Does too much hype lead to bad book ratings?
Have your friends ever recommended a book to you telling you ‘it’s the best book they’ve ever read’, but when you read it all you can is ‘this book is horrible’? Does it drive you crazy wondering why your friends thought it was such an amazing book? Do you find yourself feeling let down after such an encounter?
You’re not alone. People recommend books everyday because they believe the other person will enjoy or get something out of the book. And while most readers likely agree with the recommendation of their friends, many have found themselves let down when they actually go to read said amazing book. And my question is: why?
Are our friends blind? Are they not seeing all the bad parts of the book? Are we perhaps not seeing the good parts? Are we judging it more harshly because of the amazing books we read before it? Or is it simply because the hype for the book was so high that we expected the book to be beyond amazing? And in so doing we set the book up with unreachable expectations? Thus, the book had no opportunity to be good. Rather, it’s only option was to fall flat. In other words, we unknowingly left the book without a chance.
This has crossed my mind for a few books recently. I’ve chosen read certain books because they were popular on the internet and everyone was talking about them and they were the ‘new big thing‘. So, wanting to be with the time, I was like ‘okay. What’s all the hype about? I might as well check it out if it’s that amazing‘. Yet, upon finishing the book I was sorely disappointed. I couldn’t fathom why everyone thought the book was so good when I found it to be so bad and I think it’s because of the fact that I was expecting it to be amazing. Rather than giving it a blank slate to build itself off of, I set it up on a pedestal. I started the book at fifty instead of at zero, which inevitably set the book up for failure before I even began to read.
Now, that’s not to say that the non-hyped books are amazing either. I’ve read some pretty bad books that I hadn’t heard anything about before reading them and I’ve also read some pretty amazing books that were hyped up ahead of time. However, by the time I got around to reading the popular books, I was years behind their release dates. I read them after the hype-storm had died away and by that point I wasn’t expecting much of the book anyway. I was reading it more for the sake of being ‘up-to-date’.
From what I can tell of my own experiences, it seems as though a book that gains too much publicity and too much hype is actually creating a platform for people to dislike it. Which sounds insane since good books should be popular. Popularity is a sign of good writing and a good story (usually). So, naturally people want to share the book when it’s good, but the problem with this are the people left reading after the hype has already built up. They’re the ones who end up unhappy with their choice because they expect it to more than just ‘good’. They expect it to be amazing. That’s the natural response for something that gets so much popularity.
Logically it would seem that hype is actually killing the story because hype says ‘this book is the best thing since sliced bread’ when in reality it’s just a well written story. Yet, because people are expecting the ‘best thing since sliced bread’ they end up sorely disappointed.
But what’s your opinion? Have you ever read a book that was really popular only to think it’s not that amazing? Why do you think that is? Were you fairly judging the book or were all those lovers of the book just delusional?
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you! ^.^