I have to admit, booktok has had a huge influence on me. Booktok is a domain controlled by bookworms and readers. In the past few months, I have only taken book recommendations from booktok. I think Tiktokers do a splendid job of convincing readers to invest their time and money in a book. If you have been a part of the “booktok made me read it” trend, you are definitely not alone. I personally cherished this experience because booktok has suggested a lot of amazing picks and the top books, out of which some are now my favorite!
TikTok may not be an obvious target for getting book recommendations, since it is an app that serves mostly short videos regarding dance, fashion, cooking, makeup, and such. But many popular Tiktoks are under the #booktok hashtag. However, some popular booktok books have highly disappointed me, considering the publicity they got. Everyone has a different taste in books, which is understandable. But some of the books were overhyped.
Here are my unfiltered and honest reviews on #Booktok books: Yay or nay?
“Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Burdugo
Starting off with a good review, shadow and bone was definitely worth the hype. Alina, a lonely orphan, discovers her power that could destroy the Shadow fold. The shadow fold is covered with darkness and inexplicable creatures that feed on humans. I was a bit scared to pick up this book since it is a fantasy series with a lot of world-building in it. Even though it was difficult to understand the plot from the first few chapters, it gradually progressed and became really interesting! I immediately fell in love with each and every character. (Spoiler alert: not the darkling though). Leigh Burdugo did a fabulous job at producing dialogues. Shadow and bone series are very fast-paced and can probably get you out of a reading slump!
“Six of crows” by Leigh Burdugo
It is the fantasy queen again. Six of crows duology is a series based on the same world-building as “Shadow and Bone”, although the characters from both of the series do not interact. Six criminals in a money heist. When I first started reading Six of crows, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish it because, just like it was for Shadow and Bone, the first couple of chapters are definitely mystifying and unfathomable. But regardless of that difficulty, the characters are so easy to love and understand. Leigh is an amazing writer and I love how she gives a story and meaning behind the characters. Another book completely worth your time and money!
“The invisible life of Addie Larue” by V.E Schwab
Booktok was very wrong about this book. I have noticed many teens and adults have enjoyed this book. However, it was devastating to read. Starting off with the good: the writing was immaculate. It was truly beautiful and the author uses a lot of imagery which allows readers to effortlessly visualize what was happening. The main idea of the plot was very interesting. A girl makes a menacing deal with God in which she trades her soul for immortality and freedom. I was very excited to pick up this book but it did not live up to my hype, or the hype it got from booktok. The plot was extremely slow-paced. Only the last 100 pages managed to pique my interest. It was completely unnecessary for this book to have 448 pages. And the ending was quite disappointing too.
“The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black
Jude, a human girl living among faeries, but her determination to become a knight and to fit in makes her stand out in the faerie world. The sole reason for me to read this trilogy was mainly the romance. Out of all the romance and enemies to lovers book recommendations on booktok, The Cruel Prince was definitely popular. The hype was, however, futile. Because of the attention, it got from booktok readers, I assumed I would enjoy it too. I usually have a whale of a time reading fast-moving plots and when they are under 400 pages, so this book was quite enjoyable in that sense. But, the plot was weak. There was no character development or growth. Nevertheless, this is one of the books where the plot actually matches the title! The prince was unquestionably cruel. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars if I were to rate it because it was not my type of reading, but it’s great for beginners who want to read fantasy.
“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard
I have a lot to say about this book. This book started out just fine. Royals who are Silvers with superpowers are known to be superior to the lower class servants. Mare, a girl from the lower class who is also a red, discovers her own unique powers. I mean that sounds pretty cool. But it gets worse. This is the first book in the series and it was not terrible. However, it got drastically worse by the second book. I could not get myself to finish even halfway through. Just like The invisible life of Addie Larue, Red Queen was extremely slow. The world-building was too basic and we weren’t provided with enough information. There was little to no action in the first half of the book. I really tried to like this book but it was impossible.
“Shatter me” by Tahereh Mafi
If I read the reviews on this one before reading it, I would probably not read it. From all the reviews I have read, it tells me that not many people liked it. But here’s my opinion: I liked it. The first line really hooked me. “I have been locked up for 264 days”. I mean, come on. How could you not be bewildered after reading that sentence? I picked up this book in order to get out of a 2-year reading slump and it served the purpose. I finished it in one day because of how fast the plot was moving. The second book, “Ignite me”, is the best one out of this series. The romance is great. The protagonist is a bit annoying but there was a lot of character development there. The ending did not disappoint me. This series does not deserve the hate it gets.
“The silent patient” by Alex Michaelides
I want to end this article with a good review of my favorite and the most loved book. The Silent Patient is a psychological thriller with a plot twist. This was the first-ever thriller book I ever read and, honestly, now I’m highly encouraged to read more books in this genre. Alicia Berenson is a famous painter and she was known more for the killing of her husband, Gabriel, than for her artwork. The book starts off great, mysterious, and intriguing instantly. All the characters had some background story that was somehow connected to the murder. I could never have guessed the truth. The silent patient kept me fascinated from beginning to end. This book was also very educational in the means of psychology because I learned a lot of interesting facts. I absolutely adore this book and can never stop recommending it.