Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Hit or Miss? Popular BookTok Romances

TikTok became one of my favorite ways to pass time when the pandemic began. While I'd been on it for a few months prior, I didn't actively spend a lot of time on it until we were sequestered inside, away from friends and society. In this time, I discovered a new part of TikTok: BookTok. 

BookTok is just the bookish community in the TikTok world and it is massive. To put it in perspective, I'm currently writing a grad paper on booktok's impact on what books become bestsellers. Of course books are recommended and discussed everyday. Romance, specifically dark romance, is pretty popular in this community. I've been recommended dozens, if not hundreds, of books from BookTok and the majority have been romances. 

That being said, I haven't read very many books I've been recommended yet. I haven't read very many books this year in general. But I was able to get through a few of the books that BookTok seems to love the most and recommend to me on a daily basis. 

I have six titles to discuss today, all romances recommended to me via BookTok. Some are dark, some are fluffy. Not all were good but I have discovered a new favorite in this list. These six books are The Dare by Harley Laroux; The Deal by Elle Kennedy; Dear Love, I Hate You by Eliah Greenwood; Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas; Corrupt by Penelope Douglas; and Sweet Obsession by Callie Rose.

Punk 57: Hit

The first book I read from this list was Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas. This is probably the one that floats around on BookTok the most. I'd almost call it a BookTok romance classic? It's so incredibly popular that it has filtered to BookTube and Bookstagram as well. I read it as an ebook and the moment I finished it I ordered the paperback, if that tells you anything. I read it in one sitting and really enjoyed my time with it. It was different than what I was expecting and I gave it four stars instead of five but I did really like it. I also think I need to reread it in the future as I read it so fast that I can't remember a lot of what happened already (oops). 

Corrupt: Miss

After reading Punk 57 and Tryst Six Venom by Penelope, I had high hopes for Corrupt. It was on a lot of recommendations lists (not as many as Punk 57, though). However, this book fell incredibly flat for me. I read it pretty quickly, but there were a lot of parts that I did not like at all. I initially rated this book three stars but actually dropped it to two stars after a while. I read a lot of dark romances and I can handle a lot in books, but this book just didn't do it for me. If you want to know my full thoughts, check out my full review here where I go in depth on what I didn't like. 

Dear Love, I Hate You: Hit

This is, without a doubt, my favorite book on this entire list. While it is a bit longer than some of the others, that worked in my favor as I didn't want it to be over. It has a similar premise as Punk 57 (in that there is a pen pals situation) but I liked it immensely better. I felt that where Punk 57 fell flat, this book picked up the slack. Again, I liked Punk 57 but it pales in comparison to this one. I had such a great time reading this book and I read it in one sitting. If you liked Punk 57, there's a high chance you'll like this one. And I recommend it so much. I also am quite excited that the author is writing a companion/spin off and has another complete series already out (which I plan to read in 2022). 

Sweet Obsession: Miss

This is probably the most disappointing one on the list. I was so excited for this book. I'd heard amazing things, the aesthetics on BookTok were beautiful, and screen caps of different scenes had me excited. The book, itself, fell way flat though. I genuinely finished the book and sat back and could think of barely anything that had actually happened. There was hardly any plot, no real romance at all, and nothing that compelled me towards reading the sequel. It's a great disappointment as I was so excited for this book but not every book you read can be a winner, I guess. 

The Dare: Hit

This is one of those books that floats around because of how kinky it is. It's a novella, really, and only about 100 pages. From the descriptions of this book and how people described it, I expected pure smut. And while the focus really was on the sexual situations in the book, I was pleasantly surprised that there was some plot in there. Though this may be because I'm so desensitized to smutty books from years of reading them...Either way, this book was a joy to read and I'm so glad that I was in the mood to finally read it. I would love to see more of these characters as well. However, if you're going to read this book, make sure to pay heed to the content warning at the beginning of the book because it will not be for everyone

The Deal: Hit

The Deal has been on my to-read list for years, actually. I initially found it not on BookTok but it seems to have grown to immense popularity now and had been recommended to me over and over. I finally just read it because I was in the mood for a sports romance and I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it. Was it the best romance I've ever read? No. But it was cute and fulfilled the need I had when I read it. It was also refreshing to read a romance where the love interest wasn't an asshole. Don't get me wrong, I love dark romance as much as the next gal, but sometimes it's nice to read a book where it's not the main characters fighting and then succumbing to the tension. This has just the right amount of tension and was quite enjoyable. I'm also interested in continuing on with the rest of the series now. 

Well, those are the six popular BookTok romances that I've read recently. While not everyone was a winner, most were enjoyable and I've found a new favorite or two in this list. Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts on them? 

Thanks for reading!

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