are positive. Yet two percent are 1-star. Why? According to the critics, Anne Frank complained too much.
“I realize that this book is supposed to be about the true suffering that took place during the Holocaust, but give me a break,” one user wrote. “The Franks and the others in the Annex were practically living in luxury! All Anne did was complain…Anne: shut up. You whine too much and, really, too much information.”
Another 1-star reviewer resented having had to read Anne’s diary in school. “It’s maybe the most boring, least interesting book I’ve ever heard anyone rave about,” he wrote. “Hell, I think my OWN journal is boring, let alone some stranger’s diary.” He recommended the diary for “very bored people who love WW2 material.” Sounds like someone didn’t excel in history class!
Of the 52,000 1-star reviews, my favorite comes from a woman who couldn’t even finish the book.
“Don’t you ever pick this book, don’t start reading it because it’s only a big waste of time and life. It’s extremely unbearable and useless. I have no idea how this can be a bestseller book. I have been trying to finish it, but every time I read it, I only want to throw it out of the window…Why do they even keep printing this book, she’s only 15 years old?”
Gosh, Anne, if you hadn’t complained so much in your private diary about hiding in an attic for two years to escape Nazi persecution, maybe your Goodreads ranking would’ve been bumped from 4.9 to 5 stars! Ah, well. A lesson for the next wartime diarist.