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Feb 23, 2024

BookTok: The 10 Books TikTok Made us Read


TikTok has had its fair share of bad press, but one thing we’ll be eternally grateful for is the emergence of BookTok. BookTok is the reading community we’ve always wanted, with short videos sharing book recommendations, reviews and reading hacks. We must admit, we have been influenced and bought many a BookTok book. Here are the 10 best books that TikTok made us read.

What is BookTok?

BookTok, for the uninitiated, is an online reading community on the social media platform TikTok. It is filled with lots of short videos, reviewing books and making reading recommendations. It’s a great way to discover new books, authors and genres. Videos regularly rack up hundreds of thousands, if not millions of views, which shows just how pervasive it has become.

BookTok’s influence has grown so great that retailers like Amazon, The Works and Barnes & Noble even have a dedicated ‘BookTok Books’ category. Some literary snobs look down upon BookTok as over-commercialised, promoting poorly-written quick reads. Reading has gone from a leisurely pursuit to a challenge to get through book after book, at a speed that’s surely too fast to take anything in.

At WeBuyBooks, we completely disagree. BookTok has been a revelation for most, reintroducing them to the pleasure of reading. Not every novel has to be War & Peace. Nor does it have to change your life or challenge your way of thinking. Sometimes, a book can just be a book - give us a cheesy Rom-Com any day. We say anything that gets more people reading has to be good. After all, reading benefits your mental health and intellectual development.

As for the criticism of over-consumption, we might be able to help with that. Here at WeBuyBooks, we buy your old books and sell them to new readers. We’ll even buy them if they are second or third hand, as long as they meet our condition guidelines. It’s a more eco-friendly way of reading, as selling your old books means that a new book need not be made, reducing pollution from production, packaging and transport.

The 10 Best BookTok Books

We’ve read our fair share of BookTok books over the years, so we know a hit from a miss. Here are some of our favourite finds, which we hope you will enjoy too.

1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig


The Midnight Library is a beautiful novel, based on one simple premise: if you could do it all again, would you? Nora had the potential to do anything, but is desperately unhappy with how her life turned out. She ends up in the Midnight Library, where every book represents an alternative life. What would happen if she had just made different choices? Nora gets the chance to see. The perfect novel for anyone doing a bit of soul-searching.

2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood icon, who left the glamour of Tinseltown behind her many years ago. She is finally ready to recount her life story to an unknown journalist, who seizes the opportunity to propel her career. Evelyn’s life has been shaped by failed romances and a hunger to climb the Hollywood ladder, until finally she found happiness. An incredible novel which will completely absorb you into Evelyn’s world.

3. Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino


Before We Were Strangers captures the complexities of modern relationships. How simple miscommunication can pull people apart, even when they are desperately in love. Matt and Grace were each other’s first love and when they reconnect 15 years later, their lives may have changed but their feelings have not. A romance novel that we could truly connect with and root for; this might be one of BookTok’s best finds.

4. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs


What Lies Between Us is a dark psychological thriller; a compulsive read that will keep you enthralled throughout. Maggie and Nina are mother and daughter, who still live together and share dinner every night. Apart from when dinner is done, Nina takes Maggie back up to the attic where she is chained and locked away. Nina believes that what her mother did is unforgivable, whilst Maggie believes she only did what she must. The narrative switches between the two women, as it’s impossible to judge who is truly evil here.

5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


Set in Ancient Greece, The Song of Achilles is a retelling of the classic tale of The Iliad. The story follows Achilles and Patrocolus, and their budding relationship. Miller does not brush over hints of homosexuality, instead she invites us into their relationship, with all the beauty and heartache of any good love story. It isn’t just a romance novel though, as violence and war are shaping forces throughout. An excellent read for anyone interested in this time period.

6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


Perhaps the most famous BookTok books are Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series. This YA series can be enjoyed by adults as well, and follows Feyre as she is whisked into the land of faeries. Here, she faces love, loss, death and betrayal in this ever-popular series. An escape from reality if ever there were one.

7. If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin


Touted as a tear jerker, Nowlin manages to make you hope even when you know it is hopeless. Autumn and Finn have grown up together and then grown apart again. Hidden feelings and constant miscommunication will take you back to your teen years.

8. Twisted Series by Ana Huang


Ana Huang is a BookTok sensation, thanks to her steamy Twisted series that certainly got pulses racing. These are a series of 4 interconnected books, which can also be read on their own. They all follow a very similar sort of love story - a possessive antihero heartthrob with lots of spicy sex scenes. This series is definitely not PG.

9. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith


BookTok books don’t tend to shy away from tough subjects; The Way I Used to Be is one of those books. Eden is subject to a horrific rape, which shapes the next four years of her life. She hurts people, makes poor choices, but her behaviour is ultimately a symptom of trauma. It is an important look at how we treat victims of sexual assault and what more society can do to support them.

10. The Housemaid by Freida McFadden


Millie is in desperate need of a job when she is hired as a live-in nanny for the wealthy Winchesters. The mother, Nina, has her own problems, with moods that can change at the flip of a switch. Millie becomes the primary target of these moods, but is hiding her own secrets that make her more than fair game. This psychological thriller has plenty of twists and turns, and the maneuverings of the characters will keep you hooked throughout.

BookTok has been a blessing to bookworms everywhere, with hours of content available on our favourite subject. These are some of the best BookTok books we have read over the years, with many more likely to come in the future. We hope there is something for everyone here, from romance novels to psychological thrillers.

Once you have finished your BookTok books, sell them to us at WeBuyBooks for a sustainable way of reading and a bit of extra cash towards your next novel. Post for free and get paid the next day, just as soon as we receive your books.

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