BookTok highlights the best romance reads

The power of BookTok was unpredictable – but now undeniable. #BookTok has become something of an institution within the TikTok ecosystem, with a hashtag boasting over 66 billion hits.

Here, people share their latest reads, the genres that lead them to bookstores, and even annotation and analysis techniques to transform any literary experience. TikTok itself has capitalized on BookTok’s meteoric rise with the recent launch of its official book club. Its popularity has even led to a direct increase in book sales, influencing the world of off-screen publishing.

Like the rest of TikTok’s communities, BookTok is tight-knit, trend-driven, and constantly evolving. In recent weeks, BookTok has become tangibly obsessed with the romance genre, and although not everybody is a fan of its recommendationsit’s safe to say that a distinct group of love stories are favored by TikTok readers.


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Tropes as enemies of lovers (à la Bridgerton Season 2), childhood friends to lovers, forbidden love, family angst: these are the themes that dominate the contemporary romances that BookTok is littered with. Many Romance-focused BookTokkers also rate books by spice levels (🌶), a pretty self-explanatory rating scale.

Here are some of the books that are catching BookTok’s interest right now.

Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @munnyreads, @thebooksiveloved, @sb.reads.

The meeting plan looks a lot like the 2009 romantic comedy Proposal, as @munnyreads notes. Like the film, Desai’s book features the premise of bogus fiancés for a greater cause. Daisy Patel, a software engineer with little interest in romance, must allay her family’s fears by introducing them to a partner. She turns to her childhood crush, venture capitalist Liam Murphy, who needs her for his own personal reasons. The fake relationship has its share of complications, as one might assume.

On TikTok, #thdatingplan has over a million views; TikTokkers like @sb.reads and @thebooksiveloved are providing positive reviews, noting that the book’s romantic journey and character chemistry are worth it.

A TikTokker lying on his bed reading.

Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @ali_reads.

This book is, even by BookTok standards, hugely talked about: its dedicated hashtag has over 323 million views, with hundreds of TikToks dissecting and praising it. The love hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood centers on Olive Smith, a Ph.D. candidate, who must prove her non-existent affinity with love. She enlists the help of Adam Carlsen, a young professor who agrees to be her fake boyfriend.

If we are to believe TikTok, it is basically a love/lust story at a science conference and some people are completely obsessed with the premise alone. Some called it incredibly hot (like @alis_reads), others said they read it in three hours flat. Some lamented the recommendation, but it pales in comparison and size for the novel’s many fans.

The formula is quite similar to The meeting plan, so BookTok clearly has a type. The whole “fake date” plot is even highlighted by national bookstore Barnes & Noble, with similar headlines found on TikTok, like The fine print by Laura Asher and The deal by Elle Kennedy.

A girl covers her mouth with her hands, discussing her love for a book.

Credit: Screenshot: YouTube / @cowboylikealexx.

This book, first published in 2017, was among the titles to be revitalized and platformed by BookTok. Its cover, full of Hollywood glamor and notions of old-fashioned romance, is a treat: the book tells the story of a fictional old Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo, as she gives a final interview to a journalist little known, Monique Grant.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a TikTok sensation in more ways than one. There are the reviews: Take TikTokker @cowboylikealexx, who called it “one of the best books I’ve read in a while.” Then there are several BookTokkers who even dressed up as Evelyn, re-enacting her scenes and lines.

The novel is set to be adapted into a Netflix show, a fact that BookTok will no doubt love. The novel sat on the New York Times List of bestsellers for 72 weeks, still gaining a spot this week.

BookTokkers holds copies of

Credit: Screenshot: TikTok / @madymaio, @sallyrooneyfangirl, @lolasbooks.

Elissa Sussman’s book funny you should ask came out last April, now the fleeting attention of TikTok months later. In the book, writer Chani Horowitz is hired to portray actor Gabe Parker, his longtime crush. The interview turns into a high-profile weekend. Fast forward a year, and Chani is divorced, living in Los Angeles, and working on her career — but that profile, and Parker, never quite leaves her.

On TikTok, reviews of the book are overwhelmingly positive: @sallyrooneyfangirl called it “a fan girl’s dream book”, a notion @lolasbooks agreed with, while @madymaio said it was the best book she has read this year.

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