Your friend recommends a new book to you. Everyone is talking about it, from online reviews to book bloggers, everyone cannot stop talking about this book. So you finally give in, borrow or buy the book, and begin reading.
And you read.
Until you get to the last line of that final chapter and you ask yourself: this is it? This is the book that was so great that everyone is talking about? It wasn’t that great at all, so what is the big deal?
Fellow readers, you have just become a victim of book hype.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Book hype is needed, especially for authors and publishers. Without it, authors and publishers a like couldn’t get their books out there. Especially in this digital age, word of mouth just doesn’t really cover it anymore. Book hype is good for the book business. But with book hype comes high expectations, which results in disappoint sometimes.
I am victim of book hype, a continuous action when you are an avid reader. Most of the following books were recommended or read great reviews about it:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
The Daughter by Jane Shemlit
The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
and many others, just can’t remember them right now. All of these were really bad or I was completely stumped at why it was so great. I can say that the only book that matched the book hype, in my opinion, was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
So what do we do? Should we just call end to book hype? I don’t think that will ever be possible. When we read something and believe it is so great, it is only natural that you want to share your love of it with other fellow readers. It’s like instinct. The question I’m asking is should we follow it, even though there is a chance of disappointment? I don’t think there is a clear answer for this. There are some people who stay clear from over hyped books and others who look forward to it. I have always said this and I’ll continue to say this: with all the books we read during the year, we are bound to read a couple of bad apples in a bunch. We have this great right to choose what we want to read and that applies to book hype. Just think of the great conversations we can have. I may have thought that The Girl on the Train was not all that great but I may meet someone with a different opinion from mine. Even though book hype might lead to disappointing reading, it also leads to very diverse conversations. And let’s be honest: it would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things.
Do you guys follow book hype? What book do you considered to be the most over hyped book? Post your response below.