9 Brilliant Novels BookTok Should Obsess Over Next

May 28 2021
Share 9 Brilliant Novels BookTok Should Obsess Over Next

Like many people, I downloaded TikTok last year and let myself get lost in hours of scrolling through videos. One of the best things that I discovered was the existence of “BookTok.” I found many content creators sharing their book recommendations, but I kept seeing the same books over and over again. Most of the books I saw were young adult or sci-fi/fantasy novels, with the occasional romance novel popping up here and there. But there are so many novels that deserve more love on BookTok. One of these days, I’ll get my act together and film more videos of my own to share, but in the meantime, check out the books I think BookTok fans should obsess over next!

Verity
by Colleen Hoover

VERITY is not the kind of book you would expect to have been penned by Colleen Hoover. She definitely took a dark turn with this book, but I’m here for it! Verity Crawford is a bestselling author, but after a terrible accident, she’s no longer able to finish her successful series. Her husband, Jeremy, and her publisher decide to hire another writer to complete the series—and that’s where Lowen Ashleigh comes into the picture.

Lowen is a writer who’s struggling financially when the opportunity to finish the Noble Virtues series falls into her lap. She heads to the Crawford home to review Verity’s notes for the previous titles in the series so that she can start writing the next book. While digging through Verity’s office, she comes across a manuscript for what appears to be Verity’s autobiography. Lowen can’t resist reading the manuscript, thinking it could help with the writing of the new novel, but she soon discovers shocking secrets that the Crawfords may never want revealed to the world!

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Verity
Colleen Hoover

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When I first started writing this list, I had seen only one video recommending this title, but in the past week I’ve seen it pop up more often on my for-you page. In this story of Old Hollywood glamour, film icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to share the truth about her fabulous and scandalous life. She was Hollywood’s It Girl for more than four decades—every man wanted her, and every woman wanted to be her. This story takes place before the age of social media, so Evelyn never had the ability to reveal what was really going on behind the scenes.

Monique is the lucky journalist who gets to sit down with Evelyn to hear her story, but she soon realizes that this is much more than a two-page spread. Evelyn tells the juicy story of the ups and downs of her seven marriages, what happened when she wasn’t in front of the camera, and so much more. While I initially started reading this book for the glamour of Old Hollywood, I kept turning the pages to learn more about these captivating and complex characters.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

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The Worst Best Man
by Mia Sosa

I’m starting to see more videos about our favorite enemies-to-lovers book tropes, so if that’s what you’re searching for, step into the world of Max Hartley and Lina Santos! No wedding planner understands the pain of getting left at the altar like Lina. When her fiancé disappeared just hours before they were supposed to walk down the aisle, she couldn’t believe it. She throws herself into planning weddings for her clients but hits a bump in the road: in order to win an opportunity that could change her career, she has to work with Max, the brother (and failure of a best man) of her ex-fiancé. Max is determined to use his marketing expertise to promote the event with a coveted hotel client, but as he works with Lina to impress the client, the sparks between them turn into undeniable sexual tension.

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The Worst Best Man
Mia Sosa

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MENTIONED IN:

9 Brilliant Novels BookTok Should Obsess Over Next

By Saimah Haque | May 28, 2021

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Queenie
by Candice Carty-Williams

To be honest, I often judge books by their covers. I know that seems wrong to admit, given that I worked in publishing for several years, but if I’m not familiar with the author or the title, the cover art is what makes me read the description and, sometimes, buy the book. So, it’s no surprise that this gorgeous art is what drew me in, but Queenie’s relatable adulting struggles kept me flipping through to the end.

We live an ocean apart and come from different cultures, but I recognized a lot of myself in Queenie. We both attempted to find an affordable apartment only to have the broker pull a bait and switch, moved in with strangers we met online, dated a bunch of losers when trying to rebound after a bad breakup, realized that we and our best friends were interested in the same guy . . . the list goes on. I feel like many people in the BookTok community would find that they also relate to the challenges Queenie faces.

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Queenie
Candice Carty-Williams

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The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
by Balli Kaur Jaswal

If you’re looking for a buddy read, I highly recommend THE UNLIKELY ADVENTURES OF THE SHERGILL SISTERS. This novel explores the balance between tradition and modernity in immigrant communities. Three British-born Punjabi sisters make their way to India to scatter their mother’s ashes after her death. Each sister is also dealing with her own issues: Rajni, the oldest sister, is trying to keep the family together while dealing with the challenges of raising a teenage son. Shirina, the youngest sister, is struggling to adjust to married life with an overbearing mother-in-law. And the middle sister, Jezmeen, has been publicly ousted from her job and dumped by her boyfriend. As the sisters come together, they try to navigate the pressures of the conflict between what is expected of them and what feels right for themselves.

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The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters
Balli Kaur Jaswal

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In Five Years
by Rebecca Serle

Where do you see yourself in five years? It’s a question that’s often asked during job interviews. Dannie Kohan always knew her answer. She had a vision of where she wanted to be not only in her career but also in her personal life. But the night after a job interview for her dream post at a prestigious law firm in the city and a celebratory evening with her fiancé, she suddenly awakes to see herself five years in the future, living in a new apartment, with a different engagement ring on her finger and a guy who is definitely not her current fiancé. When she wakes again (for real this time), she’s back in 2020 with her life just as it was when she first fell asleep. She shakes it off, thinking it was all just a dream.

Flash forward to 2025, and Dannie is still engaged to her fiancé and working at the law firm. But when she’s out with her best friend, Bella, she suddenly runs into the mystery man from her dream of four and a half years ago. I could not believe the twist that Rebecca Serle introduced next, and I kept rapidly flipping the pages to find out how this story would end.

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In Five Years
Rebecca Serle

An Atria Book. Atria Books has a great book for every reader.

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SLAY
by Brittney Morris

SLAY follows Kiera, a young black girl who secretly codes her own MMORPG game (also called SLAY) once she realizes that all the games she’s used to playing exclusively feature characters who look nothing like her. The game is unique because it’s built to be a safe space for Black people to truly be themselves and to show off all the beauty that their culture and ancestry entails. But when someone is killed in real life over a dispute in the game, Kiera’s world starts to spin. Nobody knows that she’s the creator of SLAY, but media outlets start calling the game discriminatory, and an anonymous troll threatens to sue her for being anti-white. Fans of THE HATE U GIVE and READY PLAYER ONE will enjoy this story in which the BLM movement and gaming tech intersect.

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SLAY
Brittney Morris

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019!
“Gripping and timely.” —People
“The YA debut we’re most excited for this year.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain.” —Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

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One by One
by Ruth Ware

If you’re a fan of locked-door mysteries, you won’t want to miss this captivating thriller by Ruth Ware. A group of employees at Snoop, a tech start-up, head to a luxury ski chalet in the French Alps for a corporate retreat. But upon arrival, tension develops among the colleagues, escalated by one of the cofounders of the company, who brings up a lucrative and contentious buyout offer. The company is on the brink; depending on how the shareholders vote, it could mean disaster or a massive payday. In an attempt to take a break from the weighty decision they must make, the group hits the slopes to mull things over. While out on the mountain, they get separated, and a mammoth avalanche hits, causing a power outage and leaving them stranded. When one of them is found dead, the anxiety and distrust accelerate, and the group starts to dwindle one by one.

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One by One
Ruth Ware

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A claustrophobic spine-tingler.” —People
Not only do Ware’s novels wink at [Agatha] Christie in a saucy way, but Ware herself is turning out to be as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime.” —The Washington Post

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech start-up, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

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Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren

From the night they first met in college—when she hurled on his shoes—to when she sent him a mortifying email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh always considered Hazel to be more spectacle than peer. But now, several years later, they run into each other again, and after Hazel’s apartment floods due to a burst pipe, her friend Emily suggests that she crash at Josh’s place while he’s out of town visiting his girlfriend.

But Josh’s life is turned upside down when he finds out that his girlfriend has been cheating. Hanging out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. They decide to help each other get back into the dating game by setting each other up on progressively worse double blind dates. But if they’re dating other people, that means there’s nothing between them . . . right?

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Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
Christina Lauren

Most men can’t handle Hazel. But her best friend Josh isn’t most men. Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s new novel about two people who are definitely not dating…no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

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Photo credit: iStock / Alina Rosanova

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