Fun fact. My favourite word is skyscraper. I mean, when you really think about it, the word is so poetic.Today I’m going to talk about Skyscraper Syndrome, which is something I completely made up.
You know when someone recommends a book to you, or it’s really popular, and you’re just SO EXCITED TO READ IT?
And then you read it, and you try to like it, but it just…disappoints you?
The logic behind naming it “Skyscraper Syndrome” is that the idea of this book is built up in your mind, and people just keep building on it, until it’s so tall that NO book is going to be able to live up to that expectation. Which I think is sad, because maybe you would have liked it otherwise.
Sometimes, our favourite books are the ones nobody has ever heard of – we’re surprised they’re good, because we haven’t heard of them before, and because of that, we end up liking them even more.
(side note: does anyone remember this show? I used to love it! Welcome, welcome, welcome to the big blue house…)
Here are some examples of books where I fell into the trap of Skyscraper Syndrome:
1) Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
*wails* I’m so sorry, everyone! I tried to love it, I really did.
2) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
I read the first…four, I think? And I liked them a little, but to be honest, only because I felt like I had to.
3) This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
So many people love this author! I didn’t really enjoy this book at all.
4) If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Don’t get me wrong – I really did like this book. But I read reviews of how people were sobbing, how it changed their lives…I just feel like I missed something.
But here’s the thing: these books are by no means bad. Often, it’s more a reflection of the reader, not the writer. I mean, writers put a lot of effort into writing. I would know. I’m not even published and it takes a lot of effort.
And then there are the books where I’m so glad Skyscraper Syndrome didn’t affect me negatively. Books like:
– The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
– Harry Potter by J K Rowling
– The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
– Splintered and Unhinged by A G Howard
All of these books could have induced the dreaded Skyscraper Syndrome. They are all hyped to the point of ridiculousness. I’m not sure why it occurs, or which books it affects most. Maybe it’s to do with your mood at the time, or the movement of the planets. Maybe the genre or pet peeves. There are a million possibilities.
I don’t really think there’s a way around it, because people are always going to be recommending books for me, and for the most part, people’s suggestions are great.
Does Skyscraper Syndrome affect you?