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Four Books TikTok Made Me Buy (And Actually Read)

I hate to admit it. I hate to admit that at the wild age of 20 I spend my time using TikTok. What is even more embarrassing is the fact that I let it influence me. And yes, I could’ve been influenced in worse ways, but like I said before - it's slightly embarrassing to admit. 

Four whole books later, here I am. I have bought, read, and actually enjoyed five personalized book recommendations from TikTok  that every 20-something must read. And if you’re looking for a longer explanation than a 60 second TikTok, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled them here for you to follow in my footsteps. 

Everything I Know About … Love by Dolly Alderton 

If you read for escapism and want to live vicariously through the author and her twenties then this is the book for you. This coming of age memoir details Dolly’s life growing up in England, through her boarding school days to university and post-grad. And trust me, absolutely nothing is too taboo for Dolly. Follow along as she explains her experience through hook-up culture, drinking, friends, roommates, awkward first dates, and of course, love. Her writing is captivating and perfect to get a glimpse into the life of a twenty something woman and her journey to adulthood. “No matter how old or round we are, all of us deserve an occasional pair of arms around our waist as we stir the soup on the stove. It should never feel unavailable to us,” writes Alderton.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Grab a box of tissues and a cup of tea before you start this book because once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the last page. It Ends With Us features Lily Bloom as she grows up from a young teenager to an adult, following her dreams of love, career, and life. However, before Lily can let go of her troubled home life, she must accept the fate of her first love, Atlas. But on a fateful day, Lily meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon on a rooftop in Boston. As time moves along, Ryle keeps coming back into her life, a fate she must accept. Hoover writes with a sense of hope for true love and Lily’s desire for a relationship better than her parents’*. I couldn’t put this book down and by the time I reached the last page, I had tears welling up in my eyes. Without trying to spoil it, I’ll leave you with a quote, “Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet.” 

*contains stories of physical and emotional domestic abuse 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The first time I saw this book I wanted to read it because of the cover. And I know that is pretty shallow of me, but after reading, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the story more than the cover. This book is a semi classic by Coelho and follows the journey of Santiago, a shepherd in Spain, to find his promised treasure. On the way, Santiago must make decisions that could impact his welfare, family, and career, and in the midst of everything he cannot seem to stop his quest. Although the treasure could be anything, Santiago learns that his path isn’t so literal and instead is a lesson to follow one's heart and accept change. “The boy stood up shakily, and looked once more at the pyramids. They seemed to laugh at him, and he laughed back, his heart bursting with joy. Because now he knew where his treasure was.” 

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

What are your moral principles? What do you live by? And why does everyone else seem to know theirs? Don Miguel Ruiz lends a hand to those in that situation, writing of the four truths that are most valuable, and explains each one better than TikTok ever could. Ruiz keeps his morals succinct; be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. However, these aren’t as “first-grade’ as they may seem. Ruiz delves into the application of these agreements and how they can be beneficial to everyone. While reading this book, I was able to adopt some of the agreements into my own journey, finding out what they mean to me, and how they could apply to my life. Ruiz writes, “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn't walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

If you’re like me, reading scares you. I have to give some credit to TikTok for getting me back on the train and sitting down with a good paperback. I enjoyed each of these books and hopefully you’ll feel the same. Hit your library, local bookstore, and NOT Amazon to pick up a copy and get reading. I’m sure each of these stories is a little more captivating than an hour on TikTok. 

Tori McArthur is a Journalism and Sociology major at Seattle Pacific University. She loves to travel and lives by Indy Blue's mantra of "creating the life you want." You can probably find her at a thrift store in Seattle with a coffee in hand.
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