5 Disappointing Books That Did Not Live Up to the Hype

5 books that did not live up to the hypeLast week I did a blog post talking about “hype” and whether it’s a reliable way to judge books. In it I recalled the times hype was actually trustworthy by listing 5 amazing books that lived up to the hype. At the end of the post I mentioned I would do another one dedicated to the opposite; books that sadly did not live up to the hype. And so here we are today!

The disappointment you feel after reading a hyped book that has not met your expectations is 10x worse than any other disappointment. That is because you might have actually liked the book for what it was had you not been assured by your friends, family, and the entire bookish community that you would absolutely love it. So let’s get into the books that did just that.

Books That Did Not Live Up to the Hype:

1. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

31180248Considering Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was on my list of 5 books that lived up to the hype, this might seem like a surprising choice. However, I could not for the life of me stand Leah as a character. She was just so mean and spiteful to everyone but the second someone criticised her she got upset. She could dish it, but couldn’t take it. She was so unnecessarily rude, ungrateful and quite truthfully a bitch. She also tried to dictate someone’s sexuality which was a big no-no. So many of my favourite characters from Simon vs. did a 180° and acted so out of character in this book. The romance also read like a fanfic, I was not a fan. This book basically just gave me a big headache. The only thing that saved it was Simon and Blue’s cameos!

2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

28763485I tried hard to avoid the hype around this one, but caved in when I was in a desperate need of a light YA contemporary. It had a 4.11 rating on Goodreads so I was sure there was no way I would be the odd one out. Wrong. I could not buy into the romance from the moment Natasha and Daniel met. While I’m not usually bothered by insta-love, this book takes place in a span of 12 hours which made it 10x more unrealistic. Daniel’s obsession with Natasha was borderline creepy and not romantic at all considering they JUST met. Natasha was that typical YA heroine that was not like other girls because she didn’t believe in fate or destiny, just science and hard facts. Forward 5 hours later and would you look at that, you’re actually not special. Big let down.

3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

32768522Ok now before you come at me with your pitchforks and torches, let me explain. I haven’t read Fangirl and I’ve only read the first book of Harry Potter, which I think is one of the reasons I didn’t like this book as much as everyone else. It’s a book that you can supposedly read by itself, but I think the nostalgia factor of HP and prior exposure to the characters in Fangirl do play a big part. Aside from that, I found the book and characters really cringy, especially the romance oh my god, it came out of nowhere! I love Rainbow Rowell’s books but this one just wasn’t for me.

4. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Image result for all the bright placesWhy was this book popular? And why is it getting a movie? Instead of finding it beautiful, I found it extremely problematic. The main characters are just caricatures of 2 pretentious teenagers who recite poetry and have dead poets’ names memorised to the dot. Yeah right. They were nothing beyond their disorders and that was unsettling. The rest of the cast consisted of every imaginable high school stereotype ever created, meant to contrast how truly “quirky” and better the main characters were. The ending was very manipulative and was just done for shock factor. Tragedy for the sake of tragedy is not emotional, it’s wrong.

5. All of John Green’s books

Image result for john green books

I don’t know why but I’ve read all of his books with the exception of his newest one Turtles All the Way Down and Looking For Alaska which I DNF’d. This was back in 2013-2014 when The Fault in Our Stars was getting huge. None of his books are particularly amazing and all his characters tend to be the same. An Abundance of Katherines and Looking For Alaska were especially bad. For all the hype they get, I seriously don’t get the attraction. I heard Turtles All the Way Down is actually good, but after trying and failing to like John Green’s books I think I’ll pass for now.

Well those are, in my experience, the 5 books that did not live up to the hype! I honestly have a lot more books to add to the list so I might make a Part 2. I hope my picks were not too controversial and if so

Image result for sorry not sorry gif

Like I mentioned in my previous post, reading is very subjective and as such it’s impossible for a book to appeal to everyone. I mean your favourite book in the entire world might just be someone’s least favourite. That’s the beauty of reading! It’s also why hype is not a reliable indicator to determine a book’s quality. However it is still important because there are books out there that deserve all of the hype and more. There’s also too many books that are ridiculously underrated so I might make another blog post about those!

What are your thoughts on “hype”? Is it good/bad? Do you rely on it? What’s the last book you’ve read that did not live up to the hype? What do you think of my choices? Do you agree? Or did I bash one of your favourites? (sorry!) Let’s chat in the comments ♥

PS. – I just made a Pinterest and new Instagram so let’s follow each other and be friends on there too!

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21 thoughts on “5 Disappointing Books That Did Not Live Up to the Hype

  1. Ally Writes Things says:

    I totally agree about All the Bright Places, I hated the main characters and couldn’t get through it. And I totally agree about John Green too, even though I love Looking for Alaska. His books follow more or less the same format and his characters are all the same and uninteresting and don’t talk how normal teenagers talk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      It was very hard to feel sorry for the characters in All the Bright Places when I didn’t know which one of the two I hated more. Both All the Bright Places and John Green books have teenagers that don’t act or talk like actual teenagers which is so perplexing and so makes them really hard to relate to!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ambsreads says:

    It’s so nice to see someone talk about how overhyped John Green’s books are. I completely agree with you about All The Bright Places. I see it recommended so much for good representation and all I can think is yikes?
    This is such a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Thank you!!
      I feel like the only reason John Green’s books are so popular is because The Fault in Our Stars blew up, I doubt they’d be otherwise.
      The fact that All the Bright Places has a 4.20 rating still baffles me! I dread to see all the hype once the movie comes out, oh god

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      I consider The Fault in Our Stars one of his better works so I think it’s safe to say you’re not missing out on much by not reading the rest haha!


  3. Brianna @ Brianna the Bookworm says:

    Agh I love Carry On so much but I totally see where you’re coming from! I read Fangirl years before it and HP is my favorite series so the nostalgia factor was definitely there. And I completely agree on All The Bright Places. It’s actually the only book I rated 1 star because of how frustrating the characters were, and how badly the topic of mental illness was handled. I didn’t know it’s going to be a movie… ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara 🇬🇧 says:

      I genuinely think I would have loved Carry On if I had grown up with HP and read Fangirl, so I totally get why people adore it so much and I really wish I had as well!
      I’m glad you also agree with All the Bright Places because my Goodreads is just filled with 5 star reviews of it haha! Once the movie comes out it’s gonna get hyped up again and I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it, ugh save us


  4. Carolina @fictionologyst says:

    I’m so glad we agree on The Sun is Also a Star. I really don’t like that book LOL! Anyway, I love your blog design and button!! 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Greg says:

    I’ve heard such mixed things on John Green’s books. and sorry that Leah on the Offbeat was disappointing! You’re right though, reading is so subjective- one person’s favorite may be hated by someone else. I try not to get sucked in by the hype on “huge” books but it’s hard sometimes… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Erin @ Pages of Milk and Honey says:

    I’m a fan of John Green, but only because I’ve been reading his books for such a long time. I totally get why you’re not a fan though! I think if I started reading them with the perspective I have today, I wouldn’t feel the same.

    For me, hype is usually a hit or miss kind of thing – it sucks when a book I do want to read is hyped up so much that it ends up falling flat, but it’s sweet when I read something because it is hyped, and it turns out way better than I was really going to give it credit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara 🇬🇧 says:

      I used to like John Green’s books for what they were when I first got into YA, but since then I’ve read so many more books that I realised his weren’t anything special. I still think they’re enjoyable and I totally get why people like his books!
      Yeah hype really is hit-or-miss, it’s impossible to know when if a book will live up to the hype or not. That’s why we have to keep trying and even though I get disappointed on the way, when I finally find a book that lives up to the hype it’s such a satisfying feeling 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Olivia Emily says:

    What you said about All the Bright Places, I completely agree with! I found it so unsettling that these characters were almost like caricatures of a mental illness, and it would have been so much more worthwhile to have avoided tragedy at the end. I don’t always think it’s necessary to kill someone off just to make a point.

    I also agree about John Green. I enjoyed TFIOS and LFA back in the day (though I appreciated the volume of cliches) but every other book just feels like a rehash – eg Paper Towns is just LFA without Alaska dying.

    On the other hand, I disagree about Carry On, but I understand why you didn’t enjoy it. I’ve never thought of it as a stand alone simply because it is so reminiscent of HP and we’re pretty much introduced to the characters in Fangirl (a very good book if you’re looking for a better contemporary than The Sun is Also a Star haha). Also, it’s supposed to be the last book in the series of Simon Snow books, so almost the equivalent to HP book 7, so it isn’t necessarily insta-love but it can feel like that. It’s difficult – the way that it was marketed doesn’t really match up to the reality.

    But yeah, great post!!!


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