Cures for Hype!

Hype kills books– how many times have we heard that? There’s a lot of truth to it to be sure. How many times have we all picked up books that had a HUGE buzz about them and ended up disappointed? It makes you want to swat away all the expectations before you catch the bug. Well, never fear, I have some tips to manage expectations that work well for me when it comes to that dreaded hype.

cruel princeUsually when we know the author already it doesn’t turn out too bad. Now this isn’t something you can always control, however, it does help to bear in mind how you felt about an author’s previous works before going into a book. Several times a book has been insanely hyped and yet I know the author so I don’t find myself swayed by it. This is the case with Cruel Prince for me personally- the author’s been around for a while and I’ve enjoyed her books. Granted, I’ve not read this yet- nonetheless, I’m pretty much expecting more of the same: while I’m sure I’ll like it, I’m not on the hype train. I find it helps to keep a level head, especially if you’ve rated the author in the 3-4* range- just expect more of the same and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

bear and the nightingaleI always find it helps to lower expectations. Read negative and meh reviews (dudes that’s what they’re for)- hopefully then you can go into the book with your eyes open. The idea isn’t to be put off, but to be aware of the things that might bother you before going in, so you’re not surprised by it. This is especially helpful if you’re a massive mood reader like me- if I see complaints that a book is slow paced, I will know to pick it up when I have the time to be completely absorbed in it. For me, this was useful when I went into books like The Bear and the Nightingale. The point is to get a good idea of what you’re getting into- which leads me onto…

suitable lieListen to reviewers you trust. I think it’s great to build a rapport with *actual people* on the blogosphere. That way you know you’re getting an honest review. I love hearing so many people’s thoughts and feelings on books and I have found it helps me build up a clear picture of what I might be getting into (without any spoilers!). I have to say, since I started blogging, I’ve been finding it *so much easier* to find books I love. Some, like Suitable Lie, I never would have read otherwise. Take everything with a pinch of salt, because everyone’s taste is different, but there are great reviewers out there who will give you a really clear view of what they liked/disliked about a book. There’s so many great people out there and I recommend checking out: Lucinda, Liis, Meggy, Lashaan and Trang @Bookidote, Brianna and Krysta @Pages Unbound, Zezee, Marie and Kat (I could go on forever listing people, so forgive me if I only mention a few).

six of crowsWAIT– I know, I know, this one’s really hard. But I’ve found in a great number of cases where I’ve leapt at a book that I’ve seen hyped and jumped on the bandwaggon, I’ve ended up disappointed. And then of course, the second I come out with my review saying “meh” there’s a ton of other reviews by people who were also disappointed. When I wait, however, and bad reviews are not forthcoming, I can be pretty confident I’m onto a winner (hello Six of Crows). Still I know a lot of book bloggers have ARCs or need to read a book for some other reason, so if waiting is not going to be an option…

hazel woodTry to go in blind. I know that’s realllly hard for a book blogger. And yes, this contradicts some of my other advice, but sometimes this is the best thing to do- especially if you’ve been approved for an ARC. If you do like the sound of a book and have to read it the second it comes out, try to ignore all the reviews. That way you’ll only be focused on the concept and content of the book and can’t be swayed by public opinion.

everlessAnd finally, if you have an instinct that a book is not for you, then TRUST THAT INSTINCT. I think this is one of the ways that hype can be very useful because then you actually get to know a little bit about the book before release. For instance, I used to hate the “it’s the next Hunger Games” type tagline- but I’ve been finding it more useful lately in eliminating books from my TBR. Personally, for instance, I’m a little bit over the whole Red Queen type books at the moment, so when I saw the much hyped Everless was compared to that I didn’t reach for it immediately (and I’m glad I didn’t, because the more mixed reviews are coming out now)

So what do you think of hyped books? And do you have any tips for handling the hyped books? Let me know in the comments!

110 thoughts on “Cures for Hype!

  1. I am not attached to any books at all, and am not a book blogger, so I am completely free to read what I like and skip what I don’t like. That results in me reading a couple-few hundred older paperbacks a year and enjoying them. Some of the books I see touted online seem like complete crap to me, complete nanowrimo efforts that get published, and yet are accompanied by ‘OMG so great’ blahblah. I figure everyone’s mileage varies, and so if I read an intelligent review of a book, I may be attracted to it, or I will follow authors whose work I have read and enjoyed, but I am NEVER swayed by ‘OMG this is going to be so great squee’.

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  2. I don’t only think it kills books..it kills movies too (and other stuff I probably forgot along the way lol).
    But yeah. Sound advice. I always try to lower my expectations too. Sometimes it’s hard to not get caught up in the hype train though…best case in point is Star Wars and Marvel movies. But over the years I guess you grow wiser and learn from bad experiences. Great post! (And I really have to read that Six of Crows book…I see it everywhere, it’s even beginning to haunt my dreams now 😂😂).

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    1. Ah yes I totally agree with you there! Thank you! Ah yes I completely understand that- I’ve had the same trouble with those movies as well. Absolutely! Thank you 🙂 Oh it’s worth it LOL! If nothing else, you’re sure to have fun with it! 😉 😂

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  3. OMG, this post is so relatable! Hype can absolutely ruin a book for me and I’ve tried to keep my expectations as low as possible for the most part. At this point I just mostly wait a while until either the hype has died down or I stopped caring hahaha Also, thanks so much for mentioning my reviews! It really means a lot to me that people feel like they can trust in what I say. Obviously, I know that tastes can differ, but it still always makes my day ❤

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  4. Great advice!
    I sometimes feel like i’m the last one to read the hyped books (sometimes don’t even read them at all, cheeky) but i think it helps avoiding too much disappointment.

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  5. Oh, I love Krysta’s thoughts @Pages Unbound, I almost never miss her post.
    First thing, I don’t think I have read that many hyped books. Second, those few that I read, worked for me because I just liked the sound of the book and also one or two review I liked, I don’t read more reviews on it further if I decide to read it. Third, most of the time I go blind (just blurb, no reviews). So I guess it works for me.
    Great post! 🙂

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  6. This post is a discussion that should definitely take place! I personally think that there is a whole system that is using social media and book bloggers (especially them) to create hype more or less artificially. I think your advice is solid and what I do is wait! Well, waiting also suits my tight budget since I wait for a price drop. And you have a valid point concerning negative reviews. I have actually got books because of a bad review since what was bothering the reviewer was what I like.

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    1. Thank you so much!! Yeah I think that’s definitely true. I think waiting is one of the absolute key things to do when it comes to hype. hehe and of course, I do the same, because I can’t afford to get the full price version either. hehehe yes I’ve actually done that too! (not always the wisest thing to do, but it happens 😉 )

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  7. I totally agree with all your points! Especially waiting. It’s hard sometime to tell the difference between hype and marketing at the time of a new release especially on social media. I’m trying to impose a waiting period on myself with new books (especially from authors that are unknown to me) and it’s been working out pretty good so far. At least in terms of enjoyable reads!

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    1. Thank you! I definitely agree with you there- I think it’s so hard to tell initially- especially when a book hasn’t been released yet- so how can everyone be so worked up over it? I think the waiting period really works for me personally- if a book is hyped and then refuses to go anywhere (and people are still raving about it a long time after release) it’s probably worth checking out (at least that’s what I often find)

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  8. I have stopped making “research” for all the hyped books that are going to be published or have just seen the light of this world!
    I pick my books judging on my personal preferences, the genres I love and the most appealing (at least in my mind’s eye) blurbs.
    Hyped books have disappointed my countless times already. I don’t wanna get burned… yet again!

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  9. I believe that hype is important for books to be marketed; it’s pretty much the “magic word” in marketing (I’m self studying it for DECA) and Word-of-Mouth Marketing is the best strategy to take. However, for the reader, I do agree that it raises our expectations so much that it’s easy for the book to come short. I’ve read only a few, such as Caraval and ADSOM, that have met the hype and I loved and enjoyed. I agree that we need to lower our expectations, but it’s so hard!!! I’m afraid that Legendary will not be as amazing as Caraval, but I’m bracing for a subpar sequel since that’s what usually happens. Great discussion!

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  10. I definitely give more weight to the opinions of personal friends, or book reviewers who has similar tastes to mine.

    I have also noticed this: sometimes a book (written by Author A) has been endorsed on the back by Author B and Author C. I find that if I like the writing style of Authors B and C, then I will probably like the book by Author A. And the opposite is true as well. Sometimes I’ve given the book a chance, only to abandon it and say, “Well, I should have known. Author B liked this book! I don’t really like Author B’s books.”

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  11. I definitely advise waiting! I do that all the time, like with Stranger Things. I waited until people stopped talking about it and it kind of died down, then watched. Then I wasn’t under pressure to like it, and my expectations had time to lower themselves just by virtue of “out of sight, out of mind.” And it’s one of my favorite shows now! Definitely worth the wait!

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  12. These are all great pointers especially since I have been trying not to give in to the hype this year! I mostly listen to reviewers I trust and trust my instinct. I am getting better at knowing what I will like and what I won’t I just need to listen to that voice in my head! Great post as always!

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  13. This is very good advice! I’ve definitely got more ruthless when picking books and tend to research them to within an inch of their lives (but I do like the idea of going in blind, so might try that with a few wild cards!). Ultimately though, instinct trumps research. Sometimes you just know you’ll love/hate a book where the general consensus is the opposite or neutral. Everyone should be true to their bookish heart! ❤

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  14. This post is on point and I can so relate to the whole “hype kills books” thing. My go-to method when dealing with hyped books is to wait it out. I’ve learned from experience that buying a book based on hype never ends well so I tend to wait it out and see if my mood is still gravitating towards the book later on. Unfortunately, by then I’ve usually been treated to some spoilers.

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  15. Just in general, I try not to read a book review before I’ve read a book. I’m too afraid of spoilers. However, if a book has been written before a movie, I will see the movie first which would seem to be a bit of a spoiler but generally isn’t since books can go deeper. I invariably find movies disappointing if I read the book first so I usually do it other way around. If I’m writing about a book, I love reading reviews because some of them bring out aspects of the book that I may not have seen at first reading.

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    1. That’s fair enough- I’m not keen on spoilers either, so I understand. I can understand that- though I generally prefer to read the book first. But I can see why the movie would be disappointing otherwise. Personally I find it hard to tell if I’m going to be disappointed with seeing the movie first. I try to just go with my gut there. That makes sense.

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  16. I’m naturally suspicious of books with hype, particularly if it’s obvious it’s coming from the publisher rather than readers (it is their job to create hype after all). I just trust try to listen to the reviews. You soon learn which reviewers you can trust and who has similar tastes to your own. I do unfortunately fall for it occasionally but it can still be fun to have the contrary opinion and actually have other people you can chat to about it (rather than loving a book that literally no one else has read despite you constantly banging on about it)

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  17. Wonderful post! I completely agree about going into books blind and going in with the lowest expectations if possible (heck, I try not to even read the synopses if I can help it). Especially after blogging book reviews; I realized that I was reading more reviews and buying into hype than I’d ever done in my life, and it’s kind of put me off my reading. Thus, these are terrific tips that we should all keep in mind. Awesome advice!

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    1. Thank you so much!! Yeah absolutely- that’s something I try to do on occasion too. Yeah I completely get that- when I first started blogging, the hype was so difficult to get round, but now I’m starting to find it easier again to avoid it. Thank you!

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  18. Probably the best advice is to trust your gut… in November I FINALLY got to some of the mega hyped books that have lingered on my tbr without being read and l ended up in the worst reading slump I’ve EVER had… So yeah I should have trusted my gut… it’s always fine to say you’ve never gotten to a book before but its a lot harder when a FAV book of EVERYONE is one that sent you into the worst ever feelings toward books… So great, great advice Orangutan… I also read the negative reviews WAY more than the positive ones… ❤

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    1. Ah yes I so get that! I’ve definitely been there before when I’ve stupidly read things that were hyped that I knew weren’t my thing. Thank you!! I’m glad!! hehe yes me too 😉 They’re so helpful! And it’s not like they totally put me off or anything, they just give me a good idea of what to expect 😀 ❤

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  19. There’s nothing really wrong about hyping a book as long as we keep it to a minimal. People just have a lot of expectations from book that are really hype so they tend to what the book to go the way they expected it to go. So if it doesn’t, they hate the book. Not because it wasn’t a good book but because their expectations was disappointed.
    Sometimes its important to keep an open mind.

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  20. Great points there. My tactic to avoid the hype is to read negative reviews and wait (or read all the gushy ones and then wait). But if it’s a book I really, really, really want to read and have my thoughts be totally unswayed, then I go in blind, especially if there are loads of both negative & positive reviews of the book.
    Thanks for the shout-out! 🙂

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  21. Brilliant post as always! Taming that hype can be quite the task, but it’s 100% worth it and all the ways you point out are perfect to do just that. I’m quite honored to be part of those trusted reviewers though! Thank you so much for the shoutout ❤ You are most definitely on my short list of highly reliable reviewers too! 😀 😀 I got to also say that I sometimes do embrace the hype for CERTAIN books just cause it's such a rewarding experience when the book succeeds in SURPASSING your HIGH expectations. 😛

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    1. Thank you so much!! Yeah I definitely think it’s worth doing and you’re very welcome! 😀 I always find your reviews so helpful (and have added so many books on your recommendations and not been disappointed 😀 ) ❤ hehe thank you! Ah yes I do hear you there! 😀

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  22. Hype is such a fickle thing! I cannot agree with this post more. Often I try to go in blind, as that approach seems to favor me. I admit, I can be swayed if I read too much. Cruel Prince was the prefect example of this. I let the hype raise my expectations (I was new to Holly Black) and the end result was a waicering 2 to 3 star read that did not deliver. I am currently tackling Hazel Wood while trying to remove myself from all of the good and terrible talk haha.

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    1. Ah yes I agree! Yeah that’s a good way to do it. And yeah that makes sense- I think if I was new to Black I’d be let down, cos her books are good, but I wouldn’t say they’re the best. haha I so relate- I’ve got to read that next and I’m bricking it cos of all the hype 😉

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  23. Good advice! I’ve had that issue with hyped books lately, because I get too excited to read them. Sometimes the hype is worth it, but usually I do best if I let the (internal) hype die down before I read the book. I can’t always bring myself to wait, though. 😉

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  24. I love this post, and these are definitely some tips I will use in the future as well (those I don’t use already for hyped up books). When it comes to highly anticipated releases on mine I always try and go in blind, I don’t want anything even remotely related to spoilers so it kind of helps with my expectations if you look at it that way. I definitely agree with you on listening to the opinions of trusted bloggers, there are more than a few I know will never lead me wrong, and waiting is a good tip too but I can’t resist jumping into an eagerly anticipated book the very second I have it in my hands! 😀
    Again great post. 🙂 ❤

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  25. I’ve been lucky enough to read several really hyped books before the hype took over, but for those that I haven’t read before they exploded in popularity I’ve discovered if I wait for the hype to die down before I read them so do my expectations.

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  26. Great advice! I really need to learn not to listen to the hype so much, but sometimes it’s so hard to avoid it! I’m definitely going to use some of your tips in the future.

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  27. I’m among the “Try to go in blind” crowd myself for the most part. The vast majority of what I read are ARCs so a lot of times there just aren’t many opinion out yet but even if there are I usually read and write my review before checking out what others think just to keep from being influenced and give my own opinion I suppose.

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  28. Brilliant post! I love all of your advice here – I found that, what has been working best for me, is to listen to my gut as much as I can, I find that, almost all the time, it doesn’t fail me 🙂 I find it so hard to go in blind, especially when we are book bloggers and surrounded by people screaming about books ALL THE TIME haha, but… whenever I can, I’m trying not to pay too much attention to everyone’s reviews and to just… trust myself a bit more 🙂

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  29. I need to remind myself of this post before I pick up the next hype book 😀 hahahaha… I completely agree with everything you’ve listed here and the negative reviews are seriously a good way to scope out the ‘other side of the fence’ before reading a book… sometimes you agree with the criticisms, sometimes these points are the ones you end up loving and want to totally fight it out 😀 hahaha… but yeah, waiting was something I did when it came to Six of Crows and I think that helped me enjoy it a bit more, after letting the OTT reviews face away into the background… 🙂 Not saying anything bad about OTT reviews now, but you know what I mean 🙂

    Thank you so much for the honourable mention as well… this is like… well… I can quit blogging now, my goal as a blogger has been reached 🙂 hahahaha… Thank you ❤

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    1. hahaha I get that 😉 I’ll be doing the same 😉 Ah yes I completely agree! hahaha true!! I definitely agree- I waited so long before reading Six of Crows- and it was totally worth it 😀 hehehehe yes!
      You’re very welcome!! I love your reviews!! 😀 ❤

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  30. That happened to me with “the Woman in the Window”. I’d read so much about it I was totally disappointed when I actually read it. But the problem is, the hyped books are often the ones you read cause you hear about them….catch 22. The theory…not the book..

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  31. Really interesting tips!! I’d never thought about strategies to handle the hype on books before, but many of these ring very true, especially the reviewers you trust one – I tend to go by that (and by friends’ ratings on Goodreads) rather than by hype alone and it’s helped me find books I like.

    You’re right about authors you’ve read before thing – I’ve made the mistake of reading something by an author, not liking it, then seeing a hype about another book of theirs and reading it in the hope it’ll be better… and not liking it either. There’s one author who gets super hyped every time and after trying several books I’ve finally accepted they’re just not for me 🙂

    As for reading negative reviews, I worry that would just sap my desire to read the book and bias me… though I’ve never tried it so maybe next time before I pick up a hyped book I will. Also with the instinct thing I feel like my instinct is unreliable – a few times I’ve had that “this is not for me” feeling and read it and been proven wrong, so now I’m never sure if I can trust my instincts or not. Also it’s funny you say the “this is like the Hunger Games” promo line is a good guide for what to avoid, because from memory I think I saw that for Red Rising, which I adored… though admittedly I also saw it on another book I didn’t adore 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much!! I’m glad it rings true! 😀 I can relate to that- I do like to listen to my friends and see their ratings on GR, because I really get a feel for it that way, because I know where our taste matches up (one friend in particular nearly always likes the same books as me, which is helpful- although she’s still not on GR, which is a pain! 😉 )

      Ah yes I totally get that!! I’ve read virtually an author’s entire works based on a teacher’s recommendation… and not liked any of them! I’ve finally, finally written them off as not for me lol 😉 So I really relate there!

      Yeah that’s true- but what I find is that if I’m already invested in reading it, I’ll probably check it out anyway. I can understand that- I do think instinct can be wrong for sure. But I think I’m pushing more towards that because of the number of times my instinct is right lol (this kind of reminds me of the “should I DNF conundrum?” where I’ll think of the couple of times I’ve ended up liking a book and not want to DNF, but on balance know I should cos it rarely gets better- sorry, a bit off topic!) haha I so get that! In some ways for that, I’ll see that and think “hyped”, which puts me off (sometimes unfortunately).

      Thanks for your amazing comment!

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      1. Yes GR friends are great for that – sounds like you need to get that one friend to set up an account though 🙂 (I’ve convinced most of my bookworm friends to join… which makes me feel like GR advertiser but hey!)

        Haha good to know you can relate, it seems crazy to read heaps of books by an author you don’t like but that’s exactly what I did 🙂

        True, if your instinct is right most of the time then it’s statistically better to trust it, rather than hope it’ll be a rare time it is wrong 🙂 And the DNF conundrum is very related!! I also am never sure whether to trust my instinct there. Often it helps if a friend with similar taste has read it and says “it gets better” (that helped me continue one book I nearly DNFd and it did get better), but in the absence of that I am very indecisive. I recently read a book I didn’t think would be my thing (hoping I’d be wrong), got a whole third of the way in and still wasn’t thrilled, and then finally decided to DNF… should have trusted my instincts from the get go on that one I guess!

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        1. haha I’m always trying to get my friends to join, but even when I do, I can’t quite get them as addicted as me 😉 But yeah, I’ll definitely get that one friend I mentioned on there eventually- I can treat it as payback for her putting me on FB ten years ago 😉

          hahaha yes- I completely understand- unfortunately I’ve done the same thing!

          Yeah for sure 🙂 Ah I’m glad that made sense! Yes I know exactly what you mean! I had that once too for a book- my friend specifically warned me before I started to push myself to the end- it ended up being so worth it…. but now I’m haunted by that every time I want to DNF! I find it really hard to DNF too. I completely get that!

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          1. Haha yes my friends are also usually not as addicted as me either. And it sounds like you definitely need to get payback then! 😉

            Yes it’s exactly past experiences like that make it hard to DNF!! I guess the only solution is just to have super well-read trustworthy friends who can tell you whether to continue or not 🙂

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