Whether we as readers like to admit it or not, our expectations of a book are largely influenced by the hype it receives. A lot of the hype comes from publishers, media, bloggers, and even other readers. For me, a book can be hyped even when it comes highly recommended by a person I trust to suggest a particular title or author to me.
I’ve found in my time as a reader and even more so in the year that I’ve been blogging that books in a series are more likely to be hyped, especially as each book is released. A similar thing happens when a popular author (for instance, John Green) releases a new title.
Hype builds our expectations, makes us feel like each title we read will be better than the last. It makes us excited to read new releases or a popular series/book. But it can also raise our expectations too high and we are left disappointed.
When a book lives up to the hype:
There isn’t much that feels more exciting than a great book that gives you what it promises and then some. When you just want to constantly dive in that world and live there. When you want it to be a series so that you can hold on to that world for just that much longer.
I usually know that my book expectations have been met when I have difficulty getting into the next book on my TBR list because it’s not the same world with the same characters.
When expectations aren’t met:
Ugh. When I am let down by a book, I have such a difficult time finishing it. It’s even worse when the whole book is ok and then the end just falls flat, ruining the whole thing. I’ve read a couple of books this year so far that really didn’t meet my expectations. Needless to say, I won’t be finishing these series and I will be more reluctant to pick up another book by the same author.
I also have way different expectations for a sci-fi or fantasy novel than I do for a contemporary novel. Do you find yourself doing this as well?
I try to hold them to different standards, knowing that the characters, scenarios, and writing styles can be vastly different.