We all know what hyped up books are, and likely we’ve all be taken in by the hype at one point or another. But then, what happens when a highly anticipated books is released? Things will go one of two ways; either the book will exceed the hype and exceed everyone’s expectations, or it will fall short and end up disappointing plenty of people.
While everyone has different reading tastes I think hype is universal, and it’s very easy to be taken in by the anticipation and excitement. If a book has enough hype, enough glowing reviews and mentions across social media, then most of the bookish community, regardless of their reading preferences, will be somewhat taken un by the hype.
How Do You Manage Your Expectations for Hyped Books?
I think I’ve been somewhat lucky when it comes to hyped books because for the most part they’ve either met my expectations or exceeded them. There have been a lot of hyped books released this year, and likely most people will have heard of them; Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh, When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, but what is it about these books that makes them stand out from all the other incredible books released this year?
Most times it’s simply the marketing. The books I mentioned previously are all debut books in a new series, or in the case of When Dimple Met Rishi a standalone by a debut author, but a buzz has been created surrounding these books so most people have heard of them, if not added them to their to-read list. They’re everywhere on Twitter, on Instagram, on WordPress, people are desperate for ARCs, and all the pre-release reviews are glowing five star ones.
So when it’s released how does the actual book live up to the buzz? I may not be one to answer this question because both Strange the Dreamer and Flame in the Mist are all-time favourites of mine. It was actually When Dimple Met Rishi that was a little bit of a disappointment for me, but even in that case I still enjoyed the story.
However there have been cases, few though they are, when a hyped book hasn’t met my expectations. This tends to be when I have hyped up the book myself; it isn’t a case of the bookish community taking a release under its wing and promoting it everywhere, but a case of where I have individually built a book up so much that it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations.
When I first heard of The Crown’s Game I was so excited to get started on it. I’d heard somewhere it was ‘perfect for fans of The Night Circus’, and that tagline had me hooked. Unfortunately the book itself did not live up to my expectations and part of me thinks that is because of how much I loved The Night Circus. It’s an all-time favourite book of mine and I don’t think there is anything that can ever live up to it. However I am still continuously taken in by taglines that promises a release is ‘the next Night Circus’.
Another example is End of Days by Susan Ee. This was the last book in a favourite series of mine and again I built it up too much in my head that I wonder if it was possible for anything the author produced to meet my expectations. I still enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped it would be.
So how do I manage my expectations when it comes to hyped books?
I avoid reviews for high anticipated releases of mine. The less I read the less expectations I have and I think expectations can be dangerous when it comes to hyped books. Before I started Strange the Dreamer I know it was a good book, but because I didn’t read any reviews I didn’t have any of the reviewers opinions in my mind as I started. I’m guilty of doing this myself, using phrases like ‘top read of the year’ and ‘a magical story everyone should read and love’, and in most cases maybe that is true about hyped books. However reading reviews full of praise can raise expectations much higher than simply knowing a book is good.
What I’ve learnt from experience is that it tends to be the books I hype up myself that are the let downs. So if it’s a book the whole community is raving about I normally allow myself to be swept away with the anticipation because I trust the general opinion of the bookish community more than my own individual opinion.
Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:
Do you find yourself easily taken in by hype when it comes to anticipated releases?
Are you usually let down, or do you find yourself agreeing with the hype?
Do you have any tricks to manage hype, or do you just let yourself be swept away by it?
What was the last hyped book you read? Was it worth the hype or was it a letdown?
Let me know in the comments below.