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Getting into books is incredibly hard, especially trying to find a good one. One way most people do that is through book reviews or recommendations on BookTok. The only problem is that books can get a lot of hype when maybe they shouldn’t. This is where I go out and get multiple opinions on popular books talked about on TikTok and combine that data to the utmost honest review that can be made from me and other readers. Maybe this can lead to you finding your new favorite book!

#1- Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin 

This book has an enemies to lovers that consists of witches, magic, guards, etc. There was quite a bit of romance, action and humor that took place. It had a strong start with an interesting hook that brought in the attention to the main character as well as the main love interest. The author brought a refreshing view on the world of magic and non-magic, especially when it came to the side of evil and good. She didn’t allow it to be so black and white, but instead allowed there to be reason and understanding between both sides when it came to the wrong and right doing. The little plot twists that came in throughout the book added a continuous jumpstart when the book may have felt a bit slow at times, giving it just the right amount of story plot. The main lead being a strong woman was also very nice, because it was different from her having to be weak for the love interest to fall for her. Some points did seem generic, considering  the romance, even though I did find the use of enemies to lovers quite refreshing, especially with the forced marriage. Though I did think that there were some points that weren’t addressed to both of them that I feel would have been interesting to consider. Overall, the book was not what I suspected, and I actually enjoyed reading it. Something I would recommend if you want to get away from the cringey misunderstandings and romance that usually occurs in an enemies to lovers trope. 

Smut Rating: 0.5/5

#2- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid-Contains *minor spoilers*

The basic overall plot of the book consists of a young woman named Evelyn who rises to fame in order to get away from an abusive environment. The outline of the story consists of a young journalist in a modern world who is invited by Evelyn to interview her and write an autobiography of her life. Evelyn uses her body and beauty to boost her career, and get what she wants, but it is  very beautifully thought out. It is also quite empowering seeing the woman be the one who is getting something out of a relationship instead of the man getting to the top. The writing consisted of very descriptive lines that were done in a very impressionistic manner. They are also written so powerfully. The writing wasn’t rushed despite how many events occurred throughout her entire life. Seeing the differences between the relationships containing love versus manipulation was something that stood out to the readers and allowed us to feel empowered in her ability to love and control. Monique’s (the journalist’s) story on the other hand was something that didn’t receive enough attention, and this was something a lot of readers would have wanted more information on, but they still loved her story even though it may not have been as captivating as Evelyn’s. Overall, all of the relationships between Evelyn and the characters were very interesting to experience and watch grow, but the most powerful relationship was Monique and Evelyn’s, because of how Monique knew everything about Evelyn and truly grew to love her, which led to the ending being so emotional, when the relationship had tarnished by Evelyn’s reasoning for picking Monique had come out. Seeing the writing of the journalist go from adoration to hatred and then to acceptance was something very powerful. 

Smut Rating: 2/5

#3- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover- *Contains spoilers TW: Abuse*

The book has two plots switching in between past and present experiences with the main character (Lily). Growing up, Lily’s dad was extremely abusive and forced Lily to keep quiet. While she’s a kid she meets a homeless boy (Atlas) who she helps and they fall in love, but he moves away and she never sees him again. Years pass and she moves away from the abuse, and to Boston. There she meets Ryle who had a lot of potential, but turned out to be abusive, and Lily was found falling into the same steps as her mother did all those years ago. The writing in some ways is done phenomenally, when it comes to the way characters are written especially when it comes to love and heartbreak. The author’s writing had also been quite juvenile in some ways, consisted of too much useless punctuation, and unnecessary detail about unimportant events. The story of the book consisted of a lot of little subplots/things that interconnected and added a lot of potential to the plot of the book. The book overall had a lot of potential due to the fact that the author took a very stereotypical love triangle trope and tried to make it deeper and unique. She was successful in some ways, but fell flat when it came to the writing and you could’ve guessed what was going to happen all the way to the end. Overall, the book was hard to put down despite it being so juvenile, it was very captivating and had a pretty good message when it came to abusive relationships.

Smut Rating: 2/5

#4- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This book is basically about two boys, and is told from the perspective of an exiled prince who gets sent to live on another island, trained for another king’s army. The prince meets the Aristos Achaion, otherwise known as the hero of the heros, the most powerful, the best warrior. The book explores their love story through isolation and war. The author’s writing was done incredibly, and while some parts were a bit slow, it was a beautiful story to read that left a lasting impression. Some of the parts did seem rushed and not as detailed, some years went from chapters and others by a few sentences. The subtlety of the romance was a very refreshing idea that stood out to many people: the thought of the romance not being the main point, yet  something that was very important to the story and plot of the book. The ending was also something that will stay in the hearts of everyone as well. The action scenes were written very well; even if you don’t like action scenes people admit that it was very well written and with the right amount of detail. When first reading the book, the gay romance is something that wasn’t expected, and the ending was a big surprise. Overall, the book left such a good impression in its readers and allowed a new light on lgbtq+ romance. 

Smut Rating: 0.5/5

#5- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The book is about a group of teenagers who live in a type of fantasy world, who have to join together in order to perform an impossible heist. The author does a really good job with describing the characters’ physical and emotional tributes, as well as the plot and fast paced story-telling throughout the book. She does an amazing job when it comes to character development and relationships between the teenagers, the group, and main characters. The book had outstanding points, when it came to the twists and turns, I was impressed with the overall deeper details in the story and how it had come up towards the surface. The description of the fighting and action scenes stood out in a very well done manner as well. There wasn’t anything super bad about the book, I enjoyed it from beginning to end. If anything, I was upset over it being just a duology. Overall, it’s a good book to consider if you need to get out of a reading slump. 

Smut Rating: 0.1/5

#6- They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera

This book is about two boys who get told that they are going to die in the next 24 hours, but they don’t know exactly when. They are tasked with deciding how and with who they are going to spend that time with. The author is fairly good at bringing out teenage emotion, but it consists of a bit of juvenile writing and description. The book is quite an easy read as well, due to how it has been written. Some things that were done well in the book are the sub plot to one of the boys’ deaths and how they lined up together, and the suspense throughout the book when anticipating the deaths.. The book is quite depressing as well, so if you need a good cry this is for you. One thing I didn’t like about the story line was the environment and market style used to advertise the idea of them being told when they will die in this world. It was very cheesy and depressing that they were profiting off this idea. The overall opinion of the book would have to be a good experience, but maybe not something that many readers would be able to read again, considering its depressing topic and suspense of the deaths being known. 

Smut Rating: 0/5, but there is some romance ;)

These reviews consisted of multiple peoples thoughts due to the fact that not everyone has the same taste when it comes to books. You may like some of these books and not others, or just absolutely love a book that may not have the best review here. It doesn’t mean that someone is wrong, but I hope to shine a general view or opinion on the popular books that get seen on tiktok. All these books had someone interested enough to be promoted on Tiktok, so keep an eye out for these books, because they might be just what you are looking for!

Bdeeha Khan

CU Boulder '25

I am a freshman majoring in biochemistry, using writing as a coping mechanism to get away from science. :)
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