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BookTok worth it or not: summer reading edition

I’m back for semester number two of reading books so that you don’t have to! I got busy over the summer and read an obscene amount of books—proving the person who told me I read too much entirely correct. I’ve gone to the very deepest layers of BookTok and read the most popular books. I went a little too far with the romance books which is not my typical M.O. but I did enjoy it very much. Included in this article will be a ranking from best to worst summer reading books. 

If you missed me last semester—or are new to campus and therefore did not see our previous publications—basically I find books on BookTok (but really Bookstagram cause I don’t have TikTok) and I rate them on whether I think they were worth the read or not. I am terribly biased and I am a very easy critic so don’t take my word for law. Slight spoilers are included, that is my warning. 

Here are my reviews:

 

“It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover (content warning: domestic abuse)

I did it. I caved. I caved and read my first Colleen Hoover book. And gosh darn I really liked it. Like, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I really thought that this book was getting overhyped because everyone—and I do mean everyone—was saying that this is THE book. The last time a book got this hyped up it was “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” and I absolutely hated that book. 

But man, “It Ends With Us” exceeded expectations. 

Colleen Hoover gets a lot of hate because she writes about toxic love and in a way kind of glorifies them. But I think that’s what I appreciated about the book. Yes, it involves toxic love but it shows our protagonist—Lily Bloom—getting herself out of the cycle of violence. And I think Hoover does a wonderful job of writing Lily’s abuser as this loving guy because it shows just how difficult it is to escape domestic abuse. While you’re reading you find it hard to hate her abuser at times because he flips this switch and suddenly he’s a nice guy again. And this is something Lily battles with—whether she will love him at his worst for when he is at his best. It also shows the emotions of the victim and how they get so lost in whether it’s their fault they’re getting abused or if they’re being too sensitive. It really shows this internal struggle that victims of domestic violence face and the perceptions of others around them.

Hoover writes a great narrative showing a woman pulling herself out of an abusive life to break the cycle of abuse for her daughter. And in doing so she shows the love of a mother for her daughter to want to give her her best life. We also see the destruction and repair that generational trauma causes and the efforts that go in to try and fix it for the next generation. 

So yes, read this book. 

“People We Meet On Vacation” by Emily Henry 

A lot of people say this book isn’t worth it, but I really love Emily Henry’s writing and I loved “People We Meet On Vacation.” It’s a cute and fun romance book and I adored Poppy and Alex. 

It’s a friends to strangers to lovers story and it shows how relationships change as we get older. I feel like I really related to the characters and felt for them as they moved through the narrative. We got to go through their summers and see how they changed as people but still remained constant in each other’s lives. 

I think what I especially loved about this book was the banter between Poppy and Alex. Writing dialogue can be extremely difficult but it flows effortlessly between Poppy and Alex. Their responses are witty and fluid and there was never a point where I felt the dialogue was stiff. 

It had a happy ending and it made me laugh and cry at the same time: an excellent book I would recommend you read. 

“Daisy Jones and The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

At first, I wasn’t really vibing with this book, but by the end I was sobbing. The author creates a super interesting narrative by having the story told in interview format. The book is essentially written as though it were a transcript of a recording. The plot centers around a band from the ’70s and basically has the members of the band reflecting on their time touring together. 

I think it was a really fun take on telling the story because you see how human memory alters events. Members of the band would recall certain stories differently and their lines would be directly underneath each other so you could see the contrast which I thought was hysterical. The book also has a great love story happening in it that doesn’t overpower the rest of the narrative which I think is great. I love a good love story and I love it, even more, when it doesn’t overpower the rest of the book. 

It’s rock and roll in the ’70s, what more could you want? You should read this book. 

 

My summer reading ranking: 

“The Immortalists” 

“The Dead Romantics”

“It Ends With Us”

“The Hating Game”

“People We Meet on Vacation”

“A Touch of Darkness” 

“Daisy Jones and the Six”

“Little Fires Everywhere”

“Conversations With Friends” 

“Second First Impressions” 

“99 Percent Mine”

“You Deserve Each Other” 

“The Spanish Love Deception”

“A Touch of Ruin” 

“A Touch of Malice” 

“A Visit From the Goon Squad” (I HATED THIS BOOK) 

 

Shameless plug to follow me on Goodreads.

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