Perhaps the most influential thing in our expenditure as of right now is TikTok, and it’s been like this for quite some time. Ranging from makeup dupes to luxury bags, shoes, outfits, and home furniture, TikTok’s got a retail niche for almost everyone, now including book lovers. And I’ll admit, at first, I was dubious of the books going viral, but then the vivacious reactions and aesthetically pleasing covers of the books got the better of me, maybe for the best, because some books on this list rank extremely high in my all-time personal favourites. So, without further ado, here are the best books that Tik Tok recommended to me, and why they hold such a special place in my heart.
1. The Seven husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(TW: abuse, death, and substances)
Genre: Historical fiction, Hollywood glamour
My rating: 5/5
Summary: When reclusive Hollywood bombshell Evelyn Hugo chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to tell her life story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. And so, Monique learns more and more about Evelyn’s life story, her challenges, experiences, and, more importantly, her 7 husbands that made Evelyn the person she is. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to Evelyn, but, it becomes clear that Evelyn’s life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Why you should read it: This is my favourite book of all time. I’m convinced that it’s going to be very hard to knock this book off my high ranking because it is that good. Jenkins does a phenomenal job transporting you to the glamorous era of old Hollywood and tells the story of Evelyn beautifully through intricately wrapped hardships and fragile plot points that lead to a beautifully tragic plot twist. As the book progresses, we get a glimpse of Evelyn’s life and career as a segment of each of her marriages and learn who her one true love was. The book was easy to devour in one sitting and left me heartbroken and sobbing, yet smiling at the end of it. At times you hate Evelyn and at other times you simply love her, and even though this is the story of one woman, you see the entirety of Hollywood through her words.
My favourite quote: “Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”
2. The silent patient by Alex Michealides
(TW: abuse and death)
Genre: thriller and suspense
Summary: on the outside, it seems as if Alicia Berenson has a perfect life and a perfect marriage. But one night, she shoots her husband Gabriel 5 times in the face, never to speak another word again. Determined to find out why, Theo, a criminal psychotherapist, jumps on the opportunity to interact with her, unaware of the unraveling consequences of taking him down a twisting path into his motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.
Why you should read it: while the initial buildup seemed slow, this book had me turning pages from page 1. Told from a dual POV and filled with intricate symbolism, Michael Eades does a brilliant job of highlighting the various struggles both Alicia and Theo go through, and makes us sympathize with their past sins. We get an insight into Theo’s analysis and Alicia’s thoughts(told through her diary)and as you get closer to the truth, you discover you’re much further away. The plot twist had my jaw on the floor and made me re-read the book to see if I could pick up on it again. This book is unlike any other thriller ever, as you end up sympathizing with the villain and meet an end that has you on the edge of your seat. A must-read for anyone starting with thriller books.
My favourite quote: “We’re all crazy, I believe, just in different ways.”
3. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
(TW: sexual assault and death)
Genre: academia, romance, fake dating(grumpy x sunshine)
My rating: 4.7/5
Summary: The Love Hypothesis centers on Olive Smith, a PhD student who is determined and headstrong. Then, as a result of a string of misfortunes, she ends herself pretending to date Adam Carlsen, the university’s most despised professor. But maintaining the façade is challenging, and now that there are new challenges, her research’s future is in jeopardy. Should they risk everything for love when they both begin to realize their feelings aren’t what they initially thought?
Why should you read it: this book had me laughing and sobbing simultaneously because of how beautifully it’s been written. Hazelwood makes the characters relatable and 3 dimensional so that you’re rooting for them from page 1. Olive is quirky, awkward, and extremely headstrong, and I’ve always loved the way she was portrayed in the book. The chemistry between Adam and Olive is instantaneous and the plot twist is extremely adorable. This book contains 1-2 adult scenes, but their romance is so genuinely wholesome to watch grow, even though it could be considered slow burn. the book deals with death and cancer in a remarkably touching way, and overall this book was an amazingly sweet read which had me longing for more. (btw,adam carlsen=favourite book boyfriend)
My favourite quote: “I’m starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourself to shreds, so the other person can stay whole.”
4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Genre: historical fiction
My rating: 4.8/5
Summary: Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, training together in the arts of war and medicine by the Chiron. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, and Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Little does he know that the cruel Fates will test him as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Why should you read it: God, this book made me sob. (I promise the next one is much happier). I have always been a sucker for Greek mythology, so this book practically called out to me. Although not the best in historical accuracy, the plot points and romance have been woven into the story extremely well, and the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus is one of the most unbreakable bonds I have ever seen. This book is heartwrenching in the best way and the sense of adventure, thrill, and adrenaline could not be better conveyed.
My favourite quote: ”We were like gods, at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.”
5. the Spanish love deception by Elena Armas
Genre: fake dating and enemies to lovers
Summary: Catalina Martín desperately needed a date for her sister’s wedding, given the fact that her little white lie about her American boyfriend had spiraled out of control. Time-bound to 4 weeks and nearing desperation, Aaron Blackford, tall, handsome, and ever condescending, offers to help her. As the wedding draws nearer, Aaron and Catalina grow closer, and she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
Why you should read it: you know how I previously mentioned that Adam Carlsen was my all-time favourite book boyfriend? Yeah, Aaron Blackford is a close close close second. I was in absolute splits throughout the book and was teased by their slow-burn romance throughout it. The transaction from enemies to lovers was something this book carried out so well, and it left me wanting more. This book was funny, heartwarming, and absolutely a devouring page-turner. The chemistry of the leads is amazingly well written and I recommend this book to anyone exiting the book slump.
My favourite quote: “if you get any more perfect, I’m going to have to believe you were made for me”
6. A good girl’s guide to murder by Holly Jackson
Genre: small-town murder mystery, suspense
My rating: 4.8/5
Summary: Five years ago, a schoolgirl named Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh. This ruthless murder that killed a young and innocent soul inflicted everyone with grief. Everyone in the small town knows it, including the police, and believes in their hearts that Sal was the murderer. Well, everyone except Pippa Fitz-Amobi, took on the task of solving it for her senior year project. But as she goes in step-by-step, solving the case and unraveling the layers of truth, she starts to uncover secrets that were hidden by the very people of this small town. Secrets that they don’t want coming out.
Why should you read it: This book.Oh.My.God.The plot twist took me a minute and ½ to completely digest and I love this book for it. Pippa is an amazingly written character and the romance in this book is extremely adorable. The narration is on point. With enough twists and turns, the writing is quick and engrossing and had me reading all the way through. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’s ultimate twist was done quite deftly, unlike many other thrillers that fade out in the end. This book is honestly one of my best reads of 2022, and I can’t wait to dive into the other two books of the series.
My favourite quote: “I’m not sure I’m the good girl I once thought I was. I’ve lost her along the way.”
7. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
(TW: abuse, substances, addiction)
Genre: historical fiction
My rating: 4.7/5
Summary: Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.
Why you should read it: at this point, Taylor Jenkins Reid is my favourite author. This way, she chooses to create complex characters and situations so cleverly. This book had me on the edge of my seat throughout and the fact that it was told entirely through interview format had me longing for more. Delving into the thoughts and opinions of the entire band, including Daisy, made me feel transported back to the 70s, a universe Jenkins knits cohesively. The relationships and hardships between the band members breathe life into these characters and have you wanting more of their unity. Full of timeless quotes, glamourous scandals, and heart-breaking loss, Daisy Jones & The Six has climbed to the top as one of my favourite books of all time.
“I had no interest in being somebody else’s muse.
I am not a muse.
I am the somebody.
End of f**king story.”
With Book-Toks you never know if it’s going to be a hit or a miss, but these 7 books were the cherry on the top. While some of them do contain adult themes and grey areas, it’s important to note that the authors did amazing in terms of representation and coping with substance/trauma abuse. And honestly, if I were you, I’d take away more than one book from each author as their style of writing and expression is amazing and I can’t wait to add books from them to my ‘ to-be-read list’. Happy reading!