Booktok: the fifth edition


“Some Girls Do” is a contemporary YA novel by Jennifer Dugan. (Photo Credit: Irene Fernandez)

Mary Nassar and Irene Fernandez

The self-proclaimed professional readers are back! To kick off April the right way, we’re here to review more popular books on TikTok and offer you some spring reads to add to your reading list!

Irene and Mary’s Review

Mary: The first book we’ll be reviewing is “Some Girls Do” by Jennifer Dugan. A close friend of mine lent me the book in January and said I would absolutely love it. 

That was a severe understatement. 

Within a few days, I had finished the book and absolutely ADORED it. “Some Girls Do” is told from two alternating perspectives: Morgan, the stellar track star starting over at a new high school and struggling to find her place and people and Ruby, the seasoned beauty pageant queen who has a passion for fixing up cars but doesn’t know how to tell her mom she doesn’t want to do pageants anymore. At first glance, the pair seem unlikely friends. And they actually do start off sort of hating each other after Ruby almost ran Morgan over in the school parking lot. However, as they get to know each other more, they start to grow closer and by the end of the novel, a beautiful friendship has formed, giving them both the confidence to take control of their narratives and grow into the people they want to be.

“Some Girls Do” is a story of heartache, love, friendship, family, and the growing pains of being a teenage girl in high school. It’s also a story of feeling lost and finding your way again through the connections and relationships you form with other people. What I loved most about “Some Girls Do” was its brutal honesty of the reality of growing up—that, most of the time, it’s extremely frustrating and confusing and generally just hard.

But there’s so much joy that can be found. If we would only stop every once in a while and look for it.

Irene: The same friend also lent me “Some Girls Do,” and I absolutely loved it. The book is a quick read because of its captivating charm after the first two chapters of introducing the two main protagonists, Ruby and Morgan. While they appear complete opposites based on their interests, friend groups, and family life backgrounds, they actually have much more in common than they initially believed. 

After reading the first few chapters, I was engaged in the storyline of this budding friendship. Both characters have intriguing lives. I found myself continuously wanting to read more about Morgan’s journey at a new school and Ruby’s relationship with her mother as well as her own self-exploration.  

Trinity Delacruz ‘22, the friend who recommended the book, also shares our views. Trinity said, “I love this book so much. I’m so glad that I was able to randomly find it at my local Barnes & Noble. At just over 300 pages, the book was a super quick and easy read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a quick-burn romance Y/A novel and/or listens to artists like Clairo, Mitski, girl in red, and Conan Gray.”

Irene and Mary’s Review

This is a scene featuring the main characters, Madeline and Olly, in the film version of “Everything, Everything.” (Photo Provided by @everythingeverythingfilm Instagram)

Mary: The second book we’ll be reviewing is “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon. “Everything, Everything” garnered a lot of popularity a few years ago and even had a movie adaptation made of it starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson, and it’s clear to see why it’s such a popular read. 

I read “Everything, Everything” when I was in 8th grade, and I remember being immediately intrigued with the main character Madeline and the insane conditions of her life. In the book, Madeline can’t leave her house because she was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency or “bubble baby disease.” Reading about her everyday life with her mom and nurse constantly left me wanting to read more and find out more about her condition and how she was coping with such an awful situation.

Let’s just say how she deals with her illness and the events that unfold forcing Madeline to confront her past and the details surrounding her diagnosis will leave you reeling. 

Trust me when I say you’ll never trust another author again after the emotional rollercoaster of “Everything, Everything.”

Irene: “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon is a book that has stuck with me ever since I first read it in middle school. I remember seeing the trailer for the book’s adaptation and making sure I read the book before I watched the movie. 

The book is a quick and enjoyable read because of its captivating characters and intriguing storyline of Madeline’s health diagnosis. Because of her autoimmune disease, Maddy has to stay at home, isolated from everything that is not sanitized, with someone to look after her while her doctor mother works. With all of her free time, Madeline picks up several interests with reading and architecture that allow her to interact with her inside world. An interesting feature I loved about the book version I read was the art included throughout the pages that furthered my engagement in the storyline. 

Since Madeline’s world is so limited, there are not many characters. However, the main characters of this romance tale, Oliver and Maddy, are extremely likable. Their love story is absolutely adorable and occurs mainly through a glass window after Olly moves next door. 

Aside from myself and Mary, Cicleri Lopez ‘24 also loved “Everything, Everything.” Similar to many people on BookTok, she read this book “when it first came out and loved the romance story.” She elaborated more on characters and the love storyline: “My favorite character is definitely Olly because in the movies, he was really attractive. Besides his appearance, I liked how mysterious he was and how curious and patient he was with Maddy.”

Cicleri had more to mention on both the movie and book version of “Everything, Everything.” She said, “I enjoyed the movie because I am such a hopeless romantic and I liked seeing Maddy and Olly’s story play out on the big screen. I feel like ‘Everything Everything’ is a good book that appeals to anyone, especially people who like romantic, artsy, or ‘boy next door’ stories. The book is just perfect.” 

“Everything, Everything” is truly an amazing read with a beautiful movie adaptation. 

Hopefully, you are able to read “Some Girls Do” or “Everything, Everything” to start off your month of April! Feel free to comment your opinions if you have read either of these books or leave BookTok recommendations.