5 Books That Weren’t Worth the Hype for Me

There are a few things in life I absolutely cannot resist no matter what: puppies, ice cream, and really hyped books. Even if I know it’s not my type of book, I’ll give in and read it just because I have to know what all the hype is about. Sometimes these books completely live up to the expectations (Gone Girl, Did You Ever Have a Family, American Sniper)

5-booksOther times, I’m excited and ready to be wow’ed and I finish the book feeling completely underwhelmed and left wondering what all the commotion was about. That was definitely the case for these 5 books.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

wild.jpgBefore Wild hit the scene Eat, Pray, Love was all the rage. It was everywhere and everyone was reading it. I, of course, gave in and read it, and really enjoyed it a lot. When Wild started gaining a following I was excited to read another version of Eat, Pray, Love. But I really really disliked this book. I hate to dump on a memoir because it’s not just a story made up by someone, it’s a real person and their life; but I hated this book, and hated the movie 5 times more. To sum it up, I didn’t relate or even sympathize with Cheryl at all. Although it’s terrible she lost her mother to cancer, I felt she basically used it as an excuse to be a shitty person and do shitty things. She was a drug addict for no reason other than she had no motivation to do anything else. She cheated on her husband countless times for no reason other than she was acting on impulse and didn’t care about his feelings what so ever. I can understand the heartbreak of loss, but I can’t understand people who use it as an excuse to be a shitty person.

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The-Girl-on-the-Train_-A-Novel-Paula-HawkinsThis book was famously referred to as “the next Gone Girl“…blahhhh. No not even close for me. Gone Girl had me flipping pages like a mad woman and had me physically unable to put the book down. More so, Gone Girl was able to make me actually kind of sympathize and root for an extremely flawed and sick character (Amy). I found all three women to be extremely similar and annoying. I literally wasn’t rooting for any of them at all. Overall, I didn’t hate it. I gave it three stars on Goodreads, but absolutely no way was it Gone Girl standards or even 4 or 5 star standards.

Room by Emma Donoghue

room.jpgThis book was a big deal when it came out in 2010, but is becoming a big deal yet again because of it being made into a feature film. I can see why this book has received so much praise and I can even understand why some people have loved it, but for me I really just didn’t. Writing a book with a child narrator is a hard thing to do, and I found the lack of dialogue and sentence structure to be really annoying. I also found myself feeling really cheated by the ending. While things end seemingly “happy” I felt like so many really important aspects of the story were left completely unanswered. Again, another read that I didn’t hate, but definitely didn’t agree with the hype.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

thirteen-reasons-why.jpgI have huge fundamental problems with this book. HUGE. This Young Adult novel came so highly rated online and from everyone who seemed to read it. I finished this book and was literally disgusted. Writing for teens about teen suicide is an extremely hard thing to do, but I’ve read some YA books that have done a great job of it (Hate List and My Heart and Other Black Holes were both spectacular). This book not only focuses on a successful suicide, but I felt it glamorized suicide in a way that I believe is never acceptable, let alone acceptable to a young teen. Even just thinking back to this book leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. This book should be banned. Yes, Banned. That’s how inappropriate I feel it is.

You by Caroline Kepnes

you.jpgI am all about a good book about a lovable psychopath, but I just didn’t find, the main character and psychopath of this book, Joe, to be that lovable. He had a couple of good one liners that gave me a chuckle here and there, but overall I just found him to be a weirdo. What really annoyed me about this book is that I hated Beck, the object of Joe’s affections, even more than I hated Joe. I couldn’t cheer for Joe because he was a weird murderous psychopath and I couldn’t cheer for Beck cause she was just a sucky character. All in all, I was left felling really underwhelmed.

The good news is, I read the second book in this series, Hidden Bodies, and loved it! Not only did Joe come off as a lovable psychopath, but his love interest, Love, was such a better character than Beck.

What book was a really big let down for you?

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  • i quite liked the girl on the train, i think.. i forget haha. i hate HATE how they compare books though – why does it HAVE to be the next gone girl? that sets unrealistic expectations, good or bad. it was completely different! i also liked room, but the kid annoyed me for sure. kid narrators are hard to do, and this kid was even harder because of how he grew up. i remember liking it at the time, but it’s one of the ones that irritated me the further i got away from it.
    i HATED thirteen reasons why. HATED. I try and keep myself separated from books, like it’s fiction – just because i read something doesn’t mean i will do it or agree with it. but if i had received tapes like that when i was a teenager? or if i had read that book as an annoying teenager who thought suicide would get me attention? i just feel like it sent the complete wrong message and bothered me for days. i rated it 3 stars, i guess i was feeling nice, it was definitely more like 1 or 2 stars for me. i think i rated it 3 stars because i was ‘captivated’, couldn’t put it down.. i kept hoping it would get better or go a different way lol.

    • i remember you having similar feelings about 13 reasons why! I’m so glad I’m not the only person who felt it was 100% not appropriate. I also agree with you about publishers trying to compare books as the the “next gone girl” or whatever it is.

  • I agree with you on WILD. I read the book long after most everyone else had and after seeing the movie… I thought the book was ok. I read YOU and The Girl on the Train before most everyone jumped on the bandwagon, but I loved them both. Landline and The Storied Life of AJ Fikry are two books that did not live up to the hype for me. They were ok, but based on what others said, I was expecting both to be out of this world excellent.

    • landline was mehh to me. kind of ridiculous and just very vanilla in my opinion. all Rainbow Rowell books have actually kind of been let downs for me. I thought Eleanor and Park was cute, but i hated the way it ended and overall wasn’t as in love with it as the rest of the world seemed to be.

  • I try not to go into anything with expectations, because I find myself liking books others don’t like often. LOL

    That being said I do recognize when a book is hyped. I didn’t care for Fates & Furies or The Nest and they were the buzz this year. I also haven’t liked any Rainbow Rowell book aside from Eleanor & Park.

    • I agree my expectations seem to get me in trouble with books more times than not. I enjoyed fates and furies but It’s definitely been a book that people have either been absolutely loving or absolutely disappointed by. books like that suck me in so much! I just have to know!! haha.

  • I feel like I would have liked Girl on the Train so much more had I not gone into it expecting it to be like Gone Girl. BUT I think it will be a better movie than it was a book, if that makes sense.

    • EXACTLY! if they never would have planted that seed in my head about it being “the next gone girl” i would have been like ok, it was a good book. but going into it with that expectation i was extremely let down.

  • GG

    Yes! I hated Wild. I kept waiting for it to get good but it never happened. I felt similarly about Eat, Pray, Love. I thought that there was no real climax for both of the books. Just a lot of meh.

    • ugh the only thing worse than Wild the book was Wild the movie! literally the movie was God-awful.

  • I agree the main characters were very unlikable in the Girl on the Train, but the story kept me interested enough that I overall liked it. But I hate how publishers always feel they need to compare books to Gone Girl or other popular books. Books that haven’t lived up to the hype for me lately – Throne of Glass and Divergent. I like YA but those books fell flat for me. I was also felt The Girls by Emma Cline got a lot of promotion that I’m not sure it deserved. It started strongly but ended so weakly and with more space, I think there were some huge missed opportunities and I’d probably lower my rating of the book.

    • I haven’t gotten my hands on The Girls, but I need to because I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews. I actually really liked the Divergent series, haha. it definitely wasn’t literary genius but it definitely had me interested and completely captivated by the plot.

  • I totally agree with you about the characters in The Girl On The Train! I just wanted to smack Rachel around and make her do something with her life. I really did love the book though, and I think that the reason why a lot of people didn’t like it was because it was being compared to Gone Girl. They really need to stop comparing everything to Gone Girl! I really loved You too, but I also agree with you about Beck not being a very likable character. I didn’t understand what Joe’s draw to her was.

    • I think the author of Girl on the Train could have done more to make Rachel more likable. Even though Amy from Gone Girl was clearly a pyscho, I was almost cheering for her because Gillian Flynn just has a thing for making horrible people likable characters. its a true gift! haha.