Is It Worth the Read? | Discussing Hyped Books
I am going to mix things up a bit this week as, instead of doing a 'Tag Time', I want to have a small discussion. Now, you've probably seen many (many) people talk about it this subject, and for good reason. Social media has a profound effect on what readers pick up, and I am not immune to that. If I see a book being talked about over and over again, I am going to get curious. Does that end up working out in the end, well, that is what this post is all about.
Of course, there are tons of popular books out there that I don't want to read myself, such as books by Colleen Hoover, for example, or most romance novels in general. So, that being said, I am not going to include books that I have yet to read or don't want to. There are also tons of them in general, so I am just going to be a handful.
Here we go!
The Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller
Two books based on Greek mythology, one that I liked and one that I didn't care for. Now, I am a bit biased here because I did study classical history, so I already knew the texts that the books were based on, which did severely impact my reading experience. With The Song of Achilles, I already knew what was going to happen, so I was not invested in the story at all. As for Circe, I knew slightly less about it, so I enjoyed it more. I find that if you go into this knowing nothing, and like books more on the dryer side, you might enjoy this. So, was it worth the hype, kind of?
Taylor Jenkins Reid
While I haven't read her entire catalogue yet, I have read enough to get a good sense of her writing. As such, I would say that her books are worth it. I ended up enjoying both Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo despite the fact that they were out of my comfort zone. As for her other book I've read, Malibu Rising, that all came down to personal preference, as I didn't enjoy the subject matter.
I have only read two books by her, and my decision is pretty split. For the most part, I thought that The Turn of the Key was good (up until the end though), while One by One was better than what most people rated it, but was still disappointing. So, my final verdict is that you would just have to try a bunch of her novels and judge them for yourself, cause you will either like them or hate them.
Sarah J. Maas
I think that SJM is an author that you either love or hate. Personally, I am on the former side, since I have very much so enjoyed all of her books (with the exception of two). I would suggest that you pick up just one of her books, and if you don't like that one then you should probably give up because her books tend to follow the same tropes.
Like SJM, she is a well-loved author, but unlike her, I don't seem to vibe with her work. I read the Shadow and Bone series, DNF'd Six of Crows, and severely disliked Ninth House. I found the Grishaverse to be a bit mediocre, with few likeable characters. As for Ninth House, well, it just ended up being a huge disappointment, and I felt like it didn't handle its sensitive content particularly well. So, with Bardugo, again I would say that it depends on how much you like YA writing and world-building, but for me, she isn't worth the hype.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
This one is a bit complicated. I loved this book when I read it, and at the time I 100% recommended it if you were looking for something that was both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. Because of the possibility that this could be based on very real and tragic events, you may or may not want to do some digging before going into this. Was it worth the hype though, absolutely?
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
V.E. Schwab in general is a very popular author, and I have not had the best of luck with her. I have read her middle-grade series, which is meh, as well as this book which...I did not like, like at all. A lot of people did, but I did not have a good time reading this at all. Was it worth the hype, nope?
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This is an adored coming-of-age story, one that I did not adore. While I didn't hate it, I just found it to be boring. I like novels full of magic and action, so reading a contemporary that is set entirely in reality just doesn't work for me. If you do like that though, then you may enjoy this, but if you are a fantasy reader like me then this was not worth the hype.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This sounded good in theory but just didn't work out in execution. Because of the nature of the story, it ended up being really repetitive, and I found myself not being interested in the main character's story. So this was not worth the hype, in my opinion.
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
This was the book on social media for a while, and everyone seemed to be talking about it. Naturally, I read it as well and...I was really disappointed. Barely anything happened in it, like it was just a group of people conducting research, and that was pretty much it. I wanted more from it, which I didn't get, so I would say that this was not worth the hype.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
When I read this, I thought it was okay, nothing special but not horrible. That being said, this is not a book for fantasy fans and is more for romance fans, which is something that I just don't look for. The fantasy ends up taking the background to make way for a romance that was a bit questionable. Not worth the hype.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Yeah...I did not end up finishing this book. A lot of people praise this, probably because it is a bit darker than most YA fantasy books, but I just couldn't do it. There is a big issue with the book when the guy who is called 'the cruel prince', ended up being the only character I liked. That might just be because of my preferences, but I couldn't stand the female protagonist. Not worth the hype.