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15 of the Best BookTok Recommendations From 2023 — Colleen Hoover Is Not Included

BookTok Recommendations 2023 561 Feature (3)

Colleen Hoover might be the forever queen of BookTok, but her steamy romance novels aren’t the only books that had Us hitting our reading goals this year.

While not every novel on the list was released in 2023, some major page-turners had a resurgence thanks to their popularity on the social media platform.

Sarah J. Maas’ first A Court of Thorns and Roses novel was released in 2015 and has since spawned four sequels. The most recent, A Court of Silver Flames, was published in 2021. However, BookTok has taken this book series to a whole new level — and it’s even being adapted for television.

While some have claimed that BookTok just recommends the same few titles, TikTok creator Satoria Ray, who boasts over 40,000 followers on the platform, has disagreed.

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“I would say that’s someone who has probably been on BookTok for a day,” Ray told author Leigh Stein in February. “I don’t think that any of us in this room are on the same BookTok.”

The beauty of BookTok is that it has become a diverse offering of authors, books and genres to readers to spend hours, days and months scrolling the hashtag.

Keep scrolling to see 15 of the best BookTok recommendations from this year:

‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara

The 2015 novel by Yanagihara has become a huge phenomenon years after its release. It tells the story of a group of four friends as they experience life’s ups and downs together.

Many of the BookTok posts regarding this novel are readers crying over the emotionally charged pages. “I’m not even 300 pages into this book,” one TikTok user told fans through tears. A second captioned their video, writing, “I just finished a little life and I feel heartbroken.”

‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin

BookTok Recommendations 2023 559 ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin

Released in 2022, this novel took BookTok by storm early into the next year, making it one of the most recommended on the hashtag. Author Zevin wrote the story of Sam Masur and Sadie Green, whose friendship spans over 30 years as they become friends then business partners.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and I’m sad and tomorrow,” one TikTok user wrote of the novel. Another reviewer said she had a “recent bathtub mental breakdown” over the book.

‘Fourth Wing’ by Rebecca Yarros

Yarros released this book this year, and it became a fast favorite among readers. She even dropped a sequel before 2023 came to an end. The first in the Empyrean series, Fourth Wing introduced readers to Violet, who has trained her whole life to become a scribe before being thrown into a war college for dragon riders.

One BookTok creator said “f—k you” to “the first person who came on here and recommend this book” because they quickly became “obsessed” with the novel. “It’s crack. It’s addictive. I can’t stop, it’s easily bingeable. Like I hate you. I hate you but I love you thank you so much,” they added.

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‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston

Thanks to the Prime Video movie of the same name, BookTok went crazy for the 2019 love story between Alex, son of the president of the United States, and Prince Henry, spare to the British throne.

“Who else is obsessed with alex & henry rn?” one BookTok user captioned their video. Another social media user wrote, “No thoughts, just alex and henry.”

‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’ by TJ Klune

Released in 2020, the book tells the story of 40-year-old Linus Baker and the six magical orphans living in Marsyas Island Orphanage.

Reviewers on TikTok have referred to this book as part of the “cozy” genre. “This book had my heart man😭,” one person shared. A second called it “the best book of all time.”

‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas

BookTok Recommendations 2023 562 ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas

If the acronym ACOTAR is familiar, thank BookTok. The five-book (so far) series follows character Feyre Archeron and her love story across the faery realm of Prythian.

ACOTAR was first on “spicy” BookTok but it’s since landed in the mainstream. In fact, it was announced earlier this year that Hulu is developing a show based on the novels. Author Maas has also hinted at another book already in the works.

‘Maame’ by Jessica George

Not only is Maame a BookTok pick, but it was featured in Today‘s book club, Read With Jenna [Bush Hager]. George’s novel, released earlier this year, is about a girl named Maddie living in London and taking care of her father as her mom spends most of her time in Ghana. Maddie, however, is just trying to experience some much-needed “firsts.”

BookTok users referred to this as a “must-read” of the year. “A good, relatable coming-of-age book!” one user wrote.

‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller

Originally published in 2011, Miller’s The Song of Achilles has risen in popularity this year. The book is a retelling of the Trojan War from Patroclus’ point of view.

“Honestly might be a new favorite read,” one TikTok caption read. A second reviewer shared they were “scared” to read the ending.

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‘They Both Die at the End’ by Adam Silvera

The 2017 young adult novel went viral this year, which led to readers falling in love with characters Mateo and Rufus, who both discover they only have one more day left to live.

“I was such a mess after reading this book I loved it so much I hated it,” one BookTok review read. Most TikToks surrounded the fact that the title is, hilariously, a spoiler to the end of the novel.

‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue’ by V. E. Schwab

This 2020 fantasy novel follows a French woman in 1714 who made an agreement to become immortal, but everyone who meets her will immediately forget her forever.

One emotional BookTok reader shared that the novel “just shattered my spirits.” They added, “I feel like my heart just got punched.”

‘The Atlas Six’ by Olivie Blake

The first of a trilogy, this 2020 novel follows the last group of six possible Alexandrian Society members — the smartest and most talented magicians — as only five will qualify for initiation.

“These two books have consumed me and it’s hard to explain. The story is extremely slow, but the characters are so addictive that I can’t stop wanting to read and learn more about them,” a BookTok reviewer shared. “The Atlas Six and The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake are not going to be for everyone, but they sure are a must-read series for me.”

‘Honey and Spice’ by Bolu Babalola

BookTok Recommendations 2023 560 ‘Honey and Spice’ by Bolu Babalola

This 2022 novel was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick following its release, but BookTok made it popular this year. The book tells the story of Kiki Banjo who finds herself in a situationship, even though she swore she never would.

“Bolu Babalola should get a job as a postman because this book DELIVERED,” one BookTok user said of the author. Another social media reviewer shared that the male protagonist had officially become her “book boyfriend.”

‘The Housemaid’ by Freida McFadden

The first Housemaid thriller was released in 2022 and followed Millie, who cleans the Winchesters’ home, and soon uncovers some major secrets within the family.

The Housemaid is 😳 Just finished chapter 42 and I need a break. I’m so upset 😭,” one reviewer shared on TikTok. According to another BookTok user, the sequel, The Housemaid’s Secret is also “crazy.”

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‘Happy Place’ by Emily Henry

This book was quite possibly the biggest beach read that was released this year. Harriet and Wyn have been broken up for six months but haven’t told their friends. Instead, they decide to vacation with them and keep the news of their split quiet.

“I went in without expectations and was BLOWN AWAY,” a BookTok user told social media users. A second review, referred to author Henry as “a genius.”

‘Immortal Longings’ by Chloe Gong

Immortal Longings was released earlier this year and was the first in Gong’s Flesh and False God series. This installment reimagined the William Shakespeare play Antony and Cleopatra. Upon its release, Gong made her own BookTok post about the novel.

“One day you’re 14 finishing the first novel you’ve ever written,” she shared. “Then, suddenly, you’re 24 in a hotel room finishing your nationwide book tour for your fourth NYT bestseller. Wild.”

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