Hyped books I didn’t love and thought were *just okay*

orangutan list

Ahh the dreaded hype train- whether we know it’s going to take us somewhere awesome or if it’s gonna leave us in the dust, we’ve all jumped on board at some point or another. I’ve talked about when the hype was right and I’ve talked about when it fell flat on its face for me– today I want to talk about books that just didn’t quite make it. These weren’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination… but I also didn’t think they were the best thing since libraries were invented. I tried to pick things that I didn’t have especially strong feelings about- and for the most part, I succeeded 😉 So here’s my meh list:

gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue– I kinda got why this was popular… and I also didn’t. The characters felt a bit too 21st century to me and I also thought it was a little long. I was especially bummed about this one cos I thought it would be right up my street. Sadly, not for me!

children of blood and bone

Children of Blood and Bone– this one also pains me, because it had so much potential. The world building was brilliant and the writing pretty good… it was just fell a bit short of the mark in the story and character department for me.

one of us is lying

One of Us is Lying– the twist is good… if you haven’t read And Then There Were None. Plus, I hated the murder victim so much I wanted to reach into the book and throttle him myself!

Caraval-150x225

Caraval– another twisty story… that snapped my patience towards the end. It didn’t help that I wasn’t remotely enamoured with the so-purple-it’s-sprouting-flowers language- which is saying something for me!

kiss of deception

Kiss of Deception– I thought I had a bit of a mixed reaction to this series- then I realised I don’t have a single nice thing to say about it. I quite liked the main character… until the last book when I grew bored of her. I thought the plot was okay… but it lost me somewhere in the middle. And the romance just never captured my imagination.

a curse so dark and lonely

Curse So Dark and Lonely– there were some good things that made me understand why it was hyped- the main character was dynamic and I thought her disability was well handled. That said, I simply didn’t find the story unique enough. For me, a retelling has to have a bit more oomph there, and this fell a little short.

Eragon_book_cover

Eragon– this one tends to divide people into *love* or *loathe* camps annnnd I thought it was just okay. Sure it was flawed (as you’d expect from a 14 year old writer) but I could see the fun in it.

And that’s all I have for now! (thank goodness!) Do you agree or disagree with me on any of these? What hyped books just about missed the mark for you? Let me know in the comments!

When the Hype is Right

Hello all! I just a quick post today. I talk a lot about hype killing books, but not enough about when it worked for me. So I’m going to channel a bit of positivity and list some books where that hype really hit the spot! I’m not gonna list every built-up book- especially since I read a lot of books that I wasn’t aware were hyped at the time. I’ll only  list books where I knew they were a crazy big deal- and actually ended up loving them- and that have stood the test of time in my mind. Of course, these books won’t be for everyone, yet in the interest of spreading a little #booklove, these are an excellent place to start:

illuminae

I’ve heard from sci fi fans that this is a little light in terms of story- indeed it’s not the most unique plot I’ve ever read. What is inventive is how it’s told. Completely worth getting in physical form, Illuminae throws out the rule book and plays a different storytelling game. Plus I can’t say often enough just how good the villain was in this one.

Red Rising Pierce Browns

If you want excitement, wonderful world building and characters that leap off the page (and stab you through the heart)- then look no further! Action-packed, complex and elegantly written, I can’t recommend this enough for fans of the sci fi genre (and as a gateway drug for those that aren’t 😉 ).

six of crows

I always want to do a little jig whenever I think about this book- it’s everything I ever want in a fantasy. Twisty and entertaining, this won’t give you a chance to catch your breath, as you’ll fall in love with Bardugo’s characters and world.

the hating game

I only read this recently and cannot believe how much fun I had with it. I saw this book as just a bit of filler in my weekly reading- and yet I ended up not sleeping, because I was so totally invested in this romance!

carry on

Gonna be honest: I love to push this book on everyone. Because satire is one of my favourite things in the world. And a Harry Potter parody? Well that’s just heaven. Plus it has Simon and Baz- what more could you want?!

bear and the nightingale

Did you think we were going to get through a list on books I loved without this turning up? Did you really? A book that resurrects fairy tale themes and interweaves that with a stroke of realism is perfection for me. So yeah, kinda has to go on this (and every) list.

demon king

When I first got into the online book community, this was everywhere and honestly I can safely say that’s for a reason. While this series isn’t mindblowing in terms of plot or world building, the characters are *outstanding*. Really, this series has some of the best characterisation I’ve seen in fantasy (in fact, one of the only better examples is Chima’s less hyped Heir series)

perks of being a wallflower

Oh gosh I’d heard never-ending hype for this one- fortunately all of it turned out to be true. Hard hitting, real and relatable, this is one of the best coming of age stories out there. It’s truly a brilliant piece of literature.

gone-girl-PB

I did the wrong thing with this one and watched the movie first. I know, I know- big mistake. Especially since the book is so much better. I was stunned by the prose and crisp plotlines (which flowed better in the book). This is one of those times where I was put off by the crazy hype and I wish I hadn’t been, because this would have been worth going into free from spoilers. Still- what makes this book so magnificent is that even then I thought it was a rocking read!

MissPeregrineCover (1).jpg

This is one of the most divisive books on the list- because people seem to fall so readily into different camps for this book. A lot of people love it and a lot of people hate it. Frankly, this slightly weird and wacky book divides audiences for a reason- so I almost didn’t put it on this list. Nonetheless, I adored the non-traditional elements and disturbing depths subtly woven into the plot. I think that even if this book’s not for you, there’s a lot you can get out of it (if nothing else, it’ll make an intriguing addition to your bookshelves 😉 )

So did you enjoy any of these hyped books? And do you have any hyped books you particularly liked? Let me know in the comments!

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!