The Internet Made Me Buy It: Book Edition

In an age where social media influencers are paid to review products, it’s hard to avoid internet hype. I’m sure we’re all guilty of buying a product based on what others have to say, and when it comes to books, I am no exception. Seriously, if you look at my bookshelf, I have a whole shelf dedicated to books I’ve read because of the hype surrounding them.

The Internet Made Me Buy It: Book Edition. We're all tempted by what social influences think of products, including books, which sometimes leaves a lot to be desired once we get our hands on the book ourselves. Here are 5 books I read because of internet hype, including my opinions on them.

Like with anything, though, our opinions of things that have been endorsed differ once we’ve had a chance to try them for ourselves. Sometimes things really do live up to the hype surrounding them, but at other times, we’re left questioning what other people saw in the book. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we all do that with books, right?

In this blog post I am going to be discussing just a few of the most hyped books on my bookshelf including my real opinions of them after reading them.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided in this blog post. For more information, view my disclaimer.*

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green: ★★★★★

“Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living with the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts”.

If you haven’t heard of this book before, you’re probably living under a rock. The hype over this book when it first came out was insane, to the point where I couldn’t go on social media without coming across it. If I’m being honest, though, the hype only made me wearier about buying it, not less. If it wasn’t for my impulsive personality, I’m pretty sure I still wouldn’t have read this book.

However, I’m glad I did listen to the impulsive side of my brain on this occasion, as the book ended up being one of my favourites of 2017. I’d even go a step further and say it was one of my favourite John Green books of all time.

One of my favourite parts about this book was how authentic the mental illness representation was. John Green, a sufferer of OCD himself, was able to portray the condition in a realistic way without romanticising it and making it seem like a disorder you almost want to have. While there’s definitely a place for easing the pain of mental illness upon sufferers and readers, it’s also important to make people aware of the reality of the situation, which this book does amazingly.

You can buy this book on Amazon UK hereor on Amazon US here.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steve Chbosky: ★★★★☆

“Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlies must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.”

It might be surprising to hear that I’d already read this book by the time the movie came out. It was actually the hype about the writing style in writing communities that convinced me to give this one a read. Writing a book that consists completely of diary entries is something that can go very wrong if not done carefully. However, Chbosky was able to get inside the head of a teenager and pull off the storyline effortlessly to create an easy read.

When I first read this book as a young teenager, I wanted to shout, “someone understands me!” upon completing it. I’ve always been someone who prefers to observe a situation before I jump right into it, and it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one. By the amount of people calling themselves a wallflower after the movie came out, it seems I’m not the only one.

If I could think of a downside, it would be that this book didn’t have the same effect the second time around. As someone who loves re-reading books, it was a little disappointing to realise I didn’t enjoy it as much. However, that’s completely preference, and I’d definitely recommend reading it yourself to formulate your own opinion on it.

You can buy this book on Amazon UK by clicking hereor on Amazon US here.

5 books I read because of Internet hype

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon: ★★★★★

“The Sun is Also A Star follows protagonist and Jamaican-American teenager Natasha as she meets and falls in love with Korean-American Daniel on the day she and her family are due to be deported.”

This book might not have been recognised on the same scale as John Green, but the young adult community still had a lot to say about it. The diversity of the characters, and the effortless way the writer introduces cultures a lot of people aren’t aware of drew lots of people in. I wasn’t an exception. Give me a book where I can learn about something and not feel like it’s being pushed down my throat and I’m all for it.

This book flowed so nicely that I was able to finish it in three days, and I’d happily go back and read it again if I had the time. I wouldn’t normally go for books that are heavily based around romance, but I’ve got to say, even that felt authentic. I even found myself rooting for them towards the end of this book!

You can buy this book on Amazon UK by clicking hereor on Amazon US here.

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman: ★★★☆☆

“[…] One February morning, Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.”

I had so many expectations for this book before I started reading it. I had heard people comparing it to the likes of TFIOS in terms of heartbreak, which gave me preconceived ideas of the plot that may have influenced my dissatisfaction with the end result. That’s the problem with over-hyped books; you always hold them on a pedestal, and when they don’t live up to it, it can be so disappointing.

Instead of feeling heartbreak over the decision main character Mia was forced to make, I really felt nothing. That might make me sound completely heartless if you’ve read the book yourself, but I found the characters so underdeveloped that it was hard to really get into it. It was a nice, short read, but I’m not too interested in finding out the rest of her story in the sequels.

You can buy this book on Amazon UK by clicking hereor on Amazon US here.

5 books I bought because of internet hype

The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling: ★★☆☆☆

“Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it seems.”  

This book literally took me months to read from start to finish, and I’m not usually a slow reader. However, with 600 pages to get through, and a plot that moved incredibly slowly in the beginning, it was hard to enjoy. It seemed like J.K Rowling was almost more interested in talking about the backstory’s of the characters than starting the plot, which only really started to pick up around page 300.

After page 300, things weren’t too bad. The story flowed better, at least, and the plot started going somewhere. It felt like I was reading a story I could’ve enjoyed had the first 300 pages been edited out, but alas, they weren’t. The ending was probably the best part of it, and not just because it meant I’d never have to pick the book up again. If you have the patience for such a long book, I’d definitely recommend it, just for the ending.

You can buy this book on Amazon UK by clicking hereor on Amazon US here.

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in this post? What did you think of them? Do you have any other books you read because of the hype?

Thanks for reading, and until next time,


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37 thoughts on “The Internet Made Me Buy It: Book Edition

  1. This was a really interesting read as I recognise more of the titles when in the context of films than books! I loved the perks of being a wallflower, book and film, but you’re spot on, it didn’t have the same strength and power upon reading it a second time. I would love to try The sun is also a Star – never heard of it but it sounds phenomenal!
    Marina Rosie x

    1. Oh, that’s very interesting! I’m glad someone knew what I meant when I said what I did about Perks. It’s a great book, but I think it’s one I wished I’d only read the once. That book is really good; I really recommend it!

  2. I started reading The Maze Runner after all the hype and seeing the movies, but I could NOT get into it at all! Same with The Hunger Games! I’m all for the idea of dystopias and survival though. The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld is incredible and was much easier to read than the above.
    I read If I Stay on a 10-hour plane journey and thoroughly enjoyed it (though I can’t remember much of it now), and I also read The Perks of Being a Wallflower which I preferred 🙂

    1. I haven’t read The Maze Runner myself. It looked interesting, but I could never justify the price of buying the books. I think I’m glad I didn’t now. I loved The Hunger Games books, though, I’ve got to be honest. I preferred them to the films, but I understand they’re not to everyone’s tastes. I really want to read The Uglies! I remember loads of replica’s being recreated on Wattpad around the time it came out, though, which has kind of put me off a little bit. I might reconsider reading.
      It’s cool to hear that you’ve read some of the same books as I have! It definitely shows how much of personal preferences comes into how much you enjoy reading a book.

  3. I have read any of these books although I have heard of them. True that I have bought a few books just after seeing them on IG or some blogs and they were not always good. I would like to read the perks of being a wallflower! xx corinne

    1. I’d definitely recommend getting your hands on some–especially Perks, if that sounds like something you’re interested in. Go in with no expectations and I’m sure it will amaze you!

  4. I’ve never ended The Casual Vacancy, I just felt like it was too slowly moving. But now I actually wanna finish it and see how it ends.
    Lea, xx

    1. I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who felt like giving up with that book. I didn’t, because I got really funny about DNFing books back then, but I could’ve saved so much time if I had! It’s quite a good ending, to be fair, but it takes a LONG time to get there.

    1. Yeah, I really wouldn’t recommend it. Some people say the bad reviews are people who expected it to be like Harry Potter, but I’ve never read those books so I had no preconceived ideas. I expected her to have stronger skills as a world-known author, if I’m being completely honest. It’s definitely personal preference, though! I’m glad you could relate to the post. Thanks for reading!

  5. I’m the same: the more hyped up a book is, the more reluctant I am to read it and will often wait months before I give it a go just so I can form my own opinion rather than having everyone’s thoughts pushed on me the whole time. I felt the same with Turtles All the Way Down though – really enjoyed it! That’s the only one on your list that I’ve read, but I really enjoyed reading this!

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does this. Not all the time, but sometimes I just feel like a book receives so much more hype than it deserves, and I’ve let the negative opinions affect me way more than I’d ever admit. I’m glad you enjoyed Turtles All The Way Down! I’d definitely recommend the other highly rated ones on my list if you’re looking for new reads.

  6. I’m a hater of hype and a chronic re-reader! I have two little guys now and have gone back to uni so reading is a rare luxury for me now. But I did recently read “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson, which I purchased because of internet hype. It’s self help not fiction, but it definitely lived up to the hype for me. Hooray!

    1. Oh wow, I can imagine! I feel like that; freelancing, blogging and college takes over SO easily. I’ve seen that book everywhere lately; I definitely want to read it at some point, so it’s great that you found it enjoyable!

  7. I’ve heard of all of these books but never read any of them! I think I subconsciously stay from really hyped books because they tend to be disappointed by them. I should probably change this though- I know there are a ton of great stories just waiting to be read, no matter how famous 🙂

    1. It’s surprised me how many people have said the same since publishing this blog post. It seems like less people give into the hype than I thought. That’s a really good point you make, though; I don’t know if you could tell by my review of The Casual Vacancy, but I was SO disappointed that it didn’t live up to the hype! It’s a good idea to be open to more books, though, like you said.

  8. This was a great read! I’m totally guilty of purchasing things just based off of “internet hype.” Honestly, I just bought a book titled More Beautiful Than Before by Steve Leder. One of the Mowry (Sister, Sister) sisters posted it. I’m glad I bought it because it has such a powerful message. A message I needed to be reminded of at the time. So, I actually thank internet buzz in this moment. Lol As far as the books you’re writing about, I’ve never read them, but I feel like I’ve seen the cover of The Perks of Being A Wallflower before. I may end up renting it from my local library.

    This was great!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad I’m not the only one guilty of doing this. I haven’t read that book yet, but from what you’re saying, it sounds like I really need to. Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me if you had; it was pretty popular a couple of years back. I definitely recommend reading it if you have time.

    1. Thank you. That seems to be the most popular “want-to-read” on this post; please do let me know what you think after you finish! I don’t read anywhere near as I want to, either, don’t worry; I set a goal of 25 books this year on Goodreads and I’ve already fallen behind by two books!

  9. Perks of Being A Wallflower has been a favorite book of mine since high school! I think it’s one of those books where there are different characters that everyone can relate to. You should check out the movie, they did a really good adaptation of the novel.

    cabin twenty-four

    1. I ended up reading it a second time AFTER reading the movie, actually. I agree that the movie adaptation was great, but it was completely different to the books, which was a little bit of a surprise! They’re both great in their own right, though.

  10. I haven’t read Turtles All The Way Down but I would like to. I read The Perks of Being A Wallflower but didn’t really like it, I have to say I did enjoy If I Stay. Thanks for sharing this post, it was an interesting one and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I have bought books for the hype but luckily have enjoyed them- Girl Online and Harry Potter. Oh I did buy the Hunger Games but wasn’t a huge fan unfortunately.

    1. You really should. I’m sure by now you should be able to get it from your local library and if not, request they get it in for a small price. I think it’s still around the £6-7 mark on Amazon, which is quite expensive but personally worth it for a book as good as that one.

      Wow! That really shows how individualistic everyone’s tastes in reading are, doesn’t it?

  11. On your list I’ve read The Casual Vacency, Perks of Being a Wallflower and If I stay which I all loved though Casual Vacency was my favourite of them all. I have Turtles alll the way down but unsure if I will enjoy it or not but will be giving it a go soon.

    1. Oh wow, that’s really interesting. It just shows how much people’s opinions differ when it comes to books. I couldn’t stand The Casual Vacancy personally, but I’m glad you enjoyed it! Turtles All The Way Down is one of my favourites of all times, so finger’s crossed you enjoy it.

  12. I love your ability to review without giving too much. Your opinions seem really genuine too. I think you’re spot on with your opinion of character development…sooooo important! If I don’t care about the character, then the story falls flat. I might try The Sun is Also a Star.

    1. Wow, thank you so much! That’s such a compliment. I had planned on giving mini-reviews without giving anything away, so I’m glad you felt like I had managed to do that. I’m glad I’m not the only one who LOVES character development. It’s the same with TV shows; without the character development, I won’t bother watching it. I definitely recommend it. Let me know if you get around to it.

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