Good reads

Honest reviews of popular Booktok books

TikTok is filled with super funsies life hacks, surprising information, and real-world advice. However, we can’t always tell if our FYP is pointing us in the right direction, especially when it comes to the right books. Countless hours have been wasted by pushing through books that were promised to be touched by King Midas himself. Here are some HONEST reviews so you can actually enjoy the hours you spend being a couch potato. 


The Summer I Turned Pretty          

Rating: 3 stars

This series by Jenny Han follows Belly Conklin, a seemingly sweet teenage girl who spends her summers vacationing at Cousins Beach with her family and another. In the other family are Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly finds herself caught in a love triangle between them like all the other iconic 2000s girlies. Unfortunately, just like Elena Gilbert, Belly turns out to be an incredibly annoying main character that you just can’t bring yourself to root for. She makes countless stupid decisions. Her sad attempts to manifest a dreamy romance with Conrad burn multiple hearts. Belly is so caught up in her pining that she forgets how to be a decent person. Only a handful of people can push themselves through the pain it takes to tolerate her. Poor little Belly. She made everything about her. Whenever she’s forced to face the harsh reality that the world did not in fact revolve around her, she makes a pouty face. The book was a quick and easy read, perfect for a beach day. However, Belly will leave you feeling like you lost a couple of brain cells and all of your communication skills. (The TV series is GOATED though and Belly actually has a personality in it, so you watch that instead!)


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Graphic by Sarina Mahmud

Rating: 4.5 stars

One of BookTok’s favorite authors, Taylor Jenkins Reid, deserves everything she could ever ask for after gracing the entire world with this mind-boggling story. Evelyn Hugo is a revered actress from the 50s and 60s who gets married several times. She’s a mastermind who uses her relationships with those rolling in fame to safeguard her secrets. Reid used her super duper magical powers to transport me into “The Lucky One” by Taylor Swift. I picked it up thinking it would be a cutesy cliché little romance about how a woman kisses many frogs until she finds her prince. Plot twist! She does not in fact choose a prince, and the story is all the better for it. This book is the furthest thing from cliché. Reading books by Taylor Jenkins Reid makes me forget that the people on the pages were never real. I grew old with Evelyn, all of her heartbreaks were mine and her successes made me cheer with joy. This book will trap you inside Evelyn’s paparazzi-lit world, and you won’t ever want to leave.  


The Song of Achilles

Rating: 5 stars

Telling the story of Patroclus and his great love, Achilles, Madeline Miller wrote an absolute masterpiece. Miller shows us another perspective of Achilles, his lovable and human side. You grow attached to him in the same way Patroclus does. These characters begin to feel like they belong to you, and you want nothing but the best for them, even though it’s not what’s in the cards. The writing is elegant and detailed, and I felt like the scenes were playing out in my head with full clarity. This book gives you more heartbreak than anything in real-life. Even months after reading it, the pain still feels new and sharp. The Song of Achilles will have you believing in love but wishing you hadn’t opened yourself up to it. 



Graphic by Sarina Mahmud

Rating: 3 stars

Unfortunately, we cannot have BookTok without Miss Colleen Hoover. Not only is she a problematic author who romanticizes abuse and makes coloring pages out of it, but her books are full of lost potential. The books in theory are nice, but the execution is quite head-scratching. This story specifically follows Lowen Ashleigh. She’s hired by Jeremy Crawford to be a ghost-writer after his wife Verity falls into a coma and can’t finish her book series. Lowen stays at the Crawfords’ mansion to study Verity’s writing style where she discovers a secret manuscript Verity wrote confessing all her crimes. The book certainly had a grasp on me, but it was a grasp of annoyance. The characters would use their common sense so sparingly. Lowen, if you know there is a murderer living upstairs, what money is worth staying in that house? Any sane person would leave and enter witness protection, not stay to seduce her husband. The entire book felt like a Riverdale episode if the writers put in a wee bit more effort. The only redeemable part of the book that made it three stars was the plot twist at the end. I’m not quite sure who gave CoHo pencil privileges, but I petition that these privileges be revoked! The book gave me a good chuckle at times, but Verity is the perfect example of how sometimes the TikTok algorithm utterly fails.


Six of Crows

Graphic by Sarina Mahmud

Rating: 4 stars

Leigh Bardugo’s book immerses you into a universe based on Russia and Eastern Europe with more fantastical elements. The story follows six gang members who must pull off an impossible heist. Along the way, they fall out of love, back in love, and find a family within each other. Six of Crows confined me to my chair as I sunk into the plot. It switches between the perspectives of each character, so you grow attached to each one. Readers will get frustrated with characters hiding their true feelings and they’ll feel the heartbreak on the other side of it too. The representation in this book series is amazing and healing. Inej, a South Asian main character in the book, is an incredibly skilled spy, beloved and respected by her crew. In a world where the media often portrays South Asian people as ugly, dirty, and unwanted, Bardugo made Inej a fan favorite which is incredibly inspiring.  Six of Crows will never bore you, even the most bland of people couldn’t resist kicking their legs and twirling their hair at its beauty.