Popular Books That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype: Top Ten Tuesday

I am finally participating in another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s topic is unpopular bookish opinions, but I decided to specifically use this topic to talk about my unpopular opinions when it comes to certain hyped books. I like to think that I’m a reader who’s hard to please (I’ve only had one 5-star read so far this year), and that unfortunately constitutes to me getting disappointed by a lot of hyped books. I hope I don’t offend ya’ll with any of my opinions, though!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. If I reviewed a book, clicking on its cover will direct you to my review!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


This is probably the most hyped book on this list. I didn’t hate it. I just wasn’t blown away, and the writing could’ve been better–it functioned well enough to tell the story, but that’s it. But I will forever remember this book for the grey morality of all of its characters, especially Evelyn Hugo.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan


Going into this book, I just had a sixth sense telling me I wasn’t going to love it as much as everybody else. Stellar themes and representation, but underwhelming plot and characters.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi


The first review I ever posted on this blog was a review of this book. I actually praised it in that review because I was still an inexperienced reviewer who let hype influence my thoughts. Now I look back on this book and I find that it was a pretty bland and average read. Again, five stars for the representation, but the characters and plot are so damn forgettable.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

This is one of the few books I’ve ever rated two stars in my life. I read this during my pre-reviewing days, so my memory of it isn’t the best, but the way the author described the horrors of this time period (child deaths, starvation, brainwashing, etc.) was incredibly emotionless and read like it was purely there for shock factor. Two out of the three main characters were way too perfect to be likable, while I didn’t care about the third one at all.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)

I don’t see this book getting talked about very much now, but I can recall a time when this was getting a decent amount of hype. Again, I read this a long time ago and didn’t write a review, but I remember that one of the main male characters, Gifford, was so annoying. To me, he represents everything there is to hate about men. The romance plot-lines were also severely underdeveloped, and I think that if they hadn’t existed, this book could’ve been so much better.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton


Am I just not smart enough? Because I don’t get the point of this book. I read it, but…. I didn’t take away a single thing from the story.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab


This finale disappointed me so much, especially since This Savage Song is one of my favorite books of all time. I loved the first book because learning about the monsters in this world was such an interesting experience, but Our Dark Duet entirely stopped focusing on the monsters and instead became an average dystopian story.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson


This book committed one of my most hated tropes in books, which is romance disguised as fantasy.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard


One of the few books I’ve ever DNFed. The way the author crafted names genuinely made me mad. Mathew? Eron? Gretchya?? Just use Matthew, Aaron and Greta please. And that’s not all, in this book, they have nobility called Doms and Domnas. You mean, Dons and Donnas?? I have way more examples to give you, but the last one I will leave you with is “taro game.” Yes, that is an allusion to tarot cards. I just think that replacing or removing a few letters from actual words is an extremely lazy and annoying way to create new terms for your fantasy novel. I get that fantasy authors do this from time to time, but in this book, it felt so incredibly forced and overused.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera


I’ve never cried because of a book before, in case you didn’t know, and Adam Silvera’s books are famous for being emotional. I feel like your enjoyment of his books hugely rely on whether his writing evokes emotion in you, and I sadly didn’t feel a single thing while reading this.

Phew, I got a little heated about some of these (*cough* Truthwitch), but I hope you enjoyed reading about my unpopular opinions. However, please don’t take it as a personal attack if you loved/enjoyed any of these books! On the contrary, I’m quite glad that you loved them because I wish it were the same for me.

You can also find me on Twitter and be my friend on Goodreads.

Do we agree or disagree on any of these books? What’s a popular book that didn’t live up to the hype for you?

25 thoughts on “Popular Books That Didn’t Live Up to the Hype: Top Ten Tuesday

    1. ah, from reading it I can understand why a lot of people would like it though! So I woudn’t say that you should completely write it off, but your mileage may vary! It’s understandable why you would want to avoid it. I almost did too, but then I decided to read it just because I didn’t want to miss out lol

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve only read The Gilded Wolves and I have to agree with you! I also find the worldbuilding lackluster as well (which I’m going to explain in my review, but I find it so difficult to write negative reviews dnskdns). I didn’t hate it, but I was really disappointed tbh 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you’re so right about the worldbuilding! gosh i found the magic so dry and I had no desire to learn more about it. I didn’t hate it too. I just found it incredibly bland, and i think the only reason I was able to write a review for TGW was because I was subconsciously just writing what everyone else was saying lol. I hope you manage to finish writing a review you can be proud of though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, The Gilded Wolves lived up to its hype. Though that might be because of my son Hypnos. He sounds like he has his shit together but is actually a lonely dork who wants to have friends… my heart 😭💔
    But to each their own, of course.
    I haven’t read Evelyn Hugo but have heard mostly great things about it but now I’ll proceed with caution, hehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so great for you! Wish I loved it like everyone else did. Ahahaha and Hypnos is one cool dude. Ahhh I love characters like that too I just don’t know why it just didn’t work for me in TGW. I can totally understand how a lot of people would absolutely love Evelyn Hugo so I think you’ll be fine!! I’m just the black sheep here I guess


  3. I am always so scared of hyped books as they are either amazing (and I end up missing out) or overhyped and I hate the book! Gah! Amazing post! The Kiss of Deception was extremely disappointed when I read it 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and oh gosh same!! Some of my all time favorites are incredibly hyped and that’s why I still trust hype, but there are also a lot of times when hyped books are just not for me, or the hype ruins my reading experience. I even bought a hardback of Kiss of Deception, and then I ended up hating the book. At least the cover’s pretty though..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was actually reading this post to see if any of the books I’ve read on this list were fooling me because of the hype, but… I think your opinions are pretty accurate to me.

    I understand how someone could go into History Is All You Left Me with expectations to cry, but back when I read it, I wasn’t part of the book community yet. I was just a simple Adam Silvera fan! I did not expect to cry, and I in fact SOBBED like five times, haha! HIAYLM was probably the most gut-wrenching book of my life, and I have no idea why, because I couldn’t relate to it at all, but it still made me so emotional that I got really nauseous and had to put it down 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha lol glad to know that we share the same opinions! I definitely think that my expectations were what ruined most of these books for me. But I’m seriously really sad that Adam Silvera didn’t make me cry because I’ve never cried bc of a book before I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE. your experience seems really wild though 😂 I wonder if something like that could happen to me and I sorta wish it would

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Somehow I missed your top ten tuesday post (sorry, I swear I went through all of them!). I think sometimes when I use the app it doesn’t give me all the updates.

    Anyway- this is quite the list! I haven’t read any of these yet, but I saw someone list My Lady Jane as a favorite just the other day, and I feel like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gets a ton of great reviews. Or was it The Seven or Eight Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle… can’t remember. Also, who named those books that way?! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No no it’s okay hahaha! I don’t expect anyone to interact with all of my posts because as someone who blog hops a lot, it can definitely be tiring.

      I rated My Lady Jane three stars because the potential was right there. the writing was absolutely hilarious and I loved how it played with history. sadly, one of the MCs was unbearable and the romances bogged the story down. I think they both get good reviews though! never read seven and a half however. Ahh same, it’s either the greatest publicity stunt ever or the worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now there’s The seven deaths of Stella Fortuna or something… I have to wonder if these authors are really doing themselves any favors. It makes it seem like they are all set in the same world or part of a trilogy or something when I don’t think they are.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh I love this post and the tea ahah 😉 I have to say, I had heard A LOT of hype around My Lady Jane and, despite historical fiction not being my thing, I thought I’d give it a try. I found it, enjoyable overall, but it didn’t blew me away either. Same goes for Girls of Paper and Fire, which disappointed me a little bit, I think I expected too much of it overall 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like my a dose of tea once in a while 😂 My Lady Jane had a lot of potential but some elements ruined it for me. I’m still holding out that GOSAS will be a step above GOPAF! i feel like all of my problems with these books stem from the fact that I expected too much, so I feel you :’)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so too, I’m still going to check out that sequel, too curious not to, but hoping to love it a bit more 🙂
        and expectations can be the wooorst sometimes 😭

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh – “romance disguised as fantasy.” That is a great way to describe that! I also dislike when I go into a book expecting to get a great big fantasy read, and it turns into basically just a romance book. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love romance. I just don’t love it when that part of a story overtakes EVERYTHING else, if that makes sense? Anyways, great post! I loved reading it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ohh, why did you dnf gopaf haha?

      also, that was me the whole time reading evelyn hugo! i knew it wasn’t fair to the book, but the whole time i was thinking, “when do I fall in love with this” and I think that ‘s primarily why it didn’t really live up to the hype for me. :((

      thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

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