#BookTok 101: the best books to read that are TikTok viral

Expand your bookshelf with recommendations that the internet is obsessed with...

#booktok books on yellow background

by Ruby Barry |

Is it just us, or is your FYP stuffed full of book recommendations lately? #BookTok is the place to be on TikTok - because reading books is no longer nerdy. Cool kids read books now. Our inner bookworm is squealing.

According to search marketing agency Honcho, as of August 2022, the #BookTok hashtag has amassed over 72 billion views. The app has allowed people from all over the world to share their passion for books with millions, turning #BookTok into a phenomenon.

If you are a #BookTok connoisseur like us, then your likes page is full to the brim with recommendations, but where do you even start with what books to buy and which you should miss? Luckily for you, the Heat team is secretly made up of bookworms who would rather spend a night snuggled up with a book than go out clubbing. We’ve had a chat and compiled a list of the best recommendations from #BookTok, from fiction to non-fiction, so you know what books from your TikTok FYP are worth the hype.

Let’s start off with some #BookTok fiction books, shall we? Because escaping to an alternative fantasy is a lot easier than living in the real world, and realising that taxes and mortgages exist. Later on, we will move on to non-fiction, so keep scrolling for more #BookTok goodness.

Fiction book recommendations from #BookTok: our reviews

Ranked No.1 for the most popular book on #BookTok with 1,200,000,000 views on TikTok

#BookTok It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Published: August 2016

Synopsis: "Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true. Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place..."

Review from our writer, Caitlin Casey: "If you’re wanting a rollercoaster romance with a serious undertone, It Ends With Us should be your next read. Going through triggering topics like family relationships, domestic abuse and childhood, whilst wrapping it up in a romance based in Boston, you’ll be hooked into the life of Lily immediately. It feels slightly teenager-y at the beginning but stick with it and you’ll be satisfied. So pleased that TikTok and #BookTok put this one on my list."

(You can also order It Ends With Us from your local bookshop for £8.54)

It is the bell of the #BookTok ball, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

#BookTok The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published: October 2021

Synopsis: "Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and great forbidden love..."

Review from our writer, Angelica Daujotas: "If you’re after a page-turner, this is it. Prepare to dedicate all your time to this book because you won’t be able to put it down. A mesmerising story about love, loss and the price of fame, this addictive novel is the perfect escape. Especially great if you’re looking to get into reading, #BookTok's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an easy read that will have you raring to read more."

(You can also order The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo from your local bookshop for £8.54)

Suspense. Mystery. Private island setting. No, we're not talking about when Kim Kardashian lost

#BookTok We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Published: May 2014

Synopsis: "A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends-the Liars-whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE."

Review from our writer, Piper Huxley: "This YA novel is sophisticated, tense and a proper mystery. The novel is about the wealthy Sinclair family, who spend the summer on their private island. However, something happens to Cadence during the summer of her fifteenth year. The book is set two years later, where the four "Liars" (Cadence, Johnny, Gat and Mirren) try and prompt Cadence to remember the incident. Lockhart crafts a narrative of intrigue and lots of suspense. I really liked this book because it felt different to anything else I was reading at the time. The narrator was unreliable and full of secrets, and it’s a real challenge for the reader, as it is for Cadence, to uncover her past."

(You can also order We Were Liars from your local bookshop for £7.59)

A lot of us spend our lives living in the past or the future and, unfortunately, never really in

#BookTok The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Published: February 2021

Synopsis: "Nora's life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth, she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?"

Review from our writer, Angelica Daujotas: "The Midnight Library is a book that stays with you as you walk through all aspects of life. Three months on from the first time I read it and I genuinely still think back to it frequently, which I can’t say for many other books. Beautifully written, this book will hit you hard where it hurts and inspire you to chase the life you want with no regrets - 10/10 recommend."

(You can also order The Midnight Library from your local bookshop for £8.54)

Ranked No.2 for the most popular book on #BookTok with 1,100,000,000 views on TikTok

#BookTok Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Published: June 2016

Synopsis: "Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams - but he can't pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first."

Promising review from Amazon: "I love this book, the characters are dark and relatable, a band of misfits join together to steal the impossible and fight against the odds of their upbringing and the downtrodden misfortune of being conned by the rich and powerful, I could not stop reading this book."

(You can also order Six of Crows from your local bookshop for £8.54)

Ranked No.3 for the most popular book on #BookTok with 690,200,000 views on TikTok

#BookTok The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Published: July 2018

Synopsis: "One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.

But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . .

Dramatic and thrilling fantasy blends seamlessly with enthralling storytelling to create a fully realised and seductive world, brimful of magic and romance."

Promising review from Amazon: "I love this book and every book in this series. The world that Holly Black creates is so fascinating and makes you want to jump into the book itself. The character development that all the characters go through is amazing and I love Cardan and Jude, the lovers-to-enemy trope is 100% one of my favourites. When my friends recommended this to me I was a little hesitant it that was going to be an average fae book like other books in the fantasy genre. But this one in the first few pages hooked me. I loved the switch between the fae and mortal realm, it adds more realism which draws you in more...I would recommend this book to all of my friends as being one of my favourites."

(You can also order The Cruel Prince from your local bookshop for £8.54)

Another book that has blasted onto the #BookTok scene is They Both Die at the End, by Adam

#BookTok They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Published: September 2017

Synopsis: "On September 5th, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure - to live a lifetime in a single day."

Promising review from Amazon: "I don’t want to say too much, but just know that Adam Silvera made me love these boys so much in one day that I am physically hurting right now. Maybe the best book I’ve read, maybe the worst, I can’t quite distinguish because my emotions are wrecked. All I know is that I love those boys and my heart is heavy."

(You can also order They Both Die at the End from your local bookshop for £8.54)

We are beyond excited to get our hands on We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets. Warning -

#BookTok We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets

Published: May 2022

Synopsis: "Kayleigh needs money. That’s why she takes a job as a content moderator for a social media platform whose name she isn’t allowed to mention. Her job: reviewing offensive videos and pictures, rants and conspiracy theories, and deciding which need to be removed. It’s gruelling work. Kayleigh and her colleagues spend all day watching horrors and hate on their screens. Evaluating them with the platform’s ever-changing moderating guidelines. Yet Kayleigh is good at her job, and in her colleagues, she finds a group of friends, even a new girlfriend. For the first time in her life, Kayleigh’s future seems bright. But soon the job seems to change them all, shifting their worlds in alarming ways...We Had To Remove This Post by Hanna Bervoets is a chilling, powerful and gripping story about what – or who – determines how we see the world."

Promising review from Amazon: "A short, sharp novella exploring the shocking (and all too real) experience of content moderators who analyse potentially harmful content online. Punchy and thought-provoking."

(You can also order We Had To Remove This Post from your local bookshop for £8.54)

Non-fiction recommendations from #BookTok: our reviews

If you've ever been curious about that massive side-effects sheet you get with your birth control

#BookTok How the Pill Changes Everything by Dr Sarah E. Hill

Published: October 2019

Synopsis: "THE PILL ... Changes your brain ... Alters your stress response ... Can increase your risk of depression ... Affects your choice of mate selection. Hormonal birth control is taken by millions of women around the world every day. Yet until recently, we knew very little about how the Pill affects the non-reproductive systems of the female body. This is because research on these other systems was conducted almost exclusively on men. In her trailblazing book, Dr Sarah Hill uses the latest science to reveal how the Pill is changing women and the world, for better and worse. She puts the power back in your hands to make smarter, more informed choices about your health and your hormones. IT'S EVERYTHING YOUR DOCTOR NEVER TOLD YOU."

Review from our writer, Caitlin Casey: "I saw this book floating around on #BookTok last year and as a woman who has dealt with the ups and downs of the pill (like many of us), I knew I had to read it. Don’t be afraid to deep dive into this book. Dr Sarah Hill goes into detail about all the hormonal changes, emotional effects and true consequences of the contraceptive pill in an easy-to-read and welcoming format. The book is fair, looking at both the positives and negatives for women on the pill. Overall, it just made me feel so much more confident about my body, my hormones and understanding what it really means to be on the pill as a woman."

(You can also order How the Pill Changes Everything from your local bookshop for £9.49)

As a woman, you can't be single without someone making a comment or two. But why do people,

#BookTok A Single Revolution by Shani Silver

Published: October 2021

Synopsis: "Shani Silver is not an advocate for singlehood. She’s an advocate for single women feeling good while single—and there’s a difference. A Single Revolution is one book for single women that won’t approach you like you’re unfinished. It’s for those who are exhausted, frustrated, confused, or angry. Who want relationships but don’t deserve to be miserable in the meantime. A gruelling dating grind isn’t a prerequisite for partnership. You can be happily single and still meet someone—that’s allowed...This isn’t a book about dating. It’s a book about living. You can choose how you feel about being single. You can choose to feel wrong, or you can choose to feel free. A Single Revolution isn’t about changing yourself—it’s about changing your mind."

Review from Deputy Editor, Natalie Corner: "I've been following Shani's work for several years now and was so delighted to hear she had written a book. It was everything I was hoping for and more. It really touched me deep down to my core. Thank you to Shani for taking the time to put your words down on a page I really appreciate it. My outlook on life is certainly more positive after reading A Single Revolution. Bravo."

If you're a woman, you might be reading this from a phone that is too big for your hand. Once you

#BookTok Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

Published: March 2020

Synopsis: "Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, and your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body. In a car accident, you are 47% more likely to be injured. If any of that sounds familiar, chances are you're a woman. From government policy and medical research to technology, workplaces, and the media. Invisible Women reveals how in a world built for and by men we are systematically ignoring half of the population, often with disastrous consequences. Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all. Discover the shocking gender bias that affects our everyday lives."

Promising review on Amazon: "If you are a woman this book should shock you and make you mad. if you are a man it should make you ashamed and rethink many of your assumptions. Not a feminist rant but a measured expose of male prejudice both deliberate and unconscious. Should be required reading in all learning establishments."

(You can also order Invisible Women from your local bookshop for £10.44)

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