Gabby’s Honest Review: BookTok Book Reviews


Since the quarantine of 2020, books have become a source of comfort and escape for many teens of the world. From 30 second TikTok book reviews to 30 minute tier-rankings on YouTube, books have blown up across various platforms that it’s hard not to see young people holding up a novel and crying over fictional characters. But is BookTok really giving you the recommendations you need? Here is an honest review of all the BookTok books I have read in the last year. WARNING: I may ruin a book or two for you. 


THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera: 

I had read this book in one sitting and afterwards I didn’t know how to feel. This book is usually characterized as “heartbreaking,” and “poetic,” but it really isn’t. They Both Die at the End barely made me feel any depressing emotions, let alone make me cry. I think that this had a lot to do with how mediocre the writing was and the lacking character development. Silvera throws you into this world where a program called DeathCast notifies you a few hours before you will die. BHS Student Sarah Watson [16] said, “It was such a slow development in the beginning but it really cut the story off quickly,” and I wholeheartedly agree. The plot had so much potential to be an amazing dystopian novel but Silvera did not develop the characters enough to make us want to feel for them. The idea of throwing readers into a plot can be executed well, but combined with Silvera’s style of writing, the dual point-of-view between the two main characters, and the lacking character development just moved the book towards a disappointing 2/5 stars. 



I received this audiobook over the summer after hearing so many mixed reviews. Some said that it was boring and not what they had expected but others explained that they were obsessed with it and Moshfegh’s writing. But I loved this book. It is all about a 20-something-year-old young woman (who is never named) and her struggles to maintain her mental health in a time where mental health wasn’t understood. This book is heavily character driven so there really is no plot but that is what I loved about it. Moshfegh did a beautiful and poetic job of describing mental illness and how society’s view of it in the early 2000s did nothing but harm the mentally ill even more, by just giving them perscriptions and sending them on their way. I will admit that this book’s ending was not satisfying and I felt it was rushed. But My Year of Rest and Relaxation was certainly a step up from They Both Die at The End with 4/5 bright stars.


THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller 

Let me preface this by saying, I knew nothing about this book prior to reading it. Of course, I knew who Achilles was from learning Greek Mythology in Middle School but I didn’t remember the story of the Illiad. This book made me fall in love with Greek Mythology and tales. It made me fall in love with reading in general. The Song of Achilles gives readers a new perspective of the hero Achilles from the eyes of his war companion Petroculus, who is scarcely present in the original Illiad but an incredibly important character nonetheless. This book was the heartwrenching, heartbreaking that They Both Died At The End wanted and needed to be. BHS’ Madison Guevara [15] said, “[The Song of Achilles] took my heart and broke it into a million pieces.” Madeline Miller’s writing is exquisite and beautiful. The characters are well developed and you feel a connection to them from the beginning. This book is romantic and sad and 6/5 stars (if that was even possible).



If you’re looking for a book to transport you completely into the lives of its characters and settings, read this book immediately. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an interview-formatted novel, telling the story of Hollywood’s Latina-Blonde-BombShell, Evelyn Hugo. This book did not shy away from creating dislikeable characters. Evelyn herself is arrogant and greedy but in a way that makes you desperate to understand what she is thinking. It captures all the emotions and traits that we as a society often avoid when looking at celebrities of Hollywood. Taylor Jenkins Reid made authentic characters and I appreciate her for it. BHS student Devaanshi Kawatra [14] said, “I connected to the characters on a deep emotional level, and that was incredibly surreal— living the oldies Hollywood life, even with all its brutal disparities.” The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo can be given nothing but 5/5 stars.