It’s hard to define what makes a book “hyped.” Does this mean a book was nominated for or won awards? Was being breathlessly chattered about in the book blogging world? Was getting big marketing dollars or a huge advance from its publisher? Was on many “most anticipated books of X” lists? Had glowing early reviews? Based on an author’s previous work? Everyone in your real life was reading and loving it? My 2018 Books that Deserved the Hype list is a mixed bag of all these ways to garner hype.
I’m so happy about the spread of this year’s post…I actually had trouble coming up with a decent list of books that didn’t deserve the hype! This is a welcome turnaround from last year, when I had six books that deserved the hype and eight that didn’t. Could it be that tracking my recommendation sources (using my Rock Your Reading Tracker) and trying to pick books that have been read by at least one of them did the trick?!
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Eight 2018 Books That Deserved the Hype
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (my review)
Oprah Book Club pick, New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018; Library Reads, O Magazine, Time Magazine, Bustle, and Southern Living Best Book of 2018, Book of the Month pick, tons of book blogger and regular reader buzz
The Female Persuasionby Meg Wolitzer (my review)
Beloved author, massive publisher marketing dollars, Kirkus Best Literary Fiction of 2018, New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018, tons of book blogger buzz
You’ll be hearing more about most of these books later, so no commentary just yet!
…and Five That Didn’t
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
Accolades: Massive pre-publication hype (first release from actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s Hogarth imprint), Washington Post Best Book of 2018, tons of book blogger buzz
My Take: I DNF’d at 29% because nothing was happening…and it was far too long a book for nothing to happen and the writing to be mediocre.
Circe by Madeline Miller (my review)
Accolades: Good book blogger buzz; Book of the Month selection; Library Reads, Bustle, and Time Magazine Best Book of 2018
My Take: A total slog…too many characters, too many tangential stories, and I felt like I was reading a high school mythology guide.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (my review)
Accolades: Publisher hype, Bustle Best Book of 2018, good book blogger hype
My Take: I felt really distant from the story and kept zoning out while reading it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Accolades: Beloved author (The Nightingale), Book of the Month selection, massive pre-publication hype, Amazon and Library Reads Best Book of 2018, tons of book blogger and regular reader hype
My Take: I DNF’d at 37% because I was bored and I couldn’t take anymore of the main character’s spinelessness.
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Accolades: Massive pre-publication hype, NYT bestseller, Book of the Month selection, massive book blogger and regular reader buzz
My Take: I DND’d at 32% because it seemed like just another run-of-the-mill thriller.
What books do you think deserved their hype this year? Which ones do you think didn’t?