Friday Rants: The Bookish In-Crowd or, Fears & Admissions About Starting A Hyped Series (Delirium Week)

March 22, 2013 / 12 Comments / Uncategorized

Friday Rants is Mostly YA Lit’s discussion series that starts with a question or idea that’s been brewing in my mind for awhile, and I can’t get rid of. Thus, the rant! Come discuss with me and let’s get some of these issues out in the open!

Next week on the blog, I’m doing a binge read of the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver….

…and I’m scared.

Why am I scared? Mainly because when you start a series that’s been as big and talked about and loved as this one, it’s really hard not to buy into the hype or want to join the many, many bloggers and readers and yes, sometimes, authors, who are gushing. As much as I want to be a completely objective blogger (or as objective as you can be about something that is inherently about personal preference), I can admit right here that it’s very hard for me not to want to love a series that everyone else loves.

I wouldn’t even be reading Delirium if it wasn’t for the hype.

I’m admitting, right here, that I really hate having an unpopular or opposing opinion about a book that’s been hyped. In my non-blogger life, I’m pretty fearless about stating my opinions in constructive ways. But I have to admit that in book blogger, I sometimes feel drawn to that Bookish In-Crowd.

I want to be with the people who are gushing excitedly about this one series, or that one character. I want feel like I have that very special emotional connection that exists with someone else who feels exactly the same way as I do about a book.

Books are art, and art is subjective, and when I love a book, my subjective feelings for it can be overpowering.

This is how I sometimes feel about books.

For me, joining the community of book bloggers was, among other things, a way to connect with others who have those feelings about that one book in that one moment. But sometimes, I want that connection so much that it overpowers my objective view of the book.

This is what I call wanting to be in the Bookish In-Crowd, and it happens to me sometimes when books are super-hyped. I’ve been holding off on reading Delirium for a long time because of this – because I wanted to feel like I’m secure in my bookish opinions, and that if I don’t end up in the Bookish In-Crowd, it will be okay.

In the end, this isn’t a fear or admission that’s going to stop me from reading the series. And I like the fact that I’ve been exposed to so many books that I never would have heard of or thought about reading if it hadn’t been for the Bookish In-Crowd. So I will totally commit to doing my best to be objective, especially about Delirium. I know there are bloggers out there who have stood out from the crowd, and who are more fearless than I am about putting their unabashed opinions out there. It’s time for me to join them, and be fearless in not only my positive, but also my negative opinions about books.

Are you drawn in by the Bookish In-Crowd? Do you sometimes have doubts or fears about reading a hyped series? Let me know in the comments!

Delirium Week runs from March 25-29 here on Mostly YA Lit. Come by and watch me binge read/review the entire Lauren Oliver series in one week!

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12 responses to “Friday Rants: The Bookish In-Crowd or, Fears & Admissions About Starting A Hyped Series (Delirium Week)

  1. I can see what you're saying, Tiff! I find it hard when people whose opinions I trust rave about a book – I WANT to love that book, but maybe it was just overhyped for me? Or I don't get it? It can be very tricky.

    I don't feel that way very often, but it does happen. I remember that happened with Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – so many people were raving about it, and I read it and ended up hating it. The writing style was fine, but I could not stand the story.

    I think you touched on a really good point though, that it is art and it is subjective. I love Delirium – that story means the world to me. I picked it up on a whim before I started book blogging. And it moved me to tears, and changed me in little ways. It's okay if other people don't love it as much as I do – but sometimes I worry that I'm overhyping it for other readers!

    It's a fine line, for sure. I want to read and discuss the same books that other people are loving. I want that connection with other readers, but I guess it's just a scenario where you win some and lose some, right?

    Great thoughts though!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  2. I can't say I ever really feel the need to be part of the Bookish In-Crowd in that way, but I do definitely wonder sometimes what I might be missing. I see people gushing about a book or a series and I wonder why so many people LOVE IT, when I think there are other books and series much more deserving of the hype. As you say, it's all subjective, and I don't really think you can explain why one book gets all the press and others don't (beyond the marketing dollars, because that obviously makes a difference as to how many ARCs go out, how big of a blog tour there is, etc). I've had experiences on both sides of the spectrum, really. One experience would be reading an incredibly hyped book and LOVING it, but then I've also had the opposite where I really disliked a hyped book and wondered WHY it was so hyped.

    • Are you okay with discussing those disliking opinions? I find it SO hard. Especially if I got the book as an ARC or something. I know it's part of blogging, but I think I'm holding onto weird feelings from high school where I just want everyone to love me. =p

  3. I'm really happy for this post. A great topic that people should discuss constantly :)In crowds are fun when you happen to agree but disagreements are the spice of book life!

  4. I have the opposite problem as you. Whenever something is really hyped, I'm always worried that the reason I didn't like it as much most is do to it's popularity. I honestly don't know if it happens, this inner hipster, but I worry EVERY TIME.

  5. This post couldn't be more timely. I just finished two books of a series that absolutely everyone loved and I honestly wondered if it was something that I'd missed. No
    I just hated them. I just couldn't get over the author's overuse of metaphors. I mean okay, metaphors are great, but I felt like she was trying too hard to sound like a literary genius. For me, it was just a complete and total failure because she overused the technique and it hid what could have been a great story.

    Now I'm reading another super hyped series and I'm loving it! I think that taking the opinions of others on what to read is always a good idea because it introduces us to books and authors that we may not have otherwise tried. Not everyone will love every book or style but we'll never know if we don't at least attempt to read something new and completely different every so often.

  6. Really, I wouldn't be afraid, if you don't like them, you don't like them. I really dislike books that a lot of people love, and I sit here and go over the plot, again and again and just try to figure out how in the world people can love such a weak story so much. I think as long as you state your opinion clearly, it's all good, and it will really give people a lovely new insight… things to consider that they might not have thought about, even if they love the story.

    New follower!

  7. Great post Tiff! I am always really nervous when I pick up a series with a lot of hype around it. You want to love it as much as everyone else but sometimes the hype is too big and it over sells the book – I think that's what happened to be with Wither/Fever. I liked them ok but I didn't LOVE them and I think a part of that was that I read them after hearing soooo much about them.

    I do really love Delirium though. I picked it up at a Borders closing sale right around the time I had just discovered YA (I think I had only read The Hunger Games and Divergent) and I absolutely fell in love with the story and Lauren Oliver's writing. I hope you enjoy them but like you said art is subjective. We can't all feel the same way about everything. That would make things so boring!

  8. This series is one that I never really had an interest in until I really started following the book-blogosphere and seeing all of the crazy good reviews for it. Now, I want to know what is so darn special about it. And I am like you. I WANT to love it too, because it is strange being the odd ball out on a review. But I am always willing to take a shot and hopefully love a story, but if not I can't say that I love it just to fit in. Too old for that mess! It is a conundrum!

  9. I always get drawn in by the bookish crowd especially when there is going to be a movie or TV series based on it; it makes me wonder what makes the book so good.

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