One Star Wonders: The Worst Reviews of the World’s Greatest Places

Andrews McMeel. Jun. 2023. 96p. ISBN 9781524874988. $16.99. TRAV
While planning a trip to India, illustrator Lowery (Everything Awesome About Space and Other Galactic Facts) became enamored with the odd, one-star reviews about the Taj Mahal. He found the effusive, positive reviews boring and cliché and read the grouchy, irritable reviews out of curiosity. He saved them too. This prompted the author to consider other areas of entertainment—places, movies, and books, for example—that reviewers had ranked deserving of only one star. While analyzing this unique assortment of complaints, Lowery discovered there are five major themes to negative reviews: disorganization, bad personal experience, not hype-worthy, oops, and too touristy. In this book, more than 80 famous landmarks from around the world are roasted in succinct and sometimes hilarious one-liners. Some of the complaints include crowd sizes, a lack of wine, time limitations, weather, stolen belongings, and hostile or thieving animals. Some critiques don’t even mention the actual landmark, and some reviewers admitted that they never visited the location. Lowery’s wonderful illustrations accompany each review, and the book can be read in one sitting.
VERDICT Readers will likely enjoy this fun, snarky collection of one-star reviews. Give to fans of Amber Share’s Instagram account and accompanying book, Subpar Parks.
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