Apparently, anything that’s trending on TikTok is starting to trend in the real world. The way people dress, the foods people eat, and people’s humor have all been greatly influenced by the social media platform. In September, the company announced that “more than a billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained by learning, laughing or discovering something new.” Which means the daily lives of over a billion people could be impacted by a short video. This has certainly remained true for many people when it comes to reading books.
BookTok has become an app phenomenon, and it’s certainly growing in popularity. It all started when users simply posted about books: their thoughts, opinions, and recommendations. As this type of content became more popular, BookTok was created. BookTok is a combination of “Book” and “TikTok”. The tens of thousands of videos posted under the hashtag “#BookTok” have amassed over 31.7 billion views! The community on TikTok has gotten so many people reading or coming back to reading, and if that’s you, you might be wondering which BookTok books are really worth it and which aren’t? Here’s what I think.
The selection by Kiera Cass
The Selection is the first book in a series of five books for young adults set in a dystopian world. The story first follows America Singer as a young girl growing up in futuristic Illeá, the United States of America transformed into an abusive monarchy. She grew up poor due to the country’s caste system, so when she was given the opportunity to marry the prince through a process called “selection”, her mother jumped on it and bribed her into entering. . From there, it’s history.
While not the most complex piece of writing, the series, and specifically The Selection, remains an all-time favorite. Surprisingly unpredictable, I fell in love with characters like Maxon and Marlee. I finished all 5 books in less than two days, I was so obsessed. Heartbreak, romance, and suspense pull you in. Not to mention the twists that I did not expect. A truly fantastic read, I would recommend the book to almost any teenager.
It ends with us by Colleen Hoover
Before reading the book, I strongly suggest researching its trigger warnings.
It Ends With Us is a story about running away from domestic violence. The story follows protagonist Lily Bloom, an aspiring entrepreneur living in Boston. The book returns from his childhood to the present day. Shortly after her father’s funeral, she meets a charming neurosurgeon, Ryle Kincaid, on a rooftop. The two had undeniable chemistry, but after realizing they didn’t have what the other wanted, they went their separate ways until six months later. When Lily meets Ryle at her new flower shop, their relationship begins to blossom, until it no longer does.
For the first time in a long time, I couldn’t put down a book. This story captivated me in every possible way. I absolutely loved it. At first I was obsessed with this new boy, Ryle, then it was Lily’s letters to Ellen, then the escape trip. There was always something new coming that I could like. The author, Colleen Hoover, does an excellent job of describing Lily’s abuse and feelings. Additionally, the book provides insight into what it is like to grow up in a household where the father has frequently abused the mother. That’s what really made the book special. It Ends With Us is a heartbreaking novel that I think everyone should read at least once in their life.
The people we meet on vacation by Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation is a slow-burn romance novel centered on two best friends: Poppy Wright and Alex Nilsen. The two met in college at the University of Chicago, and they didn’t know they were from the same part of Ohio. Their friendship led to vacations every summer for about a decade, until their disastrous visit to Croatia. Two years apart later, Poppy longs to rekindle the friendship they once had. When Alex agrees, the two friends can reconnect while sparking something new, or at least what readers thought was new.
I think my problem with this book is that I set my expectations way too high. TikTok users called the story “the best book I’ve read in 2021” and “it touched every part of my soul.” When that didn’t happen to me, I was disappointed. This book just didn’t have “that” for me. As mentioned before, it’s a slow-paced novel, which isn’t my favorite style. The writing was good, the characters were interesting, and the plot was good. The book was just good, not great. For almost everything the author gave the impression that what happened in Croatia was horrible and the end of the world, but when I found out what happened I thought the reaction was idiot. Even though I didn’t enjoy the book like I have others, there were times when I enjoyed it, so I would say, give it a try if you want.
We were liars by E. Lockhart
We Were Liars is a young adult novel that follows Cadence Sinclair, a teenage girl who is the granddaughter of a wealthy man. Along with her extended family, Cadence spends every summer on a private island where she has bonded with her cousins over the years. The Sinclairs are seemingly perfect, but in reality, they are far from it. Cadence’s own history proves it. After suffering a head injury one summer, her world is turned upside down.
This book both moved and shocked me. There are readers on both sides of the spectrum; some loved the book and some didn’t. I’m on the latter of the two. I didn’t like this story. I didn’t fully understand its plot and concepts. When the big secret was finally revealed, I was left dumbfounded, but the book’s previous lack of entertainment determined my feelings about this story. The story has done a good job of portraying “perfect” families while dissecting what’s really going on behind the scenes. It’s really a hit or miss with this one.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna was about to enter her senior year of high school in Atlanta, her world turned upside down when her father forced her to go to boarding school in Paris. When she is found crying in her dorm by her neighbor Meredith, she is consoled and, the next morning, is asked to sit with Meredith’s friends. Anna becomes more familiar with French culture and her boys. In particular, Étienne St. Clair, the school idol and member of his new group of friends. The two are going through a whirlwind of experiences together throughout their senior year, and Anna can only hope for the best.
On BookTok it’s not the most popular book, it has its core group of hidden fans, so I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon it. If I remember correctly, I think I read this book overnight. It was so good. Not the most well-written compared to the other books on this list, it was still a sweet and charming story. Throughout the novel, I wanted to be Anna as I sought her success. He was an interesting character and a great protagonist. If you ask anyone who’s French, they’ll probably tell you that the cultural aspect of this book isn’t necessarily accurate, but nonetheless, taking place in France is what brought the story to life. An endearing and adorable tale, I would recommend this book to all lovers of romance.
Well, that’s all for now, and it’s only 5 books! Rory Gilmore once said, “I live in two worlds. One is a world of books.”, and I think this quote applies more and more to my everyday life. I have been privileged to be exposed to so many wonderful books through BookTok , and I look forward to reading, exploring, reviewing, and sharing even more books.