13 YA Reads Trending on BookTok
by Laurie Espino
BookTok — the corner of TikTok where book lovers dwell — has transformed how teen and young adult readers select their books. This community is the place for readers to connect with one another, build like-minded communities, and discover books they’d never think to pick up otherwise. If you spend enough time on there, you’ll notice certain titles mentioned again and again (and again). So instead of mindlessly scrolling through your FYP (For You Page), we’ve rounded up the top titles to help you decide what book to dive into next. From murder mysteries to gut-wrenching tear-jerkers, this list has them all.
Calling all royal lovers, this is the series for you! The Washington family has reigned over America since winning the Revolutionary War. That’s where we meet Princess Beatrice, the heir to America’s throne. While Beatrice prepares to become the country’s first queen regent, her twin siblings, Princess Samantha and Prince Jefferson, make headlines with their social life. Love triangles form, hearts get broken, and America changes forever.
Keep the royal drama going with American Royals: Majesty and American Royals: Rivals!
All the Bright Places (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Want a book that makes you feel all the feels? Look no further than this New York Times bestselling love story. Finch and Violet couldn’t be more different. Finch always tries to look on the bright side, but Violet struggles through each day, still grieving from her sister’s death. When their paths cross, both their lives change. But the world isn’t perfect, and neither is their love story.
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
Love true crime? This New York Times bestseller is for you! For her senior project, Pip looks into her town’s infamous murderer, Sal Singh. The case may be closed, but Pip thinks there’s more to the story. The more she digs, the more she realizes Sal might be innocent. It’s not long before Pip starts to fear for her own safety.
Don’t forget to check out the sequels, Good Girl, Bad Blood, and As Good as Dead.
The Downstairs Girl
From the author of Luck of the Titanic comes the story of Jo Kuan, a Chinese-American girl who lives two lives. On the outside, she works as a lady’s maid to a wealthy family in Gilded Age Atlanta. Behind closed doors, she’s the author of “Dear Miss Sweetie,” the city’s newspaper advice column for society’s upper crust. Get lost in Jo’s story as she navigates through the New South while facing racism and classism.
House of Salt and Sorrows
Once upon a time, twelve sisters lived in Highmoor Manor. Now four of them lie dead. But that doesn’t stop those remaining from sneaking out each night to attend glamorous balls and dancing the night away with mysterious strangers. One sister, Annaleigh, is cautious of their nightly rendezvous and fearful another death lingers around the corner. She can’t help but wonder, could she be next? Lose yourself in a magical world of glittering gowns and eerie happenings with Erin A. Craig’s incredible retelling of The Brothers Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
Be sure to catch the sequel, House of Roots and Ruin!
The Gilded Ones
Powerful. Captivating. Exciting. There are many ways to describe Forna’s debut novel that became an instant New York Times bestseller. All 16-year-old Deka wanted was to feel like she belonged in her village. But that became impossible when her blood ran gold at her blood ceremony. To avoid punishment, Deka runs away and becomes a warrior. As she trains, Deka realizes nothing is quite what it seems in the empire. Thought-provoking and inspirational, The Gilded Ones features a diverse cast of characters and strong feminist themes that will keep you glued to the page.
We Were Liars
Expect the unexpected in this #1 New York Times bestseller! Cadence’s wealthy, old-money family spends every summer on a private island on Cape Cod. One year, a mysterious accident leaves Cadence with migraines and bouts of amnesia. As Cadence tries to piece together what happened to her, secrets are revealed, lies unravel, and no one can be trusted. Lockhart’s hauntingly beautiful novel is filled with mystery and suspense. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until its twisted end.
Madeline is allergic to everything — literally everything. She hasn’t left her house in 17 years and has only seen the world through her window. But things change when new neighbors move in, and she meets Olly. Heartbreaking, moving, and inspirational, Yoon’s debut novel will have you reaching for the tissues as Madeline decides that there’s more to life than staying safe. She’s willing to risk it all to experience everything the world offers, including falling in love.
Six Crimson Cranes
This one is for adventure lovers! When Princess Shiori’anma’s forbidden magic reveals itself, her stepmother banishes her and magically transforms her brothers into cranes. Exiled, Shiori decides to set things right in her kingdom with the help of her ex-betrothed. Inspired by The Seven Swans and East Asian fairytales, Six Crimson Cranes is a fantasy adventure with unexpected twists and turns led by a strong female protagonist.
Spin the Dawn
If you loved Six Crimson Cranes, put this story from the same author on your reading list! Maia is gifted at making beautiful clothes. When the king summons her father to court, Maia takes his place instead. Disguised as a boy, she enters a competition to become the next royal tailor. The stakes are high, but Maia has nothing to lose and everything to gain. With her lyrical prose, Lim creates an immersive fantasy land filled with boundless adventures and forbidden romance steeped in Chinese culture.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Legendary YA author John Green took to TikTok to tout this as one of the best books he's ever read. Childhood besties Sam Masur and Sadie Green created a blockbuster video game together. Fame, fortune, and everything that goes with it come to them at a young age. It’s a dream come true for everyone, but as the years pass, their creative ambitions and need for love might destroy them. Zevin delivers a multi-layered coming-of-age novel about human growth and the evolution of friendships over time with raw, messy, and complicated characters you can’t help but root for.
Disclaimer: While the writing style, subject matter, and themes will appeal to a young audience, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is an adult novel with some scenes that may not be suitable for younger teen readers.
The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition)
Set in 1940s Germany, Liesel lives a simple life in Munich with her foster parents. Nazi Germany is taking over, and everything around her is changing. Liesel finds solace in books. She learns how to read and write and discovers the power of the written word. It’s there that Liesel finds hope despite the horrors of war and politics. Masterfully executed, it’s easy to see why Zusak’s heartbreaking story has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list.
One of Us Is Lying
Five people enter detention, but only four walk out alive. Simon died the day before he planned to publish an exposé about his four classmates. When his death is ruled a murder, the obvious suspects are his classmates that made it out alive — or is that what the killer wants you to think? Fast-paced, addictive, and brilliant, this page-turner will have you wondering, “who done it?!” until the very end!
Don’t miss the #1 New York Times bestselling sequel, One of Us Is Next!