Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Words: High Hype Pressure

Read this book! You will LOVE it - everybody who's anybody does! Anybody else out there feel like this is an awful lot of pressure not only for a book to live up to, but also for people to love it as much as we're told we ought to?

It's a complicated feeling for me when it feels like everybody else seems to be totally in love with something that for whatever reason just doesn't spin my wheels. So many of my friends in high school thought The Catcher in the Rye was most amazing. Me? I kind of thought Holden was a phony, though I'll admit that when I read it a few years later, I didn't dislike it quite as much as I did the first time. But I hate admitting to people that I didn't care for it. I mean, it's a Classic and I'm a librarian. How could I NOT like this book? Simple: I just don't, and that's okay... Right?

I'm finding this happening again lately as I'm getting ready for the film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by rereading the novel. Now I like this book. I like this tale of a freshman boy who is lost and a loner and finds friends and gains a feeling of belonging. But as I'm rereading, I find myself questioning if I really liked it so much the first time around, or did I just convince myself I liked it more than I did because it got so much hype? I mean, I'm rediscovering that Charlie is a kid with a lot of issues on his plate. Maybe it's because this time around, I'm reading it as a teacher and someone who works with teens. I'm identifying very strongly with his English teacher, Bill, and looking for warning signs. But I know better than to say this to some of my friends for fear they might slap me upside the head.

So long story short, I want to pose a question. What books have you read that you feel just didn't live up to the hype in your eyes, or did you feel pressured to like because 'everybody else does'?

Comments, comments please! I'm really interested to know people's thoughts on this!


  1. Oh I know exactly how you feel. There's so much pressure to love the books that everyone else thinks are amazing! It's funny though, because I absolutely love The Perks of Being a Wallflower. :D The Catcher in the Rye was...interesting. I really liked Holden and all his teen angst, but it was boring! I don't understand why everyone's all "THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER."

    I tried reading Beautiful Creatures a few months ago, because it seems like everyone in the book world loves the series and they're so excited for the movie. I started reading it, and just couldn't get into it at all. I gave up after about a hundred pages. I might try to read it again, but I don't know. I just don't get it. And all the fans are freaking out because the trailer for the movie was just released, so I watched it and...nothing. I'm not intrigued. I just don't understand the fandom and I keep thinking I'm missing something. Especially since I'm a total fangirl who is obsessed with a lot of other fandom-y books/series.
    (Wow, sorry for writing a blog post instead of a comment haha.)

    1. Haha thank you for the enthusiastic comments! And I want to be clear, I really LIKED Perks of Being a Wallflower, honestly, I just think now that I'm older and a teacher, I identify more with Bill than I had when I read it when I was younger.

      And I'm not going to lie, the trailer for Beautiful Creatures has made me interested in giving the series a try, but it's not my usual fare. But back on point, I don't think we should ever feel bad for reading something and not loving it! At least we're reading!

      Thanks again and DFTBA!