"You're Going To Love It!"

What happens when a bookish friend (or two or three) absolutely LOVES a book that you haven't read?

Usually they start off shocked that you haven't read it. Then they flail a bit about it and how amazing it is. Finally, they recommend it to you.

We all do this, right? We all have that book (maybe more than one) that we think is perfection and that absolutely everyone should read. We all have a friend who hasn't read it. And I'm sure we've all told that friend "You have to read it! It's (insert choice adjective to express awesomeness here). You're going to love it!" This is totally normal. As bookish people, we want to share our book loves with our friends, especially the ones who we feel have really accepted us in this community. Your friends want to gush about this book with you and they want you to experience the awesome that they see in it. Your friends want you to love this book.

But are you ever scared you won't?

I absolutely love getting book recommendations, especially from my trusted book friends. It's always fun to see which books make them crazy with book love and hear gushing rants about why I must pick up said book or my life will not be complete. It's great! But somehow hearing all that praise from my close bookish friends makes the books scary. Sometimes I get this feeling in my stomach... as if I won't like the book and I'll be letting my friends down.

For example, I recently read The Raven Boys at the request of Ciara from Lost at Midnight Reviews. She is probably this novel's biggest fan ever. I heard plenty of gushing beforehand and, after loving The Scorpio Races by the same author, I went in expecting to love it.

But I didn't.

It was by not means a bad book. I saw a lot in it that was great. I just didn't love it. It wasn't everything I thought it would be. To me, it wasn't everything I was promised.

This has me scared. What's next? There are a lot of books that trusted friends have recommended to me. I really want to read a lot of them. But what if I don't like them? I know it won't be the end of the world and my friends won't hate me for it (they're good people, my bookish friends), but I'll feel like I let them down.

For example, the lovely Shae from Shae Has Left the Room and Gillian from Writer of Wrongs seem to have a lot of favourites in common and part of me wants in on the action. The Girl of Fire & Thorns series, for example, is one they've absolutely raved about to me. I have the first book and I really want a great new fantasy series in my life. It sounds like this should be the one, but I'm scared to start it because even though they didn't think the first one was perfect, they adore the series as a whole. I want to be part of that circle, not the black sheep who hates it and is shunned! (That's dramatic, they wouldn't shun me. Like I said, good people. But you catch my drift).

Another instance of this is Kathy from A Glass of Wine has recommended the Mara Dyer series as well as Just One Day by Gayle Forman because she absolutely loves them. I actually own the first Mara Dyer book and Just One Day, but I haven't picked them up yet mostly because of time but also because I'm a little worried I'm just not going to love them! I want to, but who knows, right?

I want to be able to adore these books and gush about them with my wonderful bookish friends, but the fear of hating a book they love holds me back sometimes. I know there's no way people are all going to love the same books, but it's still a bummer when it happens.

Do you ever experience feelings like this? What books have been recommended to you that you've been afraid to try, whether because of bookish friends or even because of hype?


  1. I totally understand this! I feel like it can be a bit daunting to pick up a book that you know everyone else loves, because there's suddenly so much pressure on me to love it too.

    I put off reading the City of Bones books because of the hype, and then I was a bit disappointed when I didn't love them the way my friends did.

    I also put off reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas for a long time because I was nervous that I wouldn't think it was as great as everyone else did, but happily, I loved that book!

    1. I agree, the pressure can get scary! I totally see why you put off the City of Bones books... heck, I still haven't read any of them! The hype is huge and the people who love them expect you to love them as well. I think I'd get kicked out of our book club if I didn't like it! ;) I'm glad that it didn't turn out poorly for ToG for you. That's actually another one that I'm STILL putting off because I just worry that I won't fall in love with it like everyone else has. Hopefully I'll be able to give some of them a try soon, like you have!

  2. I feel you! Sometimes I get nervous about reading books that my blogger friends recommend. I'm always nervous I won't like them and I feel like I'm letting them down, although I know they will still be my friend. Plus books that are so overly hyped that I don't like, I always feel so alone when I end up nothing liking it. Great post!

    1. I guess my advice is to just try and be brave! :)

    2. I totally agree - hype can be good for a book but it can just as easily scare people off! It almost feels like you have to like some of these or else you'll be shunned or something. Bravery is definitely the way to go, though, because you could be missing out on something great. Thanks, Kay! :)

  3. From the perspective of someone who's read a book that has been highly rated by many, it's hard to find honest opinions when there is so much hype about a certain thing. I used to trust Amazon reviews, but after reading a certain hyped-up World of Warcraft book (Vol'Jin: Shadows of the Horde) that I thought was awful and finding lots of not-so-in-depth 5-star reviews on Amazon and even Goodreads, I began to wonder if it just me who didn't like it, after examining the reviews on Amazon, I realized that most of those were probably sponsored or friends of the author. Opinions might have also skewed because a lot of the readers loved the MMORPG character that the novel was about.

    Thanks for this insightful post, Jessica!

    1. The hype can absolutely be deceiving. It can be hard to trust random reviews you find sometimes if you don't know what the reviewer is like. That's why I like to get multiple opinions, but also find reviewers I trust and try to determine if my tastes match up with theirs. That often helps avoid the fear that I'll hate something they've recommended to me. Interesting perspective, though, with the opinions being skewed because of the character specifically. I don't know if it's something I've encountered but it's definitely something to watch for.
      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Ellen!

  4. That's a great way of putting it, actually. You're bringing him (book) home to show parents (friends) all the wonderful things you love about him and you just really, really hope they see them too! I definitely feel like I let people down when I don't like what they recommend (even though you're right, we're just recommending... who are we to say "you must like this"), so I just try to avoid them (which, hey, may not be the best strategy, but oh well). I'm definitely going to try the Fire & Thorns and The Queen's Thief series because they genuinely do seem up my alley, so fingers crossed they go well and you can recommend to me all the books! :)

    P.S. Being lovely certainly must run in the family! Especially if you're any indication, because you happen to be one of the loveliest people I know. :)


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