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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?