BookTok: What’s Worth the Hype


Alexis Dorf

BookTok, TikTok’s niche stream of videos uniting readers on the app, has become the source of book recs for Gen Z readers. Specific authors and titles have gained traction on the app and have become extremely popular in the reading universe. BookTok sections can be found in libraries and bookstores across the country. While there are thousands of book recs on TikTok, the following list of BookTok books has been specifically curated to let you know what’s worth adding to your summer reading list and what’s totally overrated.


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Jenny Han, the author of the popular book series and Netflix original To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, has yet again delivered a light, warm, and adorable book series. Belly Conklin lives for summer. Every year when the weather gets hot, she visits her family friend’s beloved summer home, where she lives her favorite part of the year. Jeremiah and Conrad, the dreamy siblings whom she’s known forever, have been like brothers to Belly. But this summer is different because Belly is different. This coming of age novel is fluffy, cliche, and the perfect beach read. It’s certainly not a book for the anti-romance readers, but if you enjoy a light read, you will absolutely adore this book series! The characters will make you fall in love and the book will leave you eager to turn to the next page until the very end of the last book. Be sure to check out The Summer I Turned Pretty movie coming to Amazon Prime this summer!


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars follows the story of Cadence Sinclair, the eldest granddaughter in the wealthy Sinclair family, who benefits greatly from Grandfather Harris’ fortune and private island, where they spend their summers. This mysterious novel tells the story of Cadence, her friends known as ‘The Liars,” and Cadence’s tragic accident. Throughout the novel, Cadence pieces together the details of her accident and uncovers the dark truth about her family. Although the concept is clever, I found the writing to be choppy and fragmented. The book picked up popularity on TikTok because of the twist near the end. For me, the hype made the book feel extremely anticlimactic and honestly . . . boring. The whole book lacks the emotion that it so desperately tries to convey. Lockhart has talent for sure, but the lack of characterization made the book bland and unengaging. So if you’re still considering We Were Liars, I warned you–overrated.


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, delivered a brilliant and electric novel, Daisy Jones and the Six. This story follows the 1970s legendary rock group ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ and their infamous breakup, while perfectly illustrating the rock and roll era of the 60s and 70s. Reid crafted a touching story exposing readers to the harsh realities of the music industry. She plays with narration and point of view, which may take readers some time to adjust to, but the differing points of view add depth to the story. Sensitive topics, such as addiction, are prevalent throughout the novel. This book also has a heart-wrenching romance that is painful, inspiring, devastating, beautiful and powerful all at the same time. Evelyn Hugo fans should also keep their eyes peeled for special cameos and story overlaps! Taylor Jenkins Reid’s universe also overlaps into her book Malibu Rising!


November 9th by Coleen Hoover

What is a BookTok review without Colleen Hoover? Hoover has easily become the most popular author featured on BookTok, and her fans are extremely passionate about her work. I’ve read seven Hoover novels, and I can’t say that I feel the same way. Her novels are filled with fluff, smut, and clichés—I’ve predicted almost all of the endings. That being said, when a friend forced me to read November 9th, I wasn’t eager to begin, but to my surprise, I ended up loving the story. The entire book takes place on six November 9ths that span six years. Yes, the story is cliche, and I easily predicted some events, but a few unexpected plot twists added to the depth of this fast-paced story. If you loved Colleen’s most popular novel It Ends With Us, you’ll definitely enjoy this book, too. Although I enjoyed the story, I was not a fan of the male love interest, Ben. While his intentions were pure on the surface, he was a bit controlling and tended to objectify Fallon, the second protagonist. He constantly overstepped boundaries, which was very uncomfortable to read. But if you’re looking for a simple romance for the beach or pool, I would totally recommend November 9th.