Influencers in the reading community have found a startling amount of success creating bookish content on various social media platforms. We’ve seen Bookstagram and BookTube, but the latest craze in the reading world is BookTok. It’s nothing more than a popular hashtag on TikTok, but it is home to many book recommendations and discussions.
Here are 10 books BookTok can’t stop raving about right now:
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
- One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- Shadow and Bone/Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
- Harry Potter (any of them) by J.K. Rowling
The content of BookTok is not contained to just one genre or type of books. There is something for everyone: various genres, old books, new books, popular books, underrated books, etc. Let’s take a closer look at the most recommended reads on BookTok at the moment.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This is by far the most frequently recommended book on TikTok. It’s a young adult mystery that follows a group of friends on a private island. The typical suggestion for this book is to go into it with as little information as possible. It has been around for almost a decade now, but its popularity has not ceased in the slightest.
Just know that a lot of bad things go down and that the ending tends to wreck people’s emotions. A lot of people say that they’re in a state of shock after finishing this book, so choose the time you’re going to read it carefully.
While you shouldn’t know much about this book before reading it, there is one common tagline associated with it that you should know: “If anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of this book or maybe even the movie adaptation. During the Nazi occupation in Germany, specifically in 1939, the practice of burning books was common. The story follows a young girl named Liesel who begins to steal books before they are burned so she can attempt to learn how to read. Life gets even more dangerous when her family decides to harbor a Jew in their basement.
Another interesting aspect about this book is that it’s narrated by Death. Death is an actual character (although not a physical one) and the story is told from Death’s point of view. This can cause some confusion for readers, and not everyone enjoys that it was written this way, but it is what makes the story unique. Also, if it wasn’t clear already, this is another incredibly sad book.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
You read that title correctly. The main characters both, in fact, do die at the end of the book. In this society, you receive a Death-Cast on the day of your death to let you know that it is your last day of life. Mateo and Rufus receive their Death-Casts on the same day and meet for the first time through an app called Last Friend. These two strangers meet up and attempt to live a fulfilling final day of life.
Even though you know what’s ultimately going to happen to the characters, it still ends up being a heartbreaking story. While it is a sad read, it is also beautiful in many ways and has LGBTQ+ representation.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Here we have another young adult mystery about five students that go into detention, but one never comes back out. Simon, the school gossip who was about to reveal the secrets of the other four students in detention, is murdered, presumably by one of the students.
This is certainly the type of story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it’s not too heavy of a read. It’s a pretty standard murder mystery type of story, although it’s still a good book. It also has a sequel entitled One of Us Is Next, so check that out if you enjoy this first book.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
I don’t see this one recommended as often as some of the others on this list, but every recommendation I’ve seen for it has been incredibly passionate, so it still deserves to be included. This book sounds incredible for so many reasons.
Emilia and her twin sister are secret witches, but one-night Emilia discovers that her twin has been brutally murdered. On a mission to find the killer and seek vengeance, she meets Wrath, one of the Wicked and princes of Hell. He claims he is there to help, but Emilia has a hard time determining whether or not this is true.
All the people I’ve seen talk about this book mention that they read it all within a couple of days because of how amazing it was. It also contains a well-written enemies-to-lovers storyline, which has become increasingly popular as of late. While only the first book has been released as of now, the second book in the series is expected to be released later this year.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
BookTok loves emotional stories, and this book fits into that category quite well. This book follows the story of two people who are brought together due to the tragic circumstances of war in Afghanistan. It’s a very moving story written by the author of The Kite Runner, so you know it’s going to hit hard. If you’re not into fantasy or want something a little more real, not to mention meaningful, then this book is for you.
Shadow and Bone/Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo is responsible for both the GrishaVerse trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. The GrishaVerse trilogy follows Alina Starkov as she discovers new powers and joins the Grisha which is led by the enigma known as the Darkling. The Six of Crows duology follows a crew of six thieves with various backgrounds as they embark on a daring heist. Both series take place in the same universe, although at different times.
The duology has been more well-received than the trilogy for the most part, but both are important and loved for what they are. Bardugo is also in the process of creating another series that ties together these two previous series. However, the main reason her books are so popular right now is that they have been adapted into a Netflix series that is coming out in April 2021, so now is the perfect time to pick these books up!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This book, of course, is inspired by the Greek myth of Achilles and the Trojan War. Patroclus is a real character in Greek mythology and is known to be the best friend of Achilles. However, this book explores the theory that perhaps Achilles and Patroclus were more than just best friends. This is another heartbreaking story, which I’m sure you would have already guessed if you know anything about Achilles.
Madeline Miller does a great job writing about Greek mythology from fresh perspectives. Another popular book she has written, also inspired by Greek mythology, is Circe. If you don’t know, Circe was a character briefly mentioned in The Odyssey. In that story, she is seen as a villain, but Madeline Miller’s story displays her in a different, less villainous light. Both books are perfect choices for anyone at all interested in Greek mythology, so if this is you, give them a try.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Addie LaRue accidentally makes a deal that causes her to become immortal. She is also burdened with the fact that no one will ever be able to remember her or her name…until someone does. After 300 years, a young man in a bookstore remembers her, and this changes everything.
BookTok has really been raving about this one, and I’m not surprised, especially since it’s written by V.E. Schwab. She is known for writing a lot of really amazing adult fantasies with complex and intriguing characters. This book seems to be no exception.
Harry Potter (any of them) by J.K. Rowling
Unsurprisingly, the Harry Potter series is ridiculously popular on TikTok. It seems to be the one book series everyone has had at least some experience with. It has maintained its popularity for many years now, and that fact doesn’t seem like it will change anytime soon. The world of Harry Potter is certainly successful at drawing readers in and making them feel like they’re at Hogwarts themselves. The Harry Potter series is great for when you need a distraction or just want to be sucked into another world.