There are certain books that you see everywhere. On recommendation lists, on bookstagram, in your sleep, you can’t escape them. People gush about them while I’m just standing here thinking, “I don’t know what youre talking about… but okaay.” This month I took it upon myself to read a bunch of popular books to see if they were worth the hype.
Caution: some unpopular opinions ahead. You have been warned.
The Selection by Kiera Cass… No
*sigh* Why is this so popular? The characters are bland, there is enough girl hate to drown in, and America is annoying. There is no diversity and everything is so predictable. There is not a single thing I liked about this book. I thought that maybe, just maybe, the dystopia elements might redeem all of the bland drama, but no. It doesn’t really come into play until book three and even then it is short lived.
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin… EH
I rated the Serpent & Dove 3.5 stars. For the quality of writing? No. For entertainment? Yes. I have hope for the rest of the series because the characters and plot were solid. Even though there were some irritating elements (aka the overuse of certain words *cough* copper *cough*), I was invested in the story. It is definitely a bit overhyped, but I found it entertaining at least.
See my full review of Serpent and Dove here.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston… YES
Yes, yes, a million times yes! This book deserves every ounce of hype it has been given. The characters are all hilarious and the chemistry is 10/10. Even if some of the politics were a bit on the idealistic side, I still love this book so much.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han… YES
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is the pinnacle of fake-dating. I like Lara Jean’s dynamic with her sisters and some of the growth we see. Can Lara Jean be immature? Yes, yes she can be. But it’s still a super fun read.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell… NO
The story is very bleh. The writing was very bleh. The characters were very bleh. Plus Rainbow Rowell is problematic and bleh. There is nothing about this book that is special.
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson… YES
The writing in this book is powerful and to the point. The character development and friendship was top notch. I love everything about it and Liz is a literal queen.
See my full review of You Should See Me In A Crown here
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (I’ve only read the first one so far)… NO
I spent the vast majority of this book very confused. It took a loooong time for me to understand the world and everything happening. Plus, Feyre was annoying and Tamlin gave off possessive vibes. I’ve heard that the next book is better, so I’m willing to give it a shot, but right now I’m not feeling it.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo… YES
Y’all were right. This one is good. Really good. Would it have helped to read other books from the universe before Six of Crows? Yes. Was it absolutely necessary? No, not really. It took a hot minute to get invested into the story, but after a while I couldn’t help rooting for the crew. The characters kept me on my toes and I never knew what was going to happen next. Crooked Kingdom is on hold from the library as we speak.
Moral of the story: nine times out of ten the hype will absolutely destroy me. Good times.
What popular books do you not like? Which ones are worth the hype in your opinion?