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‘Booktok’ recommendations for TikTok bookworms


Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

TikTok has become the meeting ground for people to share some seriously relatable, niche content. One community that has blossomed and reinspired an entire generation to start reading again is “Booktok.”

“Booktok” is the coined name for content on the app dedicated to sharing book recommendations and ratings from fellow bookworms. 

Millions have participated in trends such as sharing their top five books of all time and listing books everyone should read in their twenties.

Thanks to “Booktok,” here’s a compiled list of some fiction books that should be at the top of everyone’s reading list for 2022.

Please research each book and be aware of any age guidelines and content warnings as most of these titles are recommended for readers 18 or older.


“The Shadow Box” is a 367-page haunting thriller from bestselling author Luanne Rice. It received a 4.20 rating on Goodreads. The book takes the reader through the aftermath of an attack on artist Claire Beaudry Chase in her own home.

Of all the possible assailants, Claire’s husband is her prime suspect. As Claire works to prove that her husband is responsible for her injuries, the murder of a friend and so much more, his corrupt associates will stop at nothing to silence her.

“Verity” by Colleen Hoover has been the subject of another Cougar article because it is just too good not to recommend more than once.

This book is a true thriller that leaves the reader guessing as they follow Lowen Ashleigh on her deep dive into the psyche of a fellow writer by way of a secret manuscript. All while she pines after said writer’s grieving yet oblivious husband. The ending has divided fans of the book since its release.


If you like those Netflix mystery/thrillers that follow an antihero detective working on the big case that’s left a small town reeling, then “Don’t Lie to Me” by Willow Rose is the book for you. 

In the book, Eva Rae Thomas is the divorced FBI profiler who is investigating the murder and kidnapping of two children. As the case unravels, the stakes become higher and higher.

“The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena was published in 2016, so it’s one of the older books on the list, but the suspense is still worth the read. 

Goodreads describes this tale as the “nerve-racking unraveling of a family” that seemed to have it all, but now all they have are secrets. All of which begins to come to light after a heinous crime is committed during a dinner party.


New York romanticizers, “Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams is the book for you!

This is a Black Brooklyn love story that explores a connection that was thought to be lost but gets unexpectedly rekindled after an unlikely run-in. Plus, it’s a love story between two authors; cue the feels! 

“All Rhodes Lead Here” by Mariana Zapata was the most recommended book that romance Booktok had to offer. Each user named it in their favorites of 2021, so we all need to join in on the fun in 2022.

Zapata has quite the fan base that was highly anticipating this novel in 2021, and they were not disappointed. In the book, Aurora De La Torre is starting over in her small hometown and that’s about all we get out of the description.

If you like the slow burn of really falling in love alongside your characters, then check this one out.


Who doesn’t love some classically good world-building? 

That’s exactly what you’re getting from the first book of the Founders trilogy, “Foundryside” by Robert Jackson Bennett. 

It introduces the reader to new realms of magic that incorporate machinery. It follows thief Sancia Grado as she pursues her next target without knowing she’s stealing an artifact that can’t be left in the wrong hands.

“Black Sun” by Rebecca Roanhorse is a story inspired by the Indigenous people of the Pre-Columbian Americas and intertwines it with a world of fantasy. 

The novel incorporates a great amount of mythology and magic as we follow multiple POVs throughout. 

Being the first in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, Black Sun is recommended to be bought as an audiobook to enjoy the narration from the cast. It tests the boundaries that are typically seen in this genre but have left the book world divided on whether they love it or hate it.

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