Book Reviews, Books, Discussions

BookTok Books That Are Worth The Hype

Any bookworm that owns a TikTok account will tell you of their ever-growing TBR and how TikTok is the root cause of this. From getting you hooked by the first line to videos as simple as showing you fanart, we are convinced to buy these books. Barnes and Noble stores have even started displaying BookTok tables to entice you further. So what books are actually worth it?


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a terrifying creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not truly a beast, but one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled her world.

At least, he’s not a beast all the time.

As she adapts to her new home, her feelings for the faerie, Tamlin, transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But something is not right in the faerie lands. An ancient, wicked shadow is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or doom Tamlin―and his world―forever.

This series has a rocky start because I actually thought the first book was cliché and a little predictable. I nearly quit after book one, but after several steps of coaxing from other fans of the series, I moved on to the second book. This saved the series for me and I was finally able to understand the hype. If you are on the first book and considering DNFing, know that the series gets SO MUCH BETTER!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

“After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.”

If you are a fan of Sarah J Maas in any way, shape, or form, read this series. It is an unpopular opinion on BookTok, but I actually think this series is even better than ACOTAR. It is a longer series, but I also felt like the characters were so well-developed and were overall easier to route for.


Crescent City by Sarah J Maas

“Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life―working hard all day and partying all night―until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose―to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion―one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.”

This is yet another SJM series, but dang she can write. The main character, Bryce, is so relatable and I love when I can personally connect with a character. Sarah J Maas never disappoints, so just trust that all of her books are WELL worth it.



It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

“Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. And when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life seems too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.”

Colleen Hoover shows up on my for you page as often as Sarah J Maas; enough to actually make her a reading goal this year as I begin to tackle all of her books. If you need a comparison, I have always used Anna Todd in the way that the overall theme of her books is heartbreaking romance. I have heard from friends that while reading this book, it felt outdated, but they have all told me the book is definitely redeemed, which I agree with. I did indeed cry, and it is hard to make me cry while reading.


The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

“As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.”

You just really can’t go wrong with a fake dating plot. We all know how the book will end, but the rollercoaster of emotions along the way is what makes this one totally worth it.


The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch — and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a conwoman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.”

I don’t typically reach for mysteries, but dang this was good. You are constantly on the edge of your seat. I read each of these in one sitting because I simply could not put it down.


Books I’ve Read Recently

My yearly reading goal is pff to a swift start with 18 books down! Click here to see the books I have read so far this year!

10 YA Series Book Readers Will Love

I have compiled a list of the 10 YA novels I know my fellow book readers will thoroughly love! I wish I could read thee over again for the first time!


A Touch of Darkness by Scarlet St. Claire

“Persephone is the Goddess of Spring in title only. Since she was a little girl, flowers have only shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hoped to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. All of that changes when she sits down in a forbidden nightclub to play a hand of cards with a hypnotic and mysterious stranger.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible. But nothing has ever intrigued him as much as the goddess offering him a bargain he can’t resist.

After her encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead, and his terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows―a love that is both captivating and forbidden.”

We love quality retelling, especially when it has smut. This book is heavy on the smut, so don’t read it if that’s not your thing. If that is your thing, then this is a beautiful story to behold.


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig

“In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
 
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last–the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge–and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
 
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who–or what–are they really dancing with?
 
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family–before it claims her next. House of Salt and Sorrows is a spellbinding novel filled with magic and the rustle of gossamer skirts down long, dark hallways. Be careful who you dance with…”

I actually had quite a few vivid dreams after reading this one. A book has to really seep in for that to happen, and boy did this one conquer just that. I love plots that always keep you guessing. No one loves guessing the ending of the book. While it’s always fun to say, “I KNEW IT,” you like to be somewhat surprised. This book took so many twists and turns, I didn’t know what to think or believe. Definite page turner!


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold―a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite―and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.”

The show was amazingly accurate for this one (other than the weird crossover that is). This story showcases characters you can really dig deep on and definitely, makes you route for the underdog. Essy read for sure.


An Heir Comes To Rise by C.C Penaranda

A SWORD…
In the impoverished outer town of a kingdom where fae outrank humans, Faythe, an orphan with a talent for swordplay, knows the importance of keeping her head down around the fae patrol. She and best friend Jakon long for a better life, and her desire to swing her sword in combat may bring the purpose and coin she’s yearned for.

A DREAM…
When she draws the attention of royal guard Nik, she soon learns that her mortal nature isn’t the only reason to remain out of sight. Nik is a Nightwalker, a silent assassin of the mind with the power to enter others’ dreams, and whether she trusts him or not, he’s about to awaken abilities in Faythe that shouldn’t exist in a human. Nightmarish abilities. Deadly abilities. Abilities that will teach Faythe blood really does run thicker than water…and if she doesn’t trust in higher powers soon, blood will run indeed.

AN HEIR…
For this is no battle Faythe can fight with steel. Within the city walls, suspicions are arising, and here in the outer town she has deeper bonds to protect. It seems everyone will die with a dark secret to tell, but what if one unlikely human girl was born harboring the darkest secret of all…?”

I honestly didn’t know how this book would go in the beginning. It had that kind of plot that could either be executed perfectly or horribly, and it actually went the former. I loved these characters and the sense of suspense throughout the story. Another easy and quick read.


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