Are you ever afraid to pick up a book because of all the hype that surrounds it? Do you ever find yourself feeling let down because a book didn’t meet the high expectations you’d formed of it from all the hype it’s received? Have you ever thought some books aren’t worthy of the hype they have? Well join the club! Here are seven books I think have too much hype…
While I enjoyed Caraval and I thought it was a really beautifully-written and engaging novel, it’s impossible to deny that there’s a lot of hype surrounding its release. This was a book that I enjoyed, but it wasn’t one that absolutely blew me away. Sure, it was a fun read and I liked reading about the quest and the magical elements, but every other part was astoundingly average. I couldn’t really connect with the protagonist because I felt that there was so much emphasis placed on the quest and the fast-pacing of the novel made me feel as though I never got the time to just relax and get to know her. Perhaps if I had felt more empathetic towards her and her lost sister then I would have enjoyed this novel more.
But that’s not to say that I don’t think Caraval is worthy of any hype at all. It’s a great novel and it was quite enjoyable, but honestly, the amount of hype that’s surrounding this novel could easily be halved and given to some other diverse releases of 2017 that haven’t been constantly on everyone’s Instagram and Twitter feeds. Although I did like how I wasn’t sure who I could trust, or if I could even trust what I was reading, and I loved how mysterious the whole novel was. It really drew me in from the very beginning, but I just wish I could have felt more for the characters. The romance was particularly a let-down for me and while it wasn’t one of the main elements, it felt unnecessary when we could have invested more into the relationship between the two sisters. For me, Caraval was neither here nor there, but one thing’s for certain — it has a lot of hype.
Carve the Mark
I’m pretty sure at least half of Twitter has seen my review of Carve the Mark, but if you haven’t, just know that I didn’t enjoy it. AT ALL. It was slow-paced, I couldn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t understand the world, not to mention its racist and problematic elements… I can’t believe that this book has any hype left at all after being called out by people who have read the ARCs and POC who have read it and believed it’s offensive, harmful and racist. I’m honestly so surprised that famous authors are still excited about reading this book and are promoting it to their followers. It disgusts me that people would waste their time on a book like Carve the Mark when it’s already been said that it’s racist. To me, reading a book ‘to form your own opinion’ when it’s been called out for being racist is disrespectful to POC and those who have been harmed by what’s been written. Of course, some people who read Carve the Mark may not even pick up on these problematic elements — but this just highlights that we’re in such a privileged position (or maybe an ignorant one) that we can ignore or turn away from racism. And just today it’s been called out for being ableist too. Check out my review of Carve the Mark for a more in-depth breakdown, or have a look at this post by Justina Ireland.
A Court of Mist and Fury
I read A Court of Thorns and Roses a few weeks ago after being hounded on Twitter for having not read it and honestly, I don’t know what makes it so spectacular and why it stands out from any other YA book about a girl being taken prisoner and then falling in love with her captor. It was okay, but it wasn’t phenomenal enough for me to feel compelled to read the second book. And while I know that the second one is ‘so much better than the first’, I honestly just can’t be bothered. Everyone is always constantly pushing for me to read ACOMAF, and I just don’t want to? I know that everyone loved it and I know that I’d probably enjoy it, but just trying to get into a series when everyone is breathing down your neck is really intimidating and not worth the pressure to me. While people might say that it’s validated, it’s undeniable that ACOMAF has insane amounts of hype.
After loving The Darkest Minds series, I was really excited to pick up a copy of Passenger when it was released. It was being ridiculously hyped and while I’ll admit that it is gorgeous, I don’t think it deserved all the hype it received. It was just an average book to me — it wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t fantastic either. I liked the premise and I find time travelling really interesting, but I just didn’t fall in love with it in the way that I had hoped to. I think the main problem with this book was the length of it. It was extremely long and although it contained a lot of action, there were some parts that felt unnecessary to the plot and could have been cut out to make it more of a fast-paced read. While I initially thought I’d read the second book just to see how the series progressed, it’s been a few months since I’ve read it and I know that Wayfarer would just sit on my TBR for all of eternity. It was just a meh book for me, but it was definitely overhyped. Sometimes I think authors need to be happy with their books being enjoyably average instead of their publishers trying to promote the heck out of it and insinuate that it’ll be the best book of the year. Just let us make up our own minds about what’s the best book, okay?
Throne of Glass
Ah, here come the Sarah J. Maas fans again with their pitchforks. Unfortunately, I found Throne of Glass to be exceptionally overhyped and frankly very annoying because of that. Not a day goes by without me hearing this series mentioned or seeing something Maas-related on my feed. and I respect that some people really enjoy her books and they’re absolutely allowed to, but I read Throne of Glass and I just couldn’t get into it and I didn’t feel compelled to read the rest of the series. I though that the main character was too prissy to be badass and she always spoke of how she was an assassin but we didn’t see enough of her rebellious nature. All she wanted to do was read and wear pretty clothes. Although I’ve heard that her character changes and evolves throughout the series, I’m not willing to wait three books in order to see that. If you want me to continue with a series, you have to hook me in with the beginning, not on the promise that it might get better. Overhyped.
Don’t even get me started on this book. Stealing Snow is honestly one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I found it quite problematic too. I hated the way it portrayed mental illness and that if people acted strange when they were kids or were thought to have a mental disorder, they were locked in an ‘asylum’, and I also despised the love square. The romance was forced and fake, the plot was confusing, and I didn’t care about any of the characters. And yet, I can’t believe that the publisher is still trying to push this book onto people! Every time I see it in the bookshop, I get angry but then laugh out loud at just how horrendous it was. Seriously, don’t pick this one up.
I feel like Heartless was one of the most hyped books of last year — unrightfully so. I was really excited to receive an ARC of it and participate in the blog tour, but once I read it, I knew that it was another one of those books that have too much hype and are ultimately a letdown to the bookish community. It started off interesting enough and I usually love retellings, but I soon found that all that was happening in the narrative was baking and complaining about love. Heartless really needed to up the pacing and make the romance more swoon-worthy. The characters just seemed dull and uninteresting and because of that, the rest of the story was boring and unexciting. I feel like a lot of people are still getting very excited over Heartless and yes, it does have a gorgeous cover, but the hype is unwarranted.
What books do you think have too much hype? Do you agree with some of my choices? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Is Caraval on your TBR? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Thanks to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Caraval in exchange for an honest review!