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5 BookTok Books That Are and Aren’t Worth the Hype

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.
  1. “Fourth Wing” by Rebecca Yarros 

Last summer, Rebecca Yarros’ novel “Fourth Wing” took BookTok by storm. Published in May 2023, the new series had everyone obsessed with the fantastic plot and lovable characters. Fourth Wing follows Violet Sorrengail, a twenty-year-old girl in a dystopian society where they must decide what life path they want to take once they enter Basgiath War College. There are four quadrants: riders, healers, scribes and infantry. No one believed Violet could make it as a rider, but people started thinking differently when the biggest dragon chose her as his rider. As the war worsens, Violet faces enemies, family, and love challenges. Yarros has said this will be a five-book series; the first two are already out, and the third is coming in January 2025. This series already has so many twists and turns, and we’re only two books in. If you take anything from TikTok, it should be to start this series.

  1. “Say You Swear” by Meagan Brandy 

“Say You Swear” was so good that it put me into a reading slump for about two weeks, which is long for me. The story follows Arianna as she prepares to start her first year of college. She hopes this is the year she can finally be with the man of her dreams: Chase, her brother’s best friend. Things with Chase do not go as planned. Ari is in a close-knit, family-like friend group that consists of Ari, Cameron (Ari’s BFF), Mason (Ari’s twin brother), Brady and Chase. It strains the friend group at first, but things start to normalize. Then, she meets Noah, and the two become friends. He teaches her to cook, talks with her and truly gets to know her. Noah is a gem of a man. He’s not pushy with Ari; he knows she has feelings for someone else she’s getting over, and he takes his time with her. I recommend this book to everyone I know. Throughout the book, you feel all the emotions, like you are living in the story. This book is a 10/10. 

  1. “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” by Mariana Zapata 

“The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” is another book that deserves all of the hype it gets. The book follows Vanessa Mazur, an assistant and housekeeper for NFL star Aiden Graves. She doesn’t feel appreciated enough, so she decides to quit. A few days later, Aiden shows up at her door, begging her to return. You can imagine Vanessa’s shock when the man who barely spoke to her when she worked for him asks her to marry him for legal reasons so he can stay in the States to play football. In my opinion, this book is straight perfection. I’m a big fan of slow-burn books, and with Mariana Zapata, it’s almost like you have to earn it. I adored this book and Zapata’s writing style. Everything is shown to you, not told. She is one of my top three favorite authors. I love everything she writes and will recommend her to anyone and everyone.

  1. “Better Than The Movies” by Lynn Painter

I’ve never enjoyed a young adult book so much in my life. “Better Than The Movies” is a high school romcom that feels like a 90’s movie. Hopeless romantic Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now he’s back in town, and Liz plans on doing whatever it takes to get on his radar, even befriend her neighbor and childhood enemy Wes Bennet. Wes and Michael are friends, so Wes is Liz’s in to get with Michael. As Liz and Wes scheme to get her noticed by Michael, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes, and they continue to grow closer. I never expected to love this book as much as I did because I’m not usually a fan of high school YA romances, but this book is a must-read for every hopeless romantic. 

  1. “Terms And Conditions” by Lauren Asher

I will always recommend anything Lauren Asher writes. “Terms and Conditions” is the second book in the Dreamland Billionaires series. The book follows Iris and Declan. Iris works for Declan as his secretary. After his grandfather dies, it’s revealed that Declan won’t get his inheritance until he gets married. So, who better to marry than the woman who plans his days? Iris. Declan is a grumpy man who never planned on falling in love but has never met anyone like Iris. Lauren Asher made me realize how much I love the marriage of convenience trope in books. This book is so beautiful, and even though it’s fiction, it made me believe in love, and that should be enough to make you think that this book is not over-hyped. The whole series is fantastic, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one. 

Not Worth The Hype 

  1. “A Million Kisses In Your Lifetime” by Monica Murphy 

This book was loved by many, but unfortunately, I am not one of them. This book was all over BookTok for the longest time, to the point where I thought, “Well, I need to get it because it must be good.” The book follows a dual POV of a girl named Wren and a boy named Crew. They hate each other but are forced to work together on a group project and realize they might have more in common than they thought. Crew soon finds himself obsessed with Wren and wants her to be just as obsessed with him. I was deeply disappointed when introduced to the character of Crew. Usually, men written by women are everything we could’ve dreamed of, but Crew had a weird obsession with Wren’s virginity and gave off toxic masculinity vibes. I haven’t read any of Monica Murphy’s other books, but you can definitely skip this one.

  1. “Things We Hide From The Light” by Lucy Score 

As a big fan of the first book in this series, I was very disappointed. The book follows Nash and Lina. Lina moves to town next door to Nash. The physical connection between them is hard to deny, but Lina’s got a secret, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. But when the opportunity arrives to have a fling with Nash, she takes the offer. While reading this book, I kept getting bored. The characters had no personality, and I didn’t connect with them at all. If you plan on reading the Knockemout series by Lucy Score, you can skip this book. You won’t be missing much.

  1. “Consider Me” by Becka Mack 

“Consider Me” by Becka Mack is not a bad book, but is it overhyped? Yes. The story follows Carter and Olivia. Carter is the NHL’s resident bad boy, and Oliva is a school teacher who couldn’t care less about hockey. Obviously, Carter gets his sights set on Olivia and won’t rest until she “considers him.” I didn’t hate this book, but there were parts that disappointed me. I had very high expectations, but as I was reading, I found myself cringing and getting annoyed at a lot of the things said, so unless you like cheesy romances, I don’t think this is for you. The rest of the Playing for Keeps Series is worth the read, but you could probably skip this one.

  1. “Every Summer After” by Carly Fortune 

“Every Summer After” is a second-chance romance that goes back and forth between the past and present. It follows Percy as she returns to her summer home to attend the funeral of Sam’s mother. Sam was Percy’s childhood love. When she sees Sam, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made in the past, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past. They only have one weekend to figure it out. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of second-chance romance, but I wanted to give this a chance. I wasn’t a big fan of the writing and I got bored about a third of the way through. When I read, I read to be happy, and this book was really sad. It was definitely overhyped on BookTok.

  1. “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

This is one of the first books that BookTok recommended to me. The story begins with Cadence suffering a head injury that causes her to lose most of her memories from a summer trip to Beechwood Island. The book follows Cadence as she struggles to cope with her life and figure out who she is before and after the accident. The book could have been executed better. The writing could have been better, and the plot could have made more sense. The only interesting part was the plot twist at the end, but to get to that, you have to read through weird sentence structures and mediocre writing, so I’d say it’s not worth it.

Sasha is journalism major at St. Johns. She's born and raised in Pennsylvania but always dreamed of living in a big city. She loves all things fashion, books, tv/movies, and food.