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!

Overhyped Books List

I was gonna try and get on the Top Ten Tuesday Train- but a) it’s Wednesday now and b) this is not this week’s topic. But honestly, I just *had to* write this blog. Overhyped books are my biggest peeve (or my worst nightmare if you want to link this to Halloween as I was supposed to).

For this list, I’m not talking about books that were bad per se, but books that I might have actually enjoyed more if there wasn’t so much hype around them. I’m also sticking to modern books aka no classics.

So without further ado, here’s my top ten overhyped books:

  1. The_Fault_in_Our_StarsThe Fault In Our Stars- I can’t not put this on the list- I was extremely disappointed by it. It’s a shame, because I might have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been overhyped. I won’t go into too much detail though, as I’ve already written a blog on it here.

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  1. shadow-and-bone_hi-res-677x1024Grisha Series- not a terrible series, but one I might have enjoyed more if it hadn’t been marketed as THE NEXT BIG THING. And THE ROMANCE OF A CENTURY- which it definitely was not. Again I’ve done a review of it already here.

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  1. emberintheashes_jkt_5-1An Ember in the Ashes- this was absolutely nothing special. I kept waiting for it to live up to expectation. And waiting. And waiting… Still waiting…. Nope- looks like it’s never gonna happen. The overall problem with this book was the author was relying too much on the uniqueness of her world. And yet, having read other books set in ancient Rome, I didn’t even feel like it was particularly unique. In fact, there was nothing special about any of it. There was nothing interesting about the stoic male lead or the bland heroine. Nor was there anything remarkable about the contest part of the plot- you know the type: a contest where no one wants the main character to win oh-my-goodness-what-will-he-do? Or the sub plot about the slave secretly spying on the master. Or the fairly obvious plot “twists”. Basically, it was all tried and tested and boring as hell.
  1. The_Bone_Season_coverThe Bone Season- what on earth was this book even about? It was way too confusing and had too many tangents. Everything just felt like the author was trying to cram in as much as possible. One idea led to another crazy idea. Then all the crazy ideas just compounded together into one hot mess. I mean, it started out with clairvoyants in a dystopic steampunk world and then it jumped to a weird parallel universe sci-fi thing with vampire-aliens. Yeah, that’s right- this book had vampire-aliens. And I thought sparkly vampires were the pits- guess I’ve been proved wrong. I swear the only way this could be compared to JK Rowling is if you say “this is what Harry Potter would have been like if JK Rowling was on crack”.
  1. Seraphina_book_cover_(US_addition)Seraphina- this one was personal. Dragons are unquestionably my favourite mythical creature. That’s why I so desperately wanted this to work. I was promised a book that finally, finally delivered awesome dragons and a great plot. What could go wrong? Well, everything apparently. I did not connect with the characters or the setting. Now, I get that may be down to me having particularly high standards when it comes to dragon lore. So I could have let Hartman off on that one. But the real nail in the coffin is that I was bored. I just felt like Hartman sacrificed the plot for the sake of said world-building (although in the interest of fairness, this could also be because I’m not a huge fan of detective stories). This book just did not deliver on the amazing dragon story I’ve been waiting for- I guess I’ll just have to stick to rereading the Hobbit for now.
  1. Legend_Marie_Lu_Book_coverLegend series- I didn’t mind the first one, but as the series progressed, I just found it so boring. Since the writing was nothing special, it really needed a great plot to carry the story. But I just felt like it was a nothing-dystopia (basically my newly coined term for a dystopia that, unlike regular dystopia, is not a social commentary and isn’t really about anything at all). And I could never find the connection with Les Mis- it just felt like a dumb ploy to sell books. Sure Lu could have been inspired by Les Mis, but did that need to go on the cover of the book? I mean, Stephenie Meyer was inspired by a dream- it didn’t say “inspired by a dream” on the front of Twilight.
  1. Divergent_(book)_by_Veronica_Roth_US_Hardcover_2011Divergent- I’d say this was another “nothing-dystopia”, but the problem with this one is that it’s about everything. I swear nothing made sense in this book series, as I made clear in my Allegiant review. It’s Hunger Games meets Harry Potter meets some genetic stuff that made no sense. And yes I think it’s a total rip off of the Hunger Games- and before anyone says “Divergent was written first”, it was published in 2011 and Hunger Games was published in 2008. Case closed.
  1. matched and selection2Matched/Selection Series- and yes, I’m naming both of them together because they’re basically the same book. Both of them have a shallow whiny main character that can’t decide between two perfect guys that love said whiny character irrationally. Then said whiny character flits between both of them for three books whilst shit goes down in some generic dystopian world. Yawn.
  1. Bronzehorseman.jpgThe Bronze Horseman- this is basically my Book That Shall Not Be Named. Ugh I have no words left. I did a blog about it here.

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And finally (don’t hate me- although if you’ve made it this far and not been offended by my opinions, I congratulate you):

  1. Knife_of_Never_letting_Go_coverThe Knife of Never Letting Go- I just hated the writing style of this book. I didn’t get the concept and I didn’t get what was going on half the time. I just. Did. Not. Get. This. Book.

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So that’s that. Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below.