by Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, Collection Management Librarian
TikTok is a social media platform filled with people from all over the world sharing news, culture, and dance trends. It is also home to a community of readers posting book recommendations, sharing reviews, and engaging with authors.
Popular & under-the-radar reads curated from the vast algorithm that is #BookTok
This Wicked Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Why you should try it: The follow-up to This Poison Heart, this YA fantasy is steeped in Greek mythology, and who doesn't love Greek myths?
Description: To bring her mother back to life, Briseis must find the last piece of the deadly Absyrtus Heart with the help of blood relatives she's never known while eluding those who want to use her in any way they can.
The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Why you should try it: Reyes' YA novel explores the teenage urge to assert one's individuality within the confines of a religious upbringing.
Description: Transferred to a Catholic school, 16-year-old Yami Flores finds it hard to fake being straight when she falls for Bo, the only openly queer girl at school but refuses to follow her heart until she learns to live her full truth out loud.
The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
Why you should try it: Kuang—author of The Poppy War series—has #BookTok in the palm of her hand with the hold this book had on readers. While you're waiting to read her latest title, Babel, check out this trilogy.
Description: An epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the violent history of China's 20th century, follows the efforts of an unexpected, dark-skinned war orphan to obtain an education at Nikan's most elite military school in spite of prejudice and the challenges of her lethal shaman skills, which raise her awareness about the existence of gods and the imminence of war.
Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera
Why you should try it: High family drama and a close-knit community meet rapid gentrification in this debut novel.
Description: The Guerreros have lived in Nothar Park, a predominantly Dominican part of New York City, for twenty years. When demolition begins on a neighboring tenement, Eusebia, an elder of the community, takes matters into her own hands by devising an increasingly dangerous series of schemes to stop the construction of the luxury condos.
Wahala by Nikki May
Why you should try it: If you're a fan of messy women and even messier friendships, this is the book for you.
Description: An incisive and exhilarating debut novel following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group—the most unforgettable girls since Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha.
You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Why you should try it: This is romantic fiction with a healthy dose of reality.
Description: Learning how to feel joy while healing from loss, Feyi Adekola starts dating the perfect guy, but discovers she has feelings for someone else who is off limits and must decide just how far she is willing to go for a second chance at love.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Description: At a century-old Tokyo coffee shop rumored to offer patrons the chance to travel back in time, four customers reevaluate their formative life choices.
The Town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela
Why you should try it: They say you can never go home again, but what if going home is the only way to understand yourself?
Description: Returning to his hometown to care for his ailing father, Andres, a gay Latinx professor, decides to attend his 20-year high school reunion where he encounters the long-lost characters of his youth and must confront these relationships to better understand his own life.
Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.