I wanted to do something different today, so here’s a (hopefully?) original idea where I talk about the books I’ve seen everywhere – on book blogs, on Twitter and Bookstagram. I’m considering doing it again, so I’ll only list the book that came out in the first half of 2018. I’m considering books where the publisher really invested in hyping up the book and also people on the book community doing it just because they really liked the book. There is currently a discussion going on book bloggers and influencers getting paid for their work just like influencers promoting other kinds of products do, which I think is something we as a community really need to talk about. For me, as book blogging is something I do as a hobby, I’m quite happy with receiving books in exchange for reviewing or promoting them. However, as someone who in the future wants to take this up as a profession, I do really want to see people being paid for all the hard work they put in to composing interesting posts, meeting deadlines, setting up for beautiful photos and so on. Now let’s get into the post!
1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this book was literally everywhere starting from December last year. I’m personally not really interested in reading fae stories, so I didn’t care for all the hype, but I know so many people from my personal book blogging circle who have read this just for the hype. All the popular book subscription services had different special editions of this book and this book literally took over my bookish life in January. I can’t obviously say for myself if this book deserves the hype as I’ve heard opinions from both camps and as this is not on my TBR either, I don’t want to choose sides.
2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
While this book came out in March 2018, I still keep hearing about this book literally all the time! It was recently picked up by Jimmy Fallon’s Summer Book Club and it’s really heart-warming to see an ownvoices POC book getting so much hype months after its publication. It has been called the next Harry Potter and I really hope that this series continues to make waves in the bookish community as we definitely need to see more such stories published in the future. It is most definitely on my TBR and this is a book I want to get to before 2018 ends. Also, I actually haven’t seen anyone I know give it anything less than 4 stars, so I have really high hopes for this.
3. Circe by Madeline Miller
I feel like Bloomsbury, who is the UK publisher of this book, did a better job promoting this than Little Brown, the US publisher. I also very much prefer the UK cover for this book, which is one of the main reasons I bought a copy for myself. I saw this mainly on Bookstagram as the ARC for this also had the original cover art. Many influencers I follow received ARCs for this and I kept getting only positive feedback from them. I had vaguely heard of The Song of Achilles, which is Madeline Miller’s first book, an Orange Prize winner, so I don’t think this would’ve ended up on my TBR had it not been pushed at me so much. This is also once again on my TBR and I’m hoping to really enjoy my reading experience of this book.
4. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
For this book, they had street teams with a very unique concept. I believe they are based on the kinds of people/magic in the world this book is set in, which is inspired by the gambling scene in Atlantic City. Many of the bloggers I follow were a part of the street teams and I would get constant reminders to pre-order the book or countdowns to the publication date. I have also mostly seen good reviews for this, so I might pick this up when I get the time as the premise is also something that has really intrigued me. Overall, I think the marketing strategy for this book was very effective in promoting it.
5. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
For a novella that is also just a companion book and apparently something like a bridge between two main series, this book got so much exposure! So much so that I’ve heard people say that they didn’t expect the book to be quite so short. Of course I don’t mean to imply that novels are the only ones that need to be hyped, but I feel like its selling price is quite high compared to its length (as I cannot vouch for the quality), which was mostly done because all the hype surrounding it made the publisher confident that people would buy it at the same cost as a full-length novel. This means that it can get very difficult to get access to the book and only the privileged few can afford to shell out so much for a novella. I’m not planning to read this book series at all at this point, so all of the hype mostly served only to annoy me, unfortunately. However, if you’re a fan and contributed to the success of this book, I really hope you found it worth your time and money.
What are some of the Jan-Jun 2018 releases that you saw all around you? How do you choose the books that go to your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, if you’re interested in doing this over on your blog, please do a pingback to this post so I can check out your post as I’d love to hear your opinions!