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Hype: And How It Affects My Reading

In my review of Room by Emma Donoghue on Monday, I briefly touched on how I was more disappointed in the book not because it was a bad book but because I had been caught up in the hype and was ultimately let down.

Unfortunately, this happens to me a lot. The amount of times I have sat down with a new release YA book and expected it to be the next Harry Potter is ridiculous (ridiculous because why do I continually think anything will touch Harry Potter’s greatness?) and end up disappointing is… well I’ve lost count. And I know that there are books that I love that other readers hate (did I hype those books accidentally for them?) so of course the results are going to tip my way once in a while.

Mostly, I hate the hype. I have started to realise that my main reason for slowly becoming less and less interested in YA fiction comes from being constantly hyped up over books that I end up just finding… average. When you have so many different readers with such a variety of different tastes in books reading new releases and raving about them all over the internet it becomes pretty difficult not to give in and buy yourself a copy to see what the hoo-ha is about. However ultimately I am my own reader, and if a synopsis doesn’t interest me, I shouldn’t give it a go anyway just because someone I have never met recommended it to me.

But even with all the dramas I have regarding hype, I understand it. I understand that if readers and reviewers didn’t discuss books as they were being published that the authors wouldn’t be as successful. We need the publicity to keep the literary world on its toes. Hype is what makes this community so alive. And I admit, when I find a book that I absolutely adored and I can jump on the bandwagon and shout from the top of my lungs how much I adored a book I enjoy myself. I feel like I’m a part of a community.

But I wonder how many peoples hopes I am building up (only to be destroyed later on) every time I say how much I loved The Night Circus? Or Vicious? Or Fangirl? Do people take on my advice and read the books – only to be let down and frustrated at me for over-hyping them?

If you couldn’t tell I have extremely conflicting feelings about hype within the book community. But ultimately I think it all comes down to me as a reader, and that I need to learn to separate the hype from my own personal reading experience.

Do you agree with me? Have you ever been taken on by the hype only to be let down later? Or vise versa? How do you learn to separate the hype from your own reading experience? Let me know down below! X

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4 Comments

  1. This is so true! I recently read Fingersmith and that was just all round disappointing, because not only had other people hyped it up, but I’d somehow managed to hype myself up enjoying the first part but the last 2 parts were just a massive let down! I also realised that I didn’t enjoy most popular YA novels talked about. I tend to only go for LGBT+ YA because I know I’ll enjoy them more than any other YA novel. I avoid hype by just not being interested in any way, and accepting that.

    • This is what I need to do – accept that I’m not interested in most YA novels. I am the same, I will usually pick up the hyped up LGBTQIA+ novels simply because of that, but apart from them I’m really struggling to connect to most novels. I can’t rely on hope anymore – I just have to start using my judgement a bit better :/

  2. Joey Reyes says

    This happened to me for Jellicoe Road. Thought I’d love it so much; liked it enough but not as much as the hype made me think I would. 😥

    • I was the same with Looking for Alibrandi! I’ve been hesitant to pick up another Melina Marchetta book since then. I reckon I’ll have to wait until I’m 100% in the mood to read it from the plot – not rely on the hype! x

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