Hype or Like Friday Discussion Post: When Do You Consider a Book to Have Reached Hype Status?

I’ve recently joined the Goodreads group Hype or Like Friday, in which we read one hyped book a month and do various posts on Fridays. Here is my first post, and be on the lookout for my review of The Winner’s Curse next Friday.

Today’s topic is: When Do You Consider a Book to Have Reached Hype Status?

This is an interesting question. For me, these items determine if the book has reached hype status.

  1. I see the book everywhere. And by everywhere, I mean all across the blogosphere and social media. For social media, I mainly use Instagram, and it is fascinating to me that pictures of the same books keep getting posted. In blogging, I see the same books mentioned in memes and tag posts. This isn’t bad, if you honestly love the books, of course you are going to talk about them! But sometimes I feel that the book world is a popularity contest, which instantly makes a hyped book have to work that much harder for me to like it. For example, before I started blogging I had never heard of The Lunar Chronicles (Book One is Cinder). But after seeing the book everywhere, and really liking the cover art (a mark of a successful hyped book), I decided to read the series. And I LOVED it. And I told everyone to read it because it was just so much fun. Were they great books? Not really – they were predictable and there was a lack of world building, but they had great characters and were enjoyable and didn’t take themselves too seriously. Cinder is a great example of a hyped book that I saw everywhere. I had a wonderful time reading the books, and the series made my Top Ten list of books I read in 2015. Some books I see everywhere do not make the cut however. Some are terrible, or just not worthy of all the hype.
  2. I do not see any negative reviews. This is a major side effect of hyped books. There are so many times where all of the reviews I read or see are all positive. And they are not just slightly positive reviews, they are jump-out-of-my-seat, read-this-book now reviews. I find it so refreshing to read a well written, thoughtful negative review of a popular book. And the review should be thoughtful and not just be negative for the sake of being negative. When I see so many positive reviews for the same books, I actually stop reading the reviews and Instagram captions for those books until I see one that is negative.
  3. Initials are used for the title instead of the actual title. Oh this is one of my pet peeves. The biggest offenders for this right now are the Sarah J. Maas books A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury. Those titles are really long, and I understand why people abbreviate, but not everyone can figure out the initials when you type them out in a caption or review (especially if your Instagram caption does not match the picture). Whenever I have to do detective work to figure out which book you are referencing, that is not good. And I know, hype, so I should know what is being referenced, but I just cannot possibly remember every book title that is popular right now.
  4. There is a movie / TV show in the works. I fall prey to this all the time. I am more likely to read a book or series if there is some adaptation in the works. It’s partly why I read The Girl on the Train (read my review here), it’s why I read Wild and also Me Before You, and it’s why I will read Silence.
  5. I feel left out if I haven’t read the book. This is probably the biggest answer to When Has a Book Reached Hype Status. This is definitely a side effect of blogging and social media. If everyone is talking about it, and I’m not, then I’m worried I’m left out. This is something I struggle with as a blogger, and partly why I joined the Hype or Like Friday group. I don’t want to only read and review the hyped books, because that is just not me, but I do need to read some of them to stay up-to-date, so a monthly group will at least force me to read one a month. And it makes the choice of which book to read easier.

I find it fascinating how people gravitate towards certain books. What made the Twilight series so popular? Was it vampires? Was it the setting (PNW)? And there I go with an abbreviation… How did Fifty Shades of Grey get all of its hype? What about The Lunar Chronicles? How about the Throne of Glass series? Is it just excellent marketing? Is there something in the cover art that intrigues us? Is there something in the plot that is unique? I find these questions fascinating, and look forward to future Hype or Like Friday posts that explore popular books.

Thanks for reading! When do you consider a book to have reached hype status?


19 thoughts on “Hype or Like Friday Discussion Post: When Do You Consider a Book to Have Reached Hype Status?

  1. I didn’t like Cinder at all! But I did gravitate to it because of the hype. I agree that once a book has film or TV behind it, there is a certain weight lent to it. Not always a great indicator though. I guess a clever thing to do re: marketing would be to work on all the above factors: work on a series, a title that lends itself to abbreviation etc. The most important for me though will remain peer reviews but I’m a bit old-fashioned! A blog like this is useful for me too so thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I’ve heard a few people say that they didn’t care for Cinder. I really loved the series, and flew through the books. I love movie/TV adaptations of books – I love to compare/contrast the two versions. Honestly before I started blogging, I was really unaware of the majority of hyped books. I’d hear of some through various news/magazines, bookstores, and online. But the funny thing is that all of the worst hyped books I’ve read have been recommended by people I know in “real life” (not just on social media). I think I’m more likely to try a book if someone I know tells me it’s good.

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  2. How did 50 Shades of Grey get so much hype will forever be a mystery to me. I shudder just to think about it. I guess a brilliant marketing plan and the right ingredients to feed the right audience lead to this. I hate how everyone use the initials of books instead of the actual title. Most of the time, it takes me a couple of minutes to understand which book they are talking about.

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    1. Maybe with 50 Shades it was curiosity that helped launch that series? I just don’t get it. But, I sure did run out and buy the series and read it when one of my friends was constantly talking about it. Why I will never know! But there was something about the story that sounded intriguing. So yeah, that one had a brilliant marketing plan. And those that weren’t reading the book were talking about why they weren’t reading it, so there was that advertising, too.
      The initials are annoying – it’s one thing to use the initials when you are in the middle of a conversation about the book, but to just start off with the initials is frustrating. It always takes me awhile to figure out the book too. Hmm … I wonder if they take the initial abbreviation into consideration when figuring out a book title. After all, you wouldn’t want the abbreviation to spell something offensive!

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  3. Excellent post! And it’s your first one. I get so excited when I see bloggers post for HLF. 😊 You hit this one out of the park. All the reasons I would consider a book to reach its hype are on here, and I love your explanation for each one. I tend to avoid books that are overly hyped. I’m also a big fan of indies because they tend to disappoint me less than a full price book that’s just mediocre. You’re so right about books without negative reviews. There’s no way no one dissed a hyped book. Even The Hunger Games has some negative reviews, despite its mostly positive feedback. The initials for books drives me crazy when it’s not one everyone knows. Sarah J. Maas books seem way too overhyped for me, and after hearing about Throne of Glass and how she’s constantly telling the reader the MC is awesome, I will probably never read them, unless I’m feeling in a ranty kind of mood.

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    1. Thank you so so much!! 🙂 And thank you for the discussion idea. I had a fun time writing this post. Throne of Glass is so overhyped! I do enjoy the series as a whole, but the first book is just bad, and most of the book should’ve been cut and combined with book two (which I really enjoyed). Without other bloggers telling me to continue on, I would’ve stopped with book one. But the series is definitely worth reading. I’d say skip book one and go right to book two, but there are a few chapters that are necessary to the overall storyline. And Throne of Glass (book one) gets so many positive reviews!! I don’t get it. It’s almost laughable how if it is hyped, people refuse to say anything bad about it.

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      1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you decided to do this topic. I wrote a book review, planned on posting later, and never found the time. Instead, I decided to comment on everyone’s post cause I’m so fed up with hyped books right now. What makes me avoid Throne of Glass is the length. Well, and the fact that everyone says Celaena is a terrible MC. She sounds awful. I don’t understand why the books are so long. I’m not interested in long chunks of useless narrative unless it serves a purpose. I noticed that people won’t leave negative feedback about a hyped book. Are they afraid the publisher and author will hunt them down and scald them for their opinion? It makes no sense. Plus, it makes those of us reading the reviews think the book is actually worth our time when it’s intended only to mislead us into buying it.

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        1. The Throne of Glass books are ridiculously long. They needed a firm editing hand for sure!! Celaena did grow on me, but it wasn’t until the fourth book. And I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about her. She is different in the later books. I just ordered the novellas from my library, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to read them soon. But I may just skip it. I tend to get a lot of the hyped books from my library. That way if its bad, I haven’t wasted any money.

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          1. That’s funny that everyone says wait until the fourth book. I don’t think I have that kind of patience. I’m either gripped from book one or it’s a DNF for me. I easily write off books though. I almost did that with Red Rising because of the slow start, but now I can’t put the book down its so good. That’s a really good idea. I’m a Kindle reader, and there’s a ton of books available at my library to download. I don’t know why I always forget that. I even have the library card sitting right where I see if every time I open my wallet. Thanks for reminding me. I need to stop wasting money on these books.

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            1. Glad to hear you are enjoying Red Rising! That is one I’ve seen all over, but haven’t ever read it. Libraries are wonderful! I haven’t ever tried a download from the library – my Kindle is ancient and I don’t want to upgrade and I have trouble reading on my iPad and phone, so I’ve been hesitant to try that. Plus, I don’t usually have to wait too long for the popular hyped YA books. Good luck using your library 🙂

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  4. Such an interesting topic to tackle. Well done! I agree with you on almost everything, except the abbreviations hahaha, although I understand how annoying they are, as I find myself googling them constantly. I just find it an interesting phenomenon overall and, linguistically, is very intriguing to see it adapt itself to social media etiquette (the shortest, the better).

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    1. Thanks 🙂 It is interesting how so many use initials now. I dislike the initials because they always make me stop and think – what is being referenced here? It pulls me out of my reading. But I completely understand why if you were writing something about A Court of Thorns and Roses that you would abbreviate that after spelling it out the first time. It’s such a long title!

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    1. I like your idea of some books being right at the right time. Definitely stay far, far away from 50 Shades if you’ve never read it! I still can’t believe I actually purchased those books (aackk).

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  5. I couldn’t agree more with your points in this one. I still can’t figure out why I loved those vampire books, but I plowed through them with a single mind – perhaps, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was waiting for the great writing that should have accompanied so such a popular and talked about book series. I’ll never know as I don’t plan to read them again.

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    1. There must’ve been something in the plot of Twilight that spoke to everyone and interested us all. Everyone was reading those books and discussing them! I remember reading them so quickly! And racing out to see the first movie when it was released. I actually only ended up watching 2 of the movies.
      That’s an interesting point of not planning to read the books again. I wonder how many people actually do reread the Twilight books (and any other hyped book really). Or if most readers were people who read them to see what all the fuss was about, and ended up disappointed. Interesting. Guess we’ll see if in 20 years people still read and discuss them, like I think we will with Harry Potter. One of the rare hyped series that lives up to and goes beyond the hype that surrounds it.

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