Overhyped Books

GETTIN’ CONTROVERSIAL NOW!!

Disclaimer: This post isn’t about being negative so much as asking the question: What is it about these books that people love that we don’t get? And, if you also don’t get it, let’s commiserate with each other.

Nikki

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
I don’t know why every woman within a ten mile radius wants a piece of our self-confessed boring-as-dirt, everyman protagonist (though this is common in Murakami novels). There were a lot of tangents and some things that not only weren’t resolved, they didn’t seem to have any bearing on anything. There’s maybe lots of symbolism I’m not appreciating. Or maybe ideas don’t quite line up and come together. I won’t be rereading to find out.

The Virgin Suicides
I’ve mentioned my feelings about this one before I’m sure. This is the only one that has barely any review on GR. SPOILER! Sisters commit suicide ostensibly because they have sort of strict parents END SPOILER! (Don’t ask me to confirm this, I never finished the book…see my DNF list). The neighbourhood boys are obsessed with the five ‘mysterious’ sisters before and especially after their suden suicides even though they don’t seem all that interesting (except maybe loose Lux who I could probably begin to really like if I continued the book). Maybe it was too quiet for me. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to read it. But it just felt overhyped at the time when a classmate raved to me about it and it seems overhyped every time I see someone’s inevitable 5 star rating on Goodreads. But you, whoever you are, will probably love it.

Red Sonja, vol 1: Queen of Plagues
Stiff and predictable with farfetched conclusions. I had high hopes, but it was pretty boring. I think the idea of this is what people love, not the actual thing.

Sex Criminals, vol 1: One Weird Trick
SUPER overhyped. I think this would have benefited from having women in the creative team. For one, it’s rife with uncomfortable stereotypes. The pages with each of their sexual exploits….UGH! Secondly, it starts out with an interesting, original concept and then takes it to a bit of a boring “pranks on people because this guy’s got a major chip on his shoulder” place and then it gets wacky in a ‘meh’ sort of way…

Rat Queens, vol 1: Sass & Sorcery
A lot of disappointment about this one. In the same vein as Sonja, but where Sonja was too stiff, this succeeded in loosening up. However, this brand of ‘female empowerment’ felt a little inauthentic and a lot like a male sex fantasy about unruly women… Obviously the only way for a woman to be badass and cool is if she acts like a man, but has a sexy body. Obviously. The diversity seems shallow: the nymphomaniac happens to be the lesbian because non-heterosexuals are sex fiends, and the black chick happens to be the one dealing with the religious stuff? Hmmm…I don’t know. Like, Sex Criminals, this may have benefited from having more than just straight white guys on staff. And, like Red Sonja, I think people are in love with the idea of this – a story about badass fantasy genre women warriors – more than the reality of what has actually been created. I want this kind of thing to exist really badly too! But I don’t want to settle for a B-rate version of what I wish existed in the world. I applaud the efforts though…

*

OK…I took out The Handmaid’s Tale because I felt it was unfair to call it overhyped just because it made me roll my eyes a lot. After all, I do appreciate it and think it has earned much of its praise…it just isn’t for me.

*Claire’s 5-Cents: wait, Sex Criminals is over-hyped? Hot damn… I want to read this quite badly still but I’m interested in hearing Nikki’s reasons for this.*

Divider

Claire

I’m hitting it hard and not even classics are safe from me. There are some books that no matter how much people love them, are just over-hyped to me. Prepare for a bit of bluntness.

The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
Claire’s 5-Cents: I read this as a child and I quite enjoyed it then but not a huge ton. Adults expected for my mind to be blown and it wasn’t, it just wasn’t. I’ve since reread them and again, I wasn’t blown over. It’s good, but a bunch of meh for me.

State of Wonder by Anne Patchett
Claire’s 5-Cents: I tried to like this, I genuinely did, but I didn’t find it all powerful or gripping, just odd.

The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
Claire’s 5-Cents: This is an unusual inclusion for me because I loved the series, like I completely loved it. It was the first dragon book I read as a child and it rocked my world and yet I do think it’s overhyped. I fell into it, but it’s still over-saturated and hyped.

Anything by Dan Brown
Claire’s 5-Cents: I’m doing a blanket statement on this one. I enjoy this books but they are so massively over-hyped in the media, I have no idea why.

Matched series by Allie Condie
Claire’s 5-Cents: I don’t have much to say on this other than the series is a bit over-hyped to me… which is self-explanatory because it’s appearing on this list. I think it’s because one of the earliest contributions to modern YA dystopia?

In the end, we all know that this is subjective. I know for many my beloved Harry Potter series will appear on this. Some books are just hyped and to some, it’s overhyped.

NameNikkixClaire

 

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14 Responses to Overhyped Books

  1. Great blog! I also couldn’t stop rolling my eyes at the Handmaid’s Tale. I also don’t get how Matched gained any popularity whatsover! It’s a terribly written series.

  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Apr 5-11, 2015 | Oh, the Books!

  3. Sam says:

    I do think Dan Brown is overhyped. I think ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was popular because it was religiously controversial and then he’s ridden that fame ever since. There are a lot of other authors who deserve the attention Brown gets.

  4. I quite like Dan Brown, but they certainly aren’t the best books out there and I also don’t know why they are so terribly hyped. I have never read Narnia, but I have seen two movies. They weren’t interesting enough to make me want to read the books any time soon 🙂

  5. EllieTaylor says:

    I agree whole heartedly about Matched. I didn’t think Match was a bad series, but the most interesting thing about it (for me) was that each book introduced one of the male narrators. I’ve not seen another series take the love triangle to such a level and actually create three distinct people who were real enough (sort of/if not very likable) to narrate. Honestly the only thing about Matched that I enjoyed was the reminder of how important is to write and to not forget all the old ways just for the sake of progress. For about a year after reading it, I wrote all my journal entries in cursive just because I don’t have a use for it in my daily life. But as fun as that is, the series was nothing new in the dystopia/Ya genres.

    Narnia is a whole other thing though. It wasn’t bad, more meh in my opinion, but the ending? *shakes head* I have no respect for C.S. Lewis for what he did to Susan, although admittedly there are debates on either side of the argument. My personal favorite for Susan being a badass feminist is http://ink-splotch.tumblr.com/post/69470941562/there-comes-a-point-where-susan-who-was-the

    While another reasonable argument in Lewis’s defense is http://occidentalweekly.com/blogs/2015/03/31/lipstick-nylons-and-a-queenly-identity-on-susan-pevensie-of-narnia-feminism-and-humanity/

    That being said, the ending kind of ruined it for me. I’m not religious and having had Christianity forced down my throat from relatives, I don’t read fantasy in order to be tricked into religious arguments. It just made the whole series seem disingenuous to me.

    I’m both pleased and disappointed to see Rat Queens and Sex Criminals on this list because they’ve been recommended to me over and over again, but I haven’t picked them up. I may still peruse them, but thanks for giving me a heads up as to what I’m headed into.

  6. Tammy says:

    OK, I have to disagree with State of Wonder. Anne Patchett is one of my favorite authors and man I LOVED that book!

  7. Tara says:

    Dan Brown’s books are definitely overhyped, especially the later ones. The first two Robert Langdon books are fast paced and fun, so I do see how they can capture a lot of non-readers and make the NYT bestseller list. But geeze that man (Langdon) is annoyingly perfect

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      I really want to like… trip Langdon up when he is running around trying to save the world. Angels & Demons and the DaVinci code are fun but… massively overhyped. The movies were meh too.

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