Books get hyped up all the time! One person loves it, writes an amazing review, tells all their friends about it and voila, it’s the newest ‘it’ book and for the few months until the next ‘it’ book gets published or the movie version is made, that book is the only one we all have to read.
I’ve been sucked in by the glowing reviews of books and the hype behind them, but honestly, more often than not, unless I’ve had previous experience with the author and really loved them, I tend to avoid those books that everyone is talking about. It’s not a mean thing on my part, but generally when something is so worshiped I think I tend to be harsher and more critical and thus my enjoyment is diminished. Also, some books with all the hype are just shyte.
In thinking about a few of the books that have been really big hitters in the past year or so, I got to thinking about the books in that group that I have read and maybe possibly enjoyed, but ultimately fell short of my love shelf.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – There is a serious love fest going on for this author and her books. The first book I read of Rainbow Rowell’s was Attachments and I read it right before she took off as the next ‘it’ writer with her quirky characters and cute young adult books. I didn’t really love Attachments, her adult novel, but it was okay, enjoyable enough. So when I started hearing all the praise for Rowell’s young adult fiction and her latest, Eleanor & Park, I thought ‘why not’, I may well enjoy her YA more than her contemporary adult novels. No such luck though. I started reading Eleanor & Park and although it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t grab me. I wasn’t invested in the characters or their story and ended up putting this one down half way through and eventually parted with my copy.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – This was a book I first heard about from the Goodreads community. I believe it was self-published first and then when it really started getting attention, was re released in paperback form. I just went back and looked at my review of this book and this is what it said – “it was entertaining and a fun summer read but I kind of lost a bit of interest for it about half way through when the “issue” arose.” I can’t remember what the ‘issue’ was! I think maybe it had to do with Sam’s mother cause there’s another line I wrote that made me remember bits about how much I disliked the mother in this story, but other than that – nothing. If I can’t remember the story, I know this book didn’t make an impact on me.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I picked this one up long after the hype surrounding this book had started. I had read another suspense story and was yearning for another good read. The one word to describe this book is boring. I kept reading, waiting for some sort of impact, some sort of ‘aha!’ moment but it never came. I found it kind of predictable and just not nearly as exciting as all the great reviews had made it out to be. As a psychological thriller, or exploration of the human psyche, it didn’t do much either.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – UGH! Don’t even get me started on this piece of shit of a book. I hated from the word go. A friend suggested I might like it because I like romance books, but I knew from the little I’d heard of it when it was still a self-published Fanfic story that I wouldn’t because of the BDSM context. It’s just not my cup of tea. Why did I pick this up then? Well, I guess I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I’d heard so many debates about it from women who both loved and hated it and the more I heard the more I wanted to have my already forming opinion based in something. So, I read it. And suffered for it. If you want to read my review of this book go here – Fifty Shades of Grey Review. I hated it! Hate this book, hate the writing, hate that the book that got women to be okay and proud of reading romance books (if you can even call this book that) is this one. There are so many better romance reads out there and this book and its writing and the fact that this book got published when so many others didn’t is a real shame.
Clockwork Prince & City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – I read Clare’s Mortal Instruments series way back at the beginning before it was huge and have to say at the time I really loved the series. I remember talking fondly of the characters and thought the story was really original. As time went on and Clare garnered more popularity and the series blew up into a mega hit I grew tired of the talk and also wondered why she kept recycling the same old story and love triangle only setting it in the Victorian era? I read the Infernal Devices series because I love Victorian England and thought maybe the story would pull me in, but nope. I was bored from book 1-3. It was the same story from Clare’s first series, only with a vague bit of steampunk thrown in, cause steampunk was big at the time, and a more annoying protagonist and love triangle. There was no need to continue the Mortal Instruments series from it’s 3 book status to 6, that was purely a capitalising move rather than quality move and I think the original series has suffered for it.
Me Before You & The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – I read Me Before You first and remembered enjoying it, it was a nice chick flicky type summer read. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that either as I really enjoy picking up those easy types of read every once in a while. The book was good and entertaining, but when the plethora of glowing reviews came along for this book I was left wondering if I’d missed something. Although I enjoyed the story and characters, I’m not sure I agree it was such the tear jerker people claimed. Also, The One Plus One which I read earlier this year, was again okay and entertaining enough, although I’d say the characters, mainly the two adult characters of this novel were kind of annoying and exasperating which grated on my enjoyment of the story.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Although this book came out years ago and has been a bit of a cult classic since, I can’t really remember it. Since its recent revival this past month with the premiere of the TV version of the book I thought I’d add this one in. I read it years back on the recommendation of a friend but remember finding it kind of slow and unexciting. I think I actually may have stopped reading about three quarters of the way through…it’s a long book.
I know opinions vary, and I’m sure many are fans of some of the books I’ve just put down…(oops) but reading is very subjective I think and as I’ve grown older, I’ve turned into a harsher critic!