Discussion: popular books I thought I’d like more than I did

AKA popular books that didn’t live up to my expectations.

Today I thought I’d talk about some popular books that I thought I’d like more than I did. It’s always so disappointing when books don’t live up to your expectations, but alas, it happens.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (1 star, DNF)

There was so much hype surrounding this book and everyone loved it. And it seems like something I should like: mental health rep, YA romance (which I was into at the time), an adventure of sorts. But I couldn’t get through it. I hated the main character, Finch, so much that it actually caused me to stop reading it. I think I got through the first five chapters before needing to quit.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (2 stars)

I’ve talked about this book a lot, but I wasn’t a fan. It mainly gets two stars because I think it’s the most accurate representation of a high school relationship that I’ve read in a YA romance. But that was pretty much the only thing I liked. The characters were okay but nothing special, some of the rep was questionable, and I ultimately just didn’t enjoy it.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (2.5 stars)

I think this was a case of the hype getting to me. Last summer, when this book was released, everyone LOVED it and was saying wonderful things about it. And when I first read it, I rated it fairly highly and said I only had minor issues. But then I thought about it more and more things started to bug me. So now it’s a solid “fine.” Like, it was an enjoyable enough read, but I don’t think I’d reread it and I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (3 stars)

For me, 3 stars is a pretty good rating, so the next few books are books that I enjoyed, just less than others. Boy, Snow, Bird was still really good. I wanted to read it and liked the characters and thought it was interesting, but I was left unsatisfied and confused. This is one of those books where there was too much showing and not enough telling. I felt lost about some of the characters’ reactions. I’d still recommend it though, if it sounds like something you’d enjoy!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (3 stars)

Again, hype and expectations. This came out when John Green was all the rage and I was SUCKED into the hype. I ordered a signed copy (well, my parents surprised me with one). When I first read it, convinced myself that I loved it as much as everyone else did. But upon rereading, I didn’t enjoy it as much and realised I was lying to myself the first time. Again, it’s fine. It’s a classic John Green novel. But I wasn’t as enamoured with it as a lot of people were.

One of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (3 stars)

I think this one was also due to hype. It was another super hyped debut last summer. And it was fine. I enjoyed it enough and wanted to read until the end, but I was kind of left with a feeling of “…okay?” It wasn’t bad by any means and there was a lot I enjoyed and a lot of great characters, but it wasn’t as suspenseful as I was expecting.

So those are some books that didn’t live up to my expectations! Any similarities? Which books didn’t live up to your expectations?

Ally xx

22 thoughts on “Discussion: popular books I thought I’d like more than I did

  1. I felt the same exact way about both The Fault in Our Stars and One of Us is Lying! I feel like the hype just really ruins the reading experience sometimes because you hear so many amazing things about a book and your expectations grow so high that it’s pretty hard to live up to the hype.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought the same about “All the Fault in Our Stars”. I didn’t want to read it because I knew what was going to happen but I did anyway because of all the hype. Upon finishing it, I just didn’t understand why everyone thought this was so mind blowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Off the top of my head, the only popular book that didn’t live up to my expectations for This Savage Song. I’m a pretty easy customer, though. Maybe I need some more time to refine my tastes! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel the same about all the bright places and eleanor and park! I think i’m mainly disappointed when i have read one book by an author and enjoyed it so look forward to their next book but don’t enjoy it so much like the truth about alice by jennifer mathieu (i loved moxie but didn’t really rate this one) and the sun is also a star by nicola yoon (i loved everything, everything!) great post! 😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel the same way about TFiOS, and One of Us is Lying. I appreciate them for what they are, but they weren’t as spectacular as I expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The first three books on your list I didn’t like either and have very similar thoughts! Though, I hate All The Bright Places because of how bad the mental health representation was lol! Another post that I didn’t love as much as I thought I would is The Wicked Deep!
    Such a great post 😍✨


    1. Thank you so much!!
      I’m so glad you agree! I felt like I was the only one with All the Bright Places! I never really got enough into it to decide about the mental health rep, but what I did read wasn’t great.
      The Wicked Deep sounds so interesting, it’s too bad you didn’t like it as much as you wanted to! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard many people being disappointed by One of Us is Lying, and I decided not to give it a try. Sometimes popular books just raise your expectations too high and end up disappointing you 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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