BookTok: the final edition


Photo Credit: Mary Nassar

“Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” and “Milk and Honey” are the last books we’re reviewing for the BookTok series. And that’s a wrap!

Mary Nassar and Irene Fernandez

The self-proclaimed professional readers are back for the last article in the BookTok series! To end the school year off right, we’re here to review a few of our favorite books from TikTok and offer you some fun reads to start off your summer on the right note!

Irene and Mary’s Review

Mary: The second to last book we’ll be reviewing is actually a collection of poetry! Well-known and loved by readers worldwide, “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur will leave you reeling at its honest and poetic portrayal of life’s many challenges and joys.

I first read “Milk and Honey” many years ago, but to this day, I still pull the book from my shelf every once in a while, and it’s always like I’m reading it for the first time again. Every time I read through “Milk and Honey,” I always learn something new because as I experience new things in my life, I better understand her words and have a new found compassion and empathy for her experiences.

“Milk and Honey” is split into four chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. Its poems tell the story of a woman navigating through love, loss, trauma, heartbreak, and healing—all while struggling to embrace their femininity and culture. Reading “Milk and Honey” is truly such a cathartic experience because it feels like you’re healing and growing right alongside the author. Even while some of her poems are simply a phrase or sentence, it’s her simplicity that speaks volumes because some experiences are too profound to be romanticized and poeticized. Sometimes speaking plainly is the only way to respond and shed light on a particular situation.

Probably my favorite poem in the whole book is the first one, and it goes like this:

how is it so easy for you

to be kind to people he asked

milk and honey dripped

from my lips as i answered

cause people have not

been kind to me

“Milk and Honey” finds a way to speak to so many universal experiences in only a few lines. It finds a way to make people feel so seen in a few words. It truly is a gem and is a must read for anyone trying to grow and heal through their life experiences.

And if you like “Milk and Honey,” you’re going to love Rupi Kaur’s two other poetry collections “The Sun and Her Flowers” and “Home body.”

Irene: “Milk and Honey” is truly one of the most popular poetry books on TikTok and has been seen in aesthetic photos all over Pinterest. I instantly wanted read the book when I flipped through the pages while shopping at a store. The first thing that captured my interest was the minimalistic drawings, which completely add to the beautiful writing from Rupi Kaur.

After reading a few poems, I kept wanting to read more and more because of the various important topics she talks about and how connected I felt to some. Anyone can finish this book in one day.

While “Milk and Honey” has been criticized on TikTok for being simple, the author writes about important topics about self-love, growing up a girl, betrayal, and many more that should be discussed. Oftentimes, her experiences are common to many people, and the simplistic writing of some poems is refreshing because it makes difficult situations easier and more normal to talk about.

In several poems, Rupi Kaur discusses her life as a girl, specifically as a woman of color. Her story is so important to share. While some poems may be short and simple, they can be highly impactful.

One of my favorite poems of “Milk and Honey” includes the following lines:

our struggle

to celebrate

each other

is what’s proven

most difficult in

being human

Senior Kelsey Hernandez has also read “Milk and Honey” and absolutely loves these poems. One of her favorite poems includes: “‘I am hopelessly a lover and a dreamer and that will be the death of me.’” Kelsey also shared, “I like that the book expresses a distinct opinion on what self love and loving someone is. Her poetry shows you the importance and the hardships of both going through loss and dealing with your struggles to become the best version of yourself for yourself.”

Irene and Mary’s Review

Mary: And the last book we’ll be reviewing is “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, sequel to the bestselling “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.”

Now, Irene and I reviewed “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” back in January (if you’d like to read our review on it, here’s a link to the article!:, and we both absolutely adored its beautiful prose and heart wrenching story about two teenage boys who become friends against all odds, all while trying to find their place in this wide wide universe. Neither of us had read the sequel yet, but we were both itching to find out how the story continued.

Well, I had the fortune of finding the book at a Barnes and Noble in late March and pounced at the opportunity to finally be able to read it over reading the first book in the duology a few years ago.

“Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” picks up where the first book left off: Aristotle and Dante are right on the verge of their senior year, and they’re trying to soak up the last rays of summer before school begins. Once the school year starts, new challenges arise for these new found friends who must learn how to navigate the waters of high school, friendships, standing up to bullies, and making their voices heard. It’s a compelling story of strengthening family ties, forming new bonds of friendship, and finding one’s place in the world through the love they cultivate in their lives.

I’m someone who pretty much never cries at books or movies. But this book? Made me sob like a newborn baby.

In the absolute best way possible.

Irene: “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” by Benjamin Alire Saenz is truly one of the best books I have ever read. I loved reading “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” so of course, I had to read the sequel. 

The writing is just extremely beautiful and philosophical. “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” made me both sob and have an existential crisis at 2 a.m. The story of Aristotle and Dante is such an important and unique one for anyone to read.

What I love so much about “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” is that it is just the story of two teenagers trying to figure out the meaning of life, love, and what it means to be a compassionate human being. I loved being able to see into the mind of Ari and realizing I share a lot of emotions and experiences with the two main characters. The book explores the trials of growing up in a changing world and the struggles Aristotle and Dante face because of their high school life and identity.

Aside from myself and Mary, Cicleri Lopez ‘24 also loved reading “Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World.” She said, “I loved reading the first book so I really wanted to read the second when I found out there was one. The book is a really cute story about friendship but it can also be sad at times. I love both Aristotle and Dante. Dante is a charming character and both characters are able to teach each other about how to be a better person as they go through life. I think a lot of people would love this book series.”

“Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World” is truly a life-changing book and one of the best books on BookTok.

Hopefully, you have a chance to read “Milk and Honey” or the Aristotle and Dante series. Both are amazing reads for the summer.

We have also written articles on other books that you should definitely check out!

Until next time. BookTok lovers, signing off…