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I Read These Popular TikTok Books So You Don’t Have To (Pt.1)

As social media becomes a more prevalent piece in society, many look to it for recommendations and thoughts on a variety of things from stores, politics, and news. But in a sub-genre of TikTok, one can find BookTok, a book-specific area where book lovers rejoice about their favourites or make hilarious videos from a different character’s point of view. Now, as people talk more and more about specific books, many stores and websites are deeming them as “TikTok Famous” or “The TikTok Books,” but are they actually worth the hype? I’ve read quite a few of these supposed “TikTok books” and here are my thoughts on those.

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Okay, so I actually love this book. While this is NOT a YA, it is often mistaken as one, but trust me, the amount of smut in here and the topics covered are FAR from a Young Adult novel. This is an LGBTQ+ tale that takes place during a time when the president of the USA is a woman, and her son is faced with having to be friends with the Prince of England. Now, what could go wrong? Just about everything! It’s a true enemies-to-lovers with a diverse cast, loveable family, and amazing moments that will have you either laughing or crying.

Rating: Run to the store and BUY IT!

Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon

Before anyone comes after me, hear me out: I got this book for free with my Kindle Unlimited and A LOT of people were talking about it. Now I’m not new to smut (I’ve actually found that I enjoy reading it more and may discuss it at a later time), and while the premise of this book may seem VERY strange, it wasn’t horrible. So you have a group of women that have been taken by aliens from Earth, but things go awry and they crash land on an abandoned planet…but it wasn’t abandoned. It’s actually full of these very large (and I really mean very, in all aspects of anatomy) blue alien men. You can kinda see where it’s going from here, which is why this is not a YA, and while the writing was a bit questionable, if you enjoy reading some trashy smut, check this out. There are quite a few books in this series, but I’ve only read the first one and I really don’t think I’ll continue with the story at this time.

Rating: Aliens make one hell of a partner in bed, but don’t let others know you are reading this. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.  Schwab

This was one of the books I read for my book club, and while the premise seems really promising, I’m in the group of people who really didn’t care for this one. I was so excited for this to be about a time-travelling lady who makes a deal with the devil and then ends up at a bookstore! I mean, what is better than a bookstore romance? Answer: nothing! But I really didn’t care for either of the main characters; their actions were just stupid, which is never a fun time. I was actually rooting for the devil to win, which is not really a good sign since he was a minor character. Also, the ending made me really mad, but I kinda guessed it about halfway through the book, so I was just reading it to finish it at that point. 

Rating: I didn’t really enjoy it, but maybe you will?

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This book is not only hyped everywhere on BookTok, but can be found across Bookstagram and every book blog possible. After seeing all this hype, I decided to read it, and while I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s a literary masterpiece. Does it have some pretty hot men? Ya, it really does. What about a kick-butt heroine? Yep, she’s there. There are also some mythical creatures and fighting for one’s life, but I found this one super slow. There are actually going to be 6 (maybe 8?) books in this series, plus a spin-off with a few of the main characters, so I’ve yet to continue the series, but I’ve been told that it does get better.

Rating: It was OK, but maybe get from the library first.

The Inheritance Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Hear me out, I had to include this one because Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one of my top authors and I will auto-buy anything she writes and this book is taking the book world by storm! It’s a cross between Knives Out and Cinderella and it is just a twisty and deceiving book that will have you flying through the pages. Oh, and did I mention the four pretty lovely grandsons that are all in the book? And they are southern!? This is the first book in the series and I actually finished the second one the other week and the plot gets SO much better and I cannot wait for the third book next year!

Rating: We are here for the mystery, twists, and hot southern men!

Carly Coombe is currently in her last year of Teacher's College for P/J, additionally with an Honour Bachelors Degree in English and History. When she’s not busy balancing school and work, she often volunteers her time as a Girl Guide leader for a local unit or is working on her small business, which has taken off since quarantine. She will always be found with her nose in the latest book, sometimes even ones that have not been published yet. She aspires to earn her TEFL degree and become an English and History high school teacher.
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