Discussion: My Issues with Hype

Discussion

If you read young adult books and see any marketing for these books, then you probably know a little bit about hype. Hype can either excite a reader so much that they go out and buy the book as soon as possible or it can send another reading running in the opposite direction. I tend to be the latter…

I don’t know what it is about hype, but it just makes it difficult for me to even give a book a chance. Part of that reason is the worry that all the seven-figure authors are Stephanie Meyer-wannabes who are jumping on various paranormal romance/dystopian romance bandwagons. I’ve been burned by hype and “OMG this book is awesome the main couple/love triangle is so adorable OMG I need to marry this guy.” I know that not everyone is like this but young adult definitely has its fangirls (and boys as well) who obsess over different things that I do. I’ll be the first to admit that I can obsess over a series or book and overlook its flaws as a result, but I have trouble handling that in other people when I’m trying to figure out if I should read a book. Hype, whether created by a marketing team or reader word-of-mouth, tends to ignore the flaws of a book. As a result, it’s harder to tell if a book is really for you.

Another problem with hype, at least for me, is that it gives the illusion – or it creates the reality – that everyone is reading it. I don’t know why things seem less appealing when they’re really popular – does that make me a quasi-hipster or something – but if fangirls have flocked to a book I’ve started avoiding them unless I hear a lot of good things about them, especially from people whose reviews/recommendations I trust. Hype may make me run in the opposite direction but hearing good reviews that remain critical if necessary normally lead to me picking up a book. Now, if only young adult marketing teams knew that and used book bloggers and their word-of-mouth hype rather than the manufactured kind.

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