Sunday, June 02, 2013

Hyped Up vs. Underrated Books

I have a confession to make: When it comes to reading hyped up books vs. underrated books (or books not as known), I tend to be more critical of the hyped books.

I know, I know. As much as I try not to have opinions on books I have yet to read, pre-read judgments seep into my review. I honesty try to mention in my review if I had or hadn’t heard about the book or not but it is something that has been on my mind lately. Especially when it comes to the most recent, very anticipated release of Clockwork Princess.

But is this inevitable with hyped up books? Hyped up books tend to have more publicity and are usually more well known. Hence, they are considered “hyped” books. Along those same lines, the opinions on the book can vary from positive to negative to even hateful. But the more people who read the book and review it, the more chances a reader of the blog (or other outlet), like me, has of coming across the review. I’ve seen various reviews of Clockwork Princess and while I haven’t read Clockwork Prince, I know that if (when) I read Clockwork Princess, these reviews will come back to me.

And is it worse if the review is written by someone whose opinion you trust? There is a friend who has a blog and I read pretty much every review she writes. I even stalk keep up with her Good Reads just to see what she thought of a book I am currently reading or one I planned on reading. Her reviews have also introduced me to the amazing world of adult books and for that I am grateful. But if I’m honest, if the book is hyped up, I’ve got this nagging voice in my head saying, “she liked the book.” As in, “if you don’t like this book too, you’re going to be the outcast.” I hate being the outcast.

With underrated books, for obvious reasons, my mind is usually a clean slate. I’ve found lately that many of the underrated books I’ve found are books that used to be popular years ago or mostly in the adult scene. For example, I recently discovered the Kate Daniels book recently. This series is a very popular but one I hadn’t really heard of. Released a few years back, I’ll bet that Kate Daniels was insanely popular. Even though it’s popular now, I’m assuming it’s mostly in the adult books world.

Other YA books, like The False Princess and Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters didn’t seem to be as promoted. Obviously, not every book can have a $170,000 promotional budget (The 5th Wave apparently has this much) so not as many people will hear about the book.

But I wonder: does the amount of promotion a book gets influence a persons reviews of that book? While I want to say no, I'm going to have to say yes, I think it does. If there are more reviews of a book, whether they are from bloggers or a magazine, people are more likely to see the book. I think once you read a review it can be hard to completely forget about what you read.

Do any of you guys feel this way? Does your opinion of a book become influenced by the reviews you've read? Maybe I'm the only one but I hope not! It's something I'm working on changing but it's harder than it seems!