Lola’s Ramblings: How can expectations influence your enjoyment of a book?

Posted February 18, 2016 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 40 Comments


Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.

I’ve mentioned the topic of expectations a few times on the blog so far and mentioned how expectations can sometimes make or break a book for me. On the one hand I like expectations as without expectations it’s probably hard to get excited for a book, but on the other hand I hate them too and wish I could read every book without any expectations. Sometimes my expectations about a book are so high that it can in turn ruin the book for me, sometimes my expectataions are so low that I won’t give a book a chance, while I might have enjoyed it if I had. We can’t view the world without expectations and I wonder whether that’s a good or a bad thing. In today’s post I want to talk about different aspects surrounding a book that create expectations for me and how in turn that can influence my enjoyment of a book.

What aspects surrounding a book can create expectation which in turn can influence my enjoyment of a book

  • The Hype. Sometimes a book can get really hyped up and sometiems that makes me want to read a book and sometimes it just makes me want to stay away from a book, both can be annoying. As sometimes the hype is really worth it and I will enjoy a hyped book, like Burying water by KA Tucker for example. I really didn’t want to read that book at first, I only knew it was a popular author, hadn’t read any of her books so far, wans’t a fan of amnesia plot lines and the book was super hyped. I took a wide berth and stayed away, eventually some bloggers who’s opinon I value and would consider friends reviewed the book and they made me think I might enjoy the book. So I picked up the book, read it and I really enjoyed the book and quickly bought the rest of the books in the series as well. Other times the hype got me all excited for a book and then once I read it just falls flat. Often not because it’s a bad book, but because the hype made me expect the book was so much better and in return I enjoy the book less than I probably would’ve if I hadn’t had any expectations.
  • The Author. Who the author is of a book can already influence my expectations of a book. It can make me more excited about a book if one of my favourite authors has written it. I can make me expect a certain style, writing style, feel, topics or characters in a book. For example from a book written by SJ Pajonas I usually expect to love the writing style, have likeable characters whom I can relate to, an awesome romance, include something japanese related, usually something art/creative related and I expect to enjoy and often even love the book. With authors who’s books I read frequently I have a list of expectations like that, concerning topics, whether I will enjoy the book and which aspects to expect and enjoy. Often these expectations mean I am more excited and looking forward to a book by those authors, although if I don’t enjoy a book by one of those authors it can feel even worse because of those high expectations, luckily that doesn’t happen often. It can be daunting for that reason to start a book by one of my favourite authors as I am aware I have such high expectations for it.
  • The Cover. Sometimes whatever is depicted on the cover can form expectations of a book as well. Maybe as simple as what the characetrs look like, what’s the setting or maybe even their personality. Covers can make me more excited for books, but some covers create certain expectations and will lead me to conclude I might not enjoy the book. And the expectations a cover creates might not be true or even fit the book, so that’s another thing that complicates it.
  • The Blurb. The blurb of a book is another aspect that can create expectations, it can make me expect certain plot holes, but also give a feel for the author and writing style and often from the blurb I derive expectations of whether I will enjoy a book of not. When I receive a review request or browse books on netgalley the blurb and cover are the first things I look at and often will influence whether I will request or accept that book for review, especially when there aren’t many reviews for the book yet. Sometimes a blurb can be misleading and that way the book can either be surpringly better or disapointing as it wasn’t what you expected.
  • The Genre. The genre of a book already makes me expect certain tropes, plot lines, type of characters, situations, town ect. For example when I pick up a cozy mystery I expect an interesting mystery which the main character helps solves, being able to solve the mystery with clues in the book, a small town setting, a fun job or hobby that the main character haves, likeable characters, but often gossip or small town politics as well. I also expect a certain feel and comfort. This is handy for when I am in the mood for a certain book, then based on my expectations of a book or genre I can pick a book that fits my mood. But if a book doesn’t fit the genre expectations it can again leads to disapointment or sometimes having a book not fullfill certain expectations is a good thing and make it original. I feel with genres that it’s usually a good idea to fullfil some of the genre related expectations, but also be original and different enough from other books to stand out.
  • Reviews. Sometimes reading reviews of a book can make me expect certain plot points, topics, characetrs etc and might even influence my expectation of the book in general thanks to the reviews I read about it. Again usually this is a good thing, reviews make me try out books I never thought I would like and change my expectations of thsoe books. It makes me try out new books, genres and authors because other bloggers I know enjoyed those books. Sometimes though just like hype it can work the other way and make me expect to enjoy a book more or less than I probably would’ve if I hadn’t read that review. Usually I try to read multiple reviews of a book so I can temper my expectations a bit, don’t let them get too high, but do get me excited for a book.

Sometimes these different aspects can contradict each other and muddle expectations. Or point in the same direction and make certain expectations higher. I think with almost each book many or at least some fo these influence my expectations. I do read a lot of books that aren’t well known or hyped so that aspect falls away then or sometimes there aren’t any reviews for a book or it doesn’t have a blurb or cover. If I don’t know the author it means I often don’t have many specific expectations of that. So there are cases when those aspect don’t play a role. The less of these aspects are present the harder it also is to decide whether I want to read a book, because when you don’t know what to expect how do you know if you will enjoy it or not? So I do think that expectations have a place and while they can sometimes hinder or diminish an enjoyment of a book in general I think expectations do help us make decisions on what to read as well and can be very helpfull too.

How do I handle my expectations

I do know that expectations can influence my enjoyment of a book and sometimes I try and diminish the effect of expectations, for example by waiting a long time to read the book or read lower rating reviews for a book that sounds good. Or other times my high expectations make me wary as I know that if the book doesn’t fullfill them I will be disapointed and I don’t like that and that in turn can make me hesistant to start a book when I have a lot of high expectations. Expectations can be a tricky thing and I am not sure if there is a right way to handle that. It’s often hard to counter expectations and often I might not even want to. Being excited and looking forward to a book is a great feeling and I don’t want to remove that by telling myself I might not enjoy the book or read 1 star reviews to lower my expectations. And expectations can not only negatively, but also positively impact our enjoyment of a book. Often having expectations and being excited for a book is a good thing and can make the book more enjoyable too. So in general I think there isn’t much what we can do about expectations, except be aware that they might influence our enjoyment of a book. At least it makes for an interesting topic to think and talk about.

How can expectations influence your enjoyment of a book? Which aspects do you think mostly create your expectations of a book and how do they influence your enjoyment?


40 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: How can expectations influence your enjoyment of a book?

  1. First of all, I really like how you organized this! I’ve never actually broken it down or thought about what specific aspects affect my expectations.

    Hype doesn’t usually affect me. I may read a book because of hype, but I never expect it to be good because of it. It may make my expectations lower, if anything.

    I never automatically read a book just because a certain author writes it. But if, for example, I loved one of her fantasy series and she writes another fantasy series, then yes, I do probably expect a certain quality, style, amount of character development, etc.

    Covers probably affect my expectations. If it’s an amazing cover, I think I’m more likely to expect an amazing story. And covers definitely evoke certain moods/vibes/etc., and if the book doesn’t match up to that, it can be a disappointment.

    I think I pretty much agree with your whole paragraph about genres.

    I also read multiple reviews if I’m undecided about a book, and I try to read a mixture of positive, negative, and middle so that I can get a better feel for what the book is actually like rather than just subjective opinions about it. So yes, reviews do make me expect certain things. But like you, I read a lot of lesser-known books which means they sometimes don’t have reviews. And I hate it when I’m torn over a book on Netgalley and it has no reviews yet! I know what I like, so I always want to make sure I’m choosing something that relatively fits that!

    The blurb is also another thing. It seems like such a “duh” thing, but sometimes blurbs can give you a feel for the mood or type of book or whether it’s character vs plot-driven, etc. Though sometimes they’re misleading.

    But overall, having low expectations can make me like a book more when it exceeds them, and having high ones can make me disappointed. It’s definitely a factor, and I never gave it much thought until now. Just one of the many reasons reading is so subjective. I sometimes worry when I write rave reviews, like the five star ones, that no one is going to like the book after reading my review because their expectations are too high lol. The best though is when you have high expectations, and they’re still exceeded!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona StaplesMy Profile

      • I personally dislike using the Look Inside function or reading excerpts from a book. On the one hand it can give you a feel for the writing style and I use it sometimes for that purpose, but at the same time it feels like it’s spoiling the book. I want to start a book and keep reading, not read part of it and then not being able to read the rest. Although ofcourse that probably the whole goal of those look inside things. I do think in general the Look Inside feature and excerpts are a good thing and can make readers more curious about the book, I just am not a fan of them myself.

      • I agree with what Lola said. If I’m SUPER undecided about a book, which mostly happens when I’m considering a review copy, I might use it to get a feel for the writing. It has helped on a couple occasions. But I also hate reading part and then not the rest. Like, if I’m in the middle of a book, I don’t like reading the beginning of another only to then put it on hold while I finish the first.
        Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona StaplesMy Profile

        • That’s what it feels like for me, like I start a book and then have to put it on hold again.

          I have used the look inside function for a few review requests where I was really unsure whether I wanted to read it or not. It can help to get a feel for the writing.

    • Yes usually the hype does lower my expectations, especially for really popular books, but it also depends a bit on the genre. Most cozy mysteries have a rating not higher than 3.8 on goodreads so if I find one with a 4.5 rating that does make me curious why it’s so popular.

      I have a few authors that can write anything and I will read it, like Kelley Armstrong. I normally stay far away from thrillers, but if she writes them I’ll read them and even love them (like City of the Lost and her Nadia Stafford series). And if it’s an author I really like I will most likely give their books a try even if the specific theme isn’t my preference. I am pretty faithfull to authors I know that way.

      Covers, blurbs and genres can create a certain vibe or expectations. It’s pretty obvious, but I think it’s easy to miss how much impacts those have on your expectations.

      And yes I have the same problem, sometimes I see a good sounding book on netgalley and it has no reviews yet and it’s so hard to get a feel for it then and decide whether I will like it or not.

      With high expectations the biggest problem is usually when it falls flat while with low expectations it’s more likely it exceeds that. Although when you have high expectations for a book and it’s even better than expected, that’s the best! Just had one of thsoe reads recently and gah it’s the best.

      And yeah I wonder if sometimes 4 star reviews might be better as they don’t create too high expectations, but on the other hand if I read a 5 star review on a blog that makes me more curious as most blgogers only give 5 stars to those books they really loved, so then I do know the book is something special for that reviewer and makes me want to read it too. Expectations can be so tricky at times.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: How can expectations influence your enjoyment of a book?My Profile

      • It really is a tricky thing! I would never NOT give a book five stars if it deserves it, it’s just difficult because I want to portray how great it was so people will read it, but at the same time I don’t want to kill their experience with high expectations. By the way, your reply emails are going into my spam now πŸ™
        Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona StaplesMy Profile

        • I agree, you want people to read the book, but not ruin it for them by creating too high expectations.

          I wonder why my reply e-mails are landing in spam now, that’s frustrating as I didn’t change anything. Ugh, guess I’ll have to add a note to check spam now too. Thanks for letting me know. Your reply e-mails still land in my inbox after I unmarked them as spam a few times.

    • Yes same here, if I really like an author, I will read all or many of their books. The blurb and cover is usually the first thing I see and where I base some of my expectations on, and often the reviews help me after that to decide whether I want to read the book or not.

  2. Especially really hyped up books can make me have incredibly high expectations that are almost impossible to meet, Lola. I do read hyped books if they are by authors I already know and love, but I tend to stay away from those by authors I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll read that book once the hype has died down a little, just so my expectations may have lowered a bit as well.
    And you’re right, sometimes, we expect certain things by certain authors, and that can be a bad thing! I know for example Richelle Meed likes to branch out in what she’s writing, and she does that well, in my opinion. However, some people then end up very disappointed – if they loved the Vampire Academy series, and then pick up the Gameboard of the Gods, they are bound to feel lost, because those two series are as different as can be.
    I don’t always read the blurb of the books I read, because more often than not, I pick the books I want to read based on the author, or the genre, and then I just want to be surprised πŸ™‚
    Great topic, Lola!!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Review: A Fighting Chance – Shannon StaceyMy Profile

    • The hype can really make me hesistant to read a book as it can create such high expectations. Although it’s also sad when the hype prevents you from reading a good book. And sometimes waiting till the hype was calmed down works indeed.

      Yes I can imagine that if you’re expecting the same thing and an author tries a different genre, that can be difficult. I still haven’t read Mead her newer books, but I loved VA, Bloodlines and the succubus series. I own the first Gameboard of the gods book, but haven’t read it yet.

      And it can be nice not to read the blurb once in awhile and get surprised by the book and if you already know the author or genre that can be enough reason to pick up the book.

  3. If I plan to buy a book or read a freebie I grabbed, I look at 1, 2 and 3 star Goodreads reviews. I’m looking for deal breakers like heavy romance/sex plot, love triangles, lots of religious content, insta-luv, teen angst, slow plot, obnoxious characters etc. I won’t buy books with these things generally. If it’s a freebie, I will tackle them first so that I can get it quickly off my tbr, or I might delete it without reading if it has a good few of my deal breakers in it!

    I have expectations about not liking a book, based on reviews, so I go into it expecting the worst and sometimes I get a nice surprise when I read it. I don’t follow book hype so I rarely go into a book expecting it to be great even if it is a favourite author, as even my favourite authors can write books I don’t like! If I like the sound of a book I read it, if I don’t I won’t, regardless of who the author is or if I’ve read them before or not. So I don’t really have expectations when I pick up my next book-I’ll judge it as I go along. I base my ‘want to read’ on a mixture of blurbs and reviews as relying on the blurb alone can be misleading.
    chucklesthescot recently posted…Book Review: A Song of Sixpence by Judith ArnoppMy Profile

    • Sometimes those lower star ratings can be really helpfull. Although I also find that not all of them are written in a helpfull manner. I usually look at reviews by people I am friends with first and then check out some other random reviews as well. And indeed if a book has one or more of your deal breakers it’s nice to know before you buy it or read it when it’s a freebie.

      Sometimes going in with low expectations can be a good thing and the book end up better, but it also can make it hard to start reading the book in the first place. And I usually try to base my expectations on multiple things as like you said a blurb, but also the cover or genre cna be misleading at times. Favourite authors can write books you don’t like, but it happens less often, at least to me. Although I am always a bit nervous when I am starting a new book by a faourite author as I am afraid I won’t love it as much as I hope.

  4. I have been burned by my expectations, but also rewarded. I’ve learned to be more careful about not getting so excited that no book could live up to my expectations, but also to give a book a chance that didn’t look or sound promising. A lot of this has been learned from the years of reviewing. A poor cover can hide a spectacular book and a gorgeous cover can hide something mediocre or disappointing. A blurb can do the same though I do get better hints about the elements of the book. I think the biggest influencer on my expectations is other’s opinions. I am drawn more toward thorough reviews or interviews about a book b/c it gives me a chance to examine the elements and it can alter my initial impressions of cover and blurb or general hype. Certain reviewers have saved me from reacting strongly to a book because they helped me to be more reasonable in my expectation- ‘slow start’, ‘cliffhanger’, ‘high angst’, instalove, slow-burn, heat level, love triangle, and so many more clue words that I watch for and help adjust my thinking. Some things are deal-breakers and I walk away quickly, others leave me cautious, but ready to proceed, and still others have me racing to get the book. This is no pressure for other reviewers b/c I still feel it’s ultimately on me whether I’ll like it or not and whether I read it or not, but yes, the reviewers are my strongest influence on expectation. πŸ˜‰
    Sophia Rose recently posted…#TGPUL with Victoria Vane – Two To Wrangle #GiveawayMy Profile

    • It’s difficult to find the right balance, both high and low expectations can be a good and bad thing depending on the situation. I think reviewing books and also reading a lot does made me realize how covers can be misleading or how a sub par blurb can hide a great book.
      I usually try to read a few reviews of a book as they often help to give me a feel for the book and also alter or temper any expectations due to the blurb and/or cover. And yes knowing a book has a slow start or a cliffhanger can make the read smoother because you know that already and will continue reading even though it’s slow or anticipate the cliffhanger. Reviews are very handy to point out topics and themes and you can base your expectations on those. And I think that’s also the reason reviews are so valuable.

  5. I just read your list of expectations for my books and laughed. Yep. As an author, I built up those expectations on purpose so I could give readers what they want and expect. Good to see it’s working!

    But yes, as a reader, all of these things play into my overall enjoyment of a book. The blurb and other reviews are most heavily weighted in my mind.
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…SUMMER HAIKUS Is On Sale February 17-22!My Profile

    • I think it’s a good idea as an author to build those expectations, especially like how you do it and live up to those expectations with your books. I think expectations can be a valuable marketing tool as well because if people expect to enjoy your book they are probably more likely to buy it. I have such a clear list of expectations for your books, so I thought it was a good example to use :).

      For me it’s mostly blurb and reviews that influence my expectations as well, but I realize that for some books or authors the genre, cover and author can play a big role as well. Especially when someone is one of my favourite authors I create more and more of those expectations when it comes to their books.

  6. I have stopped going by other people’s opinions of books as I so often disagree with them, Lola. I might look at a couple of reviews, but that doesn’t influence me much anymore. I know the people in my book club like literary fiction more than I do, for example, so if they like a book I might be a bit wary. But that’s what makes horse racing, eh?


    Great topic!

    • I have some bloggers who’s opinions I trust or who’s opinions are similiar to mine. And when reading reviews of others I don’t look only to their general statement, but also what they do and don’t like. Does someone complain of too much world building? Then I know I probably will enjoy that book as I love world building. Does someone complain of too much angst in the romance? Then I know to proceed with caution as I know I don’t like that either.

      So in that way I think reviews can be very valuable. Ofcourse even then you can have reviews for the same book say contradictory things, which can complicate it, but even then I think reviews can still be valuable for me as a reader to get a feel for whether I will like a book or not.

      And with friends or people you know you also develop an idea for what kind of books they like. Like you mentioned with your book club, you know they like literary fiction more than you do, so you know to take their literary fiction opinions with a grain of salt as it’s less likely you will enjoy it as much as they did.

      • When I look inside and see that a book is written in the present tense, or is too dense, or I don’t like the author’s style, I won’t try it, so in that way, the feature really helps me. I have been burned more than once by not checking inside before buying a book (usually with a used book because there’s so little risk). I don’t find that this spoils the books for me at all.

        Speaking of the present tense, a good topic for a blog post? Argh, I just hate it, although occasionally I will read a book that’s written that way because there’s something compelling about it. For example, my book club just read All the Light We Cannot See, and that’s written in the present tense so I kind of had to. But I really dislike it. I find it distracting.

        • I am usually not as aware of in which tense a book is written, I do know that some author their writing styles work more for me than others. And in general I prefer first person perspective over third person perspective, but I will still read books in third person perspective as well and can enjoy them as well, so it’s not a big deal.
          So I usually don’t pay too much attention to it. I also have found that some books take a while for me to get into it and if I own the book already I might give the book more time than when I only look inside.

          If you have such specific thigns to look for I can see how the look inside feature will be handy. I usually like how it gives me a feel for the writing style, but I still dislike using it and usually will only do so when I really ma on the fence about whether I want to read a book or not. It’s definitely interesting to see how we differ in opinion about how we use and like the look inside function.

  7. oh what a great topic you have here!! I love it. Expectations can sometimes ruin a book for me especially if there is a lot of hype around a book. Most of the time, I look at the blurb and see if its the type of story I would normally want to read. Then I read a few reviews and look at the ratings. And determine if its a book I would want to pick up. Sometimes it can be a delightful experience. Other times, its a huge disappointment. For example the Fever series by Moning was a huge disappointment for me. I loved her previous series, but this one lacked so much that I expected especially with all the hype surrounding them. Or books that are considered “fan fiction” I have learned to stay far away from since I have had bad experiences with those. Sometimes its the books that are the most underrated that I have more fun with than the more hyped up books.

    • Thanks :). Expectations so often come up in my reviews that I decided to write a full post about the topic. The blurb often gives a good idea of where the story is about and reviews can be handy to flesh out your expectations a bit more. Reviews are also important to me when deciding whether I want to read a book or not.

      I haven’t read Karen Marie Moning her other series, but I did love the Fever series (at least the first 6 books, I haven’t read the last two). I wasn’t sure whether to read her other series as it sounds very different than the fever series. And indeed sometimes the udnerrated books can be fun to read as you don’t have so much hype surrounding them.

  8. For me the cover and blurb are huge, because I am really influenced by those. The author too, if it’s an author I’ve read before and liked I will be pretty likely to try another of their books. And hype- that is definitely a tricky one. I sometimes about books that are hyped too, and occasionally when I do try them I am disappointed and sometimes pleased. The Girl On The Train for example disappointed me, but Big Little Lies blew me away. Both were at least somewhat hyped and I felt like I saw them all over.

    This is a great discussion. I do like it when I have expectations (good or bad) and they are shattered when I actually get to the book. That’s a great feeling, to finally try something and end up loving it. πŸ™‚
    Greg recently posted…Sanctuary BayMy Profile

    • Who the author is can bring certain expectations, especially when it’s a favourite or well liked author. And hyped books can go either way, feeling like the hype is worth it and it’s a great book to feeling dispointed.

      I usually like it when expectations are met, especially when they are positive expectations, but when a book is different or even better than expected it can be great too.

  9. I agree with you completely. I’ve gotten books that I had high expectations for, then I read it and I’m disappointed because it couldn’t live up to the hype. I do have some books that better than I expect and it is the best feeling in the world. I love getting a book that I’m not expecting to be very good or great, but then find out it is outstanding. This is a great topic, Lola.
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Kill Without Mercy Audiobook by Alexandra Ivy (REVIEW)My Profile

    • Thanks! Expectations can influence how you experience a book so much, it’s interesting. Those books that do even better than your high expectations are the best or those books you don’t expect as much of and then tun out to be awesome.

  10. I’ve learned not to go with hype anymore. I’ve been burned too many times *shakes head*

    Like you, I go with the author and/or the genre. We have our favorites so it follows that we read whatever their new release is. And same thing with genre, I respond to fantasy and women’s lit the most so I tend to gravitate towards those.

    On that note, I’m so thankful for NG, EW, and even the Amazon freebies. It allowed me to explore and discover new authors and genres. It sure broadened my horizon and shaped my taste for the better when it comes to books.

    Fab discussion as always, Lola!
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…A Shot of YA: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer DonnellyMy Profile

    • Hype is a tricky thing, but I’ve also stayed away from a hyped book and then found out I did like it. It’s a bit of a hit or miss, you can’trust the hype always, but it’s also not always a good thing to stay away from all hyped books.

      I read a lot of different genres and I try and read books in the genre I am in the mood for at the moment. And yes NG and freebies have helped me discover new to me authors and genres too, it’s awesome.
      Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce RecipeMy Profile

  11. I don’t follow the hype of books too much. I wait and see what people say in reviews and then I can figure out if the book is for me or not. But I can see how hype is both good and bad…depends on the TYPE of hype I think. If bloggers I love are hyping it because they read it and loved, I trust that over general hype before the book comes out just because of the author or that it SOUNDS good.
    Let’s Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted…Pre-Order Giveaway for South of Sunshine by Dana ElmendorfMy Profile

    • I agree there are different types of hype and I usually trust it more when people I know hype a book compared to a more general hype or popular feel of the book. I do agree that reviews are one of the best ways to figure out if a book is for you or not. That’s also the reason why I read reviews if possible before deciding whether to read a book or not.

  12. You make some fantastic points here. Expectations can be really hard to live up to sometimes, and other times I’ve felt blown away by a book I wasn’t expecting much from and I appreciate it even more. I think the cover trap is the one I’ve fallen into way too often. I KNOW you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help it, I sometimes do!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Can Book Blogging Lead to a Job? Let’s Discuss!My Profile

    • Indeed expectations can be so hard to live up to sometimes and beign blown away by a book you didn’t expect much of can be great. I also fall into the cover trap often or even decide to ignore a book when the cover doesn’t catch my attention. I also think that’s why having a good cover for a book is so important as it is the first thing readers see.

  13. Amy

    For me it’s definitely author and hype. Let me tell you a little story…

    Three words – Pride & Prejudice.

    I say the movie… two different versions, loved them both. TOTALLY fell in love with the world. Years later I started reading more seriously and thought I’d give it a go, the blogosphere was ALWAYS in hype over Jane Austen. I hated the book, simple as that. It didn’t live to my expectations, they were just too high. I ended up giving the book a bad review. There’s been other Jane Austen books that I simply love, but Pride & Prejudice just isn’t one of them.

    Now I won’t read a book due to the hype. Silly isn’t it? I just don’t want to be disappointed again πŸ™‚ It means I miss out. If the plot sounds good, I might give it a try a few months after the hype dies down… maybe lol.
    Amy recently posted…Book Beginnings on Friday: Chasing RainbowsMy Profile

    • It’s hard for a book to live up your expectations when they are high, but maybe if you had read the book first you still wouldn’t have liked it. Sometimes the movie does work better than the book.

      I am very warily when a book get’s a lot of hype, but I still want to give those books a chance too as I’ve read a few of those after the hype cooled down a bit or after other reviewers or bloggers recommended them and I did enjoy them. Waiting till the hype dies down a bit can be a good thign in soem cases.

  14. Hype has hurt me before – picking up a book that critics just raved about (or had a big marketing campaign) and then I read it and wonder what they ALL were talking about. I’ve also been burned by publishers comparing a book to other books…’set to be the next’ OR ‘this book meets that book’. I wish they wouldn’t do that.

    Who the author is definitely sets an expectation. If it’s an author I’ve read before, I’m reading them again because I liked their style and stories, so I go in thinking I’m going to get the same. An author I don’t know may set the bar a little lower though unless a friend highly recommends them.

    The cover and the blurb – I can’t tell you how infuriated it makes me when the actual story has nothing to do with either. The cover and the blurb are SUPPOSED to set expectations and when either or both don’t… That can put me off an author (or publisher) very quickly.

    The genre absolutely sets expectations as genres do typically use certain tropes. I think when I’ve been in a rut of reading the same genre for too long, my expectations for those books lowers since I *know* what I’m going to get and I’m weary of it. I’ve recently tried to make sure I switch up my genres to keep things fresh.

    Ah reviews…they certainly set expectations, especially if I read several glowing ones from trusted friends. If the book is highly touted by friends, I go into it expecting to be blown away. This has backfired on me but my friends can’t be blamed as everyone has a different experience when they read a book. That’s the beauty of reading. πŸ™‚ As for negative reviews, I have to say that sometimes that makes me even more interested in a book. *ha*

    This is a great discussion topic, Lola!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ Hunting Ground ~ Patricia BriggsMy Profile

    • I agree I hate it when they do that in the blurb, the next X or Y or when they compare it to other books like a combination of X and Y. On the other hand sometimes the hype is true and I do enjoy the book, so I do want to keep an open mind about hyped books, but the hype has also hurt me before.

      And authors we already know set the bar higher indeed and sometimes that is a good thing, like we just talked about in my review of His Kind of Cowgirl by Karen Rock. I think my expectations and knowing the author her style helped me enjoy it more. New to me authors often have lower expectations, just because I don’t know what to expect although a good blurb or cover can up those expectations.

      And I think the cover and blurb always should match the book as much as possible. I dislike it when the cover and blurb don’t match.

      And indeed I think switching up genres is a good idea as those expectations and tropes are also things you can get tired of. I recently discovered cozy mysteries and it’s lovely as I don’t know what to expect and I am still so new to the genre that I don’t get burned out by it. Although I am also in the mood for contemporary romances again, I usually need a break from that once in awhile, but always come back to it too.

      It can be daunting knowing a blogger picked up a book because of my review for that exact reason as I know reviews can higher expectations. And some negative reviews can make me more itnerested, but it can also help temper my expectations a bit.

      Thanks for stoppinng by!

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