Hyped Books We’ve Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week Joe and I are both here to share some hyped books we haven’t read.

Hyped Books We've Never Read | bluchickenninja.com

Emma’s Books:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I know this is a classic science-fiction book, I’ve heard so many people talk about it. And I have been meaning to read it, I nearly picked up a copy last time I was in Waterstones. But it’s like really short and I don’t see the point in paying nearly £10 for a book that I will finish in a few hours. I will almost definitely pick up a copy if I come across one in a charity shop.

Divergent by Veronica Roth. So all I know about this book is that it’s a YA dystopia and its “just okay”. And for like a 3 book series it needs to be better than just okay for me to want to read it.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Okay so I have actually started this, but I’ve only read like a chapter. And it was so boring. Like really really really boring, apart from the film adaption I don’t understand why this book is hyped so much.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen. Around christmas time I read a book called Love Letters To The Dead and from what I read on the internet it was basically a clone of Perks. They are both about shy and introverted characters and I am an introverted person but from what I can tell Perks makes it seem like that is a bad thing and is something which needs to be fixed. Which is ridiculous.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Okay so I know this is normally something kids read when they are in high school and I know everyone went nuts a few months ago when it was announced that they had found a manuscript of another book by Harper Lee. But I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Apparently Harper Lee is a good author. I don’t know. To be honest I only learned last month that Harper Lee is in fact a woman.

Joe’s Books:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I just couldn’t get into it. I own a copy, but it was so dense and… boring. I find it hard to get into something about rich white people complaining about their rich white people problems. Like Dickens its the kind of thing I probably SHOULD read in the interest of narrative study but… not today, Austen!

Fifty Shades of Rape by E. L. James (did I get that right?). I’m currently doing an internship with Harlequin Publishing, one of the world’s biggest publishers of romance fiction. I read my first romance novel the other day. From what I’ve seen, romance is a popular, very self-aware genre that provides a very specific audience with very specific, tailored stories. Fifty Shades, on the other hand, seems to me to be a handbook on why it’s ok for your boyfriend to rape you, so long as he’s rich. I haven’t read it, hence it is on this list, and I don’t intend on ever providing Vintage Books with any more money for this book. [Rant over]

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire. Look… I’m a 22-year-old who adores reading (and writing) YA fiction, and my younger sister has begged me to read The Mortal Instruments. I have the first two books in the series on my shelf, and to be honest I probably will read them. But from the couple of chapters I’ve read of the first title, I did find the writing to be a bit too simplistic for the targeted audience.

Dickens. He’s one of those classics whom everyone is ‘supposed’ to read, and I have started several of Dickens’ novels. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations were the two I got furthest in, but I just found myself becoming bored of the characters, especially since I found it very hard to relate to them. Given my growing interest in literature and narrative theory I’m sure I’ll get round to reading him at some point… But for now I think I’ll be sticking to my modern novels.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. To be fair, I know almost nothing about Gilbert’s memoir. I think it links again into the same sort of thing as Austen; for me it’s quite hard to get into something that’s aimed at a demographic into which I don’t fall. Perhaps as I get older it will be the kind of thing I’d like to read.

Thanks for reading.
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102 thoughts on “Hyped Books We’ve Never Read

  1. We all have books that no matter how they are praised by friends or top ten lists, we just are not interested in. I have trouble passing by anything with a vampire in it, but put a bunch of little kids on the cover and nope, I walk right by.

  2. I really tried to read to kill a mockingbird too once for school, and once later in life and even when trying to read it when I was in my 30’s I still couldn’t get into it. Same with Austin, I lasted 3 pages before I had to put her down.

    • I don’t understand what makes To Kill A Mockingbird so great. Joe hasn’t read Austin but I actually managed to finish Pride and Prejudice. Yeah… it wasn’t good.

    • I ‘read’ Mockingbird at high school, but I think it’s a case of being forced to read something (especially as a kid) ruins it for you. I have the same thing with The Great Gatsby. I can see that it’s a good book, but I can’t stand it purely because I was forced to read it as a kid.

      • Exactly! Being forced to read something makes it like a chore! I avoided reading Great Gatsby in school, I tried reading it on my own, and still couldn’t get into the writing style.

  3. I’ve read all those books, except Divergent. Hunger Games was bad enough. Your selection needs some improvement. You’ve mixed up classics with pop fiction. If you want to start with a book, start with Dickens, and Austen, the rest don’t compare. And Life of Pi, I’d not even bother if I were you, the was the worst book I’ve ever read in my life. Good luck.

    • hah! I’ve heard very mixed reviews about it, people either love it or they hate it. Maybe some day I’ll try to find out which I am…

  4. Quite literally LOL-ing at Fifty Shades of Rape. Couldn’t agree more! Sounds waaaaay too creepy.

  5. Some of your list matches my ‘not read’ ones too – To kill a mockingbird, Life of PI, Tale of two cities, 50 shades..

    • There does seem to be a trend, especially with stuff like Dickens and Lee. People are either interested in classics or they’re not i think

  6. The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t science fiction, it’s Dystopian, and one of my faves. I’ve read all but Rape, Divergent, and City of Bones. My 12 is obsessed with those last two, though. I can’t get into Anna Karenina and I’ve only read a chapter of the first Harry Potter book. To Kill a Mockingbird is an exceptional book, and very short, so I feel like you’re missing out on that one, but then look at me, I’m missing out, too 😉

    • Huh weird. I knew it was a dystopia and it has won a bunch of science fiction awards but its not sci-fi. I learned something today 🙂 Thanks.

      Hahaha yeah, I was going to say you need to read Harry Potter. But I’m just a giant Potter nerd. Maybe I will read To Kill a Mockingbird if its short.

  7. I’ve not read many of these either! I’ve read The Handmaids Tale and Perks of Being a Wallflower, shamefully I skimmed To Kill a Mockingbird when I was meant to read it for school, and my book club at the same time, some years ago – it is one I’d like to actually read properly at some point though.

    My biggest gap in reading is my absolute hatred for YA – I’ve not read The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent, Maze Runner and my biggest regret is wasting 2 days of my life trying to read some John Green when I could have been reading something good. Generally, if a book is really hyped I will grow to hate it very quickly!

    Think I may actually do this myself this evening!

    • Do you want to join my YA is crap club? Nah I’m joking, I like some YA but most of it is nowhere near as good as what people make it out to be.

      Also do it!!!!!!!!

      • I’m totally up for that club! There are the odd books that I pick up that happen to be YA; when I discover it, I generally feel apprehensive about then reading them!

        One thing I love my local bookshop for is, in the YA section, they have some more ‘classic’ books there that were the YA of their day – The Catcher in the Rye and I Capture the Castle for example (neither of which I much care for, it has to be said, but kudos to the bookshop for trying to get them away from John Green and Stephanie Meyer!)

        • Oh yeah, I was sent a book for review last week, had no idea it was YA and when I found out it totally changed the way I viewed the book. Though it was still pretty good considering it was YA.

          See the problem is my local book shop is a Waterstones and they have all the “popular” YA stuff out. Though it has surprised me sometimes. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld was really great.

  8. I don’t know of this will change your mind at all but I actually thought the Divergent series got better as the books went on. The first one was sort of meh for me but I thought they got better. I also really liked the ending which a lot of other people didn’t. However, it does fall into a lot of YA pitfalls, in my opinion.

    • Hmmm maybe I will read it. I don’t know. I’m really not all that bothered by it. I would watch the movie instead but I’ve been told the movie is even worse than the book.

      • It definitely is. I enjoyed Divergent as a fun read. It’s not a great piece of literature but it was fun and (somewhat) original. It did get a bit caught up in its own history in the later books though.

  9. Out of these, I’ve only read To Kill A Mockingbird, and the rest… well, maybe some day. Some of them sound really interesting, but my TBR list is just so long that not every book I want to read even makes that list.
    What a fun post, thanks for sharing!

  10. I am not an Austen fan, definitely… I see so many people loving her books, and I feel a bit guilty for not liking them, but they are just not my cup of tea. And the same goes for YA. From your list, I really want to read The Handmaid’s Tale.

    • Yeah I know what you mean… there’s some people to whom I’ll say I don’t like Austen and they’ll look at me like I’m some uncultured swine 😛 Just different tastes 🙂

  11. I read The Handmaid’s Tale, it was actually pretty good, in fact I would recommend it, I have a copy of Eat, Pray. Love, and I keep thinking I should get ti is soon…keep thinking about it…

  12. I think if you have seen Life of Pi there is no point even considering reading it. The ending was the most engaging element. I liked Handmaid’s Tale and would probably suggest borrowing it rather than even buying a second hand copy. I have trouble summoning the will to live when even considering reading an Austen, but really enjoy reading some Dickens novels. However, Dickens can be hard work. Fifty Shades of I don’t think so and Kill a Mockingbird? A classic, yes, but I am not sure I will ever be devoid of something that sounds better to read. Thanks for an insight into your reading preferences.

  13. Emma, the only one on your list which I’ve read is To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it back in the early 60s before the hype. It happened that I started reading a condensed version at a friend’s over the weekend and immediately knew from Lee’s prose that I wanted to read the full version, so I did. Have I felt the need to reread it? No, once was enough. Do I understand what all the hype is about? No. I don’t even understand why it is a set read in schools these days, lol. Am I going to bother reading the much hyped sequel? Maybe, but it’s definitely not a priority.

  14. Joe, I’m pretty sure I had to read Austen’s P&P in school and make a book report. Either that one or Sense and Sensibility. That experience put me off Austen for life. I also had to read Dickens in school, but at least it didn’t sour me on him. I read most of his works as an adult with a reading group. They’re too long! Bleak House had some great characters and happenings, but with a book that long, there was too much not-so-great for me. My favorite part about Great Expectations was the friend later who lived in a ‘castle’ with his old dad, or granddad, I forget which and even his name now.

    Lest you think I don’t like classics, I do! Just not those particular authors.

    • It’s funny how reading books for school can just turn people off of them. And yeah I think that’s part of the problem with Dickens’ books; they were originally published as serials too so that probably contributes to the long plots.

      • Yes, I’m sure the serialization did make for the long books.

        Wilkie Collins, who happened to be a friend of Dickens if I remember correctly, has very long books and I love almost everything he wrote.

  15. I love the sarcasm in this post! I completely agree with you on the Divergent series. In fact, I think the series is really overhyped. Divergent was okay. Insurgent was a snooze fest and I never picked up Allegient because I got spoiled. And the point made about classics is really true. They are probably some of the most hyped books out there.

  16. I also tried reading Life of Pi. I am a slow reader and find long words difficult and by the end of the first chapter I had no idea what was going on! Xx

  17. It is interesting to me that so many people have not read To Kill a Mockingbird. Me, too, and not sure why I didn’t read it in school and why I have not read it as an adult. I wonder if perhaps because the movie was so good?

    Eat, Pray, Love….”Perhaps as I get older it will be the kind of thing I’d like to read.” My one wish for you is that you never run out of books or get bored enough to think you should read this. Oo, that was kind of harsh 🙂

  18. Great post! I read Life of Pi and really enjoyed it. But it’s been a while since I did and tbh the present day me would probably not pick it up haha. I read Austen for school eons ago. Eat, Pray, Love is one of those books that screams first world white person problems and I don’t have time for that. Ever. Lol.

  19. I remember liking To Kill A Mockingbird. But not liking it THAT much. Like, it’s good to read, but not within the realm of things I would personally choose.

  20. It’s interesting that you say Perks makes introversion seem like a bad thing. I’ve read the book (though, honestly, didn’t get the hype. I liked the movie better) and never thought about it like that before. I think Charlie, the main character, is more socially awkward than anything…but he is very quiet and is put in many situations where he is “forced” to come out of his shell. I’d have to go back and reread to decide if that was a decision he made on his own or if he felt pressured to do that, as I don’t remember all the details.

  21. Never read any of these books and somehow they were on my list to avoid anyway. Thanks for giving me a reason to avoid them now. Great post!

  22. There are several titles on there that I want to read but haven’t for no real reason at all. I went through a classics phase in university so I read the Dickens and Austen books… Have had a copy of Handmaid’s Tale twice and have lent it out both times without reading it first. Not sure if I want to pay for the same book a third time!

  23. I’ve read and loved many of the books on your list but I’ve never read Fifty Shades of Rape, I probably won’t either to be honest. Enjoyed your post though!

  24. Sometimes, books and movies are hyped so much that we despite being ardent readers and movie goers, lose interest. I will only disagree on To Kill A Mockingbird. Yes, it has been hyped. But it is worth it. Not so because of the language, but because of the storyline. Because of the characters. And above all, being ahead of its time. It might have lost its charm because of being ‘force fed’ as a part of compulsory reading programs. 😦 I suggest reading the plot on Sparknotes or something because it is so totally a story worth knowing. 🙂

    Psssst…I thought Sidney Sheldon is a woman!! And Harper Lee a man. We rock the same boat 😛

  25. I’ve tried reading three different Jane Austen books and couldn’t get past 50 pages with any of them. At first I’m like, yeah this is something I can get into, but then I just start to feel bored and suffocated with the world in her books. Weirdly enough I love quite a few movies based on her novels, so it’s not the story and characters per se.

    Life of Pi was a pretty good story of survival, but gets really smug and preachy in the end.

  26. Ha! I totally feel ya. My suggestion: Life of pi, NOT THAT BAD. Once you get through the dreadfully boring part that makes you want to cry with boredom, things start looking up! I read it for school and hated it, wrote a letter of hatred to the author, Yann Martel and got a reply. 3 years later I read it again, and loved it. Maybe watch the movie? That may help.

  27. Oh my god!

    Read To Kill a Mockingbird. Leave the rest on the shelf if you have to, if you must, but read To Kill a Mockingbird.

    It is all at once:

    An everlasting and indelible image of a time in the American South that everyone should understand.and remember
    A gentle exploration of childhood, of family, of the courage of a young girl — a role model for so many women, for so many women to be — even I wanted to be Scout
    Atticus Finch — whose quiet, resolute strength and humanity, informs and enlightens Scout — and me. Atticus is my hero, my standard, my blessed white light.
    And (hardly finally, but I’ll end my plea here) it is an image of a time which — so very unfortunately — remains relevant today. Racism continues to define America, politically, socially and personally. It is not too difficult to see the injustices Atticus rallies against still being expressed in the excessive use of force by those tasked with serving and protecting, in a court system which systematically convicts minorities and the poor out of proportion to the privileged and white, in a penal system which houses a majority of minorities.

    So, yes, read it.

  28. Ah, books we think we ‘should have read’. 😀 I have a long list of those, but I can’t be bothered. I never read anything by Goethe, for a start. That’s nearly a sacrilege in Germany. 😉 Then there was Sophie’s World. I have a copy, and I started reading it, but was soon utterly bored. I never finished that one. And I agree about the shades of grey: I’m not going anywhere near it, wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. Dickens is incredibly tough to read, but I listen to the librivox recordings, which is fine, I can then even bear all the endless repetitions of a single sentence with which he stretches his novels to twice the length they’d otherwise have had. Then there is The old man and the sea by Hemmingway. Sorry, but I never made that one. It bored me to death, as did any other novel by him I started. Oh, and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson: I have no idea what the hype was all about. It was OK, but not worth the money I spent. Same goes for Aaronivitch’s Rivers of London. I won’t read another book by him. As for your list: I read and enjoyed the Handsmaid’s Tale and every other book by Atwood that I read. Same goes for Jane Austen. Luckily, we all have different tastes. 🙂

  29. I’ve read or tried to read nearly all of these. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice twice and all of Jane Austen’s books at least once. They are my kind of books really. Which is why I could never get past chapter 3 of 50 Shades of Grey. With Divergent it seemed a bit like a less appealing Hunger Games knockoff. The idea of cool but it wasn’t on par. I’ve read Dickens, although a Tale of Two Cities is not my favorite (I prefer good old Oliver Twist, Nicolas Nickleby, and Great Expectations). I read To Kill a Mockingbird but it wasn’t my favorite (I’d never read it again). I think like Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying I finished the book with a sense of confusion and befuddlement. Perhaps a little sadness. Margret Atwood is amazing and I loved a Handmaiden’s Tale. There was so many subversive plots to the story it was absolutely captivating.

    I have been wanting to read life of Pi for quite some time. After I watched the movie and was utterly captivated with the concept. That and The Book Thief are ones I want to read. Perhaps The Book Thief should be on here. My list of famous books that have movies based on them that was disappointing was Memoirs of a Geisha. I actually liked the movie better. The book felt almost forcefully sad at times, like certain parts were made worse to make the book more of a tragedy while the movie smoothed over those.

    Thanks for this great list! After I finish a Series of Unforunate Events I’ll have to dig out my copy of The Book Thief and get a copy of the Life of Pi. 🙂

  30. Fifty Shades of Rape. Hilarious! Did you know that the human eye can see 50K shades of gray? Congratulations on your internship with Harlequin. I am participating in the SYTYCW contest on Wattpad. I love “To Kill a Mockingbird” (the only one on this list I’ve read–Jane Austen is too damn boring), but I am a Southern girl who lives on the other side of Alabama (in Florida). I have no desire to read “Go Set a Watchman”, though. “The DaVinci Code” was hyped like crazy, and I really enjoyed it (though it did not translate well to the screen at all). If I judged “Divergent” based on the movie, I’d never read it. I thought “The Hunger Games” was the hero (“Divergent” the zero). Good list!

  31. I must say that if a book is hyped that is usually a reason for me not to read it. I have a resistance against the latest popular fad. There are so many books to read. I get recommendations from the my public library website. Some of the books are new releases and others are ones the staff has enjoyed. I will read a little blurb provided about the book and decide if it is something I would like. I did love Pride and Prejudice and a lot of Dickens. I love the way Austen and Dickens describe their characters. It is kind of nuts because Austen is talking about Edwardian times and her characters’ dialogue still makes me laugh. Dickens too. I recently started reading Elizabeth Gaskell. She was popular during Dickens’ time but I had not read her before. I got interested in her through the BBC production of Cranford ( which I really liked). I have a pile of books here now. Some from the library, others I have recently bought. I love mysteries as well ( Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Louse Penny, Henning Mankell), William Kent Kreuger “Ordinary Grace.” Well too many books and too little time. 🙂

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