July 31, 2018

Hyped Books that Earned Their Stars

Even though we try to ignore it, gossip is a part of a reader's life. We are enthusiastic creatures by nature, and the only way to get us talking is to mention books. Then all of the dirt comes out.We love hearing the dark secrets of characters, relishing in their tragic backstories and all the details of their relationships.  

When it comes to books, gossip does not always have a negative connotation. In fact, hyping up books, the main practice of book lovers and bloggers alike, is just spreading enthusiastic word-of-mouth about books. Instead of using gossip to break down the community, we tend to use it to proclaim the praises of stories we love.

Whether it is through reviews, discussions, enthusiastic Twitter threads, gorgeous bookstagram pictures, or even in real-life conversations, book lovers live to scream about their new favorite books, authors, and characters.

I will never shame book-lovers for their intense passion to spread the joy of books, but all of the hype can be overwhelming. Hype isn't necessarily a lie, but it is more subjective than we really want people to believe. 

However, there are some cases when books lived up to, and even surpassed, the amount of hype they received. Every mention of these books was justified. I will spend the rest of my life screaming from the rooftops about these books, constantly contributing to the hype that I was unnecessarily afraid of in the first place. Without a doubt, these books earned their stars.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book was so hyped that I found out about it while stuck in my bubble of YA literature. The Night Circus is technically an adult book (which normally would not cross my radar) but the hype surrounding it pervaded all genres. And honestly, the story can, and should, be enjoyed by all age ranges. The magical realism was beautiful and the romance was slow-burning, sweet, yet not overwhelming. If you want to see some of my more in-depth thoughts see my discussion on The Night Circus.

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This is more of a recent favorite (like I haven't even been able to gather my raving thoughts into a proper review yet). So, spoiler alert, I LOVED IT. You know that there is a lot of hype surrounding a book when even Jimmy Fallon is talking about it. Even though it may seem too good to be true, this book is worth every word of hype. I felt things. I saw things. I understood things. This book communicated its message in a flawlessly subtle way that provoked thought instead of throwing opinions at the reader. I will certainly have more things to say about this book in my review to come, but I strongly encourage everyone to read it.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This might be the most hyped book of all time. John Green has a cult following and I understand how that can be terrifying. His writing style is definitely unique and different (some would say more pompous, but I prefer the word philosophical) than most YA writers. His take on the standard story of star-crossed lovers twists the trope into a whole new story. At the very least, I hope you will watch the movie and get a taste of it for yourself. 

4. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

If you are even remotely interested in fantasy, there is a large chance that someone has already pitched A Darker Shade of Magic to you. It has everything that a fantasy fan could ask for--pirates, portals to other worlds, magic, mystery, and romance. There is not only one London crafted in this story, but three separate Londons each with mystifying world-building that will leave you wondering how Schwab did it. With the unique premise, sassy characters, and intense world-building, this series has earned every drop of hype.

5. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I waited five years to read this book. After reading The Fault in Our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines, I was aching for another John Green book. And let me tell you, I can build up a lot of internal hype in five years, especially with all of the media this one got. However, I am glad to say that it lived up to the hype. The writing style was the same marvel that I have come to expect from John Green and the anticipated own voices representation of mental illness was phenomenal. All in all, I highly recommend it.

If you want to know more about how Turtles All the Way Down compares to The Fault in Our Stars, check out my Book Battles comparison post.

6. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Even though not all of the hype surrounding this series is good, I was still extremely excited to read it. The series does have its issues but I found that the reward outweighed the risk. I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury even more than I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses, mostly due to the fact that Maas was able to completely change my mind about Rhys. I know that some people are not as convinced, but I loved the change in characterization for Rhys and the Night Court that turned the story on its head. 

7. Six of Crows Leigh Bardugo

I am a sucker for a good heist movie, so when I found out that my beloved author of the Grisha series was writing a magical heist novel, my head exploded. All of the advanced reviews for Six of Crows were glowing, basking in the incredible depiction of morally gray characters and criminal trickery. You cannot help but love Kaz and his motley crew of thieves. Each perspective was fully fleshed out and added to the diverse world of cons, crime, and camaraderie.

8. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Another recent favorite, and a debut at that, To Kill a Kingdom is the fantasy standalone that I have been waiting for all these years. The task of creating and finishing an entirely new world with actual characters in a mere 300 pages seems impossible, yet Christ did exactly that. Her twist on sirens and princes made my heart sing with joy. I will have a review coming with more coherent thoughts soon (hopefully) but for now just know that this is a fantastic read with has delivered on all of its promises.

Bonus: Books that Deserve all of the Hype that I Give Them

These two books are not hyped up throughout the entire book community, even though they deserve to be. I will die with the praises of these under-appreciated books on my lips.

9. Bring me Their Hearts by Sarah Wolf

See my raving review here.

I am not sure why this book hasn't gotten more hype (especially since it reminds me so much of To Kill a Kingdom). Anyway, I am here to try and fix that mistake. 

Bring Me Their Hearts is a delightfully dark twist on the tale of Snow White and the Huntsman where the princess is not the prey, but the hunter. Instead of singing songs and prancing with animals, Zera is literally heartless and not afraid to show it. Her spunk and character development made the book worth every page. I also loved the world-building that focused on political intrigue, magic, and the dilemmas that occur when those two mix. 

10. The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross

See my raving review here. 

I have written a total of eight (nine including this one) with The Midnight Sea as the focus. I have reviewed all of the books that Ross has written (plus the one I am working on right now) and even hosted a fangirl session for the last book in the series. It even made a previous Top Ten Tuesday about books that I love but you probably never heard of. Kat Ross has been all over my blog for many years now, and that is not going to change. Her books are full of Persian fantasy with that creates a rich fantasy world of magic, danger, and adventure. 

Top Ten Tuesday is a list-based meme hosted by the amazing Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. If the meme sounds familiar, it was formerly hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
What hyped books lived up to the gossip for you? Do you avoid hyped books or do you love reading popular books? Have you read any of these books? If so, did they live up to the hype for you?

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