Cover Image: One Star Wonders

One Star Wonders

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I actually enjoy reading 1 star reviews of popular books and movies. They're usually pretty entertaining and/or ridiculous. This was a book full of 1 star reviews of popular tourist locations and I loved it. The reviews are paired with an illustration page that is also pretty funny. I think this book would make a great unique gift. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a digital review copy for my honest thoughts.
Was this review helpful?
Funny coffee table book!  You probably wouldn’t use this book for trip planning, but do use it if you’re in need of a chuckle.
Was this review helpful?
As someone who really enjoys ridiculous reviews ("The beach was too sandy"), I found this...a little lacking.

Some of them are truly funny, like the New Orleans ghost tours that had no hauntings. But these get a touch monotonous after time. Mike's aim was to feature the great wonders of the world, places I genuinely want to visit some day. And these made me want to visit them even more. But maybe the problem is that the really funny ridiculous reviews are for less prestigious locals, and I am expecting too much.

Still a great bucket list book for finding the places you want to visit, even if their wifi is lacking.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC of this! 

This was super fun and fast! It’s hilarious how people seem to not understand how to review, especially a place. The art was fun.
Was this review helpful?
A funny book examining the follies of online reviewing and the strange ways in which people judge their experiences. One Star Wonders made me giggle and brought a smile to my face. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to indulge in the silliness of other human beings.
Was this review helpful?
This short, coffee table book is a compilation of some of the world’s greatest places and a one-star review that someone left for them. The book starts with a quick summary of why the author was inspired to create this book, and the five categories that one-star reviews typically fall under. Then each page has an illustration of the place with the one-star review included under it. 

I really like the idea of this book. I tend to do research before going somewhere, so I’m quite familiar with some of the absurd reviews that people leave for places. I enjoyed the artist’s simple yet engaging illustrations, and the reviews certainly didn’t disappoint. The reviews range from people being unimpressed with nature to upset that ancient stone floors are uneven. One of my favorite reviews recommends just checking out photos on the internet and saving your money. I do wish that one or two additional one-star reviews had been included for each place, as there’s no shortage of absurd reviews!

This was a fun coffee table book that could make a good gift or an entertaining quick read for your guests (or a bathroom book – do people still do those?). My thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I am a planner who heavily relies on reviews before confirming anything, especially if the payments are non-refundable. 
This particular book is not even a full-length one - if it was fiction, it would probably be called a novella. Despite that, it needs its own full-length review.
The author's introduction is a must to better understand what one is getting into. It is a collection of one-star ratings of places in the world. I must admit at this point that I have occasionally seen the reviews for public places, just to see if something catches my eye about the 'must-see'ness of the place. I have come across a few with similar tones to the ones in the book.
Each site/review comes with a caricature (in a style that I think suits the tone) and the review itself. They are mostly single lines ones and serve as punch lines.
I would love to have this one hand to just randomly hand out to people when they want a breather. I highly recommend dipping into this book. If the concept appeals to you, the book definitely will.
I received an ARC thanks to Netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and to Andrews McMeel Publishing for the eARC.  My opinions are my own.

This is such a fun, giftable, coffee table-esque book.  

Do you follow @goodreads_reviews on Instagram?  It’s an account that collates funny and ridiculous one-star book reviews from GoodReads.  That’s basically what this book is except it’s about famous landmarks, natural and man-made, and ridiculous one-star reviews about them.

In the introduction, Lowery talks about how he always checks the reviews for places that he intends to visit during his travels, but generally the 4 and 5-star reviews.  And then he started reading the 1-star reviews.  And sometimes they are about valid issues with maybe a tour guide or something, but this book is about the 1-star reviews that are given to something like the Grand Canyon itself!

The book covers 87 places, each illustrated by the author, with one real 1-star review apiece. For example, someone gave Mt. Everest 1 star because they wouldn’t let this person drive up the mountain!

The illustrations are charming and the reviews are sadly, hilarious.  Quick and breezy, it’s something you can leave on your coffee table and you and your guests will be delighted to flip through this.

“One Star Wonders” is out now!!
Was this review helpful?
Inspired by an actual review of the venerable Taj Mahal - "WIFI IS AWFUL! ONE STAR." - the author decided to "rate" other popular landmarks. This is a collection of his cartoons, and mock one star reviews of some favorite travel destinations scattered all over the world.

Here the entire continent of Antarctica receives one star as the visitor "Only had an hour for lunch." The Eiffel Tower is dinged because it "doesn't do anything." Rude animals ruin the experience of the Serengeti National Park, and the breathtaking Victoria Falls simply has "Too much water."

And, you can forget about Mount Everest . . .
"They don't let you drive up. I tried."

My favorite? Don't bother visiting the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. "The visitor center is soulless. Well, I certainly won't be going there!

I enjoyed this, and I wanted more. At under a hundred pages, the book seems slight for the price, but there are plenty of chuckles to be had so it may be worth it to you.
Was this review helpful?
So far, the book I've laughed at most in 2023.  That said, it is a slight and slender gift book type of thing – but one you would keep on some random shelf for perusing every few years, if you had a copy, like the suicidal bunnies and that green collection of postcard images of yore.  This has the aim of highlighting the stupid, asinine and daft in the world of one-star travel reviews – yes, some people hit rock bottom on the Internet and create a found poem that they would like to perform for you now; this chap has one sting from a stinging review each page with an image of the potential critic looking glum in front of whatever it was they found the need to rail against.

So the Great Barrier Reef gets one stars as it was not a calm day, Machu Picchu is a fake, and someone had a startling sexual experience in the Redwood National Park.  I think, anyway.  People go to the old places and find them, well, old, they judge an experience involving thousands on the behaviour of one person (Route 66 the worst victim of this), and they fail to register their own limitations and expectations, either before the trip or before the clicking send.  Some bad reviews are based on trips made under duress, or shortened by babies, some leave you begging for more (why can't we go to the Sacre Coeur?!; and the Oktoberfest review can be read two ways), some are written even though the writer didn't actually get to see the blessed thing anyway.

Like I say, slender, but with such a high hit rate of laughs, this is still one to consider.  Certainly not one star from me.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I'm sure we have all seen some reviews that just leave us scratching our heads. Well, this is a book full of those. For instance, someone apparently rated Munich's Oktoberfest 1 star because there's public drinking. As someone who lived in Germany for seven years (although we never attended Oktoberfest while there) I have to wonder what they were expecting from a festival that is known for being focused around beer. Drinking beer is literally why you go to Oktoberfest. And while I'm not as familiar with the other locations or events featured in this book as I am with Oktoberfest, most of them also left me wanting to reach through the book to strangle the person leaving the ridiculous review. 

The illustrations were a nice touch, and definitely necessary for no longer than most of the featured reviews were. It was a very quick read, but would make a fabulous coffee table book if that's something that's still a thing. I'm not going to lie, a part of me really wants to rate this book 1 star because this author didn't actually write anything, he just took other people's words and put them in a book with some pictures he drew. But the selected reviews made me laugh at how stupid some people are (which I'm fairly certain was the goal), so I'm going to give this book 3.98 out of 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
I accessed a digital review copy of this book from the publisher.
The book is a collection of reviews paired with illustrations. Not all of the reviews were chosen for humor.
Was this review helpful?
Delightful! I laughed out loud multiple times and the illustrations are charming. Can be read in one sitting.
Was this review helpful?
I receiveI this ARC thanks to Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 Before I rate this book  I must pose a question. How does a rough ocean floor make one vomit? 

Other than that, I greatly enjoyed the book. It was almost like traveling with my retired  parents. Luckly, they do not leave reviews.  I

Amusing and the illustrations are fun to look at.
Was this review helpful?
▪️ This is a book (illustrated by the author) that shares some one-star ratings based on real reviews for places like the Grand Canyon, the Palace of Versailles, Machu Picchu, the Northern Lights, and more of our world’s beautiful landmarks. The illustrations will tickle your funny bone as much as the reviews do!

▪️ This is the perfect coffee table book! Or a perfect bathroom book! Or the perfect gift book for a traveler! Or just an amazing way to see how completely ridiculous some human beings can be!

▪️ It is a quick, fun read that will have you eye-rolling and laughing in equal measure. There are a couple of example pages in my slides above so be sure to check them out.

Thank you @Netgalley and @andrewsmcmeel for an eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
This is a sweet little book with lovely fun illustrations

I think it would be a nice stocking filler for someone who travels, or someone who's a bit grumpy but you like the anyway! 

I've deducted 1 star as I'm not sure you'd want to pay full price for it, it's a fun gift book but it took me about 5 minutes to flick through. I'm not sure you'd want to go back for a second read, so it feels like quite a disposable book

I received an advance copy for free from NetGalley, on the expectation that I would provide an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
One star! Just kidding, just kidding. Mike Lowery’s “One Star Wonders: The Worst Reviews of the World’s Greatest Places” is a fun, quick read. The author and artist shares his favorite one star reviews of landmarks that he’s found and provides whimsical illustrations of the places. Some of the reviews were truly funny, but I wish the quotes were longer than one or two lines to show how truly unhinged people and their opinions can be. This would make a fun gift for a loved one who enjoys traveling or leaving online reviews.

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for an advance reader copy in the exchange for an honest review. My review was posted on June 13, 2023 to Goodreads here:
Was this review helpful?
The illustrations are cute! 


Loved the concept of the book of looking at the worst reviews of places that might make you laugh.


I only found some reviews humourous like those of the Taj Mahal, New Orleans Ghost Tour, and some others. But, since humor is subjective, maybe you'll like it more?
Was this review helpful?
This cute little book features illustrations based on real one-star reviews of popular tourist destinations. Highlights include the person who was mad they weren’t allowed to skip the line at the Paris Catacombs even though their wife was pregnant (the audacity!) and the one who described Madagascar as simply “the most overrated place on earth.” What detracted from the humour was a handful of reviews that were clearly written as a joke (like the person who said Stonehenge could use a coat of paint). Perhaps it’s just my own sense of humour, but I think the truly oblivious reviews where the ones that shone.

The high point of this book was definitely the illustrations. The little frowny faces sprinkled throughout were adorable!

Ultimately, I couldn’t give this book a higher rating because of what it is - a novelty book that can be read in a single subway ride. I can’t picture anyone going back to this again and again. However, I think this would be a great little gift for a frequent traveller, and I could picture a family with older kids reading this together and howling.
Was this review helpful?
Author Mike Lowery was inspired to write and cleverly illustrate One Star Wonders inspired by his favourite one star travel-related reviews.  And what an amusing and entertaining read this is!  As a frequent and rabid traveler and reader of one star allocations it was a joy to leap into this little book.  Lowery outlines the five categories for negative reviews - disorganization, bad personal experience, not hype-worthy, oops and too touristy.  On my travels I have heard monstrous comments which made me cringe, fit for this type of book such as, "The ice isn't cold enough" and "What's the point?  It's just a bunch of old buildings."  The comment which irks me more than anything else is, "Once you've seen one castle (or cathedral), you've seen them all".  Nononono!

I've been to many places mentioned in the book and every single one has its merits, even those which are less impressive than others.  True travelers keep an open and curious mind, unlike "Parking was 10 euros.  Biggest disappointment of my life" when describing stunningly-located Neuschwanstein Castle.  Poor darling.  What hardship!

Whether you are a traveler or one star review reader or not, you will be sure to get a kick out of this quick and comical read.  

My sincere thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an early digital copy of this unabashedly amusing book!  It is my pleasure to rate it one star.
Was this review helpful?