Top 5 Books Making a Comeback Thanks to #BookTok

Fallon Manzella-McReady, Sectional Editor

If you know anything about TikTok, then you know that it is a jungle of a platform. It’s an absolute maze of content, and the further in you go the more you get lost. 

It is almost too easy to just scroll and get sucked into another video. But don’t get confused — we’re all very aware of the absolute mind-numbing effect that this app has. That’s why one popular sub-section of this app has risen above others: #BookTok

#BookTok is actually incredibly powerful, so much so that these books written almost 10 years ago are shooting up back to best-seller lists and hitting shelves again.

Now, #BookTok is not for the faint of heart. So, let’s look at a few books that have achieved some success thanks to #Book

1) “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller (2011)

Without revealing too much, I can say that I absolutely, 110 percent recommend this book. Honestly, I’ve never felt more like a statistic when I read an article about book sales rocketing again years after they were released, and my very own copy of TSOA was sitting on my shelf. This book checks all the boxes, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t read it.

If you were to open TikTok and scroll around for maybe half an hour and I can absolutely promise you that you will have saved at least one “Patrochilles vibes” playlist based off of the book, one video of a girl playing the piano in an orchestral narration of the boys’ story, or any singular video of people in love that’s captioned “He is half of my soul, as the poets say.” (Oh yeah, did I mention that this 416-page book is about two-thirds full of quotes that you will literally never forget?)

2) “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silvera (2017)

So, to be candid, I have not read this book for the sole reason that that is the most depressing, give-away title I have ever read. And, yes, I know, it’s like a “countdown to death” kind of story where you know when you’re gonna die, and yes, that does make it a little bit better, but still, come on.

So no, this isn’t the entire story of the previously-mentioned 10-year Trojan war and some-odd amount of years before it, but that might actually be a better choice. It’s a love story told in 389 pages over the span of 24 hours. I just might have persuaded myself to read it.

3) “Red, White &, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston (2019)

Oh, this book. What is — and what isn’t — there to say? I ran around my house cheering with this book in my hand. I couldn’t see the words past the tears in my eyes. I died, came back to life, and then died again over and over again as I flipped every page. This book is both for those who need to imagine a better world and those who need to cope with living in the one we have now. It’s for the fans of forbidden and secret and international romance, and everyone who’s ever dreamed of giving a family member the newsflash of the century. 

The book cover a reimagined 2016 election, famous families that have just as many problems as us peasants do, and two sons that need to fix a PR nightmare. Enemies to lovers, Texas votes blue, the first female president and an audience with the Queen. 

This book really does have it all, and if you, like me, have had your interest piqued but still need that last push, then I hope you’ll also enjoy diving into 421 pages of international affairs.

4) “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart (2014)

If you’ve ever read an E. Lockhart book, they do make your brain feel like eggs, and this one is just the same. Reading this book is like being lost in a maze and somehow guessing every single wrong turn. You’re never where you expect to be, the direction is never what you think. But it’s an absolute page-turner, and a good one at that. You’re not going to be hate-reading this one.

It’s an undeniable truth that the writing style of these books is absolutely addictive. I read “Genuine Fraud” the second I could get my hands on it, and subsequently needed 40 years to recover. 

Be warned, though, that if you read these, you’ll never get over them. You’ll feel perfectly satisfied when you put it down (or maybe that’s the adrenaline crash) but then at night it‘ll keep you up in a cold sweat because you can’t stop thinking about it. The twists, the turns, the ups, downs, loops and curves. It’s one of those roller coasters that you go on for the thrill, even if you step off feeling like the earth is water under your feet —- worth it.

5) “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sánez (2012)

When I heard in February that there was going to be a sequel to this book, I pre-ordered it without hesitation, even if it won’t come out until October. You could say I’m obsessed.

“Aristotle and Dante” is one of those books that finds you at the right time, and then it brutally batters your heart just a chapter before patching it back up again. It’s a whirlwind and a heartache, but it is absolutely worth the snippets of pain when you also get pure and wholesome romance, and stories of families falling apart before coming together and doing it over again.

With some of these books, I feel like I want to always say “I liked it before it was cool on #BookTok.” There’s almost a part of me that wants to keep it safe in my clutches, but “Aristotle and Dante” isn’t like that. This is a book that has expanded past the memory of my language arts classroom and onto a platform available to millions of people.

Books like these are treasures found and shared. I have discovered so many great reads that I might not have found myself through TikTok, so here’s me passing along the books I never thought I’d be able to screech about with anyone else. These are the books that I found scrolling through the vast wilderness of TikTok, and now I get to share them with all of you.