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booktok-recommendations

Whether you’re looking for a steamy romance, a psychological thriller or some high-brow poetry, we’ve got a pick for you.

| By Antonia Day | Entertainment

10 BookTok Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

Whether you’re looking for a steamy romance, a psychological thriller or some high-brow poetry, we’ve got a pick for you.

Whether it’s a lazy Sunday morning or a slow Wednesday afternoon, there’s no better feeling than hearing the kettle start to boil, pouring yourself a cup of tea, and spending the next hour (or three) on the couch or in bed curled up with a good read.

Unfortunately, this feeling isn’t a universal one, with many of us busy with work, kids, and just life in general. It can be hard to find the time to read or even know what to read next. Luckily for us, TikTok comes to rescue once again, but this time we’re veering off the For You Page and delving into the bibliophile side: BookTok.

With a new book being released every other week, we can always rely on BookTok to recommend us the hot new reads we should be turning the pages of for the next month. From psychological thrillers, to debaucherous young love, BookTok has a reading recommendation for any kind of reader with any kind of interest.

So for those who want to experience the joy of a lazy Sunday read, or need something to do on the train instead of staring out the window listening to Lana’s new album (which is 10/10, BTW), we’ve compiled 10 books we’ve heard about from Booktok that we think you should add to your TBR list (It means ‘To Be Read’ – don’t worry, you’ll pick up on the BookTok lingo in no time).

1. ‘Mad Honey’ by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan

If you’re looking for a book you can read from cover to cover over a weekend, let this soul-stirring novel by #1 New York Times Best Seller Jodi Picoult and best-selling author Jennifer Finney Boylan be the one. Following the lives of two families with teens who have upended their lives and moved to New Hampshire for a fresh start, both children commence school together, and their friendship begins to blossom.

What starts off as a classic boy meets girl love story quickly turns into a chilling murder mystery as Lily – the teen who recently moved away with her mother – is killed. The finger is pointed at her new love interest Asher – the son of the parents who are desperately trying to lead normal lives after their move.

Mad Honey is a tale of chilling suspense, young love, and then lengths people go to trying to conceal the darker parts of their past.

2. ‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover

With close to a 5 out of 5 star rating on Good Reads from over 2 million reviews, this romance novel by American author Colleen Hoover was published in 2016, but only in recent years has it begun to consistently reign supreme. Thanks to the power of TikTok – or should we say BookTok – this romance novel based on Hoover’s parent’s relationship, is now a staple in home libraries all over the world.

It Ends with Us follows the life of protagonist Lily as she makes the big move to Boston after spending most of her life in Maine, where she meets neurosurgeon heart-throb Ryle. He has his flaws, but they’re balanced out by his redeeming factors, and soft spot for Lily – but his approach to love and dating are completely different from the kind of treatment she’s used to.

As she tries to navigate the testing times of their unconventional bond, Lily’s first love – Atlas – re-enters her life, threatening the foundations she worked so hard to build with Ryle.

3. ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Rumour’s been going round the quiet fishing town of Barkley Cove of a ‘marsh girl’ who lives off the land. Unfit for society and its scrutinising standards, the marsh girl’s name is Kya Clark. Only having spent one day in school and learning from the nature that surrounds her, this illusive and wild woman is now the main suspect of a recent murder in this sleepy town.

Set in 1969, author Delia Owens has created a poignant coming-of-age story and haunting mystery, all whilst delivering an ode to Mother Nature herself.

Where the Crawdads Sing beautifully represents how isolation can influence the behaviour of an innocent young woman.

4. 'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient follows the life of Alicia Berenson, a famous painter living in one of the most prestigious areas of London. Married to Gabriel - a successful fashion photographer – their life appears perfect from the outside looking in.

One evening after returning from a shoot, Gabriel enters the house only to be shot in the face five times by his wife. Alicia refuses to talk about the incident, which captures the public’s attention as they speculate about the mysterious incident. As Alicia is flung into the public eye and the price of her work skyrockets, she remains quiet in a secure forensic unit in North London, refusing to speak a word. Obsessed with uncovering her motive, a criminal psychologist enters the picture, determined to get her to talk.

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller that not only recounts the story of this mysterious murder, but the therapist who is determined to get to the bottom of Alicia’s motive behind killing her husband.

5. 'Transcendent Kingdom' by Yaa Gyasi

Author Yaa Gyasi, who brought us nationally acclaimed best seller Homegoing, is back with a deeply moving follow-up about a Ghanaian family living in Alabama.

The story follows Gifty, a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Nana – Gifty’s brother – died not long ago after becoming addicted to painkillers from sustaining a knee injury in high school. The weight of Nana’s passing has left Gifty’s mother with debilitating depression. Gifty has made it her mission to uncover the scientific basis of the suffering around her.

As Gifty tirelessly searches for an answer, she turns to her childhood faith – the Evangelical Church – as a potential form of salvation.

Transcendent Kingdom explores themes of faith, science, religion, love, and grief, emotionally told through the eyes of an endearing protagonist.

6. 'Funny You Should Ask' by Elissa Sussman

​​If a sexy, engrossing novel is what you’re after then look no further than Elissa Sussman’s Funny You Should Ask. It starts in the past, with writer Chani Horowitz in her 20s. She’s stuck writing puff pieces while her former classmates are out scoring book deals. However, her life is about to change when she’s hired to write a profile piece on movie star Gabe Parker – who is Chani’s longtime celebrity crush. If the interview goes well, they both win. Gabe will get good press, and Chani will finally get the recognition she deserves as a writer. But what’s supposed to be a brief interview on Gabe’s career gets personal and takes the tabloids by storm.

Fast forward 10 years, Chani’s been through a brutal divorce, a solid stint in therapy and finally has the career she’s always dreamed of. She’s now trying to carry on with her life but she can’t seem to escape questions about Gabe. Gabe’s PR team are pushing for a second piece to be written by Chani, and after multiple refusals, she finally says yes. She wants to pretend she’s forgotten about the time they spent together, but she needs to know if their weekend left the same mark on him as it did on her…

7. ‘People We Meet on Vacation’ by Emily Henry

Poppy and Alex, two best friends who couldn't be more different, share one of the strongest connections out of anyone they know. They met one evening after sharing a ride together in their college days, and have been sharing memorable experiences together ever since. Although they don’t share hobbies or interests and live far away from each other, they always find the time to spend one week vacationing together every summer.

It wasn’t until two years ago that everything fell apart, their yin and yang friendship abruptly came to a halt and they never spoke again.

People We Meet on Vacation tells the story of how they came to this sad ending and how Poppy tries to piece their friendship back together after being granted one last chance from Alex.

8. ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ by Ottessa Moshfegh

If you’re an avid reader there’s a slim chance you haven’t picked up this book by New York Times Bestseller Ottessa Moshfegh. The novel is narrated by a recent Columbia graduate who seemingly has it all. She’s young, thin, pretty, has a job at a trendy art gallery, and is living in an apartment on the Upper East Side. But there's a dark hole in her heart that stops her from feeling any joy from the beauty that surrounds her. One would assume her depression stems from her parents dying, her temperamental Wall Street boyfriend, or maybe her toxic relationship with her best friend Reva, but she doesn’t blame any of those factors on the deep sadness she feels inside.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation follows this young woman’s year under the influence of a cocktail of various pharmaceuticals, to attempt to numb the pain she feels from the outside world. Deeply moving, and blackly funny, Ottessa Moshfegh showcases her writing talent in this novel commentating on society, youth, and mental health.

9. ‘Time is a Mother’ by Ocean Vuong

Do you struggle to commit to reading a whole book? Try dipping into Ocean Vuong’s second poetry collection Time is a Mother. This deeply intimate anthology is Vuong's exploration of the meaning of life after his mother’s death. Exploring themes of grieving while also being determined to survive, this moving selection of poems is a personal look into how he is coping with the unbearable loss.

Whether you’re a fan of poetry or can’t stand the genre, this extremely emotional collection of pieces will bring out deep feelings in any reader.

10. ‘​​Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin

This is a love story, but not one you’ve ever read before. A tale of two friends: Sam and Sadie. They’re often in love, but they never classify themselves as lovers. They’ve known each other since they were children, sharing stories, trading favours, exchanging kisses. Now they’re in their twenties and rich beyond belief after collaborating artistically on a video game design. Together they’re perfect, but that doesn’t stop either of them from betraying the other in favour of their own ambitions.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow recounts Sam and Sadie’s relationship over 30 years, exploring themes of identity, disability, failure, and the human need to connect. Gabrielle Zevin has written an endearing modern love story that might remind you of a relationship you once shared with a friend.

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