Popular Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Find out which popular books are deserving of all the hype!

I tend to scoff at popular books that show up on EVERY summer reading list or show up all over my bookstagram feed. I assume a certain amount of groupthink is involved. Or maybe these reviewers don’t want to voice a negative opinion when so many others offer praise.

As a result, I often wait until the hype dies down before reading any of these books. If I’m still seeing positive reviews, I’ll give it a shot a while later.

Unfortunately, this practice causes me to miss out on some amazing books! I don’t want the same thing to happen to you, so I put together a list of the popular books that live up to the hype.

These books deserve all of the praise heaped on them! Plus, they stand the test of time. Even if you’re not reading these the year they were released, you’ll STILL hear people talking about them because they’re well-written and engaging.

Without further ado, let’s check out the popular books that deserve all the hype!


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Popular Books That Deserve The Hype



The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

This WWII historical fiction novel is a heartwarming journey into the lives of a few residents of the island of Guernsey during and after the German occupation. Juliet is a writer who begins a correspondence with them and slowly gets to know them through their letters. It’s beloved by everyone who reads it and was adeptly turned into a movie on Netflix!

You can also hop over to my list of the best WWII historical fiction for more books like this one!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org


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Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I’m a devoted JoJo Moyes fan, but I still think Me Before You is her best. This is a difficult but beautiful story of a woman who cares for a man struggling with the decision to end his own life. It continues on in a trilogy that’s actually worth reading too!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org








A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this grumpy old man, but he will win over anyone’s heart. Have a box of tissues ready and be prepared for ugly tears. Ove is ready to die, but keeps getting interrupted by his annoying neighbors! As he deals with one issue after another, we learn his life story and discover a kind heart behind all the snarls.

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Before reading this, I assumed it was a typical steamy historical fiction romance with no depth. While those elements are certainly present, there’s also a fascinating plot and intriguing characters. This is a lengthy book, but you’ll fly through the pages. It’s been a multi re-read for me!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org




The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This story of two sisters surviving in Nazi-occupied France is incredibly eye-opening. It showcases the horrors of civilian day-to-day life during a war and the impossible choices faced by these people. Resilience and bravery both shine through despite the circumstances.

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





The Martian by Andy Weir

Matt Damon is my biggest celebrity crush, so when I heard he was starring in this movie I couldn’t put off reading the book any longer. As it turns out, the book completely captivated me. I’ve reread it once and listened to it on audio since then! For a sci-fi novel about a man stranded on Mars, it felt incredibly realistic. Plus, Matt Damon basically IS Mark Watney! His character is full of dry humor and sarcasm that I love!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

After reading a slew of YA fantasy books that all started to blur together, I was skeptical of this series. However, the plethora of passionate reviews finally convinced me to give it a try. Well, once I started I couldn’t stop! I was actually reading at work trying to find out what happens. This whole series gets better as it goes. Pure reading pleasure!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is obviously a respected and beloved author, but I assumed his writing would be too “out-there’ for me. Stardust is the first book of his I read and I was hooked. It’s fantasy, but still felt accessible and simple to read. I actually wish it was twice as long so I could keep reading about these characters!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

For some unknown reason, I picked this as my first ever Book of the Month selection. I normally don’t ever go for the thriller books, but I’m so glad I did!! The twist in the middle literally made my jaw drop. Even if you’re like me and don’t typically enjoy thrillers, give it a shot. If you do already read the genre, this one’s definitely for you!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org





Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I think I’ve recommended this book more than any other one! Its a geeky / nerdy story full of 80’s pop culture references and a virtual reality treasure hunt. Regular readers and sci-fi readers alike adore this one for great reason! Both the book and the movie are a ton of fun!

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop.org




What popular books have you read that live up to the hype? Are there any that you didn’t like as much as everyone else?



  1. I absolutely loved Outlander and Me Before You! The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society and A Man Called Ove are both on my list, so I’m glad to hear they were good. I think I’d add Hillbilly Elegy to the list. It’s non-fiction and I wasn’t sure about it because it blew up last year and I don’t typically trust things that are over-hyped, but it was really interesting and I thought the author lent a great point of view to the story he was telling.

    1. I just started listening to Hillbilly Elegy today! So far I’m enjoying hearing the author tell his own story.

  2. I tend to avoid the popular/hyped books because I always seem to be the one person that doesn’t like them. But I recently read My Lady Jane, which it seemed like everyone was raving about last year, and I loved it!

    1. Glad I’m not the only one with that attitude. I’ll have to check out My Lady Jane. I don’t think I’d heard of it yet…

  3. You’re the second person to remind me I forgot to add The Martian to my list! 🙁 I loved it so much. I also really loved Ready Player One, but I’m pretty sure I read it before it was widely hyped… and then I remember telling literally everyone I knew to read it too!

    You do have some really great ones on here… and you’re making me reconsider reading Outlander. I have the same reservations that you appeared to have before you picked it up. Was it easy to get into?

    1. I think I remember being hooked pretty fast on Outlander and then absolutely flying through the rest of the book. Even though I struggled with the next book, I still own Outlander and will happily go back and read it multiple times, I’m sure.

  4. Outlander made my list too! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie and ACOTAR are on my tbr. I Let You Go was a complete surprise for me. A work colleague lent it to me and I didn’t expect to like it. I couldn’t put it down!

  5. You’ve got a good list! I loved The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, Ready Player One, A Man Called Over, and ACOTAR trilogy. I don’t know that I could pick a favourite among them and they are all different.

    I was “meh” about I Let You Go and I am probably the only person on earth who didn’t LOVE The Nightingale. It might have to do with the fact that my husband is Jewish and my daughter’s name is Rachel and the book just hit too close to home for me. I couldn’t finish it.

  6. I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. I loved the characters too.

    I Let You Go was VERY good.

    I haven’t read any of the others.

    These are the ones I chose as WORTH THE HYPE:

    1. OUR HOUSE by Louise Candlish was very good. I gasped at the last line.

    2. THE OTHER WOMAN was good – I liked the surprises but also wanted to jump into the book and shake Emily.

    3. LIES by T. M. Logan was definitely a summer MUST read.

    4. THE LIES WE TOLD by Camilla Way draws you in and doesn’t let you go until you turn the last page.

    5. SOLD ON A MONDAY by Kristina McMorris. A heartwarming but heartbreaking book.


  7. My wife really enjoyed The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society. The second one today (among the other bloggers participating in #AMonthofFaves) that my wife enjoyed, that I haven’t read yet. I guess that might mean I should read them, huh? 🙂

    I liked Stardust, but for some reason, I enjoyed the movie more. I did love Neverwhere, though.

    1. My husband’s actually the one who gives me book recommendations 🙂 He’s excellent at picking fantasy novels I’d like. I still have to read Neverwhere…

    2. If you particularly liked Neverwhere, you might like a book by Nick Harkaway call AngelMaker. He’s John LeCarre’s son and a fabulous writer. All of his books are good, but I particularly recommend that one.

  8. A Man Called Ove was such a delight. Have you seen the Stardust movie? Or read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones? It was inspired by the same poem as Stardust.

    1. I did see the Stardust movie and liked it quite a lot. I’ve never heard of that book so I’ll check it out!!

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