What you missed on BookTok: Popular reads book list

Sophie Borislow, Arcade Editor

Throughout the summer, TikTok seemed to flourish with viral videos endorsing different novels, leading to a social media trend known as “BookTok.” Below are a few of the most talked about and praised books of recent months so that your back-to-school season could include a new read from our book list.

“It Ends With Us” Colleen Hoover

This novel can be argued as the firestarter in the BookTok movement as its popularity swept social media. Characterized as an adult contemporary romance, this novel follows Lily and Ryle throughout their unexpected relationship. Hoover’s work explores sensitive topics such as domestic violence and takes readers through an emotional rollercoaster. If you expect this read to be a light-hearted romance novel about a love triangle, you are sadly mistaken. 

“People We Meet on Vacation” Emily Henry

This New York Times Bestseller was published in early May of 2021and quickly became popular. Alex and Poppy, polar opposites turned best friends, take an annual vacation together every summer for years. However, years after a conflict leading the two to cut all communication, Poppy takes Alex on one last vacation. Described as an ‘homage’ to the 1989 movie “When Harry Met Sally,” this romance novel will leave you in tears. 

“My Year of Rest and Relaxation” Ottessa Moshfegh

How unlikeable can the main character be? Ottessa Moshfegh’s second work focuses on an unnamed woman living lavishly on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the early 2000s. She goes to extreme lengths with help from her ethically-corrupt therapist to increase her daily drug intake so that she can attempt to sleep for an entire year — just because she wants to. Following along her proclaimed self-help journey and struggle with relationships, this unrelenting novel explores ideas of alienation and loneliness. 

“Normal People” Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney’s second published work follows Marianne and Connell as they navigate their relationship and adolescence. This heart-wrenching novel grapples with issues of social class and self-worth. The duo seems to always come back to one another, yet afraid of what their future could hold. Rooney is able to beautifully illustrate the heartbreak and joy that results from love in a way that can speak to any reader. 

“The Year of Magical Thinking” Joan Didion 

Immediately distinguished as a classic memoir about mourning and loss, Joan Didion describes her struggle to process loss and grieve her late husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. The work is breathtakingly honest and emotional as she displays her intimate thoughts on paper. This memoir was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and is a must-read for anyone struggling with loss.

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