Overhyped Books I’ve Read

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. I hope you are all also finding ways to keep occupied as well. I can feel the boredom really getting to me. You know how you have stuff to keep you occupied but you don’t have the energy to engage? Yeah, that’s me right now. I’m still planning on giving you a book review of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House soon. (I’m about halfway through. It’s a decently sized novel.) Besides that, I just finished a novel for a class of mine and it inspired me to talk about book I read because of the hype and felt let down. Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion. I don’t hate these books but I was disappointed after hearing so many good reviews. Let’s get on to my list.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – I read this novel for my YA literature course in undergrad. While I see why teens absolutely adore this novel, I just couldn’t get behind it reading it through adult eyes (even though I’m in my 20s). I can see the appeal behind Salinger’s most famous novel but I couldn’t stand Holden Caulfield. He was so condescending and “intellectual” in the way teen boys gets when they want to feel different. That could easily be a way to read the book, though. However, since it was through Holden’s point of view, I felt trapped by the pseudo-intellectual ramblings of a teen boy who doesn’t realize his own privilege. I just thought he was a brat at the end of the day.

The Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith: You all know that I love a good mystery novel. After finding out that JK Rowling has created a series under a pseudonym, I just had to give these a try. I read The Silk Worm and The Cuckoo’s Calling. I certainly enjoyed them but they just weren’t as good as other detective mysteries I have read. I felt the titular Cormoran Strike was too rough and the novel was too congratulatory whenever he was a decent human being to others, especially women. I’m all for a gruff character with a heart of gold but you never got to see the heart of gold part. They are good books for travel, if nothing else.

Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Achidie – This the novel that inspired this list. I just got done reading this for a special topics seminar I am currently taking. I knew nothing about this novel going in but I had seen it on many lists of lauded books. I was looking forward to reading this and was sadly let down. I did enjoy the way that the novel addresses the problems that modern immigrant faces as the main character immigrates from Nigeria to America. It has poignant moments and accurate commentary. My biggest issues (and my classmates agreed with me) was that the characters were too flat and a lot of the problems the characters face get “solved” or wrapped up too quickly. Also, the main romance in the novel felt pointless by the end. I just had a hard time enjoying this novel as the characters weren’t compelling enough for me.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – It has been years since I’ve read this one but I remember picking it up because of the movie adaptation. The book has an interesting premise but it takes a turn into creepy and uncomfortable. The initial plot of the book is about a young girl who was murdered and tries to find a way to move on to the afterlife. Like I said, it takes a bizarre turn when she begins possessing adults who were her childhood friends and takes part in…adult acts. It’s so bizarre and unnecessary. I wouldn’t recommend this novel.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – I did a mini-review of this book a while back and I still stand by the fact that it is preachy and exaggerated. It does address important issues but it is so dated.

The Matched series by Ally Condie – I’m going to get a little contradictory here but I actually really enjoyed the first novel of this series. Matched wasn’t half bad but the sequel, Crossed, was incredibly boring. I didn’t even bother reading the last book in the trilogy.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I did a review of this one already and it was a DNF. The writing was good but it was just so slow and took way too long to get to the most important plot points. Go read The Secret History instead.

The Vampire Diaries series LJ Smith – I loved these book as a pre-teen when I was going through my Twilight phase (ugh). These are longer and even more pretentious. I will give the novels credit as there was way more action, adventure, and magic than it Twilight but all of the characters were such Mary Sues. I didn’t even bother with the TV series when it came out.

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller – I had to include at least one play on this list. I read this in high school and it was an incredibly frustrating read with characters that range from boring to unlikeable. Also, most of the play is just stage direction and the dialogue itself goes nowhere.