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WHIRLWIND

The Student News Site of West Albany High School

WHIRLWIND

The Student News Site of West Albany High School

WHIRLWIND

Social Read-ia: A Tasting Of The Most Popular “BookTok” Books

Are these viral titles really worth the read?
Social+Read-ia%3A+A+Tasting+Of+The+Most+Popular+BookTok+Books

What Is “BookTok?”

“BookTok,” a term coined by TikToker/bookworms around the beginning of COVID-19, is a tiny corner of the Internet lar

gely inhabited by young female readers. According to WordsRater, “BookTok” has racked up over 181.7 billion views as of September 2023, having astronomical impacts on book sales and popularity worldwide. “Influencers” in the community create a wide variety of content, ranging from recommendations, reviews, and “Read-With-Mes” to promotions of personalwriting, jokes about literary tropes, and snippets of books that leave commenters begging for the title. Due to the growing

 popularity of the community, books such as those reviewed below have gained millions of unlikely readers. Needless to say, “BookTok” is just another of the many ways in which social media has transformed the face of content consumption. Below are reviews of five of the most popular BookTok books, complete with ratings on a scale of 1-10 stars.

 

It Ends With Us

Helen Whiteside

★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

 

From a plot perspective, It Ends With Us is a twisted and shocking rollercoaster of emotions that keeps the reader turning pages like there’s no tomorrow. The auth

or, Colleen Hoover, has become a household name in the world of romance novelists, and It Ends With Us is undoubtedly her most viral and popular

book. However, the book contains a concerning amount of graphic content, including multiple forms of domestic violence and other possibly triggering types of

content for sensitive readers. The story follows Lily, an aspiring business owner, her newly made best friend, and a messy love triangle. The end may leave some feeling unsettled and unsatisfied, even with a small sense of doom (which I personally experienced). All in all, the book may very well be “over-hyped”… I found myself getting bored multiple times and crying for all the wrong reasons. However, if you love gut-wrenching romance with raw pain and real-life emotion, this book may be for you.

 

They Both Die At The End

A’Shyia Swensen

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera creates lots of emotion in the reader. It can be hard to read a story where the main characters are easy to get attached to, but you read with the knowledge that something bad will happen to them. However, I did find myself rooting for the protagonists to find understanding in each other despite their different situations, and isn’t that what love is all about? Even though the sort of suburban and quick paced story isn’t really my cup of tea and I usually prefer “slow-burn,” it was fun to read anyways. The book is awesome for those seeking a love story that isn’t straight and white. Though it’s sad, the positive message and the connection the two characters find in each other saves it from feeling too doom and gloom.

 

A Court Of Thorns And Roses

A’Shyia Swensen

★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is, in my opinion, very overhyped. Honestly if i’m being brutal, Shrek 3 was better fantasy than this. It’s a fantasy romance with a fairy guy (if you’re into that). The main character is not very memorable, and the love interest seems too pushy. In terms of plot, the fantasy takes a backseat to the love story, which I didn’t have much investment in anyway. I felt that their feelings developed much too quickly for the reader to be satisfied. When I was done with the novel, I felt like I was in a cloudy haze and could only remember hazy pieces of plot and romance. All in all, it was kind of…meh. (Also, really really not as “spicy” as the BookTok people say. I’ve read better fanfiction.)

 

The Love Hypothesis

Helen Whiteside

★★★★★★★☆☆☆

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is a very cute, (although somewhat predictable) story of a PhD student named Olive, a young professor at her university whom nearly every student despises, and their very messy relationship. The two wind up fake-dating in true romance novel style, meeting one another’s friends and ignoring some non-fake feelings. Partway through the book, an insane and disgusting plot twist occurs, sending Olive spiraling. Thanks to her wonderful support system of well developed friends, she comes out stronger than ever before. I found the novel sweet, satisfying, heart-warming, and easy to read; everything a good romance novel should be. If you like nerdy romance, science, and strong female leads, you’ll likely appreciate this cute book just like I did.

In October of 2022, the book was announced as being adapted into a movie!

 

The Hating Game

A’Shyia Swensen

★★★★★★★★★☆

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne has one of those covers that is so cheesy and generic, which is easy to hate. I really enjoyed the progression of the story: I hate it when something is marketed as a romance book but the romance is so thinly spread. I like how the plot is incorporated but ultimately the book centralizes on the two characters and their scenes. It does what it advertises, and I couldn’t put it down. A great speed read with a lot of funny parts that I actually found myself laughing at for real. There are some cringe-worthy parts, and I think the short girl, tall guy trope is a bit overdone, but you take what you can get.

In some scenes in particular, the dialogue is a bit questionable, particularly when a dress was described as “slit wrist red”. Overall, I would recommend The Hating Game because when it’s bad it’s bad, but when it’s good it’s great. Also, the main character was 28 which I felt was a nice touch because you don’t get a large representation of romances with that age group when you’re a teen. The pace was awesome and I was never bored with the storyline.

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About the Contributor
Helen Whiteside
Helen Whiteside, Editor In Chief
Helen Whiteside is in her third year on staff and is currently serving as Editor In Chief specializing in theme and design. Whiteside has served as Reader Engagement Co-Director and Special Report Editor in the past. She enjoys graphic design within journalism, and hopes to further her skills in the area this year.
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