Well, first of all, are we talking of the reader or the writer of a particular book?
As a fairly new writer, I was appalled to learn that readers often assume that five star reviews are given by friends and family and one star ratings are from people with issues of some kind. As an author, nothing gives me such a thrill as seeing a five star review. What a shame if they are disregarded. Even low reviews can be useful to point out faults you might be able to correct next time, or learn from in some way, but a five star review is a vindication of all your efforts and the work you put in. However, when it comes to reviews the ones you remember most are typically the one star, spiteful nasty ones. Isn’t it typical? You might have twenty four and five star reviews, but its the one or two low ones that you think about the most.I’m pretty thick skinned, but they even get to me. The only comfort I have found is that in two cases, where the reviewer obviously hadn’t read the book (and in one case, actually admitted as much), others have commented that it is unfair to download just the ‘freebie’ part or look only at the ‘Look inside’ section and then post a bad review. But they do it. It’s a part of being a writer. Who knows what their motivations are? However, you can see that reviews are important to us. Apparently, your book gets more prominence if you have over fifty reviews, so please guys! Give a review if you’ve enjoyed a book (or even if you haven’t, if you must -they all count towards our fifty.
As a reader, \i do look at reviews, but if I think by the blurb that I might like a book, I prefer to judge for myself – reviews are a guide and some are really helpful, but not the be-all and end-all of whether or not I will buy a book.
And I have to add that none of my family have reviewed my books. One or two friends have, but they were unsolicited by me and they are absolutely genuine reviews. Goodreads actually has a separate section for ‘friend’ reviews. Good idea, you might think, except that anyone can ‘friend’ you and you may not know them from Adam.Then their review is seen as biased.I suppose you can’t win!
Image credit: By User:Estoy Aquí (Self created (previously on en.wikipedia)) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons