“BookTok”’s Top Reads for Your Summer Vacation
I combed through Booktok, so you wouldn’t have to. Here are their top reads.
A Little Life
By Hanya Yanagihara
It’s tough starting this list off with such a heavy text. (Plus, as I can attest–it’s a guaranteed tearjerker.)
The book follows four friends in New York City, spanning from their college years to their later lives. Each one of them is struggling with their own vices and mental health. The novel focuses primarily on character Jude St. Francis, whose physical disability and mysterious past life becomes a focal point in the novel’s progression.
A recent BookTok trend was posting your reaction to the novel’s final chapters. Spoiler alert: most videos ended in tears.
It Ends With Us
By Colleen Hoover
This is potentially the title I’ve seen the most circulating BookTok.
It follows lead character Lily, who abandoned the confines of her small town childhood and moved away to start her own business. There she meets Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon. While everything about him seems a perfect fit, he is opposed to a proper relationship and Lily is still left wanting.
Of course, the text then introduces the opposition. Atlas Corrigan, a lover from Lily’s past, reappears and threatens all she’s built with Ryle.
Definitely a top pick for fans of the romance genre.
Where the Crawdads Sing
By Delia Owens
While this title has been popular for quite a while, it’s re-emerged on BookTok due to the movie version being released in July.
This story combines romance and murder mystery, following main character Kya from youth to adulthood. Born and raised in the marsh of Barkley Cove, Kya has learned to live off the land and fend for herself. Having been abandoned by her mother, her father, and her siblings–Kya becomes increasingly reclusive– cementing her role as a legend to the townsfolk. When Chase Andrews, a popular local, is found dead–suspicions are immediately pinned to the mysterious “marsh girl.”
Daisy Jones & The Six
By Taylor Jenkins-Reid
This text, now being adapted into a television series, documents a fake rock band from the 1970s so authentically written they feel familiar.
Daisy Jones, the group’s stunning and enigmatic lead vocalist, is the novel’s focal point. Her relationship with Billy Dunne, the male lead, is a mystery unraveled page by page. Daisy’s coming of age in the late 1960s is exactly how you’d imagine it. Sex, drugs, rock n roll…the stuff of legends.
The novel will leave you wishing these people actually existed.
People We Meet on Vacation
By Emily Henry
This is another BookTok classic. It was on practically every list.
The text follows Alex and Poppy, two best friends who vacationed together for years. They met by chance, a duo with absolutely nothing in common. While Poppy is adventurous, spiritual, and wild–Alex prefers to read books and mind his business.
Following a disaster between them, Alex and Poppy haven’t spoken.
Poppy knows her love for Alex, and convinces him to go on one final trip–years after their last one.
She has one week to fulfill her fate. (So, yes, it’s a premise for fans of occasionally corny romance novels.)
My Year of Rest and Relaxation
By Otthesa Moshfegh
Fair warning, this book is not for everyone. But it was definitely a book for me.
The text follows a recent Columbia graduate struggling with a nihilistic bout of depression and anger. Following the death of her parents, our narrator has been given an inheritance rich enough to support her Upper East Side lifestyle with ease. Tortured by her own existence, her ex-boyfriend, and her best friend Reva–she decides to attempt to induce a coma-like existence with a disturbing combination of prescription drugs. Hence beginning–her year of rest and relaxation.
The book is witty, yet dark. Entertaining, yet twisted.
It’s certainly a worthy read for those who can stomach it.
Conversations With Friends
By Sally Rooney
Following the success of Normal People, it’s no shock Sally Rooney’s sophomore text is also being adapted for television.
Conversations with Friends follows a pair of college students who forge a strangely close friendship with two married professionals.
Frances is a level-headed, soft-spoken writer–and her best friend Bobbi is a bold, loud spoken artist. While the pair were once lovers, they now perform poetry together around Dublin. Through this, they meet Melissa and Nick. Melissa is a highly successful journalist, and her husband Nick was once a well-booked actor. When a flirtation forms between Frances and the married actor, the novel reveals some painful truths about intimacy and youth.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
By Taylor Jenkins-Reid
Taylor Jenkins-Reid has been dominating BookTok this season.
Her second title on this list follows fictionalized Evelyn Hugo, an aging and secretive actress from old Hollywood.
Rather out of the blue, Hugo chooses unknown journalist Monique Grant to document her life, a move that shocks the public.
Monique is summoned to Hugo’s glamorous apartment and listens to the fading icon share her story from start to finish.
The novel touches on themes of ambition, forbidden love, and the power of human connection.
The Song of Achilles
By Madeline Miller
This BookTok choice is certain to bring back all of our elementary school obsessions with Greek mythology.
It follows Achilles, son of the sea goddess Thetis and king Peleus, and Patroclus–an awkward and shunned prince of little status.
The two form a controversial bond and increasingly close friendship; angering the gods.
When the pair find out Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, they set out on a hero’s adventure that quickly turns dark and consequential.
By Gillian Flynn
The leader in books for angry women.
Nick and Amy Dunne have been married for five years. Nick is hardly faithful, and Amy is a beautiful genius–calculating and often overwhelming.
When Amy goes missing from their Missouri home, suspicions are immediately on Nick. His evasive and strange behavior only further calls his character into question.
However, there’s little evidence to suggest Nick has harmed his wife. And if he hasn’t, then where on Earth is Amy Dunne?
Those are just a few books TikTok has been praising. I don’t doubt there’s countless other worthy picks. Have you read any of the above titles? Let us know in the comments.
(Also share your favorite books below!)
Hi! I'm Kate and I'm based in NYC. :-) I was born and raised in New York and I'm a proud owner of lizards, hamsters, and ridiculous looking purses from the dollar store.