BookTalk: Are These Books Worth the Hype?
BY KERA MATTHEWS '24
Ah, TikTok. The platform that has everything from cringy dancing to random memes to book reviews. In true Gen Z fashion, many teens have turned to TikTok for the hottest book recommendations. And while BookTok was poppin’ for a while, the same disappointing book now keeps poppin’ up on my For You page. As a book influencer myself, I’ve started to lose faith in these so-called “BookTokers.” To protect my fellow bookworms from the dreaded fate of having no books to read, I will present my own opinion on some trendy books.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series - Sarah J. Maas
Synopsis: The first installment is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. It follows protagonist Feyre, who murders a wolf and is whisked away to serve punishment in court. When Feyre discovers that a curse has been placed on her land, she embarks on a quest to break it.
Thoughts: Although the first book is absolutely worth the read, the rest of the series was lackluster. In the second book, the author reverses two characters’ story arcs: Feyre’s love interest grows selfish and a former antagonist takes his place, his wrongdoings forgotten. The writing felt lazy and unoriginal, though the author redeems the plot with chemistry-filled relationships and fascinating world-building. 7/10.
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue - V.E. Schwab
Synopsis: Addie Larue makes a deal with the Devil and regrets it for the rest of her life. Though immortal, she is cursed to be forgotten after every encounter. However, one day in a bookstore, a man named Henry remembers her name, changing her life forever.
Thoughts: This book paints an incredible story about Addie’s life, and her every encounter is descriptive. The story, told from two perspectives, was easy to follow, and I felt like I learned a lot about Henry even though he was a secondary character. Addie’s two significant relationships are fluidly recounted, conveying an overarching lesson about how ungratefulness can affect one’s life. My only complaint is that the beginning was very slow, and the book is much more character-driven than plot-driven. 9/10.
They Both Die at the End - Adam Silvera
Synopsis: One September, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emerio learn that they will both die and decide to spend their last day together despite being total strangers.
Thoughts: This was a heartbreaking but adorable and quick read. It teaches the importance of living every day to the fullest, but in a more relatable way. Mateo and Rufus are polar opposites, yet their healthy connection carries the story. It was also nice seeing queer Latinx protagonists for a change! However, it was frustrating that the story’s side characters felt like plot devices, written solely to further the story. 8/10.
Overall, I have yet to find a horrible, over-hyped recommendation on BookTok, but you’ll have to read them yourself before knowing if they suit your taste. At the end of the day, it’s all up to you!