Books I lied about loving because of the hype // I feel guilty but I’m exposing myself so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When I first started out in the book community, I was determined to like books that everyone else liked.

And yes, I’m ashamed to admit, but if I didn’t severely hate a book, and it was popular and well-loved, I’d give it 5 or 4 stars. I’d be generous because I would think that I had missed the point of the book.

Some of these books I really did like, but not as much as I made it out to be. Basically, I’m a huge liar. Currently, I’m super honest with my opinion and don’t sugarcoat anything. Earlier, however, I was caught up in fitting into the book community.

So yes, it was bad. And I hate myself for being so dishonest but I think an exposing myself kind of post would be fun for you all.


1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

Gosh, guys. I LIED. I said that I thought this was a heart-breakingly good book BUT IT REALLY WASN’T. I think I gave this 4 stars even though when I read it, I KNEW I didn’t like it.

I felt SO detached from the story, I didn’t feel ANYTHING towards the characters, and I didn’t feel sad about anything. I think it was a good story but not for me. Maybe it’s just this author’s writing, but I didn’t connect or sympathize. I loved the premise and ideas in this book but in my opinion, I don’t think it was executed well at all.

Original rating: 4 stars
True rating: 2.5 stars


2. The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerThe Serpent King

*takes a deep breath* Please, PLEASE don’t hate me for this. I didn’t get this book, one bit. I was reading it, and I just wasn’t feeling anything. None of it hit me, none of it got to me. I finished the story and felt so completely clueless. Like…”Uhh? What??”.

I don’t what it was about it but the story wasn’t something AMAZING for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did love so much of it. I wasn’t lying when I said I liked it! I LOVED THE CHARACTERS AND WHEN CERTAIN EVENTS HAPPENED I WAS SO SAD. But the book as a whole really wasn’t something I loved.

Original rating: 5 stars
True rating: 3 stars


3. Rebel of The Sands by Alwyn HamiltonRebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)

I CONVINCED MYSELF FOR SO LONG I LIKED THIS. Everyone else seemed to have enjoyed this but I WAS SO FRICKING BORED!!! Literally, in the second half of the book, I was skimming. I actually enjoyed the first half, but by the time we are at the end, I felt like the book had just lost all meaning and none of it…clicked with me?!

Plus the lack of research done about “djinns” and “mythical” creatures was actually something that lowkey bugged me.

For so long, I thought that it was an okay book and it accomplished a lot. It was only up until a few months ago when I finally admitted to myself I did not like this book.

Original rating: 3.5 stars
True rating: 2 stars



Long-Divider5. Treasure Island by Robert StevensonImage result for treasure island cover

I?? don’t understand why I gave this FIVE STARS!??! Like, Ilsa, you didn’t love this that much calm DOWN. In fact, I literally hated a lot of this book because it was SO incredibly slow. I just feel like because it’s a classic, I thought I had to rate it five stars but I DID NOT HAVE TO.

This was a good book but it was hard to understand and a very difficult read for me! I think I still really enjoyed it though. WHY IS THERE SUCH A PRESSURE TO LIKE “classics” though. I feel like if you don’t like them, people don’t think you’re smart? Which is stupid.

original rating: 5 stars
true rating: 3.5 stars!!

Long-Divider6. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

The Hobbit
I classified this as one of my “favorites” of 2017 but uh that’s literally a lie. I LOVE THE HOBBIT but I found it really boring at points!! I think I would not give that high of a rating now, simply because I couldn’t give one crap about some of the scenes! Don’t get me wrong, BILBO IS AMAZING AND I LOVE HIM. but it’s so slow. gosh.

Again I think this is the case if you don’t love a well-loved and well-written book you’re not smart and I feel that pressure A LOT.

original rating: 5 stars
true rating: 4 stars.

Long-Divider7. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Oh OH. I can just hear the screams of people as they read this section of my post. I really LIKED Starfish!! And I still mean every word I said about it. I think it is amazing. But it’s definitely 4 stars. DEFINITELY. I just think it missed that little SOMETHING I always look forward to in books so…I still really like it! And you should all read it! It’s just not up there on the five-star rating I originally gave it. Please don’t hate me.



original rating: 5 stars
true rating: 4 stars


okay so I was going to do more books but these are all the really strong ones that stuck out to me; “DO THEY REALLY DESERVE THESE RATINGS?” anyways please be nice to me in the comments, I am a fragile penguin made who has a soul made of breakable glass.

I actually haven’t *changed* most these ratings on Goodreads even though I know they don’t deserve those stars. I probably should though, but one reason I’m not is…because I’m lazy? Perhaps I will. Someday.

Let's Whisper

So hi people who are currently hating me for this! Have you ever rated a book higher than you actually want to? Why? Was it because of the hype or peer pressure? Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? SPILL ALL THE TEA IN THE COMMENTS

I’m sorry I love this image too much omg

Ilsa - Edited


63 thoughts on “Books I lied about loving because of the hype // I feel guilty but I’m exposing myself so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

  1. I’ve felt the same way a couple of times, wondering if a book I dated highly was being of my enjoyment, or just because it was what everyone else was doing. Great post 😊


  2. Before anything else, I love the idea of this blog post! YES! Hype can make or break a book for us! I’ve found myself liking a book all the more simply because all my blogger friends loved it or eye-rolling at a book I genuinely like just because everyone dissed it. And that’s kinda the downfall of the community–the pressure to be on the same page (yes, pun intended) as everyone can get us to do stuff we wouldn’t otherwise. Kudos to you for writing this post, though ❤


    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I’m honestly quite proud of myself for exposing me because I’m pretty sure newbie book bloggers drown in the pressure to join the hype and end up lying, like me. HAHA. and yeah!! there are so many underrated reads and overhyped books but obvs, reading is subjective and that’s the main thing! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love The Hobbit (and pretty much anything by Tolkien), but it is definitely super boring at times! I remember reading it and going, “So, you just used five whoooole pages to say that they were….. walking?”


  4. The struggle is real. Don’t worry, Ilsa. I’ve also been in the same boat in which you are in right now. That is probably why my ‘RTC’s on goodreads remain that way. The reviews never come. 😂


  5. Well, it happens! 🙂
    Sometimes, upon finishing a book i’m like “yesss, this was so good, well deserved the hype”, then i think on it, talk about it to my friend, and eventually be like “you know what, i don’t even like this, i must have had a brain fog or something”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. im crying youre out here exposing yourself wow, queen

    i cant believe you came out here spilling tea and you HAD to spill tea on the serpent king and starfish, can you hear my weeping ilsa bc i am

    okay but relatable bc when i first started reading i thought ‘all authors should get love and hype even if i didnt like it, im sure someone loved it’ so i 4 starred everything, even stuff i despised (thankfully i fixed all that on gr) but someone seriously help our fetus selves

    also that tea spilling pic, im stealing


    1. uhm THANK YOU, and let’s be real,you’re the only queen here AHEM

      I DIDN’T SPILL NO TEA I JUST…look i’m an INNOCENT SOUL please stop exposing ME

      i know i feel like when we come into the book community we’re all such pure souls but also greta liars BECAUSE WE WANT TO FIT IN, like serioulsy past ilsa, IT’S NOT GOOD TO LIE ABOUT BOOKS.

      i love that image so much can i marry it

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the only book of these I’ve read is The Hobbit, and even then, I listened to it on audiobook. With my family. And it was SO LONG. AND BORING. And don’t get me started on all the singing in the Lord of the Rings series. *cringes* I found J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing just to be… slow. Boring. I love the story it tells, I just don’t like the way he tells it, if that makes sense at all??


  8. OMG I totally agree about Starfish!!!! I originally rated it as 4.5 stars because it just didn’t wow me, and then thinking about it I realised it was more of a 3-star read, which is still good for me just not amazing! I just didn’t want to offend anyone by putting less than 4.5 stars lol. And SAME about All the Bright Places!!! Although I never pretended to like it because I couldn’t even finish it. But everyone loved it so much I felt bad saying how bad I thought it was. So glad I’m not alone!!


  9. Ohhhhh. This is a very, very cool post and a brave post as well, I mean, we all get a bit nervous to share our real thoughts about books that are really hyped, because, well… hype, ahah. I admit that I got a bit scared when I saw Starfish on here, I’m glad it’s still a 4 star read for you haha, but I get that feeling you mention. Sometimes I’m tempted to rate a book 5 stars because of the hype, when in fact it’s just missed the mark to really get to that 5 star level.
    Lovely post! 🙂


  10. hey ye I understand Okay my confession. I hit the like button on people’s post even if I did not read the entire post. See they made the effort right!? So I like away. I do most of the time read 75-100 percent of them. I did here. You admitted what you did and know actually it is more interesting read. I may reblog. humm ponder that. thank you blessings Peace


  11. This post is sooo brave! You’re right, it’s so easy to get swayed by other people’s opinions. I always get scared if I’m giving a low rating to a book that everyone else loves but usually it turns out ok (although I did have someone once tell me they thought I had memory problems because all the plot holes I’d found had answers!)

    Oh and I totally agree with you about Rebel of the Sands *yawn* that book went on waaaay too long. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I appreciate this post so much, Ilsa! It can be hard to be honest, but it can be even harder to admit that you weren’t honest initially- admitting that you made a mistake can be harder than not making the mistake in the first place. You’ve done a good thing!
    It’s absolutely true that pressure is a real thing, and it’s absolutely NOT true that you have to like things that everybody else seems to like. I know how it feels when everyone else seems to GET IT and I’m like…”What is there to GET?” But we are all different and just because we don’t like a book- even a classic- doesn’t mean we are less intelligent than someone else. It’s important to admit these things because maybe there’s someone else out there feeling the same way who’s afraid to speak out, and they want to know that they’re not alone. We are never as alone was we feel like we are.
    Okay, so I do love The Hobbit and Treasure Island, but they are slow. That’s definitely a thing. Also there are so many classics that I absolutely don’t like. I read Kidnapped and I had NO IDEA what was going on, like, the ENTIRE TIME. It was bad. And when I read Robinson Crusoe I was bored OUT OF MY MIND. Classics are just books. We like some and we hate others.
    Popularity is such a fickle thing. Of course things are often popular because they have some merit, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to love it. Also there are some really fantastic books that for whatever reason fell through the cracks and no one knows they exist. Hype isn’t everything. We should seek out the things we love and not the things that other people tell us we should love.
    This is such a great post!


  13. This is such a fun post to read – quite a few of these books are ones which I saw being super hyped up but I just didn’t get into them – The Hobbit being a major one! I think there should be more honesty in the review world for sure, great post!


  14. Do wonder if everyone feels should like classics. I was thinking of reading a book written in Victorian times this month for Victober challenge and considered Treasure Island but thought it might be slow with continuous pirate fights, so glad confirmed I’m right 🙂


  15. Ohhh I definitely have.😂Mostly for when I started out getting ARCs I was tERRIFIED of sending back negative reviews to publishers. I also took on a few requests from indie authors and I was like…?? I cannot send them a negative review. It was awful. It made me stop wanting to review because I knew I wasn’t being fully honestly bleh. But anyway! I did move past that and got comfortable saying “no” to requests and realising publicists weren’t going to send their demon hell hounds after me if I gave a negative review. (I mean…if that DID happen it was at least be exciting??) One I definitely remember lying about was Queen of Shadows.😂I hated it but I was scared (the SJM fandom is terrifying) to rate it low. Soon after that I stopped caring and just tossed the whole thing in the fiery-rant-pit.😂NO REGRETS. I also rated Winter by Marissa Meyer 5-stars and it’s really a 3…


    1. Oh ARCS are terrifying at first, especially physical ones. It’s almost like i HAVE to give a positive rating if I get a physical copy because LOOK the publishers were nice to me1! The SJM fandom is honestly the most fierce fandom EVER and this makes me stay away from all her books OOPS. Omg I’m about to start Winter, I’m really excited!!


  16. Oh haha wow very fun post 😂 I am quite likely guilty of the very same thing especially in my younger days when I didn’t have the reading experience so I rated everything I liked four/five stars 😛 nowadays I try to actually honestly shelve the books by MY TASTE.

    So yes. GREAT POST!!


  17. This post is so creative and just, I love it!! I feel you so much, and I love that you exposed yourself and I feel like we all have done this before.😂Sometimes I could definitely be a little more honest with ARC reviews, which is so bad because ARC reviews are supposed to be 100% honest?! But for the ARCs I’ve reviewed, I was contacted directly by the author and I just felt so bad saying too much negative stuff because I knew the author would be reading my review. Agh.


  18. Omg this is the most entertaining post I’ve read in a while. And you’re so right, one feel so “obligated” to like classics! Nowadays I don’t care much to sugarcoat my opinions, but I totally get what you say about trying to see the merit of the book, that maybe you missed the point etc…

    I definitely gave higher ratings to books before because I thought maybe I missed the point! So true. And Treasure Island does sound quite boring.


  19. I loved this post! A really great idea and a brave thing to do! When I was younger I also felt the pressure to like a book more than I really did because of its ratings and reviews. For example All The Bright Places. I also lied about how much I liked this book. I gave it three stars on Goodreads and praised it, but now when I think about what this book means to me there is nothing ( no hate). I don’t recall anything. This book just wasn’t for me either and I think I should have given it two stars instead of three.
    Again really cool idea for a post about more honest reviews 🙂


  20. I TOTALLY understand! When I first started blogging I was pushed around by bookish peer pressure for sure. If everyone seemed to be hyping it and loving it then I felt like maybe I missed something, I’d make excuses for why I didn’t love it as much and I’d give my rating a little bump so I didn’t seem like such an outlier. I’ve definitely gotten over that since then haha As long as there’s an honest reason behind a reviewer not liking a book then I appreciate their honesty because that’s what I’m relying on when I read reviews for a book I’m considering purchasing. (What I don’t condone are reviewers totally trashing a book just because they didn’t like it or were bored. Like come on, don’t be rude.)
    Great post!

    P.S. Rebel of the Sands totally bored me too!! (That’s one of those I gave a false rating and made all sorts of excuses for until I finally got over this fear of being honest and gave it a true review lol)


  21. I really love this, and think you should do more of these! I’m a little sad to hear that you didn’t like all the bright places, but I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea 🙂 I honestly haven’t read any of the other books before, and so I can’t really relate, buttt I have to say that I’m a pretty picky in terms of giving books high rating? Like I feel like the more I read, the more difficult it is to receive a high rating from me. Great post xxx

    Melina |


  22. Ahhh my ratings for books are totally influenced by what other people thought of them, I try not to let other people’s opinions on a book influence my own opinions on it, but it can be so hard sometimes?? I always try and think “did I truly enjoy/dislike this book or do I just think I did because of something someone else has said?”, and while most of the time I’m confident that my opinions are my own (at least recently I am) sometimes I’m honestly not sure (especially when it comes to hyped books or books that everyone else seems to hate). The struggle is real 😂

    Andrea @


    1. It’s SO hard not to read revise of books ad then ADOPT that same opinion and I try incredibly hard not to. Recently, I’ve been really confident with my opinions but a lot of the time I’m not! Thanks Andrea, great comment ❤


  23. There’s a lot of pressure to like things everyone else likes! 💕 Nothing to be ashamed of – we all exaggerate now and then. I’m actually listening to The Serpent King now and while it’s fine and interesting, I don’t understand why all the hype.


  24. I used to lie about liking Harry Potter all the time when I was younger because pretty much everyone I knew did the silly thing of considering liking Harry Potter to be the “default”, but I’d actually never really read it or watched the movies 😂 I still haven’t read the books properly yet, but I’m more indifferent to it now

    And I definitely used to feel obligated to rate classics higher than I actually feel. I still have Dracula marked as 4 stars on Goodreads but after reading it a second time (and studying it), I feel like it’s more of a 3 because I prefer watching it rather than reading it as a book.


    1. Oh my god I find that so hilarious. I quite love HArry potter but I can just imagine me lying about loving it if I didn’t actually.
      I feel like if you don’t like Classics, people almost think you’re too stupid to get it but like!! not true!!

      Thank you for the sweet comment ❤


  25. ILSA!! HELLO I’VE BEEN GONE SO LONG,,, SORRYYYYY. BUT!! This post is totally relatable and yas yas yas yas all the exposing (i have no idea where im going with this sloth-like comment! anyway!! hello!! i liked this post a lot!!


  26. wow this was such a brutally honest post and i love it!! i always feel TERRIBLE about rating books low if they’re popular, and a lot of times i rate high on goodreads and then i go to write a review and i’m like… what was i thinking!! but when i write my reviews i feel way more pressure to be honest. this was a great post i loved reading it!


  27. Yeah, I really don’t like Treasure Island… I read it in German when I was studying it in school and I just did not like it. I’m just not really a fan of the author’s works… you’re definitely right about it being slow 😉


      1. Hmm idk I’ve only ever read it in german and it was a while ago but I’m generally not a massive fan of rls but I’m glad you like it 😊


  28. Okay. I love the tea photo!!!! One book that I pretended to love was the Maze Runner. I was forcing myself to read it, god, I was so bored. I think the story idea was really cool but it was written in a way so that it just dragged on. The ending was kind of alright though. Apparently the movie is better (that kind of breaks my heart a little though, books come first!) so I might give that a try. I loved reading this, you’re more likely to be liked if people can see the real you ❤


  29. Hype around a book doesn’t change my rating of it, but it does confuse me if my opinion was different to everyone elses. I didn’t like An Enchantment of Ravens at all. I thought it was very boring and unoriginal, plus I hated the artwork. Well, everyone else LOVED it and loved the artwork and I’m like ??? did I read the right book????

    Have you ever done the opposite? (ie. rated a book low because everyone else hated it, but you secretly liked it)


    1. Ahah, I always feel so weird when I don’t like a hyped book and So CONFUSED. I totally get why you didn;t like EOR but come on the artwork is so prettty! I don’t think I’ve rated a book lower because everyone hated it – have you?? That’s such an interesting question. Sometimes negative reviews are more popular to have!


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