Have you ever read a book because you were seeing it all over Instagram and people couldn’t stop talking about it? Did you ever want to read it just to see what all the hype was about? Well, I have. After all, I’m only human and I wanted to see what all the stir was about. While some books I can understand why they’re popular and being talked about, there are a few that I find it difficult to understand why they ever made the bestseller list.
Here’s the list of books that I’m guilty of reading because of the attention they gathered and for which I found rather disappointing. The only thing I’m thankful for is that they were for the most part library books so I didn’t actually invest in them financially.
American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins
This book was published just under a year ago and has been all over social media ever since. While it’s caused a lot of controversy due to the fact that the author is white and talks about a Mexican woman’s flight to the United States can be considered as cultural and racial appropriation. My issue with this book wasn’t so much the controversy (although I do agree that it can in some cases be considered cultural and racial appropriation) but more about the story. While the book did start off strong and had a lot of action, I just felt that it dragged on for the longest time. The whole book was very uneventful for me and I just got bored reading it. It’s a shame because it had a lot of promise.
The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
This is the book I was most excited about reading last year. I was on the waiting list forever at the library and was beyond excited when they finally called me last month to say it was my turn to pick it up. I saw this book all over Instagram and every review I read was fantastic. To say I had high hopes for this book was an understatement. So you can imagine my disappointment when I started reading it and my initial thought was “Is this it? What am I missing here?”. I was BEYOND disappointed with this book. I honestly tried to get into it and even found myself re-reading several pages just in case I was missing something. I gave this book so many chances but unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters, parts of the book that were supposed to make me feel sad or joy had me feeling emotionless. I know you’re not supposed to love every book that’s popular, but this is a book I really wanted to love but just couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.
Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I’ll be honest, one of the main reasons why I read this book has to do with the cover. I found it intriguing and after seeing it on Instagram a few times and hearing great reviews, I figured I would give it a chance. I do love a good suspense novel, but I’m not a fan of horror books since I tend to a) get scared easily and b) find them to be too far fetched. Mexican Gothic was a good mix of suspense/thriller and horror. I enjoyed the family secrets (hence the suspense side of the book), but the zombie/horror side of the book got me less interested. It was a good book, just not for me.
The Guest List, by Lucy Foley
You would think this book would be right up my alley since I’m a huge fan of thrillers, but it wasn’t. I really have a hard time understanding how this book was announced as the Best Thriller of 2020. Everything in this book was highly predictable. Not only was it predictable, it was just all over the place. While I can try and understand the author’s intention of including everyone’s point of view of the event, the way it was presented was incoherent. Things weren’t adding up, the stories didn’t make sense, the different view points got me feeling more confused than anything really, and it just made it that much harder to get into the story. My only regret with this book other than reading it, is purchasing it rather than loaning it from the library.
Where The Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
This book has long been considered as one of the favorites from Reese’s Book Club. Since I decided to make my way through her book club list, and have heard so many great things about this book, I figured I would give it a try. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t to sure how I would feel about this book. It’s not the type of book I usually read but I figured I would expand my horizons and read something outside of my comfort zone. And since it was a RBC fan favorite, I had to read it and see what all the hype was about. Well, I was right about one thing: this is definitely the type of book I usually read and I can understand why. Nothing in this book appealed to me. It was an almost DNF for me. And to say I was glad it was over and that I could check this book as read would be an understatement.
Followers, by Megan Angelo
This book had so much potential. I was so excited to read it and kept seeing it all over social media. A book about social media with a interesting twist? It has to be great, right? Wrong! I kept getting distracted and found myself losing focus and having to reread paragraphs. It was incredibly long and at times felt like the author was just trying to fill a void that wasn’t there. Honestly, it was just really long and while I did enjoy the story behind it, I found that this book could have easily been cut in half and the author could have taken a better direction with the story.