I know it seems like TikTok has become universally frowned upon by many individuals, but in my experience I have found that there is at least one educational experience you can get out of it. That would be… drum-roll please… “BookTok”. Barnes & Noble describes it as “a hashtag used by creators who feature book recommendations, reviews and memes.” Last summer, I made it my mission to read all the well-acclaimed books, and I would now love nothing more than to share my personal favorites with all of you!
People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
Who doesn’t love a good friends-to-lovers trope? This compelling summer read focuses on Poppy and Alex, two college friends who meet up for one week every year to take a trip together. The story takes place over a span of ten years, with each chapter primarily being a new year closer to the present. You will find yourself slowly falling in love with Henry’s characters throughout the duration of this book. Poppy, a strong, witty, vivacious, adventurous soul who loves to live life to the fullest. Alex, a wholesome, bright, sincere, shy man who loves nothing more than to have fun with his friend, Poppy. This dynamic duo couldn’t be more different, yet there isn’t a pair more right for each other. *Spoiler Alert*: This story is a slow-burn. It takes a very long time for these two friends to confess their feelings for each other. If you are not a fan of drawn-out love stories, then you might find yourself a little antsy. However, I promise you that the end is definitely worth the wait!
5 out of 5 stars.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Let’s hear it for the one… the only…Twilight!! If I’m being honest, I believe this story is an iconic and visionary work of literature and film that deserves all the attention it receives. I won’t lie to you, I watched the movies first (How dare I? I know you should always read the books first). However, I am still captivated by how Meyer broke down the romance between Bella and Edward. Although it can be a little cliché and melodramatic at times, it still has the star-crossed lovers theme that we all yearn for. Sadly, the only aspect about the book that does not captivate me are the characters themselves. If I may be blunt, they’re not overly-likable characters, at least for me. Now, I’m not trying to criticize Twilight, quite the contrary. I am a huge fan, (Team Edward all the way!) but nothing about their individual characters has me hooked. Overall, I am truly enchanted by the romantic story line. I don’t think it moves too quickly or feels artificial. Supernatural elements mixed with a compelling romance makes this book a captivating read.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
*This book includes some distressing and disturbing scenes*
Colleen Hoover- who, after reading about seven of her novels, has become my new favorite author- is known for her poignant, heart-wrenching story lines. Her tales will move you in such a way that you are truly able to feel the character’s emotions alongside them. The protagonist, Lily Bloom, (an ironic, yet adorable name) moves to Boston to escape her past and start fresh. But someone from her past, the sweet and sensitive Atlas, whom she knew from high school is someone she can’t forget. Along the way of settling down in the new city, Lily also meets a neurosurgeon named Ryle. Hoover is able to truly brings her readers on a journey through various intense and heartbreaking themes. She writes with so much expression, granting her audience a feeling akin to seeing a scene play out before your very eyes. Every story is authentic and touching, but this one especially. I would give this book a 4.5 stars because of the abstract characters, the realistic themes, and the bittersweet journey of self-love Hoover takes her readers on.
4.5 out of 5 stars
I encourage everyone to check out “BookTok”. Prior to last summer, I fell into a major reading slump. But as soon as I discovered the exciting world of “BookTok”, I was catapulted back. These books made me fall in love with reading again. Maybe you will too… (I hope you do!)