Reading all the Popular Social Media Book Recs- Is the Hype Real? (Part-1)
Updated: Apr 29
Today's the day I put the bookish community to the ultimate test. (Can you tell I'm overdramatic yet?) For this post, i have collected some of the post talked about book on social media platforms- Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter- you name it.
Basically every big name you've heard in the past year or so that skyrocketed to popularity.
There is definitely going to be a Part-2 for this post, so stay tuned for that. I'm also giving y'all a warning for some very unpopular opinions here, so don't hesitate to share yours with me in the comments or even over on my Instagram. 😊
Disclaimer- I don't ever like to say if a book "deserved" the hype or not, since I believe that tastes in books are highly subjective. So I will always if i think I agreed with the hype or liked the book personally or not.
1) People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry-
People We Meet on Vacation was a wholesome romance book with complex characters and relationships. There was so much beyond just the surface of the attraction between Poppy and Alex. They were best friends who cared for each other, and the thing to note is, that they did not agree on everything. Sometimes they had opposite choices or opinions and views, and yet that just made them more compatible. It's a read that is sad yet delightful and sweet, and it may just give a bit of wanderlust. The last half of the book was what really made this book hit the mark for me. So summing it up, I do think this book deserves the hype. 2) Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas-
I read this book purely because of the hype, but I never saw any reviews on Goodreads for it which I realized was a big mistake. I usually refrain from reading negative reviews about a book before I read it, just so I can start on a positive note. But for this one, I wish I had, just so I could go in with lower expectations. This book was a major disappointment for me. The plot seemed way too familiar, and the characters too flat. I don't mind familiar tropes or stories. Sometimes I need a romance just for the sake of the sweet ride and no complications.
But this was not my cup of tea. I felt that both the characters were way too one-dimensional. I was merely annoyed by the female character, and I really would've liked more descriptions about the personality and physical appearance of the main hero other than how big and tall he is, and the color of his eyes mentioned 200 times. I also thought there was no real or concrete reason for them to dislike each other. The author says they do, so we have to believe it. But obviously, no shade to anyone who liked it. I'm glad for you and wish you lots more great reads.
3) Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller-
Okay, this one I can say sufficiently destroyed me. I am not usually a crier when it comes to books or movies, but Song of Achilles did well in making me teary-eyed more than any book before it. It had the more stronger effect on me because I didn't know the story of Achilles and Patrocles beforehand, so it was a good sucker-punch of an ending. I loved the story, the characters, Miller's writing- everything about this story. I laid down my heart for Achilles and Patrocles, for Miller's such poetic and beautiful yet accessible writing style. And the PAIN.
'Cause Holy God, it was p a i n f u l. The characters are complex and the sort of power/perception imbalance in the relationships makes for an interesting dilemma. Despite how popular it is, I do have to see that it does simplify the events of the mythology quite a bit. Nevertheless, I think that it has worked in its favor, making retailing in stories based on mythology more popular among readers. It tells you everything as if you are a beginner in mythology, so every character is introduced. I do think it's a fantastic book objectively speaking as well, (lol not really so yes I really do agree with all the hype with this one.
4) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman- If anyone were to ask me why I put off reading this book for so long, I honestly couldn't tell them. I was an idiot. What am I doing with my life? This book is the warmest hug words on paper can ever give you. It is sad, it is joyful, it is about loss, struggle, hope, and family and morals. It's literally everything. I urge anyone who plans to read it to look into the content warnings because when it discusses the topics of suicide, and sickness, it gets very graphic. You may think it is weird to call it one of the most heartwarming books I've ever read despite what I just mentioned, but it is. It is. It's this story of a 60-year-old man who has struggled so much and lost so much throughout his life, and now he's just tired of it all. He has had these strict morals and ideals and a sense of responsibility to always do the right thing since he was a child. How he gains a new light in his life, a new purpose- something to look forward to. This is my newest addition to the found family list and it's going to be given a golden plaque. I rest my case.
Because this book is a sweet flame, and your heart will melt. 5) The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini- I have really find memories of reading this book because it's one of the very books I reviewed when i started my blog. I haven't taken it down, but please don't look for it because it's terribly written. Regardless, I treasured this book to the ends of the world. This was also the first time I had read a novel by a non-white author, so that in itself, as well as the myriad of experiences possible in a country so close to mine just opened my eyes to a lot of things. Khalid Hosseini is a brilliant writer who, according to this blurb that I wholeheartedly agree with, "knows just how to tug at your heartstrings to make them sing". This is the story of a young boy living in Afghanistan in the 19nth century with his family, and his best friend- as he grows up into a young man with his own family, but loses the best friend along the way. Again, I highly recommend checking out content warnings because it deals with heavy topics. But the way that they're written- the beauty and comfort of Afghanistan as well as the horrors of it- is just stunning. 6) On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong- A book that I had had me in awe of the writing while also simultaneously being absorbed by the character's life, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous had my heart and soul between it's pages before I even finished the first chapter. If you haven't read it, PLEASE pick it up. Because the writing- those one-line bangers are a punch to your gut. It's like having the layers of your conscience peeled back, page upon page, chapter by chapter. 7) Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- The Night Circus was a book that I actually thought would be one of those I wouldn't like, because I'm not used to reading a lot of beautiful writing and slow plots- but this book was one surprise over another. The way Erin Morgenstern creates this world that is truly magical in the way it feels. Where so much of what happens is a mystery and everything is just really pretty and soft and awe-inspiring. Her prose is truly stunning, and the characters easy to fall in love. It did take some time for me to be gripped by the story, but the ending was worth it.
8) It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover- Another book that hype put me off before actually picking it up, but my best friend finally convinced me to read it and BEST d e c i s i o n ever.
This story is an emotional rollercoaster of love, trauma, grief, hope, and pain. I love Lily as the main character, but it might be an unpopular opinion but I was not the biggest fan of Ryle. He was a red flag from the beginning to me, and I had no idea how Lily didn't see it. So their relationship-building up was not as fun as in the second half of the book when things started really going on in an unpredictable direction. Thematically, emotionally and in your heart, you know what's happening is wrong but you still want every one of these characters to get a happily ever after. It's about an infinitely important topic that is presented in a digestible way. The ending is your heart pulled out of your chest with the promise of being stitched back in (hint: see Sequels I'm Waiting For) Just it's all a big ball of tears in your throat. The only criticism I have is that even though Colleen Hoover really know how to make you feel really deeply, the writing just irked me a bit. It's quite repetitive, with the first person POV just not leaving anything at all to the imagination and spelling very unsubtly every emotion. But I definitely do understand the hype. 9) From Blood and Ash by Jennifer Armentrout- This series I had a conflicting view over. Although I loved the first two installments, the third also being pretty okay, I just did not have the care for not picking up the last one as well. Personally I do wish it had been compressed into three books only. Aside from the sensational romance between Poppy and Cas that has BooktTok in a chokehold, the immense world-building and the scale of the conflict really captivated me. I don't read a lot of paranormal romance, and this was heavily more fantastical and epic in scope than the usual stories in this genre, and that's what drew me in. The whole concept of the Ascended, the Maiden, vampry, and the gods that emerged throughout was so interesting, and I truly think this idea has so much potential. Armentrout is an amazing writer, I'll give you that. And I think she did great with this story, except that maybe I wanted the romance to be more subtle and less in-your-face, almost? Because I was so invested in the other things and wanted all my attention on them. Of course, that's just according to my personal tastes. I know so many of you loved the romantic aspect of it, and it's not that I disliked it. I definitely enjoyed it (also, just Kieran was a joy), but it didn't have the same appeal to me as the others. 10) Legendborn by Tracy Deonn- If my excitement for Bloodmarked, the sequel, is any indication, I'd say I sufficiently loved this book. So many things about this book just blew me away. It was extremely fast-paced (a little too much imo) but it still engrossed me in the way it explored the visceral grief of our protagonist, Bree, the magic systems and even a romance. I think Tracy Deonn juggles so many important themes and aspects of world that has so much potential of growing, brilliantly. She definitely has the readers' emotions on the strings in her fingers, and I am so happy that so many people are loving it!
So what's the verdict?
In conclusion, I'd say book recommendations from social media are pretty reliable. There was only one book out of these 10 that I did not like, and even for that I understood what the appeal is.
Social media is such a big factor now when talking about book sales, and these 10 are not the only ones that popular.
There are many more that I will be talking about in Part 2 to this, like the one and only Evelyn Hugo, Before the Coffee Gets Cold and The Love Hypothesis.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic. Again, feel free to contact me on Instagram and Twitter.
And stay tuned for Part-2!