With over 84 billion views globally, #BookTok is one of TikTok’s most active and enthusiastic communities — all united around the singular goal of sharing a love for reading and books. Since TikTok’s global rise to popularity, now boasting over 1 million active monthly users, #BookTok has made a splash and led to several important partnerships and activations on the platform. Because of that, the books that went viral on TikTok have led to many many sales for these authors.
The #BookTokChallenge was held this summer and challenged TikTok users to share what they were reading. Held from June 29-August 31, the hashtag currently has 170 million views and features several creators and a partnership with Barnes & Noble. And at the end of September, TikTok announced a collaboration with Penguin Random House that allows creators to link their favorite books in-app. This feature is currently available in the U.S. and UK.
In preparation for compiling this list, a quick scroll through #BookTok unearthed top videos primarily from white creators who focus on books by white authors with mostly white characters. Thanks to TikTok’s algorithm, users can curate their feeds with diverse creators who feature a variety of titles, but the first challenge is finding those creators and actively engaging with their content. It is the hope that looking up some of these titles will introduce you to a new side of #BookTok (if you’re not already there).
There’s no doubt that #BookTok is an incredibly useful platform — having given several backlist titles new life and a second chance at The New York Times Best Seller lists. With it, lesser known or new authors also have an equal opportunity to go viral as globally known ones. And it is amazing to see a new generation fall in love with reading, whether they discover a classic or the latest release.
Let’s get into the list!
Books That Went Viral on TikTok
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
The second book in Hibbert’s Brown Sisters series, this installment focuses on a fake dating plot between Dani Brown and brooding security guard, Zafir. After he saves her from a workplace fire, the internet goes wild for them. Dani considers this the best of both worlds — a friends with benefits scenario with no commitment. Little does she know, Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic and he’s set his sights on breaking down Dani’s walls.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
It wouldn’t be a #BookTok list without CoHo. All of her books are having a moment, but this is one of the most popular. When Lily meets Ryle, he seems too good to be true. Despite knowing his aversion to relationships, he seemingly has a soft spot for Lily and they begin a relationship. But the fairytale quickly fades and Lily is left piecing together the remains of her abusive childhood with her present. Check out a deeper dive into Colleen Hoover’s rise to TikTok fame here.
Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
This standalone basketball romance centers on Augustus, the starting point guard for Piermont College. On the night before the NCAA Championship, he can see his future in the NBA within reach, and he ventures to a local bar to calm his nerves. But upon trying to leave, he runs into Iris and the sparks immediately fly. Although there is an immediate connection, Augustus is disappointed to find out she is in a relationship…with his archrival, Caleb. Even though they walk away from each other, as the years go by, Iris can’t seem to forget Augustus.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Imagine a library that holds the story of your life. And not just the way your life turned out, but also contains every other path that you could’ve taken had you made a different choice. Would you want to know the life you could’ve lived? When Nora is faced with a decision that could change the trajectory of her life forever, she stumbles upon the library and is given this chance. But does knowing this change the present? Can it potentially ruin the future?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Although some of Reid’s other works like Daisy Jones and the Six have made their mark on TikTok, Evelyn Hugo is definitely the OG. When renown actress Evelyn Hugo finally decides to tell her story, the world is shocked when she chooses a relatively unknown magazine reporter as her writer. As Monique listens to Hugo’s story, she begins to feel a connection to the superstar and it becomes glaringly clear that they are even more connected than she realized.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Grace Porter has always lived her life in safe mode, and after earning her PhD, she heads out to Vegas with some friends to celebrate. What she does not expect is to come away from that trip with a horrible hangover and having drunkenly married a woman she barely knows. Upon returning home, Grace attempts to bury her trip under the guise of job applications and struggling to satisfy her father. When it suddenly becomes too much, Grace flees to New York to stay with her wife, whose name she just remembers.
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
Blake’s dark academia novel took #BookTok by storm. Each decade, the prestigious Alexandrian Society only offers entry to the six most talented magicians of the generation. When Libby, Nico, Reina, Parisa, Callum, and Tristan are recruited by Atlas Blakeley, they are given a chance to qualify for initiation given their prowess in a variety of subjects. The catch? Only five will enter the Alexandrian Society. And one will be eliminated.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
In this retelling of the Iliad, Miller tells the story of the Trojan War through a different perspective: Patroclus’, the exiled Prince who forms an unbreakable bond with the future hero, Achilles. When Achilles joins the war efforts to rescue Helen of Sparta from Troy, Patroclus cannot bear to be separated from his friend and follows Achilles into war. Even tested by battles and politics, their friendship never wavers even in the face of death.
Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi
Juliette has been locked in a cell due to her strange affliction. Her touch is deadly and she’s on the line for murder. The Reestablishment, a.k.a. the government, feels confident that as long as Juliette is locked up, nothing bad can befall their land, which quickly becomes not the case. One day Juliette is given a roommate named Adam. His backstory quickly unravels to reveal he is a soldier for the Reestablishment and he makes her a tempting offer in exchange for her freedom.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
In order to escape an unwanted marriage, Addie LaRue is forced to make the ultimate bargain: she’ll be given the ability to live forever, but will be forgotten by everyone she encounters. For 300 years, Addie becomes accustomed to the fleeting nature of her existence and her inability to make any kind of mark on the world. Everything changes for Addie when she revisits a regular haunt and stumbles into someone. Not only does he recognize her, he remembers her name.
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca
Popular among #HorrorBookTok, this novella has left readers with a bad taste in their mouths..in the best way. Told through a series of emails, we are introduced to two women who connect online through the sale of an antique apple peeler. The purely transactional relationship soon develops into something darker, sinister, and shows how far people will go to please the people in their lives. Heads up for a lot of body horror.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This book follows four college friends — Willem, J.B., Malcolm, and Jude — over the course of their adult lives. Having met during college after moving to New York, the friends begin to realize that they know little to nothing about Jude, even though he has become the center of their group. Told in multiple parts, we learn about Jude’s horrific past and how it made him into the man he is today. This book is highly recommended on the platform, but please look up content warnings prior to starting!
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Vuong is more widely known for his poetry and he brings his beautiful imagery and words into this debut. This entire book is written as a letter to the main character’s mother, who is illiterate and will never read it. The book is semi-autobiographical and follows a family of Vietnamese refugees living in the United States. It is very much the coming-of-age story of Little Dog and how his family relates to the new home they’ve found themselves in.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Despite acing the qualifying exam, Rin is ostracized from her classmates at the elite Sinegard school. She’s darker-complected, from a poor province, and on top of that, she’s a girl. It’s during this time of struggle that Rin discovers she has a secret, powerful ability that may make her the ticket to preventing the next Poppy War. Although this book is fantasy, it draws inspiration from mid-20th century China. Rin’s conflict is based on the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the overall atmosphere of the novel is inspired by the Song dynasty.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
A mainstay in mystery/thriller #BookTok, The Silent Patient is the story of Alicia Berenson, a famous painter once married to the hottest fashion photographer in the biz. Now hidden away in a forensic unit in London, Alicia has been kept there since she shot her husband five times in the face and then fell completely silent. Criminal psychotherapist, Theo, has been following Alicia’s case and has been waiting for his chance to talk to her himself. Theo takes on the case determined to solve the mystery, but his obsession threatens to take over his own life.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
With its current popularity spurred by the debut of the Netflix series, Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novels center on the relationship that develops between Charlie, an openly gay teen who is somewhat of an outcast, and Nick, a star rugby player. When the two meet, they quickly form a friendship, but Charlie can’t help but fall hard for Nick in the process. The series has five planned volumes, with four currently released.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
This steamy romance follows the relationship between authors Eva and Shane. Eva, a bestselling erotica writer, and Shane, a literary author, seemingly meet by chance at an event and they immediately connect. Little known to the rest of the attendees, Eva and Shane met nearly 20 years earlier and spent one unforgettable week together before going their separate ways. This opportunity gives them the chance to reconnect and for Eva to get the answers she’s wanted for two decades.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Silvera’s world is one in which people are given advance notice of their impending deaths. And when Mateo and Rufus receive phone calls from Death-Cast, they learn they will die today. Despite being total strangers, the two boys become connected through an app called “Last Friend.” Once they meet, they’re able to have one last adventure together before they both exit the world.
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Indigenous author Roanhorse is so good at creating stories inspired by past civilizations but giving them a futuristic feel. Black Sun focuses on the holy city of Tova, which celebrates the winter solstice each year. For the first time, the solstice coincides with a solar eclipse that the Sun Priest predicts will unbalance the world. So when a ship from a distant city arrives carrying a mysterious passenger, the city of Tova and its citizens are needlessly distraught.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
Maas’ fantasy fae series has been making waves within the #BookTok community with a combination of its characters and spicy dialogue. Although the story develops considerably through the series, it starts with the kidnapping of Feyre from her human home. Her initial hatred of her captor, a faerie named Tamlin, eventually transforms into a fiery passion and Feyre finds herself in the middle of a brewing conflict that could potentially change the fae world forever.
Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
You may have heard about “the cannibal TikTok book,” well here it is. Originally published in Spanish, the English translation was made available in 2020 and quickly swept the internet. In a future world where all animals have been contaminated by a mysterious virus, cannibalism has become legal in order for humans to continue to eat meat. Human slaughterhouses have become commonplace, with specific bodies being created for the purpose of consumption.
Looking for more #BookTok favorites or ways to become part of TikTok’s bookish community? We’ve got you: