BookTok: the fourth edition


Photo Credit: Irene Fernandez '22

Brianna Salazar ’24 loved reading “It Ends With Us.” It is her favorite book written by Colleen Hoover.

Irene Fernandez and Mary Nassar

Happy February! To celebrate this month of love the right way, your favorite self-proclaimed professional readers are back to review even more popular books on TikTok and offer you some recommendations to add to your reading list!

Mary’s Review

The first book we’ll be reviewing is “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. Allow me to start this off by saying this book is PURE GOLD. I remember first seeing it in the book section of Costco a few years ago, and when my eyes pored over the gorgeous cover art and read the gripping summary on the book, I immediately wanted to read more. I opened the book and read the first sentence, “I hate First Friday.” 

And I was hooked. By the time my parents were telling me it was time to go, I had finished the first chapter and was itching to know what would happen next. While I didn’t end up buying the book from Costco, I borrowed it from the library and quickly got to reading. I finished the book probably within a week of starting it, and from then on, there was no stopping my obsession. I bought the second and third books in the series, borrowed the fourth book from the library when it first came out, and bought “Broken Throne,” a collection of novellas accompanying the “Red Queen” series. 

Senior Isabelle Brookshire expresses her love for the book: “’Red Queen’ was definitely a fun read. I am a sucker for fantasy with a touch of romance, so I enjoyed this book. Mare is an interesting character who’s fun to read about. I recommend!”

“Red Queen” is an amazing book on BookTok. (Photo taken from Google Images via the Creative Commons License)

“Red Queen” encapsulates everything a YA fantasy novel should be. Supernatural powers, royalty, betrayal, revenge, blooms of romance, all set within a masterfully weaved dystopian setting. In the world of “Red Queen,” one’s status depends on the color of their blood. Those with red blood are the commoners, while those with silver blood are the elite who possess special powers, like the ability to manipulate fire, ice, light, and much more. The book centers on Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old girl born with red blood, living in poverty with her family and struggling to survive. By a twist of fate, she is sent to work for the royal family and there finds that even though she has red blood, she possesses a superpower of her own, the ability to manipulate electricity. There unfolds a thick web of the precarious balance between power and justice, freedom and control, and love and betrayal. It’s a story that will leave you reeling at its complex, eye-opening portrayal of the secrets and lies that hold together the people in power. And the ending?

Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out.

Irene’s Review

The second book we will be reviewing is “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover. The book has garnered much love on BookTok, but it has also been coined as being “overhyped.” Before I began reading, I thought this was going to be a love story that would not meet expectations like those on Tiktok have said. But, “It Ends With Us” is truly an amazing read! 

 “It Ends With Us” strays away from the typical love story to focus more on one of heartbreak, complex emotions, and breaking cycles. It centers around the main character Lily Bloom and follows a developing love story between Ryle and Lily who live in Boston. While their relationship is their main focus, Lily experiences challenges when her first love reappears. Rather than telling a simple love story of the past with Atlas, Lily dives into old memories.

The characters are quite exciting and well-developed. All of the main characters had interesting pasts, and the descriptions of each person’s background make it easy to examine how it influences their behavior. Ryle is a driven neurosurgeon with flaws of his own and Lily is an ambitious woman with a strong love for others. 

While I felt the relationship between Lily and Ryle was rushed with forced conversation in their first interaction, the author explores their dynamic more to create a long-lasting impact on readers. Atlas is one of my favorites and definitely has a magnetic charm. The characters are a key highlight of “It Ends With Us” as they made me fall in love with them early on in the book. 

“It Ends With Us” is one of the most popular books on TikTok. (Photo Credit: Irene Fernandez)

Other Royals have also truly enjoyed the book. Sophomore Brianna Salazar shared: “I love how Colleen made everything relatable in a sense. Even if nothing in the book happened to you, while reading the book, you feel like you’re in it.” 

Brianna truly loved “It Ends With Us.” She continued, “Honestly, going into the book blind will connect you with Colleen’s writing more. I literally can’t say one bad thing about this book. I definitely recommend it because Colleen’s writing in all her books, especially this one, is attention-grabbing and intriguing to read.” 

“It Ends With Us” has certain plot points that came as a heartbreaking shock. I finished the book in two days because it was so captivating. Ultimately, I did like the ending and highly enjoyed learning about Lily’s life and her romantic interests. “It Ends With Us” is a book that will keep you reading and have you constantly asking “what happens next?” 

If you have read any books from BookTok, feel free to leave a comment! We are always excited to see your opinions on books we review.