Best of 'BookTok': Check out these 4 page-turners
Content warning: This article contains mentions of or references to eating disorders, abuse and addiction.
If you're a reader as well as a TikTok user, you're most likely aware of "BookTok" and everything it has to offer. With discussions, debates, comments, reviews and recommendations, the literary side of TikTok is flooded with information about the best (and worst) books to read.
Even though there are thousands of books discussed in this digital book club, the platform and its creators seem to circle around the same list of divisive literature that people either love or hate.
As a member of BookTok myself, I know tons of books on people's recommendation lists that fail to impress when they're actually cracked open. But there are still a few gems worth the hype the internet gives them.
Here are some worth-it BookTok books that have won all the attention they are getting.
"They Both Die at the End" by Adam Silvera
"They Both Die at the End" has been one of BookTok's most popular and discussed books since it was published, and in my opinion, it does deserve the praise it constantly gets.
The main characters, teenage boys Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio, live in a pretty normal but slightly science fiction-influenced world where a company called Death-Cast lets you know that you are going to die in the next 24 hours.
After both boys receive notice of their deaths, they meet through an app and decide to spend their last day on Earth together, despite being complete strangers.
This young adult romance-meets-science-fiction book not only opens up discussions on topics such as mortality and human connection, but it also touches on teenage romance and the concept of a chosen family, all through the eyes of two teenage boys on the brink of death.
Moreover, even though the book's title makes the plot seem straightforward, Adam Silvera manages to take readers through an unexpected emotional rollercoaster. One can't help but put themselves in the places of Mateo and Rufus and root for their happiness during the short hours they have left — and maybe cry a little bit.
"An Absolutely Remarkable Thing" by Hank Green
Besides being a scientist, internet sensation and having 7.5 million followers on Tiktok, Hank Green is also an incredible author. His science fiction novel, "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing," centers around April May, a young woman living in New York City.
One day, April comes across a giant metal sculpture in the middle of Manhattan that seemingly showed up out of nowhere. She lovingly names the sculpture "Carl."
When multiple "Carls" begin appearing in major cities worldwide, April becomes the protagonist of one of humanity's biggest mysteries, completely changing her life and history.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is how the main character is heavily flawed and undergoes unlikely character development throughout the plot. Green manages to create amazing character arcs, showing us that real people have real problems and that it's okay to disagree with the protagonist.
Besides that, this entire book is a spectacle. It mixes many topics such as social media, the influencer world, conspiracy theories, relationships, the future of the Earth and most importantly, humanity and what it means to be human.
I'm not a big science fiction fan, but this book took me by surprise. You never truly expect what's going to happen, and every new discovery makes your heart skip a beat. I couldn't recommend it more.
"I'm Glad My Mom Died" by Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy's memoir came out in 2022 and quickly became a BookTok sensation. The book covers many dark topics, and readers are aware that themes like eating disorders, abuse and addictions appear throughout.
With a straightforward title and stories that relate to every child growing up in the 2000s, "I'm Glad My Mom Died" is definitely a must-read within the celebrity autobiography genre.
The hilarious yet heartbreaking book touches on several aspects of the "iCarly" star's life, the exploitation of child actors and, of course, McCurdy's abusive relationship with her mother.
Getting bathed by her mother until she was 17 years old, being introduced to anorexia as a way to delay her period so she could get younger roles and not being allowed to be a child are just some of the memories that McCurdy shares about her mom in this intense autobiography.
Besides that, the former child actor opens up about her past with bulimia and alcoholism in her 20s, how she dealt with resenting her mother and missing the identity that was stolen from her as a child. McCurdy's memoir is extraordinary. It may not be an easy read, but it's definitely a powerful one.
"The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides
Since Alex Michaelides' murder mystery was released in 2019, the thrill-seeking side of BookTok can't seen to get enough of it. The book follows Theo Faber, a psychotherapist obsessed with helping one of his patients, Alicia Berenson, a famous painter that shot her husband five times in the face and has been silent ever since.
While Alicia is in the psychiatric hospital, Theo discovers that her life was far from the perfect image she showed the world as he digs up the mystery that widowed his patient.
With Theo as the narrator uncovering diary entries from Alicia's life with her husband, the plot of Michaelides' book leaves nothing to be desired. It has twists and turns, and nothing can be predicted — especially the mind-blowing ending.
Besides that, the way the book is structured with therapy sessions, diary entries and a precise release of information makes it the perfect suspenseful read. One that once you pick up, you will not be able to stop thinking about until the end. That's a promise. BookTok books get a lot of flack, but these are the ones that I think are truly worth all of the hype they get. If you're trying to get into BookTok recommendations or reading in general, these four novels will grip you until the end. So next time you're at a bookstore or your local library, pick up a copy and add these to your "To Be Read" list.