Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Did (or Did Not) Live Up to the Hype

Happy Tuesday! Once again, I'm cobbling this list together at the last minute ... Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype. I don't read a ton of popular books, at least ones that are popular in the public at large. (Popular inspy fiction is another story entirely, as you know if you've been around this blog very long!) Here are five books that lived up to the hype, followed by five that didn't.

Books that lived up to the hype:

The Martian by Andy Weir. This book is so fantastic—I loved it so much that it made my yearly Top Ten list. While I enjoyed the movie, I thought the book was so much better. 5 stars. (There's lots of swearing—like, even in the first line—so if that's a problem for you, you'll want to skip it.)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was pretty late to the Hunger Games party—I'm fairly certain the first film was in production when I finally picked up the first book ... swiftly followed by the second and the third! I think it's about time for a reread, as what I remember now are the movies, and I know I liked the books more.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. I remember seeing this book everywhere when it first released. I finally got to it ... and completely loved it. 4-1/2 stars. (There's quite a bit of swearing in this one, FYI.)

Troublemaker by Leah Remini. I don't actually know how hyped this particular book was, but Leah Remini has spent quite a bit of time in the news ever since she left Scientology. I love her show Scientology and the Aftermath, so I got the book. It's so interesting, and the insider stories are fascinating. 4-1/2 stars. (Once again, language. Which should be no surprise, considering it's Remini.)

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. This is the lone inspy title on my list, but I feel like it belongs here because for a while it seemed like every Christian book blogger ever was raving about it! I finally read it last winter, and yes, it's absolutely wonderful. (I never actually got around to reviewing it, but it's absolutely 5 stars.)

Books that didn't live up to the hype:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I started and stopped reading The Fault in Our Stars about 20 times before finally deciding I'm probably never going to finish it, but this book is the one that made me realize that John Green just isn't for me. 2-1/2 stars.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I thought this book was fine, but it didn't "wow" me, and had I been reading it instead of listening on audiobook while doing housework, I probably wouldn't have finished it. 3-1/2 stars.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West. This is a case of a book not living up to the hype in my own head! You see, I fell head over heels for Kasie West's writing in 2017, and when this book released, I was so excited ... only to not connect with the book at all. I just reread my 2-1/2 star review and realized that I remember virtually nothing about the book. At all. (Want a better West novel? Check out P.S. I Like You.)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I've heard so many great things about Rowell's writing, but I really didn't enjoy this book. It became one of my rare DNF books.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I love all things time travel, so I thought this book would be just my thing. It was not. It's been nearly 10 years since I read it, and I really only remember one thing about it (besides the whole time travel thing): a relationship that I loathed. Fortunately, the movie version nixed this particular plot point ... and I really enjoyed the movie. 2 stars.

Which books have you read that lived up to the hype? Which ones didn't? I'd love to know!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I have not read any of the books on your list this week. They all look good.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week:

    Happy reading!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Heading over to your blog now :-)

  2. I almost put The Martian on my list! I still want to read Troublemaker too! Here’s my list.

    1. Troublemaker is so good! I'd definitely recommend it on audiobook--Remini reads it, and it feels like she's right there telling you stories about her life :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I totally disagree about Love, Life and the List by Kasie West. Although, it's not in my top 3, I really enjoyed that book. But P.S. I Like You is definitely my favorite. And I immensely struggled with The Fault in Our Stars too, so you are not alone there.

    1. I haven't found many people who DO agree with me on Love, Life, and the List. I'm definitely in the minority with my opinion 😂

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that Turtles is overhyped. I did like Fangirl, though. I also liked Troublemaker and The Hunger Games.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I mean, the fact that I never could get through The Fault in Our Stars should've been a big clue that Turtles wouldn't be for me ... but yes, I thought it was very much overhyped. Thanks for stopping by!


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