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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Is It Worth The Hype #1

Hello, ladies and gentlemen and other lovely humans. Welcome to The Left-Handed Book Lover's first ever episode of Is It Worth The Hype, in which I will discuss books that have been persistently raved about within the community.

Are you nervous to crack open a novel beloved by seemingly all book fanatics? Well, this is the place to come for some real talk about those books. Obviously, it is still a matter of taste and opinion, but I am going to try to take a (somewhat) subjective look at these popular novels to help you determine whether or not they are right for you.

1) Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The quick answer: YES, it is worth the hype. 

The long answer: This novel has A LOT going for it, even if it's not your typical sort of read. I'm not particularly experienced with science fiction, but I think this book contains something for everyone. 

The authors are incredibly creative with the formatting of this novel, meshing different forms of media--police reports, computer files, camera roll recaps--making this clunker of a novel go by incredibly quick (plus the pacing is excellent). The different forms of media allow the authors to incorporate a variety of different voices and perspectives, all of which are fun and interesting. 

This book contains sufficient action and romance and sci-fi goodness and emotion. Somehow it manages to be just an incredibly FUN novel while also being intense and heartbreaking. I was confused at first, but as the story progressed, everything clicked together and erupted into this amazing, unforgettable story.

I firmly believe that everyone's reading experience is different and that there are novels certain people just will not enjoy. Illuminae, however, is a book I'd recommend everybody at least TRY, even if it seems to deviate from your reading comfort zone. 

2) To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Now, we're COMPLETELY switching gears here.

The quick answer: Maybe--will only appeal to a certain audience. 

The long answer: This series is tricky because while I really enjoyed it, I recognize that it's not for everybody. First of all, if you don't typically enjoy contemporary novels, go ahead and skip this one. It's very cute-sy, character-driven, and romance-focused. It's not especially profound or even exciting. If it takes something ~special~ for you to enjoy a contemporary novel, this isn't it. 

HOWEVER, if you do like contemporary novels, it's a whole completely different story. Obviously, there are many different kinds of contemporary novels, and this one is more on the fluffy side. If you're looking for a breath of fresh air, this is definitely worth the hype. Lara Jean is a bit naive and sheltered, but it's hard not to be charmed by her and her family's innocence. They're definitely not perfect people, but they are kinda pure and adorable. 

Personally, I find this series just has a memorable vibe to it that helps it stand out from a lot of YA contemporary books. It's not the most beautifully written or the most original, but it's worth the hype because of the way it will make you feel when you're finished reading it. 

3) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

The quick answer: No, it's not really worth the hype.

The long answer: I read this book last summer and enjoyed it, but I still don't think it deserves all the praise it gets. First and foremost, let's get this out of the way. This novel's ending is problematic. And, quite frankly, even if it weren't problematic, I still think it's a cheap ending. Like, the author could have come up with a "twist" more creative than that. 

I'm sure there are people who are going to completely disagree with me on this, but there's not much about this novel that sets it apart from the slew of contemporary novels at our disposal. The premise is interesting, but the characters aren't really memorable. 

I can point you to tons of other YA contemporary books that have a more complex romance, a more feasible and interesting plot, better emotionally-developed characters, etc. It was an enjoyable read in the moment, but nothing spectacular. 
If you were uncertain about any of these novels, I hope I provided you some helpful insight. And if I didn't...oops. My bad. 

If you've already read these hyped books, do you agree or disagree with my takes on them? What books do you think are or are not worth the hype? Let's chat!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.