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7 Books that Bookstagram made me read. Is it worth the hype?

In 2021, I discovered the amazing online community that is #Bookstagram. It’s fair to say that my choice of books and my book-buying addiction has been fueled by my endless scrolling in Bookstagram where fellow bibliophiles share their love for reading. In just a short period of time, I have grown my TBR exponentially based on recommendations that I found through the platform. I found amazing books that eventually became some of my favourites, but I also found books that I thought were just too hyped up and not worth my time.

In this post, I’m going to share 7 books that Bookstragram made me read and discuss if it’s worth it or not.

1. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS

SUMMARY:

Olive Smith is a third-year PhD candidate at Stanford University working on pancreatic cancer research. When Olive’s best friend Anh gets a crush on an ex-fling of hers, Olive assures her that she’s moved on and that she’s doing well with her dating life. So in a panic, Olive kisses the first man he sees who is none other than Adam Carlsen, a hotshot professor who everyone knowingly hates. Adam has a reputation for being a grumpy, ill-tempered professor who gives a lot of students a hard time. Which is why it baffles Olive when he agrees to keep up with the fake-dating charade. But as they both get deeper into their charade, Olive realizes that there’s more about Adam than people give him credit for.

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

The Love Hypothesis was so ubiquitous on Bookstagram in 2021. To be honest, the cover put me off a little bit. I typically avoid books with a cartoon cover because I assume that the content is YA. There’s obviously nothing wrong with reading YA, but I’m just not interested in that genre. And let me tell you, The Love Hypothesis is totally far from being YA. If you like contemporary romance books with a good mix of sweet and spice, then you will love this book. The heroine is a woman in STEM, and the book touches on gender-discrimination and feminism. If you like the fake-dating & sunshine-grumpy trope then this book is for you. 

Read my full review of The Love Hypothesis HERE.

Pub Date: September 14, 2021

Publisher: Berkley Books

Number of Pages: 352

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

2. THE SPANISH LOVE DECEPTION

SUMMARY:

Catalina (Lina) Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone back home is eager to meet him. She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. Enter Aaron Blackford—her tall, handsome, condescending colleague—who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man. But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.

AWARDS:

Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Debut Novel (2021)

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Not worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

Similar to The Love Hypothesis, this contemporary romance book has a cartoon cover, has the fake-dating trope, and also a woman in STEM representation (heroine is an engineer). This book even won an award! But to me, The Spanish Love Deception didn’t live up to the hype. First of all, the book was just unnecessarily long. There wasn’t a lot going on in the first half of the book and I felt like the story was just going in circles. It’s a slow burn romance but it went from nothing to intense all of a sudden. Secondly, I wasn’t a big fan of Lina. I didn’t like her character and I couldn’t get on with the dialogue. Overall, this was a miss for me and it didn’t live up to the hype.

Pub Date: February 21, 2021

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Number of Pages: 448

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

3. FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT (FINLAY DONOVAN SERIES)

SUMMARY:

Finlay Donovan is a struggling novelist, a single mom of two who is in the middle of a custody battle with her ex-husband. One day she is meeting with her literary agent at a local Panera Bread to talk about the plot of her crime novel, when a woman overhears her conversation and mistaken her for a contract assassin. The woman slips her a note and offers her a huge amount of money to assassinate her despicable husband. Finlay has no intentions of going through this scheme but inadvertently accepts the job. With the help of her kids’ babysitter, Vero, they become partners in crime and become entangled into this chaotic situation together.

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

I didn’t realize that I would enjoy a Mystery Humour book until I read the Finlay Donovan series! This was such a delightful read. It’s chaotic & unrealistic but also extremely hilarious. Most of the characters were well-written and likable. Vero, who is one of the supporting characters, is probably my favorite. She is fun & witty, and is that supportive friend that adds to the chaos that you are already in. I also have to say that the second book in the series is even more chaotic than the first one!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I sure hope that this will be adapted to film soon.

Pub Date: February 2, 2021

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Number of Pages: 363

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Humour

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

4. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO

SUMMARY:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

If you’ve been on Bookstagram at all, you probably already saw this book being recommended by everyone. And yes, it lived up to the hype! This book got me hooked and I just devoured it. I just wanted to keep turning the pages to know more about Evelyn’s story and how it all unfolds. If I’m being honest, I couldn’t keep myself away from this book that I just had to take an extended lunch break from work to finish it. This book was the first book that I read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and since then I have read 4 of her books. She has an excellent & unique way of storytelling and for that, she has easily become one of my favourite authors. 

I highly recommend this you read this book if you haven’t yet.

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

Publisher: Atria Books

Number of Pages: 389 (hardcover)

Genre: Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

5. THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME

SUMMARY:

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

AWARDS:

Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery Thriller (2021)

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Not worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is one of those books that left me scratching my head. I read this book because of the reception it got in the Bookstagram community and also because it won a Goodreads award for best mystery, and that just baffles me. This book did not live up to the hype. 

The Last Thing He Told Me started off pretty strong and it kept me intrigued, but afterwards it just fell flat for me. The book was boring and forgettable, that’s why it left me confused as to why this book was branded as a thriller. Maybe mystery, but definitely not a thriller.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Number of Pages: 320 (hardcover)

Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

6. IT ENDS WITH US

SUMMARY:

It Ends With Us is a story about Lily Bloom who grew up in a toxic home. She hated her father for physically abusing her mom and hated her mom for letting him. Seeing how her parents’ relationship was like, she vowed to never put herself in that situation. Now she is a strong, independent and successful woman living in Boston.

One day, she meets a handsome and mysterious neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid. Ryle and Lily are quite the opposite. Lily wants a serious relationship but Ryle is someone who is very repulsed to relationships. Even then, they both find themselves falling in love with each other and they decide that they want to be together. Suddenly, someone from Lily’s past reappears. Atlas Corrigan was Lily’s first love, someone who she had a deep connection with. The story then takes a turn and one event changes Lily and Ryle’s relationship dynamics.

AWARDS:

Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Romance (2016)

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

It Ends With Us is one of those books that leaves a mark for a long time. This book is so powerful and one that truly made me tear up. It broke my heart but also slowly pieced it back together. Knowing that this book was based on true events in the author’s life made it even more emotional and raw. This is not your typical sweet/cute contemporary romance book. This is a romance that also touches on difficult true-to-life issues. This is a book that is definitely worth reading, but please make sure you check the trigger warnings beforehand.

Pub Date: August 2, 2016

Publisher: Atria Books

Number of Pages: 376 (Paperback)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

7. VERITY

SUMMARY:

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

IS IT WORTH THE HYPE?

Not worth it.

MY THOUGHTS:

Unpopular Opinion – I did not like this book. I hated it. I understand that the majority of the people who read this got their mind blown by the plot twist. But I just cannot fathom this book at all. It is incredibly dark and disgusting and it’s not something that I would ever recommend to anyone. The story includes a very graphic description of attempted abortion & harming a child and the whole thing is just so unsettling. I wish I could forget about this book. And to add to that, all the characters were so unlikeable. They were shallow and there’s just nothing interesting about them.

If you’re still curious, read this at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Pub Date: December 7, 2018

Publisher: Hoover Ink Inc.

Number of Pages: 324

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Dark

Add To Shelf: GOODREADS

What books did you discover through Bookstagram?

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