Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books That I (Surprisingly) Didn’t Hate

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is books I liked more than I thought I would.

I have a complicated relationship with hyped books. Some of them totally deserve the hype, but I have two reasons for avoiding them:

1. I overhype them in my head and then get disappointed. 
2. I feel weird about throwing my book money at an author who is already rich. Authors deserve all the money they make, but there are many talented authors whose books get no hype. This is often because the publisher doesn’t promote the book heavily. I’d rather support talented, lesser-known authors. Hyped authors get enough attention without me.

That being said, here are some hyped books that I enjoyed.

Hyped Books That I (Surprisingly) Didn’t Hate

Why I was skeptical: Jenny Lawson has a strange sense of humor.
Why I liked it: Turns out, I also have a strange sense of humor.

Why I was skeptical: Romance and questionable mental illness representation.
Why I liked it: “Liked” might be the wrong word. “Was unnerved by it” might be better. An acquaintance of mine committed suicide shortly before I started reading this book. His relationship with his girlfriend was very similar to the characters’ relationship in the book. It was eerie.

Why I was skeptical: Vague synopsis. Is it a contemporary? Sci-fi? A love story? Also, it’s set in a city. I hate cities.
Why I liked it: That ending . . .

Why I was skeptical: It was described to me as “An amazing book where nothing really happens.”
Why I liked it: Interesting insight into Korean culture and how society pressures us to conform.

Why I was skeptical: Fantasy is not my thing.
Why I liked it: It’s fantasy, but it’s not dense fantasy. I didn’t have to wade through 500 pages of elf history to get to the plot.

Why I was skeptical: Hard sci-fi isn’t my thing.
Why I liked it: I’m not as rabid about these books as everyone else seems to be, but they all have a lot of action, which is fun.

Why I was skeptical: Romance-heavy books are not my thing.
Why I liked it: Quirky characters, compelling plots, hopeful endings.

Why I was skeptical: They sound fluffy. I don’t do fluffy.
Why I liked it: Brilliant dialogue, lots of humor, relatable characters.

Why I was skeptical: Oprah likes it. I haven’t had much luck with books that Oprah likes.
Why I liked it: I love hiking.

What’s your favorite hyped book? 


  1. This is such a great post. I liked your comments that accompanied the featured books. I have yet to read any of Rowell's books.

  2. I tend to resist reading super hyped books after a few books I read just didn't live up to it for me. I love how you laid out your list. I'm a fan of Jenny Lawson as well. Have you tried the audios? I really liked Furiously Happy in print but I LOVED it in audio. I need to track it down for her first book. I haven't picked up the VE Schwab books partly because they were fantasy but it sounds like they work even for non-fantasy readers. Great list!

  3. I love so many of these books. I'm so glad you loved them. I wasn't sure how I would feel about Rainbow Rowell the first time but she's a total favorite now. And I didn't think I would like More Happy Than Not or Aristotle and Dante because I don't like sad books but they were both really good. Great list!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  4. I was surprised by More Happy Than Not as well. I enjoyed that one. Illuminae surprised me too because I was originally put off by the way it was written and left it on the shelf. I'm glad that I read it now though.

  5. Interesting list. Wild was on mine but for the opposite reason, lol.

  6. I agree with your scifi choices. It is not my go to genre at all and I loved all the book you listed. Fantasy isn't my thing either but I am intrigued by the VE Schwab books. Yay for Rainbow Rowell - I love all her books :) Great list!

  7. I REALLY loved The Martian, Fangirl, and Carry On. They are all on my top favorites list. lol! I love Rainbow Rowell. I have Landline and Eleanor & Park too but haven't gotten to read them yet. Great list!

  8. I still haven't read any of V.E. Scwab's books but everyone seems to love them so I need to get move on. I haven't read all the bright places but I did read holding up the universe by Jennifer Niven and loved it. It's one of my favourite reads this year so far!

  9. I love A Darker Shade of Magic! So excited to read the third book in the trilogy soon :)
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/top-ten-tuesday-97/

  10. I kinda agree about hyped books/ authors, why does that sometimes turn me off? I do tend to have too high expectations though if they're SUPER hyped, and therefore tend to avoid 'em. anyway I loved Fangirl, liked Illuminae (mostly) and Furiously Happy just looks fun.

  11. All of the books that you've listed here that I've read, I really enjoyed. I don't tend to shy away from hyped books, though. I find that I tend to think most of the ones I've read earned their rep---but I'm definitely disappointed when one doesn't live up to my expectations.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  12. I thought Wild was just okay, but I read it before I'd heard of it, just because I kind of have a thing for through-hiking literature. I gave up on Ready Player One after a few chapters because I thought it was flat-out boring, and while I enjoy the structure of Illuminae, the plot didn't do much for me. However, huge YES on Furiously Happy, Aristotle & Dante, More Happy Than Not, Simon Vs., I'll Give You The Sun, and all things Rowell or Schwab.

    I like your thought about not always giving money to the few authors who've actually made it rich from writing. I have the impression that writers are either really successful or, even if they get multiple books published, never make enough to give up their day job. I hope that's not true; I hope there are middle class authors who never explode into the Next Big Thing but who get enough steady pay to keep writing.

  13. Yay for Illuminae!! I loved that one too! The only other one I've read is Ready Player One, which really wasn't for me. :/ I still really need to read A Darker Shade of Magic!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  14. Um, I felt the same about SO. MANY of these. And so many more I am STILL holding off on for those reasons (especially the romance ones) so now I am definitely going to have to take the plunge. I also need to read Viscous. And I loved MHTN, Illuminae, I'll Give You the Sun, ATBP... so yeah, I need to read these all then!

  15. I love the Jenny Lawson covers and I've seen people rave about the books. If she's famous I have no clue who she is but I might check out the books as they sound kinda funny.

  16. Oh, AJ, you crushed this post. I just kept reading through your list going, "Yes. Completely. Yes. Of course!" I also adore the format you chose for this post. VERY easy to read.

    I completely agree about Jenny Lawson. I didn't think I'd enjoy her books, but I love them. Apparently I have weird sense of humor, too! <3

  17. VE Schwab has quickly become one of my favorites! :D

    Lauren @ Always Me

  18. Loved this post. I have both of the Schwab books, but haven't read them yet. I'm glad to hear that they were good reads for you.

  19. All the Bright Places and Aristotle and Dante were two hyped books which made me wary but I ended up really enjoying as well. I don't know... the hype usually makes me delay in reading it and then usually I still end up enjoying it :P

  20. "Why I was skeptical: Oprah likes it."

    LOL, this is how I feel too but I also liked Wild. That one must've been some kind of Oprah fluke.