The five best reads of the year according to #BookTok

TikTok has spawned bizarre dance trends, a new food craze, and a conspiracy theory or ten.

One of the app’s most holistic effects has been on its young readers — #BookTok is a hugely popular category, with influencers creating a safe haven for fellow fiction fans.

In 2022, #BookTok really took off—it pushed each of these books below onto the New York Times bestseller lists, and bookstores are now devoting entire shelves to her most popular picks.

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These are the thumb-stopping TikTok titles—together, their hashtags have hundreds of millions of views—that regularly appear in BookToker’s recommendations.

BookTok’s superstars and fans can greatly increase fiction sales—several of these titles have become New York Times bestsellers after becoming word-of-mouth hits through the app.

It Ends With Us , for example, Colleen Hoover’s romantic drama saw steady growth after its first month of release in 2016, according to Publishers Weekly.

But five years later, the book was selling 29,000 units a week – thanks to the book It’s Over with Us recommended by TikTok influencers, the algorithm started promoting it on users’ feeds (#ItEndsWithUs has 1.8 billion views on the app at the time of writing).

We’ve rounded up the most popular books on TikTok this year—each with over 500 million views on its hashtag—so your beach read can be perfectly on-trend.

My year of rest and relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

2018 critic Ottessa Moshfegh has had a renaissance of sorts during the pandemic – you only need to look at the title to see why.

The narrator decides to withdraw from modern life and go to her bed – for a whole year of rest and relaxation.

The book resonated strongly with Generation Z, as the narrator’s witty whistles and the author’s take on the art world and online discourse struck a chord.

One of #BookTok’s darker selections, Moshfegh’s novel is an unrelentingly furious look through an Ambien-laced lens at modern life.

Seven Husbands by Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Author Taylor Jenkins Reid is no stranger to internet fame – her 2019 novel Daisy Jones and the Six was a major hit of the year, and now it’s being adapted into a terrific mini-series starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin for Prime Video.

The story is about a departing Hollywood starlet, who recounts her memoirs to a young journalist, telling her life story through the prism of her seven marriages – explaining how her glamorous career and life came crashing down.

The novel reflects the lives of real tragic heroines such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, presenting their stories for a new generation.

Transcendent Realm, Yaa Gyasi

Another tear-jerking epic, Transcendent Kingdom follows a young and gifted neuroscience student dealing with the loss of her brother to drug addiction and her suicidal mother.

The novel is more spare and harrowing than the more youth-skewed fiction on #BookTok , but author Yaa Gyasi’s dialogue resonates with the rhythms of real life.

The exploration of the intergenerational trauma of immigrant families is also honest and beautiful, finding a home away from home – but still yearning for a sense of belonging.

The novel was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Women’s Prize.

It ends with us, Colleen Hoover

#1 New York Times bestseller, Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us is everywhere on the app – the romantic drama has all the elements of a tearjerker.

The novel centers on a troubled love triangle, and was inspired by the author’s parents – and the love story lived on, as Hoover published a sequel, It Begins With Us, shortly after the novel’s wild success.

It’s a read-in-one-sitting kind of book – so you can jump right into reading the sequel (once you’ve wiped away those tears).

Heartstopper, Alice Oseman

Successfully adapted into a cute Netflix series, Heartstopper is a series of graphic novels by British author Alice Oseman.

You know the story – boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy, boy has to announce it to the rugby team.

The story of a budding romance between two ordinary schoolboys, the series has received praise for the way the characters speak like real teenagers.

With four releases in total, there’s plenty more on the horizon for Netflix audiences and TikTok readers alike to enjoy.

They both die in the end, Adam Silvera

You can’t be on #BookTok long without scrolling past this popular young adult novel by American author Adam Silvera.

Also a New York Times bestseller thanks to its fans on the app, the YA blockbuster is responsible for an ocean of tears.

The title might make it seem unlikely, but Silvera has since written a sequel – The First to Die at the End, which also asks big questions about life, death and love.

The hashtag for The Both Die at the End has garnered more than 90 million views, with a popular video format where users post videos of themselves crying after finishing reading the novel.

Time is mother, Ocean Vuong

A collection of poetry by sophomore queer poet Ocean Vuong, this title is a small tribute to Vuong’s mother. Reviewing his stories of grief, loss, and the upheavals of love, Vuong’s expression has had a huge effect on TikTok readers.

Themes of love and loss are extremely popular on #BookTok, and users also seek out Vuong for his experimental form.

“He has an amazing ability to weave poems that are rich with imagery and vivid emotion, but are also very easy to read,” describes TikTok user @caityreads

Like the other titles on this list, Vuong also landed on the New York Times bestseller list thanks to its massive online following.

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