Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Whatcha Think 'Bout Wednesday (1)

Thought I would try something new.  I've always been one for discussions and user interaction and thought with the new year I would add a new level of blogger-ness to my blog.  Join in, read it, comment... whatever.  It's just one of my many "whatcha think about" moments.

Whatcha Think About Wednesday.
[button to come.  maybe.  eventually.]

How do you think HYPE and REVIEWS affect you and your book buying, book reading, and book preferences? 
When you see a book that not only the publisher and author really promote but you also have a ton of readers going Fan-Girl/Fan-Boy status does that sway you one way or another?  When person after person rave on and on about an *IT* book do you find that you are adding that to the top of your list or are you picking one that isn't so out there or for one with reviews that go all over the board? I'm talking new releases and those that are already seasoned.
How does Hype (and the reviews) to go with it affect you?

The Short(er) Answer:  I will admit HYPE scares me and can and usually does put me off.  There are many books that seem to make everyone's Top Five of All Time book lists, giving it ten stars when their scale only goes up to five, and they are practically tattooing the characters name on their bodies and I am sitting there completely stunned and left feeling a huge empty spot in my soul after I read the book. 

I know everyone has different preferences but I sometimes really feel mislead. Sometime, I don't believe that some of these Hype Books are receiving HONEST FULL reviews. When I come across this kind of Hype spilling over into reviews I set out to find that ONE Not-So-Great review where the person keeps it real with me and tells me what no one else does.  Am I the only one who does this?

The Extended Version: I won't lie, I am completely Fan-Girl status over several books/series and my reviews for those books obviously show it but I try to make sure that I touch base on the major aspects of the book from my point of view. Meaning, I try to relate to you WHY I loved the book so much.  Perhaps you don't swoon over what I do BUT I try to give you that option to see that.  My reviews are far from perfect but I do try- sometimes I feel like others are more concerned with more then giving a fair review.

 Here is a good example I found that Anna did on her blog, Anna Reads. 

Anna reviewed Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne.  I, too, have read this and I know this isn't a Hype Book, but this review really stuck out to me. Anna gave this book a 3 Star Rating and said,
"Do I expect them to be Oscar-winning? Nope. But will there be cute boys and romance and will it end exactly the way I want it to? YOU BET IT WILL!"
Had I not already read Love on the Lifts, Anna's (full) review would have told me exactly when I needed to pick up that book... when I wanted a cup of hot cocoa, needed something fun, light and quick. I would have known I wasn't getting a masterpiece but I wouldn't have picked it up if that was what I was expecting.

Is this making any sense?  I'd totally pick up these Hype books sooner if I felt I was getting a real feel for them... but sadly sometimes I'm not.

On another note, there are several books and series that I completely protested because of the HYPE surrounding them but I found myself completely in love with them once I read them.  The Hunger Games series was one I totally snubbed until I there was commenting going on with Jenny from Supernatural Snark and she said something that made me go out and get the books to read.  She said something real beyond "Team Peeta/Team Gayle."

And on one more, negative reviews and reviews pointing out the not-so-cool-to-you points about a book aren't always bad either.  I found a lot of not-so-great reviews about Illyria by Elizabeth Hand because of the darker themes BUT that is why I chose that book and that is why I absolutely loved it.  I got the essence of the book and those themes didn't bother me.  So those DETAILED not-so-great reviews actually are what helped me make the leap to buy the book.  


  1. I ALWAYS look for that one not-so-perfect review. The fangirl/boy stuff really turns me off from a book, especially when it seems to be that every blog I follow is talking about it. I have a hard time believing any book is THAT good. I understand that some bloggers don't want to mention anything negative because they really, truthfully enjoyed the book, but I'd still rather read about SOME negatives. I don't want the perfect, fluffy version. I want it to be real; I don't want to be told that they enjoyed it. I want to know WHY. Most reviews aren't so detailed, and don't cover the basics of the characters, writing, setting, etc.

  2. I write seriously detailed reviews & I sometimes wonder if it's too much? but then I consider that I write my reviews the same way I want to READ my reviews. I, too, want to know WHY someone liked or disliked a book.

    As for the hype - that usually turns me off. I love, love, LOVE the book blogging community.. but it gets old when I see a book being broadcast all over every blog out there! I will usually wait a while & read the book myself. I also take in to consideration WHO the person reviewing the book is. Once I've gotten a feel for their taste, then that helps my decision on whether I want to read it or not. There's always those surprises though - good & bad!

  3. This is a great question/discussion topic.

    When I'm thinking about reading a new book, I always go on GoodReads and look at a couple 5 star reviews, a couple 1 or 2 star reviews, and a couple in between. That tends to set my expectations fairly accurately.

    I'm also very affected by hype. For example, there's massive hype right now for "Across the Universe." I know little to nothing about the book, but I want to read it!

    Sometimes I end up agreeing with reviews and hype, sometimes I don't. But individual interests and connections are what makes reading great!

  4. Usually I read the book if the summary hooks me and if the reviews aren't really bad

  5. Alissa- exactly. My big thing is WHY.

    Ginger- Yes, I have those blogs I ALWAYS read their reviews. I am still learning every ones personalities and it does help. It is funny my friend and I talk about books but we had to start saying if it is a "Jenny Book" or "Stacey Book" when we talk about the fabulousness of one. One time I read a book she was completely nuts over and all I could say is "REALLY JENNY?!" Of course opinions waver.. and I think you may be on to something. I am CONSTANTLY cutting my reviews because I am afraid they are TOO long. *I* like long reviews as well, I want to read the WHYs, the Pros, the Cons... everything. Glad to know I'm not the only one, lol.

    Erin- Across the Universe is a great example. I am reading my ARC now and I hope when I write my review I can write it from both sides. And I agree about individual interests and connections.

    THANKS FOR ANSWERING, I almost thought I'd go completely ignored :-)

  6. Perfect Words! I hate hype about books (uh like twilight). But at the same time I would never of heard of some books with out it, books that I still like to this day. I also like to know more then, IT WAS SO FREAKING FANTASTIC GO READ IT NOW, hence my review style. Great post thanks for telling me about it!

  7. I'll admit it...I don't read reviews before I read or buy a book. I will check out the rating or possibly even read the first paragraph of a review. I want to make up my mind about a book myself because I feel like if I read a review I'm going to think overly think about the reviews I read while reading this book. Does that even make sense? lol. So generally, I decide if I want to buy/read the book based of the blurb, ratings on goodreads/blogs, and the cover.

    If people keep telling me to read a book or I see them telling others, usually I'll give the book a shot, but sometimes I do hold off like with The Vampire Academy, I just finished reading them all and of course I wish I would have read them long before now.

  8. This was the funniest thing, I'm reading your post being all like "Oh yeah...totally...I feel the same way..." and then I came across the example from my blog and it was such a laugh-out-loud moment. YES! YOU KNOW THAT I FEEL THE SAME WAY! Too funny.

    Too much hype is a total turn-off to me. Then, when I read a book, and I don't love it, I COMPLETELY second-guess myself. I liked Anna and the French Kiss, for example, but why is everyone peeing their pants in excitement over it? I think the hype has turned me off!

    Great topic.

  9. This is a GREAT topic! I tend to stay away from books that are pushed down my throat.....aka...gushiness all over the place......including blogs, websites, and when you walk into a book store.



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