Why You Should Be On BookTok

TikTok isn’t just for funny memes and questionable dance videos, it’s for…books now? BookTok is the side of TikTok that all bookworms should know about and here’s three books to show you why.

I am one of the millions of people who love Tiktok. I spend hours scrolling through the short videos, sometimes learning, and always amused. I’ve started to discover different sides of TikTok. There’s the food side, full of recipes and delicious-looking dishes. The television side is filled with different edits of TV shows. And then there’s the book side, aptly named: BookTok. This side of TikTok discusses literature, bookish opinions, and recommendations. I’ve been on BookTok for a good while now and I will continually save the recommendations for future reference. I’ve gathered a good amount of recommendations and have just begun to read them. I chose three frequent BookTok books and read them. The three books I ended up choosing were “Beach Read” by Emily Henry, “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood, and “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne. Each of these books has a strong element of banter despite having different underlying tropes. I wanted to rate each book, talk about why I liked them, and where each of them stands in the grand scheme of it all.

Starting with the third-place book; “The Hating Game.” Ironically, I read this book first out of the three. I was initially very excited to read it because it was marketed as an enemies-to-lovers office romance. The main character of the book is Lucy Hutton, an assistant at a publishing company. Her “enemy” is Joshua Templeton, a co-assistant. When they both get a chance for a promotion, their already strained relationship comes to a head. There is less of a central plot and just moments of them getting closer as the story progresses. To be completely honest, it lands a little flat. It is full of cliches like Josh taking care of Lucy when she gets sick. As a romance novel, it’s a very simplistic easy-to-read story. There are cute moments and a sense of completion when they finally get together. However, there are better books out there. I don’t regret reading it, but it was definitely a low-caliber novel for me. I think that when I first read it I did consider it a good read but compared to the other two, it falls flat.

My second place book is “The Love Hypothesis.” I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. The story follows Stanford PhD student Olive Smith and a professor in the department, Adam Carlsen after she kisses Carlsen to convince her best friend that she is in a relationship. The two enter a fake relationship that starts to feel a bit too real, acting as the plot’s main fuel. One of the best things about “The Love Hypothesis” is that it managed to tackle really important subject matter in the frame of a lighthearted romance novel. Olive deals with the death of her mom, finding confidence in herself, and sexual harassment within the scientific community. Her best friend Ahn is Vietnamese and fights for people of color in STEM fields. Her roommate Malcolm is a fellow scientist and is gay. He provides moments of comic relief and is there for Olive to confide in. These hints of the book mirroring our reality recognizable real-life make the story feel more genuine and more entrancing to read. Meanwhile, the love story between Olive and Adam was really fun to read. We get to watch as the pair get to know each other while being placed in absurd situations that force intimacy. They meet for coffee once a week, having connecting conversations. Olive is forced onto Adam’s lap in a crowded lecture hall. The love that authentically grows feels sweet and it offers a really satisfying conclusion. One of the nice things about “The Love Hypothesis” is that it’s self-aware. It is a cheesy romance novel, but through the cliches, there is an endearing and heartwarming story.

Finally, the book that was my number one was “Beach Read.” This book follows January Andrews, a romance novelist. She just moved to a small beach town in Michigan in the wake of her father’s death, her discovery that her father cheated on her mother, and the end of her five-year relationship with her boyfriend. Her world feels upended and she can’t find any motivation to write her classic “happily ever afters.” Her situation is becoming dire until she discovers that her neighbor is Augustus “Gus” Everett, a literary fiction novelist and her old college classmate. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and make a bet that they can write the other’s genre better. January finds a unique sense of motivation in this bet. The two have a playful rivalry both due to their past and their current professions. There is an underlying second chance romance in this book as well because we become aware that they have a history together. “Beach Read” has the most depth out of the three. It feels like more than a romance, even while focusing on the relationship between Gus and January. The complexity of musings on death and how it can affect us enriches the story. Additionally, we get this brilliant banter between the couple as they traipse through little adventures to get into the mindset of each other’s genres. For Gus, one adventure consists of visiting the site of a suicide cult. For January, one adventure has them go line dancing. It’s a really fun premise and the love that develops between them feels inevitable and lovely. I think the writing that Emily Henry does in “Beach Read” is special. It is this beautiful intersection of contemplation of life and a heartfelt love story.

I’m thrilled at the concept of finding my book recommendations from BookTok. I think that taking ideas from the masses has its pros and cons. With these three books, I’ve been introduced to two new authors I enjoy and three stories that I’m glad to have read. BookTok is my new way to find books.

Image courtesy of The Mary Sue.

3 thoughts on “Why You Should Be On BookTok

  1. I can definitely say that one of my favorite works is Antigone. In addition to the original, I have also read many different reviews and essays about this work in order to better understand it from all sides, to grasp the references that I could not immediately grasp. It helped me a lot that I found essays on Antigone and see here to learn more. Therefore, I think that many students including this will be most useful. Good luck.

  2. After authentication, you can create lists of books that you want to read some day, favorite quotes from novels, or just make notes on books that strike your fancy while browsing online catalogs or in real bookstores.

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