Friday, December 10, 2021

#AMonthofFaves: Popular Books Worth (Or Not Worth) The Hype

I'm messing with the order of the #AMonthofFaves prompts because I thought sharing a weekend in the life was next week. Thus, I am planning on sharing pictures of this coming weekend for that prompt. So today I am writing about Monday's prompt instead. I hope Kim and Tanya who you can find at GirlXOXO, and who are hosting this link up will forgive me :)

Here is my list of books that I saw recommended in a number of places, or are by authors I've loved in the past, and which ones I thought were worth the hype. At the end, I'm sharing a few duds as well.

The Good Sister

I know a lot of people tend to LOVE Sally Hepworth and mostly, I just think she's okay. She blew me away with this book though and I would highly recommend it.

 The Book of Longings

It took me a long time to get around to reading this book because I just couldn't get past the premise. It's the story of Jesus' wife. Yeah. However, I forced myself to start reading it because a lot of people whose opinions I really respect could not stop talking about it. And then I fell in love with it. So yes, read it.

Yoga Pant Nation (Class Mom, #3) 

I loved Class Mom and then I laughed my way through You've Been Volunteered so I approached this one with some trepidation. I mean how long can Gelman keep writing the same characters and the same, school based situations, and still be hilarious? She has a real talent because Yoga Pant Nation might be my favourite one of hers thus far. If she writes a fourth book in the series, you can count on me reading it because she hasn't missed yet.

The Rose Code 

I love love loved The Alice Network. And then I found The Huntress highly disappointing. So I approached The Rose Code with a lot of trepidation but the Kate Quinn I loved from The Alice Network is back. This might be better than The Alice Network. Maybe. After this, I read another four or so books about Bletchley Park so clearly she had an engaging subject as well as an excellent plot.

The House in the Cerulean Sea The Midnight Library

So many people raved about these two books that I thought there was no possible way they could be as good as all that. I. Was. Wrong. Add me to the scores of people raving about how amazing these two books are.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

A non-fiction book about internal migration over the course of about forty years in the US. How exciting could that be?!?! Again, a few people whose opinions I highly respect recommended this book to me so I gave it a shot. And I think I read it in about two days. I would sneak moments of time to sit and read it. This was another book which did not disappoint.

Anxious People 

If you can have a crush on an author solely because of their books and the kinds of characters they write, well then, I am crushing hard on Fredrik Backman. This is a story about a hostage taking during an open house for an apartment sale so how can it be funny and one of the best books I read this year? Because it's Fredrik Backman writing it and so it's perfect and understated and heartwarming and hilarious.

Now, for a few duds, because what fun would this post be if I didn't shine the spotlight on a few books which just weren't this year.

Kate in Waiting 

Becky Albertalli, normally I love you. I love your take on relationships. I am here for all the teen angst. Your books are awesome. Except for this one. The overuse of the word "fuck" and "f-boys" and the fact that it was on every third page just didn't do it for me. It distracted me from the real story, which I wanted to love. Don't distract me. Don't be so crude. Once or twice is funny, more than that, it's just annoying and rude. We get it already.

The Lost Apothecary 

This book had the best cover and the most "meh" story. I feel like there was potential and it didn't quite reach it. That cover made promises it couldn't keep and I was left feeling disappointed.

American Dirt

You all know the controversy surrounding this one. And in the end, while it was a good story, I didn't think it was worth it. I've read some of the other novels readers have been directed to read instead of this one and I find them much more gritty. Less "I'm trying to write a novel which will get turned into a movie" and more "I'm writing a story which has happened, is happening, and I'm not making it pretty."


I LOVED Ready, Player One so I was super-excited to hear that Cline had written a sequel. I was all in for it and then it left me feeling, "meh." I had to force myself to get past all the Prince references and actually finish it. I might have not paid that much attention to detail the last forty or so pages and just searched for the plot. If Cline write, Ready, Player Three, I will approach it with much trepidation. Just sayin'.

So there you have it -- the books that lived up to the reputations preceding them and the ones which didn't. Do you agree with me? Or do you disagree with me? Either way, let me know in the comments because I'm always up for a good book discussion!


  1. I absolutely love Backman's books including Anxious People. Same with The Rose Code - Quinn is my go to author (I did like The Huntress :-)

  2. I agree with you on almost all the ones of these that I've read, besides The Midnight Library. I wasn't a huge fan of the way mental health issues were dealt with!

  3. Completely agree about Laurie Gelman- big fan here! Will read any book she writes :)

  4. I agree with you on American Dirt, the author is totally trying to get this made into a movie. I wasn't sure about the next Kate Quinn book but maybe I'll try it. Sometimes I get a little tired of World War books (I know, I can't believe I am saying that!), perhaps not tired, I just need to space them out. Love Yoga Pant Nation (and the other ones in the series). So fun, and I don't read a lot of "chick lit".

  5. Of the books I've read, I only disagree about The Lost Apothecary. Now I won't say it was AMAZING, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  6. I didn't participate on Friday because I too thought photos of a weekend in the life was next Friday's prompt (I can't for the life of me think of what I thought this Friday's prompt was though...). I have the Good Sister waiting for me to finish up my holiday reads but the only other two I've read from this list are The Rose Code and The midnight Library; both of which I enjoyed a lot!

  7. I'm messing with the order of the #AMonthofFaves prompts -- Thanks for clarifying! I knew I was behind, but didn't think I was THAT behind. lol

    Anyway, great post! I bookmarked it for later as I see some books that are on my TBR and some that need to get on there.

  8. I also liked The Midnight Library more than I thought I would.

  9. As you well know, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cerulean Sea and Midnight Library. I'm so glad they made your hype list. I do think going in with a certain expectations changed the book a lot; like I went into the Lost Apothecary with super low expectations so ended up liking it. But had I gone in with high expectations (like The Guncle), it would have been meh. Hype is so influential in books!


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