7 books with Too Much Hype

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…

Caraval

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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

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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

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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.

Passenger

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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

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.

Stealing Snow

Stealing Snow cover

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.

Heartless

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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.

Let's Talk

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-bookCaraval 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!

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45 thoughts on “7 books with Too Much Hype

  1. I’ve read all of these save for CTM (don’t plan on it either), and for the most part, I have to agree! While I loved Passenger and Heartless, I did think they were both a bit slow! Took me a while to really get hooked!
    I also thought Truthwitch was IMMENSELY overhyped–I liked it but didn’t love it so yikes.
    I don’t even want to mention SJM’s books because you got it covered, hah.

    • Thank goodness for that! And I couldn’t agree more. And ooh, that’s interesting to hear! I have some friends reading that one at the moment but it wasn’t something I was interested in picking up. I think I’ll give it a miss now! And I’m glad we’re on the same page about SJM’s books 😬💕

  2. i agree with all the books you’ve listed. i think that tog and acotar are the most hyped, i can’t even understand why. i’ll admit, i’m extremely excited for caraval and i don’t even know why (thanks twitter ….. ) i expect it to not be as good as i think it is though. it’s just one of those books i guess.

    • Haha I think a big part of hype is not understanding where it all comes from! And while CARAVAL was good, the massive amounts of hype it has received is bound to leave some people disappointed. I’d love to hear your thoughts on CARAVAL when you read it though! 💖

  3. Definitely agree! I think we’re all allowed to have our opinions but I feel some people are simply going along with the crowd.
    More often than not, my expectations will be too high and an overhyped book will simply not deliver… It’s really disappointing when it happens but alas, more will come.

  4. I appreciate your insights on these books. Though I haven’t read any of them (no offense to the YA readers here of course), I have seen that adult books have their share of horrendous writing as well. I think, if publishers think they will make money (probably because of the author’s name) they’ll shell out money like it’s going out of style. It’s unfortunate.

      • I do as well. I’m not sure how much of the adult realm you’ve seen, but some is good, and the authors just sort of put themselves in a corner, or stopped caring, and others… well, let’s say they were awful to begin with. But as with any genre, there are gems.

  5. I like SJ Maas’s books but I do wholeheartedly agree that they are majorly overhyped. Whether it is the characters or the style of writing it takes me ages to get into them and become invested in the story.

  6. I was so excited about Carve the Mark when it was announced. Then all the racism stuff came out & I was really disappointed but I thought, ya know, maybe I’ll just borrow it at some point just to read it & see, then it just kept getting more & more out of hand & as things keep piling up? I’m so over it. I’m out. Sad, really. Hopefully Roth learns from this.

  7. I definitely agree with you on the Sarah J Maas books. I hated Throne of Glass and have no interest in reading the rest of the series. I did like the ACOTAR books a little better, but they’re just “ok” for me and not the 5 star-worthy ones people always flail about. After Allegiant I have no interest whatsoever in reading anything by Roth again.

  8. I really enjoy the ToG series and the ACOTAR series – but everyone is obviously different 🙂 I will not come at you with a pitchfork for having a different opinion. I promise 😂. I agree about Heartless, whilst did enjoy the book itself, I don’t think the amount of hype the surrounds it was deserved. I have heard some really awful things about Stealing Snow… and since I dnfed Dorothy Must Die, I’m thinking of giving it a skip! I am excited to read Caraval 🙂 it’s a shame to hear about Carve the Mark… I haven’t actually read any reviews about it or anything, but I was looking forward to reading it. I’m going to check out your review. I might read it anyway, just to see, but I will probably do that on my kindle rather than buying a copy outright!!

      • It’s a shame, I do love a good retelling!! I did have a little read of it, and I went and read some others, both good and bad, and I think I might just have a read anyway… there are people on both sides of the fence so…

  9. Great post. I’m often suspicious about highly anticipated books because publishing companies pay for that hype (in freebies, direct ad buys, etc). In the end, I think it sets the bar too high for the books, and many readers end up feeling disappointed.

  10. This was an entertaining post to read! Caraval’s the only one of these on my TBR. I saw a lot of hype around Passenger too, and was a bit disappointed to see everyone say that it and The Girl from Everywhere (which I do think I will try to come back to) were too slow… the premise of both sound so fascinating!
    I see Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom at least once every day I’m on social media, that one has a LOT of hype xD I do think it deserves it, since it’s great in terms of diversity, has great characters and a well-written plot but I get really amused by the fact that there’s consistent hype about it EVERYWHERE I look! Haha.

    • Thanks, Wendy! I’m glad you liked it. And yes, I completely agree with you saying it was slow. Oh yes, that series does have a massive amount of hype! I haven’t read that one yet, but I’ll have to get to it. A little scared I might be left disappointed though! 🙈

  11. Stealing Snow was such a disappointment. While the some of the other books on your list were hyped up, but at least they were warranted. Stealing Snow? No thank you.

  12. When it comes to overhyped books I always go in with no expectations – that way I can’t be too disappointed. Everyone said ToG was good and it wasn’t.I didn’t think highly of it and am giving ACoTaR a try this year.

    One of the biggest overhyped books I read recently was Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. It was just…I did not like the stream of consciousness. I also thought that the MC was too trivial. So I just DNFed it. There are too many books out there in the world to waste time on ones who do not merit satisfaction within 50 pages.

    The debate over CtM is just…I didn’t have any interest to read it in the first place and now? Well, it’s definitely going in my DO NOT READ pile.

    • I think it’s a good mindset to have when you start reading a book with no expectations. And ooh, I haven’t read that one! After what you’ve said about it, I definitely won’t be picking it up. But yes, make sure you avoid CARVE THE MARK! 💕

  13. Not that I’m wanting to come across as critical of your recommendations…I’m just putting this out there. I haven’t read CTM, and to be honest I didn’t really want to because like yourself I tend to find hyped books don’t live up to expectations, then I saw all the negative remarks regarding racism and ableism and thought the same as yourself…however someone posted this on twitter and I think it is something that should be posted alongside such remarks, it’s an interesting read.
    http://linkis.com/tumblr.com/rBTzZ
    🙂

  14. Hello! I’m sorry to see that you didn’t care for the Sarah J. Maas books! I, too, was a bit unhappy with the Throne of Glass book, but I hung in there, and ended up Loving the series. I’ll admit, I haven’t finished Empire Of Storms, because I’m finding it a bit long… Also, ACOTAR was a good read, but a typical Beauty and the Beast retelling. The next book, however, was brilliant! So much more than I hoped for, and much different. I hope you will at least give it a chance? I just finished Caraval, and I was Hoping that after all the hype comparing it to The Night Circus (which is my favorite Stand Alone Novel), I thought it would be much more whimsical and magical! There was a good amount of fun, but I was Hoping to be swept away in a magical wonderland. Not be worried about her sister the entire time, and spoil the fun. It was a bit dramatic, but I can honestly say that I liked it. It’s my own fault for expecting something else…. I haven’t read any of these other books, but I have such a long TBR list. I might just skip a few now! 🙂

    • I’m glad you loved the series! It’s not for everyone, but it definitely has a big fanbase, and that’s amazing. I’ll probably read ACOMAF eventually, but probably not anytime soon. My TBR is a mountain at the moment! I was very disappointed with CARAVAL, but I’m looking forward to picking up THE NIGHT CIRCUS – especially because I’ve heard such amazing things about it! And yes, I think it’s fairly safe to say that you can skip the others. Happy reading! 💕

  15. I love how polite you are about Caraval hehe. Great discussion! I agree with you about all of them except the SJM books but that’s fine – they’re not for everyone and you shouldn’t have to feel pressured to read something that doesn’t interest you. I love your sass surrounding CTM and SS 😉

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