There is nothing wrong about books turning into popular sensations across all platforms, because it gives its authors tons of exposure and readers something new to look forward too. While I do believe that some books popularized in book social media, such as Booktube, Booktok or Bookstagram, actually deserve the hype that’s it’s currently getting, there are some titles that would make me scratch my head and think “Why?!”. I’ve been part of the Bookstagram community for years, so I have a fairly general idea on what books are being hyped up on this platform, and it may or may not also extend in others such as BookTok (Tea: I don’t use TikTok – especially BookTok – because I know I will be getting the same title of books over and over again).
Disclaimer: This is mostly based from my personal opinions and my reading experience of them. If some of your favorite books end up on this list, I’m not attacking you. What I may not like, you might enjoy, and vice versa.
So without further ado, here are the 12 books highly popularized in the book community that I feel like don’t deserve its hype!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
I always think that V.E. Schwab is not the author for me. I’ve read a couple of her books before, but never really found the urge to continue on with the series. So when The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was released, I decided to give her another chance. I pretty much enjoyed the book, and the writing was absolutely immersive, but there still some problems that I had with it that was similar to my previous experiences in her other works. I also didn’t get the same level of attachment to the main character as other readers did, so I never really understood the “heartbreaking and sobbing fests” most people did. My stonecold heart was not crushed by this book, and it’s more of a “it’s you and not me” scenario.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
I believe I’ve talked in great lengths about how this book was the most disappointing read I experienced last 2021. I’m a die-hard Stalking Jack the Ripper series fanatic, so I expected the similar experience on this new series from the author. Sadly, this book just really didn’t sit right with me, and everything – from the characters, plot, and world – was just too one note and it really needed so much more. I’m definitely part of the very small minority group that thinks this was not worth the hype it’s currently getting. I don’t even have the urge to pick up the next book that was just recently released.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I distinctly remember how popular this book was when it was released a few years ago, since it was introducing a new wave of young adult fantasy novels that wasn’t Western-centric. The entire concept of it was interesting, however the execution flopped. Aside from a few important real-life points that the author wanted to point out, it just read like any other YA novel that has been out already, so its “new-ness” didn’t really live up to my expectations. It could check a lot of boxes in the overused YA tropes list, and I didn’t even bother to pick up the next book anymore. However, I could still appreciate how this book gave an avenue to other non-Eurocentric novels in the YA space.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
If you’re someone who has been following my platform for quite some time now, you already know I RARELY read YA contemporaries. But 10 or so plus years ago, when I didn’t know any better, I picked up this book because my younger sister (who is a huge contemporary reader) loved this one. And I absolutely hated the entire experience – and this was 14-15 ish Angele talking. There were just so many problems with this book that didn’t sit well to me that time, so just imagine my frustration that these exact problems were just brought up around 1-2 years ago. I’m so glad my sister finally unhauled this book from her collection, but I’m still getting constant headaches whenever I see this book circulating.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
I always wanted to try to branch out more and read more mystery thrillers, so I was interested in reading The Guest List when it first came out. And oh boy was it a disappointment and not a great introduction for me. I actually liked the concept of it, since it’s what drew me on the first place, but it was just so boring and very predictable. I had already predicted who the murderer is by 50% into it, so the events after that weren’t a shock anymore. This book could have been read better if there weren’t just too many idle time and internal character monologues.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I’m in the minority group that distinctly voices out my hate for this “beloved classic”. Every bit of it was just so toxic and all characters were just so problematic and unlikeable – and I read this when I was 13 years old. I just couldn’t see and understand the appeal of it to other readers, but hey, whatever rocks your boat, I guess.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
I immediately bought this book once it was released years ago because I loved the cover and the premise. I actually liked it the first time, but on my reread later on, I was able to pinpoint things I didn’t enjoy. I actually thought it might just be a book 1 thing that might be later resolved in the next installments, but the series just got worse later on. I just gave up on this series, and didn’t even bother reading the last book anymore.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
My closest book friends know how much I despise this book, and they all know my rants about it when we decided to buddy read it all together many years ago. I often talk about books that may be better if there was more substance into them, but Furyborn is my bookish example of “less is more”. There was just A LOT going on into this book that it just made it overwhelming, and the worse part was that it didn’t even made sense to be there in the story. I didn’t like this book, and would never touch the next books, and would always cringe whenever I see it on my bookstagram feed.
The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I recently reread this in preparation for the release of its Netflix adaptation, and my thoughts are exactly the way it was in the beginning when I first read it – maybe added a few more things to dislike about. I actually still enjoy the world and magic system, but it was the characters (except for my darling Nikolai Lantsov) that I had the most problems with. I’m still a big fan of the other books in the Grishaverse, but this trilogy just doesn’t deserve the same level of hype as it’s currently getting.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
I was actually excited to read this because I was expecting a lighthearted, funny romance novel about people loving books, but this book just bored me from start to finish. The characters were bland, the romance meh, there weren’t a lot of book or book writing references, and it wasn’t even set in a beach! This was just purely disappointing, but I’m still interested in reading her other works, hoping that they might change my opinions about the author.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
I could still vividly recall my experience with this book a couple of years ago. I just finished taking an exam and with 2 hours of free time in between my next class. Instead of going back to my dorm to rest, I went to the Starbucks across my medical school with my wallet, phone, and Kindle on hand, eager to spend that 2 hours to finish The Kiss Quotient. Let’s just say that it did not go well. This just didn’t work for me, too much sex in its pages with little to no substance in story building or character developments, and things could have been resolved if they just knew how to communicate. I appreciate that the author wanted to paint a picture on what is feels like to have Asperger’s Syndrome, but it just didn’t feel right to be presented in this manner. It also made me hate the “rent a boyfriend/girlfriend” romance trope from then on.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
I actually have a couple of book friends who absolutely adored this series, and when I told them how I didn’t enjoy it afterwards, they were very shocked. I actually pretty much liked the message this historical romance novel wanted to bring to its readers, but it just felt too…clunky. It’s a slow-burn romance, and I don’t often have troubles with it, but this just didn’t leave a very satisfying feeling. It was good, but it’s not something I would be getting back into anytime soon.
How do you feel about overhyped books? What popular books do you think are not worth the hype?
10 thoughts on “Books That Are Not Worth the Hype – Oops”
The only hyped book i read that is on your list was the invisible life of Addie LaRue. I had the same thoughts as you. Great writing but i didn’t connect with the characters and i dnf’ed children of blood and bone. The main character was a bit too much for me😅.
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I’m glad that we share the same thoughts regarding both books! I definitely agree that COBAB’s main character was a bit too much, and I remember her being too whiny lol
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Whoop, this is a very controversial read! Hehe. But I do agree with some of the books you have here, Angele, specially Addie LaRue, Children of Blood and Bone and Beach Read. Eleanor & Park is one of my fave YAs though, haha. Love the honesty and guts! See ya ’round!
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I’m glad to know that I’m not alone here regarding some of these titles lol Definitely wouldn’t be knocking your love for Eleanor & Park though!
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I loved the Red Queen although I haven’t read other books in the series.
Eleanor & Park is definitely overhyped. I also feel The Fault in Our Stars, The Shadowhunters series and Twilight series is overhyped
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Great post! Takes guts to write on controversial topics
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Aww thank you, I appreciate it a lot!
I feel like a lot of the OG YA books circa 2010 are still being overyhyped lol
I stopped reading when I saw the first book. HAHAHA! 😛
I’m SO disappointed by Red Queen I’m still bitter about it until now lmao. I’ve heard polarizing things about Kingdom of the Wicked but the premise realllyyy intrigues me!