It feels like a lot of the Lowdown series has been covering mostly reading related concepts, so we’re going back to types of books with this one; Overhyped Books. When talking overhyped books it often is meant negatively, but in some cases it could also just mean an extremely popular book in the community. Whether your favorite book has been marked overhyped, or you’ve felt alone in an opinion of a book you’ve likely run across this concept.
So, what is an overhyped book?
As said earlier, it could just be an overly popular book/series that literally everyone seems to be pushing at you. The negative version of this though is in it being a popular book that someone deems to not be worth the praise it’s gotten. Unlike marking a book as DNF, “overhyped” is a personal opinion of the book reviewer, not a fact or status of a book on their shelves. It is though a negative mark against a book even if it’s part of a not entirely negative review.
So, why does a book being considered overhyped matter?
It does and it doesn’t in all honesty. I think the emotions involved with this one have to do with the diversity of opinions on books in the reading community. We all tend to love different books and series, though occasionally a mass of people all jump on the same story at once. This makes the story soar in popularity fast, and I think we all like to talk books, so it’s exciting to know you’re part of a fan group. On the other end, there will always be someone who doesn’t like a book, reading is subjective and eventually someone will say the story isn’t that good. I’ve had some of my favorite series get marked as overhyped and while it does make me pause, it’s someone else’s opinion. Sometimes it could even be like the Twilight situation where there were so many loving the series it also became common to hate it too. I was okay with them in middle school until the last book, but I didn’t jump on the hate train.
I think my biggest concern when it comes to saying something is overhyped is in how it’s said. If it’s hyped in the first place, there are a lot of people loving on that book, and saying you don’t like it is like signaling in a war. Either side could get ugly, but if you honestly think something has gotten way more attention than it should have that’s your opinion. Approach carefully, but say it, and perhaps add in the typical ‘in my opinion’ to be safe. I actually respect a lot of the book reviews that point out when something seems to be more hype than success, especially when they tell you exactly why they think that. It’s like an expose on the book, and its current life on the market. I personally still hesitate to mark books as overhyped, mostly because if I enjoyed it it’s still getting a great review. I’ve maybe had one or two books in my past that I read thanks to a hype around it and felt let down (list to come one day). In the worst cases one was popular fiction for school, and the other I honestly don’t know why it got as many great reviews as it did.
How do you tackle overhyped books? What’s your take on this book category? Let me know in the comments below!