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Every year certain books get a lot of hype and that can be for various reasons. Most often it’s from the publishing industry, but sometimes it grows more organically from readers themselves. They hype can feel well deserved or it can feel like a whole lot of nothing. Undoubtedly, the opinions on hyped books vary from reader to reader. So today I’m sharing my opinions on Six 2022 Books That Deserved the Hype, Plus Six That Didn’t.
2022 Books That Deserved the Hype
To be clear, my focus is on the hype around a book and not whether or not I liked it. Some of these choices you’ll see on my Best Books of 2022 list later this month, but others you won’t. I don’t need to love a book to appreciate its hype!
- Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – This quirky book got a lot of hype last spring. It was a GMA Book Club pick and readers universally loved it. The fact that it was a debut from a 64-year old woman and completely unique premise made it so deserving of all the hype. (my review)
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – The author of the beloved book, Station Eleven, has a large and loyal fan base. Their praise was loud and clear and the publisher also had a robust marketing plan. Seems well deserved as Sea of Tranquility just won the Goodreads Choice Award for Science Fiction. (my review)
- The Measure by Nikki Erlick – This was one of the MOST buzzed about books this year and being a Read With Jenna selection added to its widespread popularity. Not everyone liked this book, but that didn’t stop people from picking it up to see what all the fuss was about! (my review)
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – People were nervous about this book, hearing that it’s set in the world of video games. Then one review after another started coming in glowing and people couldn’t get their hands on it fast enough. Jimmy Fallon selected it for his Summer Book Club and the accolades have just kept on coming. Tomorrow x3 has been selected as THE Best Book of 2022 by Book of the Month, Goodreads Choice Awards, and Amazon…so far. (my review)
- Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Let’s face it TJR is an author demi-god. Any book she publishes will be hyped by both her publishing house and her legions of fans. Carrie Soto wasn’t as beloved as some of her books, but the writing was sharp and the story itself unflinchingly bold, making the hype well deserved. (my review)
- The Winners by Fredrik Backman – Months before this book published the legions of Backman fans were eager to get their hands on this book. Many went back and reread its two predecessors. The publisher was doing early press to further ramp up the anticipation of this nearly 700 page book. Was it all worth it? Undoubtedly. The story was a little repetitive, but pleasingly, pure Backman. (my review)
2022 Books That Didn’t Deserved the Hype
For these books that I don’t think lived up to their hype, some I still liked, but others I decidedly did not. I’ll try to keep my thoughts centered on the hype, but it might be hard. (Opinions are strictly my own!)
- The Maid by Nita Prose – The author of this book is in the publishing industry, so I think that helped her debut get a little extra push. It was also the January pick for GMA’s Book Club, making it one of the first highly hyped books of the year. It was so-so for me. The hype seemed a bit of a stretch for a rather average book. (my review)
- Vladimir by Julia May Jonas – This was another debut that was literally EVERYWHERE. It was a Book of the Month selection and it got so much love on Instagram. FOMO got me to read it, but what a mistake! I honestly can’t understand why it was so loved. (my review)
- The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth – Hepworth is another beloved author who has turned out many fan favorite books. Anytime she publishes, the book gets a lot of hype. That got a lot of people to read her latest book, but also had a lot of readers disliking it. The entire story was just one big example of a man gaslighting every woman in his life. Yuk! (my review)
- Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt – This bizarre story about a very smart octopus and a lonely older woman was on everybody’s mind back in May. It was the Read With Jenna pick and people loved it, myself more or less included. That being said, I also don’t think it truly merited all the buzz around it. For me it lacked staying power. (my review)
- I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – If you’re not already aware of the tremendous hype surrounding this book, you must have been on a vacation far, far away last summer. You literally could not get your hands on a copy because it was sold out everywhere and library hold lines were enormous. It was just won the Goodreads Choice Award for Memoirs. I just don’t get it. I thought the writing was amateurish and the most interesting parts of her life were missing. Maybe it was just a case of lots of 1980’s kids scooping this one up? (my review)
- The Cloisters by Katy Hays – There seemed to be a lot of end-of-year push on this November release. It was a Read With Jenna pick, but rumors abound that it was selected in part for an actual collaboration with the real Cloisters. It was also a Book of the Month selection, but I know I saw a lot of disappointed reviews on this one. Too many of us succumbed to its hype. (my review)
Which 2022 books do you think deserved,
OR didn’t deserve the hype?
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Gayle Weiswasser says
I am such a contrarian this year! I didn’t like The Measure much, and I thought Lessons in Chemistry was just OK. I admired T and T and T more than I actually enjoyed it. And I liked Vladimir a lot! I am feeling very out of the mainstream this year. Carrie Soto is our next book club book – I hope it lives up to the hype.
Linda S. says
I listened to Remarkably Bright Creatures and enjoyed it so much. It was great on audio. I dnf’d Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow as I thought the writing style was odd and I was not interested in the storyline. And Lessons in Chemistry was cute at times but just got old with the male bashing theme.