i read tiktok’s most popular books — can booktok be trusted?? 📈📈📈 *no spoilers*

booktok books

#read #tiktoks #popular #books #booktok #trusted #spoilers

I came up with the idea of reviewing TikTok books as a joke…. but I don’t think it’s   a joke anymore. The thing is, right, people often  refer to me as the “Charli D’Amelio of booktube”  

— is that true? No. No-one has ever said that… out  loud — but that doesn’t mean they weren’t thinking   it. I mean, who am I kidding? I’m less WAP and more  NAP. Anyways, like the rest of planet earth, I have  

Spent the last year on TikTok. I actually did  some hosting work for TikTok which is why I’ve   got all of the merchandise, and yes, I do take this  with me everywhere. And one of my favourite parts of   TikTok is BookTok because it’s just so goddamn  wholesome. On BookTok people share their reading  

Experiences, their book recommendations, and I feel  like there are a few books which are just always   being shared by everyone, and so I wanted to see  if these books are actually worth the hype.   Y’know, will these books be more Charlie D’Amelio or  Charlie D’Ameli-no? This week we’re going to find out.

These are the books that I see most regularly  on my “for you” page, so we have The Midnight Library, They Both Die at the End, The Song of Achilles, We  Were Liars, and finally Red White and Royal Blue.  

And I’m super excited because I’m actually going  to be giving away a copy of all five of these   books to five of you to celebrate the fact that we  just hit 500,000 subscribers…. what!?!? That is absurd,  

But thank you so, so much for all of the support  recently — it’s blown my little brain! And I’m doing   this giveaway in collaboration with Karma who  have very kindly sponsored today’s video. Now, I’ve   actually worked with Karma before, back when they  were called ShopTagr, on my dark academia video.  

On Karma you can basically keep track of all the  products that you’re interested in and Karma will   tell you when they’re in stock and, actually, Red  White & Royal Blue has been completely out of   stock for so long but Karma let me know when  there were copies back in stock again, so when  

I say this video wouldn’t have happened without  Karma I mean it. You just install Karma as a plugin   for your Chrome or download it as an app, head to  any of your favourite stores, and click the Karma  

Button and that saves the item so that you get  a notification when it goes on sale, has a coupon   code that’s relevant, or comes back into stock,  and get cracking! You can add different items to   different folders which work as mini kind of mood  boards and prevent impulse purchases — which I may  

Be guilty of every now and then — and you can also  get cashback from a range of retailers which is   gorgeous. And they also scan the internet to find  you a cheeky little discount. So what you need to  

Do is click the link down below to download Karma,  and get started get saving and get shopping, it’s   Karma-n sense… yeah, I should have warmed up for that  one because that was a stretch! So, to win a copy of  

Each of these five books all you need to do  is download Karma, comment down below in the   comment section when you’ve done that, and tag  your Instagram account so we can contact you — and you’ve got one week as of today, so don’t say  I don’t treat you nicely, you lucky sausages! And so,  

While you do that, I’m gonna get on with reading.  Okay I may or may not have just read this whole   thing in one sitting. Ladies and gentlemen…. her.  The first book I read was this one, this is We  

Were Liars and we were… impressed! I liked this  book a lot. This is a book about a girl who goes   on a family vacation every year — which sounds very  pleasant, right? Well, wrong. Because one summer she   has quite a severe head injury which gives her  amnesia meaning that she can’t remember that  

Whole summer and no-one will tell her what  actually happened, but when she returns to the   place years later she starts to slowly but surely  get her memory back, and so we follow her kind of   putting together the pieces. E. Lockhart creates  such a tense atmosphere and, like, you know there’s  

A twist coming but I was not prepared for how good  the twist was. I mean, I was completely gripped. Call   me Peter Pan because I was Captain Hook-ed. The one  thing I’ve seen criticism about is the writing  

Style of this book and that is because basically  there’s lots of line breaks, kind of like midway   through a sentence it will break up the line and, to those people i say: “calm down Jamal, don’t pull   out the nine” because personally I think this is  a really clever stylistic choice, because it’s  

Deliberately fractured just like the girl’s memory!  I liked the way that the writing style makes us   speed up and slow down just like our thoughts do  and that is because we are on the journey with her,  

We’re uncovering things at the same speed and pace  as she is. So I get why it’s not for everyone but   I thought it was effective I thought it worked. I  guess I should have some kind of rating system for  

These — an Addison Rae-ting system –right, well, this  gets a naughty little five star review from me.   Let’s just say my feet are chilly because this  this knocked my socks off… I rest my case. Okay, day   two, book two, this cover is absolutely stunning.  Hello so i’ve just finished reading They Both  

Die at the End and I was a teeny little bit  underwhelmed by this — please don’t come for me!

Listen, let me start by saying: I loved the concept  of the title of this book — it is genius to tell us the ending and make us work our way towards it and  to make it still enjoyable to read to get to that  

Point is really impressive. This book imagines a  future where, at midnight on the day you are going   to die, you get a phone call telling you you will  die at some point in the next 24 hour period. Now,  

Small qualm, but the first thing I want to say  is that phoning people feels like an incredibly   inefficient way of doing this. Like, why there’s not an app?  Best believe my phone is on silent at all times. I  

Will miss your call telling me that I’m gonna die.  I don’t want to be taking phone calls at midnight,   let alone from Vicky on behalf of 0121 you’re  about to do-one. This is a textbook example of  

“if you could have said it in a text, don’t phone  me” — I simply will not pick up! You know, send me an   IOS notification at least. Anyways, in the book we  follow two 18 year olds and both of them have just  

Found out that today is their “end date” — they’re  both in kind of predicaments where they don’t   really have anyone else to spend that last day  with, so they meet via the most depressing version   of Tinder you’ve ever heard. For me, instantly when  I hear about the concepts of this book, straight  

Away I’m thinking “what if you’re a single parent  and you get the alert?” “What if it’s your wedding   day?” “What if you pick up the phone and it’s not  for you, it’s for your young child?” “What if your  

Partner has just boarded a 24-hour flight to  Australia and then you get the call?” Or, the phone   rings and they want to speak to your partner but  they’re on the plane. What I’m saying is, this had  

So much potential to explore and instead we have  two 18 year olds, with barely any connections, who   spend their last day with each other… a stranger.  I wanted more. I needed more flavour. I think the  

Reason the book is about these two characters is  because it is marketed as YA. I just felt like the   concept was wasted on a book that did very little  with it. To give it credit, though, there is a kind  

Of discussion around capitalism and how, even with  this technology, businesses still will find ways to   capitalize by exploiting people who are literally  dying. And we also have some really cool latino, bi,   and queer representation in this book. However,  I gave this a three star review because I just  

Felt like the dialogue between characters was  really stale and forced. I don’t know, to me it   just felt a bit wooden and not the way that real  teenagers really interact with one another and,   while we do get to see both of the main characters  perspectives as well as a few other peripheral  

Characters, the peripheral characters literally  added nothing to this. So even though this is a   quick read and an absolute page turner, because  the title is so provocative, I was a little bit   disappointed by this I can’t lie. And i’m as sad  about that as you are. They Both Die at the End? So  

Did my expectations for this book unfortunately.  Okay, one of the biggest books of the last year   is this one. This is The Midnight Library. This is  a book that I was skeptical about because Matt   Haig (the author) churns out books, whether they’re  fiction, non-fiction, children’s books — like, the only  

Person more productive than Matt Haig is Taylor  Swift. It would not surprise me if, in the time it’s   taken me to film this clip. Matt Haig has published  another book. He’s a machine! Anyway, The Midnight   Library imagines getting to the end of your life  and finding yourself in a library where each book  

Represents a different life you could have had  if you’d made slightly different decisions. So   we follow a character called Nora while she dips  and dives into the potential lives that she could   have led. So, let’s start by saying this is an  incredibly strong concept. I liked reading it —

It was a fast read because it’s kind of episodic.  It’s quite good fun dipping into these extremely   different lives, whether she’s an olympian, a rock  star, a Cambridge professor, and we don’t linger   on each moment for too long and there aren’t too  many characters because the same people sort of  

Crop up in each story. However, I did think the  ending was very very predictable, but I don’t   know if Matt Haig was necessarily going for a big  twist so much as a kind of “self-help motivational   book” disguised as fiction, because Matt Haig has  basically made a career out of de-stigmatizing  

Mental health, which is such important work and  he has a real gift for explaining very complicated   emotions and mental states by using metaphors.  And that works in non-fiction, where you need   to make your point really clearly, but here in  this book because it’s fiction I felt like it  

Was a bit didactic and maybe just oversimplified a  little bit. Like, this book is packed with metaphors   but they’re all very obvious. These metaphors are  about subtle as a giraffe in a meerkat enclosure…   if that giraffe was painted neon pink… and doing the  renegade. It was not very subtle! And, fundamentally,  

It’s a book about suicide, but I actually think  this would be quite triggering for someone who   was going through those emotions at the time. So, my  feelings are complicated and I think that maybe an   older generation would enjoy this more because  really it’s sort of about a mid-life crisis, um, but  

Yeah it is a good read but not one I necessarily  loved, and that’s that on that! Okay, the next book   was this one. This is the Song of Achilles and  this is probably the most recommended book on   booktube, on booktok, and that is because this book  is brilliant, talented, amazing, show-stopping… I’m  

Pretty sure they actually invented the chef kiss  just to describe this book. Like, this is one of my   favorite books of all time. This book will rip  your heart into tiny pieces and you will enjoy   every damn second of it. It’s a retelling of Greek  mythology and it tells the story of Achilles  

And Patroclus. It’s about their experiences of  growing up together, meeting gods, going to fight   in the Trojan War, and Achilles is basically  the star of the show in the Trojan War. Like,   if you ever see him fighting with a grizzly  bear, help the bear. And I know that so many  

People will be intimidated by this book because  it’s about mythology which can be seen as kind   of elitist or confusing but I promise you this  is so accessible and that is because it treats   every myth and legend and god and creature as  self-contained characters or features in this  

Book. So it explains everything, and that’s why  I think people who don’t know very much about   mythology will enjoy this book just as much as  people who do. And it’s about battle and legacy  

And friendship and it’s also a love story, but I  have to warn you these pages here might get a bit   wet because your tears may stain them, because  this book will make you sob like a little baby! 

If this is the Song of Achilles, I want to join  the choir. I need Noah Beck to teach me a little   dance to that song. It’s honestly so spectacular, so  exquisite to read. My compliments to the chef. Also,  

I just realised that I forgot to actually give  you my Addison Rae-ting for these books because, just   like my uploads on TikTok, I am inconsistent. Anyways, this is one of the easiest five stars   i’ve ever given. I would invent a sixth star for  this book. And this was a solid three star review  

And I will catch you tomorrow, Here we are, this is  the final book: Red White & Royal Blue is a book…   it is a book. I forgot what i was gonna say. It’s a  book I have very mixed opinions on. Red White &  

Royal Blue is a queer love story which imagines  the first son of America falling in love with   the prince of the United Kingdom. It is sweet,  it is wholesome, it’s an uplifting story which I  

Would highly recommend. Like most of these books, if  you’re in a reading slump, this will get you out of   it. Like it’s so easy to read. Also my copy is very  floppy which I’m enjoying. I also thought that the  

Author, Casey McQuiston captured people in their  20s really authentically which is something that a   lot of novelists fail to do and this is just full  of pop culture references which I really enjoyed.   So if you are looking for something hopeful and  positive and empowering then this is the book  

For you… it did melt my icy heart. However I also  think it’s really important to note how idealistic   this book is and that wouldn’t really be too  much of an issue if we weren’t talking about   political figures. I guess I just felt like there  were a few strange elements in here which weren’t  

Really necessary to the plot, for example the  monarchy in here are really anti-colonial and   while it’s cool to read about a beautifully  liberal world — like, I wish the world was like   this — I think it felt a little bit forced because  the book tried to tackle every social issue ever,  

And the whole tension of this story relies on risk  and fear of repercussions — fear of being caught — but   nothing they do in this book ever has a  consequence, like things that would cause   international crises are sort of just treated  as minor inconveniences. So the reason I say  

It’s idealistic is because everything was a bit  too perfect, everything was a bit too instantly   resolved, and I kind of think that does a little  bit of a disservice to all of the real struggles   and trauma that so many people around the world  endure, especially those who don’t have the immense  

Privilege that the two main characters of this  book have. So, basically, I’m torn between thinking   it was so awesome to see so much representation  and so much joy (especially queer joy) and it being   a really sweet and wholesome love story, whilst  also simultaneously feeling that it was just a bit  

Predictable because nothing actually goes wrong  for very long at all… so i’m really conflicted   because although I’m giving you a bit of  a mixed review of this book, I would highly   recommend reading it! So that concludes my book-tok  odyssey. As a kind of like “tier ranking” system:  

This book I think absolutely everyone should read.  The Song of Achilles is *chef kiss*. We Were Liars is   great — this is the perfect summer read! Then, The  Midnight Library and Red White & Royal Blue   are quite predictable but still good reads, and  my least favourite was They Both Die at the End  

But it was still a good book. I think what I’ve  learned is that BookTok loves a little twist,   a little sad ending, they want to cry.. BookTok  also tends to recommend YA books and I really  

Do think if you’re struggling to get into reading  all of these books would be the perfect way to get   you back in, and out of your reading slump, so this  has been good fun! Thank you very much for watching  

And don’t forget there are five opportunities to  win all five of these books thanks to Karma and   all you need to do to win is click the link down  below and comment your Instagram handle. Thank you  

So much for watching, I’ve been Jack Edwards, have a  wonderful day, and I’ll catch you very soon — bye bye!

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