Tiktok made me read some pretty average books…

I’m clearly an old fogey. Tiktok is not a thing I like or understand- so do bear that in mind before reading this post. I can’t say that I’m the target audience because a) I’m a millennial and b) I don’t like the snappy, bizarre-inexplicable-squeeing format for book recs. Still, I have the sneaking suspicion that there doesn’t seem to be anything special about the books recommended on there.

Aside from the books that were already popular wayyyy before Tiktok became a thing (ie Song of Achilles, We Were Liars, The Hating Game etc) I’ve only found one decent read through the endless waves of eeking and squeaking over *THE NEXT BIG THING*!

Don’t get me wrong, hyped books often have their pitfalls. However, there’s usually at least one or two gems in the latest trend of popular titles (see above for some suggestions). This time round though… I’ve got nothing. Let’s have a more in depth look, shall we?

Iron Widow– this was a big NAH for me. To put it simply, I found this book E-X-A-U-S-T-I-N-G. Maybe I’m getting old (haha definitely true) but other than the ANGST I didn’t get much emotional range from this book. I also didn’t see much growth from the main character- which I guess could make it a static hero story… except with an anti-hero, so instead of the main character staying the same and everyone learning from their positive example, everyone learns to be unpleasant from the protagonist… YEESH. Not the book for me.

Ace of Spades– I feel like this was popular everywhere, but I’m counting it, as it’s on every TikTok list and it’s a very Gen Z book (and as we’ve already established, I’m too old to be cool at this point). I’m- quite simply- not woke enough to like this book. Plus, it didn’t work as a thriller for me, since once I cracked the messaging, I knew exactly where it was going. 

Well Met– I kept reading to try and figure out who the love interest is supposed to be and why I should care… which is when I realised I should stop reading and find something less bland.

Ex Hex– great title, nice nineties nostalgia fuel, yet ultimately more forgettable than a toadstool.

You’ll be the Death of Me– okay, I should’ve known this one would do nothing for me, since I wasn’t all that into One of Us is Lying. After struggling for a third of the book to give a monkeys about the characters and the mystery, I DNF’d it and I have no regrets. 

Atlas Six– guys I don’t get the hype?! It’s a messy book with messy characters and I just… don’t care?

Love Hypothesis– annnd the one book I actually enjoyed turns out to be Rey-Lo fanfic (what are the chances?!) But seriously, it explains why I thought so much of it was flawed and couldn’t get behind the love interest. Turns out he’s based on a sociopathic dad-killer. At least she got his unlikability down to a T, even if the sex scenes made me squirm (and not in a good way).

As you can see, this is not an extensive list (if you want better research into Tiktok and its issues, definitely recommend checking out Krysta @Pages Unbound’s post on the topic). And some of this is clearly a sign that I am outgrowing YA (which I’m sure will be a whole other discussion). Either way, I’m clearly not going to be converted to Tiktok any time soon. Though admittedly, I did have the same attitude to Youtube, Twitter and Instagram… so I’m sure I’ll get into it as soon as the trend dies 😉. Until then, I’m gonna die on this hill: TikTok don’t impress me much 😉

Alright, am I missing something? What is so great about TikTok other than dog videos? Have you made any awesome bookish discoveries over there? And am I totally wrong about all these books? Let me have it!

58 thoughts on “Tiktok made me read some pretty average books…

  1. I still have this attitude towards youtube, twitter and instagram, so I haven’t even bothered with thinking about TT. It’s an auto-nope. Saves me the emotional upheaval of getting upset and spending my energy on a rant. Much easier to just roll my eyes and say “kids” and go from there 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I wasn’t blown away by Ace of Spades, either. I solved the mystery very early on, and from there it was just not interesting anymore. Also, maybe this is controversial, but I think systemic racism doesn’t necessarily manifest as a bunch of people sitting down together and consciously talking about how they’re going to be racist today. I wanted something more nuanced from the discussion, like in All American Boys, where the white protagonist Quinn starts to realize that he’s been participating in racism by not noticing, not taking a stand, and choosing to “mind his own business.” I think that’s a more relevant way to get the point across to people, get them to consider any of their unconscious biases, and show how they can make a difference.

    I haven’t read You’ll Be the Death of Me yet, but I have read I think three McManus books and they are all strikingly similar in terms of construction and sometimes even character types. I enjoyed the first one I read because it felt original and thrilling, but now it feels like I’m reading the same thing over and over again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I felt the same thing about the mystery in ace of spades- if nothing else, it was too obvious! And I agree with you- I feel like I actually learn from books that show us subtle types of racism. But acting like white people sit around plotting how to be racist is absurd.

      I agree with you- that was my third and I couldn’t even finish it because it’s all feeling too similar now :/

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned in this post so I don’t have an opinion on them but some of them I would like to eventually read. I’m not on TikTok. I know I would never make my own videos so I don’t see the point in joining.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Not missing anything, Marshall McLuhan was right the medium has become the message, it’s about the format, quick, inconsequential, bit like a dollop of icecream on stewed apple or maple syrup on pancakes, garnish on road kill, that sort of thing. There are some good ones around education and environment, but most of it is drivel at this point.

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  5. I have no interest in going onto Tick Tic. Plus I have move on from reading YA. I will read it every now and then but that it. It does not appeal to me anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ohno, sad to hear that 😅
    I absolutely LOVED the love hypothesis — well met is still on my list that I need to read, somewhere on my shelf ahah.

    I dont watch much tiktoks now tbh.. but when I do its not booktok xd

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  7. I don’t look at Tik Tok, so can’t really say; and I haven’t read any of these yet, though I did enjoy One of Us is Lying; One of Us is Next not as much but still, and now have The Cousins waiting. Let’s see

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I reassure myself that TikTok is not meant for my generation and go back to reading reviews and blogs. There are some lovely and memorable toadstools out there, but I suspect I won’t bother reading Ex Hex now!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. When I wrote my review of The Atlas Six I titled it like “Have I read the same book as everyone else?”. Messy is perfect to describe it!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. LOL, I’m definitely not the right demographic for TikTok — kudos to you for trying it! Re The Love Hypothese, your line about the sex scenes making you squirm but not in a good way is my reaction to a T. I liked the story, mostly, but those scenes were WAY too much for my taste.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had to laugh at “more forgettable than a toadstool” lol. honestly, I’m only on tiktok for the animal rescue videos and some impressive artists. I don’t actually think I follow any writers or even bookreviewers on tiktok. Its whole style is just like a toddler on speed in a paint shop. Bright colours, lots of annoying noises and rushing to blergh everything into a 1min video.

    Those books do sound awful. I feel the YA has definitely passed me by, even some NA is getting a little trite these days too.


  12. I personally enjoyed a few of these books but always love to read others’ opinions and I can absolutely and totally understand yours 😀 TikTok really isn’t for me. I don’t really like watching videos in general and on tiktok everything is just too fast and I don’t get a lot of the videos there or need to watch them five times to understand what’s going on. I’m staying with good old book blogging and instagram, that’s more than enough 😀


  13. I know nothing about TikTok even though I’m told it’s a great place for authors to promote their books. I’m too old to try and figure it out. I’ve seen the rave reviews about The Hypothesis. It’s something I would have read a few years back, but now that I write dark romance, I’ve kind of been reading those types of books. Thanks for sharing!


  14. I do try to avoid books that are recommended on these popular platforms. As most of the time they leave you frustrated. No kidding. I love to do my own research which too fails sometimes. Although for getting good stuff what I do is make sure the book tags fit my mood for that day and voila! I discover gems!


  15. Really interesting post! I have to say, I feel like booktockers don’t have much range – like how there’s like two mlm romances they wheel out for pride every year (*cough* song of Achilles and they both die at the end). I have to say though, I really liked iron widow. I thought Zetian was quite an incredible character and while there were a few things I might have changed about the plot, I’m ridiculously excited for the sequel. Here’s my review! 😊 https://hundredsandthousandsofbooks.blog/2022/07/05/iron-widow-a-rave-review/


  16. so interesting. I’ve been avoiding TikTok as a writer. I’ve posted a few things there but I’m not thrilled with their privacy policies etc and yeah it feels like a lot of trash gets sent my way. Two of my daughters are in marketing and say it’s “important” to be on the platform but I have a mental block against it. Like I used to have with Insta lol


  17. I truly love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own website and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!


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