The Absolute Terror of Reviewing Hyped Books // A Discussion Post

So you read a popular book? And now you have to write a review? Really, best advice, don’t do it! Avoid writing reviews for hyped books at all costs.

Because no matter what you do, writing a review for a super hyped book is painful and scary!  Truthfully, I’m never very confident about writing about popular books. Even for books I enjoyed. Writing them is so anxious? Why?

Perhaps it’s not always completely terrible. Sometimes I have lots of fun writing them, it can depend on how much I enjoyed the book. If I love the book, it can be fun to shout about my opinion.

Or if the book was problematic or I just didn’t like it, now I have to publish a different opinion.

That is scary.

Does that mean that I never write hyped book reviews? Um, no. Because there are pros and cons to writing about hyped books. 

Pro – Alot of people have read it.

Sometimes, if you’re writing a book for a super obscure book, you know not too many people will read the review. After all, why should you read review my book for the Scarlet Pimpernel? It was published over a 100 years ago, and you probably aren’t making plans to read it. *tears*
Still, you should read my thoughts about the Scarlet Pimpernel. Because Sir Percy is ADORABLE.

On the other hand, if I’m writing a review for a super popular book, more people are likely to have read the book. People will know more about the book, because they’ve read the book, too! I won’t talking about a random book that no one else has read! Yeah!

Con – Sharing a very different opinion *publicly*

Hyped books have popular opinions. Everyone’s chatting about the book & you don’t want to be the only one with a different opinion

.

I hate how nervous this fear makes me! I don’t think bloggers & readers should be afraid of being different or controversial. I don’t mean offensive or rude. I do mean opinionated.
We can’t really except that all readers will have the same tastes and opinions. We’re humans. We’re different.
And that is good. It’s perfectly ok. Even amazing.

Knowing that being different is great doesn’t automatically make you feel great about being different.

It is hard to publicly say I don’t like what everyone else is loving.
What if people think I’m being whiny? Or snobbish? Or just weird?

I do have to stop myself from thinking through what everyone could be thinking about my thoughts because that kind of thinking is a bad idea.

And I think I just created a tongue twister by writing that entire last paragraph.

Pro – Lots of Chatter

More people read hyped books. That means we can all talk about it. I enjoy reading book reviews for my favorite books. That may be weird? But if I like a book, I enjoy reading reviews for it. Even negative reviews? Maybe I’m just super strange.

Ok, I may just be strange. But from my personal blogging experience, I know more people read my reviews for hyped books. Just looking at the stats, you know.

More comments, more discussions, more fun! If we love the book, we can fangirl together. Or if we’re mad, ranting together is also great.

Being loud is just fun, right?!?!?!

Con – All the Expectations. Ugh.

The hardest thing about reading and reviewing hyped books are the expectations! Even if a book lives up to your expectations, reading something expecting greatness is anxiety building. It’s more stressful than I think it’s really worth?

I’d rather NOT expect anything from a book? Maybe that sounds super weird. But it’s true! The build up to a book is horrible.

I don’t need to know the plot or that lots of people think it’s amazing. I just want to read books and enjoy stories and fall in love with different characters.

Now, I don’t mind hearing about books and adding tons of books to my TBR. However, It’s incredibly hard to balance simply hearing about a book and getting dumped with a hurricane full of hype.

Two examples that I hope clarify exactly what I mean. 🙂

I kept hearing about An Ember in the Ashes. Bloggers and friends casually mentioned it, popping it into my insta feed. I think I saw it on Goodreads? Anyway, I heard about it, so I added it to my TBR.

I was overloaded with HYPE for ACOTAR and all things Sarah J Maas. Every picture in my feed was crammed full of Mass merch. People kept asking me if I’d read her books. I saw so MANY posts MONTHS before her last book was published.

See the difference? Casual recommendation versus SCREAMING THOU SHALT READ THIS.

Just don’t scream about books? Please? Let’s be kind, offer recommendations, and respect each other.

(Ok, you can scream about books. Just don’t scream at people that they must read a book. Especially before it’s even published. I just think that’s anxiety building and not too nice)

Pro – We’re in this Bookish World Together

I’m not sure how exactly to describe this pro? It’s definitely a pro and I really want to chat about this point.
Hyped books aren’t perfect, I think we can all admit that.

Some hyped books can have some super problematic material. Seeing problematic books hyped is damaging. It can be isolating, especially if the problematic material is personal. It can hurt to see readers promoting books that can potentially cause harm.

But, it can also be incredibly supportive to bump into fellow bloggers/readers who also recognize the problematic materials. It doesn’t mean they’ve gone through the same situations that you have experienced – but they see the world in a similar way.

Maybe this all sounds strange? Sorry if it does! I’m trying to talk, though I sound rather bumbling. Finding people who are frustrated by bad stuff is encouraging. Good feelings.

You’re not alone. We can stand up for each other together. 

Basically, seeing other readers point out the same problems you see in problematic books feels like this gif ^

don't let muggles get you down & Lupin

Whether or not you hate, love, or even care about hyped books, writing any kind of book review is hard work. It’s hard work to create semi-coherent opinions that are readable?

At least, that’s what I feel like every time I sit down to write a review. How in the world am I supposed to put together all the thoughts I have on this book? 

But book reviews are the backbone of book blogging & somehow we all manage to get them done?

^toast to all the bookworms^

lets chat

Do you like reading hyped books? How does hype make you feel? Do you enjoy writing book reviews? 

How do you deal with expectations about books? Do you read hyped books as soon as they’re released? Have you ever been really, really, really disappointed by a hyped book?

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12 Comments

  1. Chauncey Rogers
    February 24, 2018 / 11:36 am

    I struggle with dealing with hype as well–both for books and movies. Rarely does it end up being a good experience for me.
    On a separate note, have you seen the old Scarlet Pimpernel film with Ian Mckellen? I’m like 95% sure I’ve already talked with you about this, but I always have to check, as that movie is, in my opinion, very much worthwhile.

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:04 am

      I love the old Scarlet Pimpernel!!! Ian McKellen and Anthony Andrews were just PERFECT.

  2. Jennifer Garey
    February 24, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    I enjoy reading hyped up books. I have yet to have one that disappoints me, but I’m sure one day it will. I tend to usually go into a book blind anyway, so it makes it harder for me to be disappointed because I don’t have high expectations for the book to begin with.

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:03 am

      I’m learning to enjoy reading a book blindly! It’s hard because I’m kind of a control freak about my reading but I’ve read a couple books recently I knew NOTHING about and super enjoyed them.

  3. emmareadstoomuch
    February 24, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    THIS POST IS SO REAL. i read tons of hyped books (b/c it’s fun to participate in such a big discussion!) but i dislike them really frequently. and that’s scary. people come for my LIFE when i one-star hyped books.

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:02 am

      We need to build a castle to live behind when we’re about to bash a hyped book 😂 Because some people are OVER hyped. Like I don’t get it? Why is this book so important to you? It’s only been published for 3 days and it means THAT much to you??? 😂😂😂

  4. February 24, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    I’m always so torn when it comes to hyped up books because I feel like I have a duty as a book blogger to read books that everyone’s talking about, which is kind of silly. But at the same time if it’s something that I’m not interested in I’ll keep away from it. And then there have been occasions where I’ve picked up hyped books that don’t sound like my thing because I just want to know what the big deal is. I think the expectations of talking about hyped books is kind of why I don’t write reviews anymore.(i hope this comment makes sense, i’ve rambled a little >.<)

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:01 am

      Oh, it made perfect sense! Sometimes I’m really not interested in a book, but the hype? So I read it and still wish I hadn’t 😂 And you’re right – I wouldn’t have read some of my favorite books if it weren’t for the hype, so it’s a win-win situation.

  5. February 24, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    I do like hyped books, I confess!😂 I love the conversation that comes with them, because I feel like a huge part of blogging (and a big reason I do it anyway) is because of chatting about books! And I can’t exactly do that if I’m not reading what everyone else is, right?! So I do still love to read underrated books buuut, total love for the hyped ones still. (Although obviously it sucks to see problematic books getting super much attention. *sigh*) And I also hate being like violently recommended books…it’s a huge turn off?! I’m so over all the SJM books, I’ve even got all the titles muted on twitter.😂

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:00 am

      What would blogging be without hyped books? But also, muting some title is super SMART. I love chatting about hyped authors but not if the other person is hellbent on screaming. I’ll run away and hide from anything TOO hyped.

  6. February 26, 2018 / 7:50 am

    It depends on what hyped book it is. Some I can’t wait to read, and then I’ve been disappointed, and others I thought looked interesting, then really loved. The thing I hate most about book reviews is when someone hates a book I loved or loves a book I hated and I feel like my opinion is somehow wrong (even though I know it’s not). You have some great thoughts on the subject, though.

    • Elizabeth Hunter
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 7:58 am

      I hate when my opinion feels invalidated! It’s really hard to trust your own opinion sometimes, especially when you disagree with a lot of people.

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