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2023 wrapped: the best of BookTok

By Kobo • December 10, 2023Recommended Reading

Whether you’re on TikTok or not, there’s no doubt that #Booktok is the new go-to for top-tier book recommendations.

BookTok is a vast and varied corner of the internet. There truly is something for everyone, and it is a powerful reading recommendation tool, if you can get the algorithm to speak your language. To save you the trouble of creating an account or scrolling into oblivion (we all do enough of that already, right?) we’ve rounded up the hottest BookTok recommendations of 2023.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

We can’t talk about BookTok 2023 without talking about Fourth Wing. Arguably the most viral book of the year, Yarros captured reader’s hearts with her romantic, fantastical tale of Basgiath War College. Blending sexy, heart-pounding romance with epic adventure-filled fantasy, Fourth Wing had readers hooked and begging for Book Two of The Empyrean series, which Yarros dropped in November.

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Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

Speaking of viral books, R.F. Kuang has done it again. While dark academia darling Babel made it onto this list last year, in 2023 Kuang delivered a razor-sharp, unforgettable contemporary fiction. Following struggling author Juniper Song, Yellowface grapples with questions of diversity, racism, and cultural appropriation, as well as the terrifying alienation of social media.

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Happy Place by Emily Henry

In the spring of 2023 Emily Henry released Happy Place and it made a lot of readers... well, happy. Finding favour among the BookTok crowd, Harriet and Wyn’s second-chance romance, set in dreamy coastal Maine at an annual friends getaway weekend is chock-full of the emotion, hilarity and tension Emily Henry is known for.

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Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

This enemies-to-lovers, forced-proximity romance has Booktokers scrambling to get their hands on anything by Hannah Grace. In true opposites attract fashion, Anastasia Allen is a competitive figure skater, Nate Hawkins is the captain of the hockey team, and both are laser focused on their goals. When a facilities mishap forces the two to share the ice, things heat up.

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Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Who knew so many readers could be enchanted by video game design? College friends Sam and Sadie partner up and overnight become unstoppable, famous video game designers. Following their thirty-year friendship, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to be loved and to love.

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Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny was released in 2019 but in 2023 it found a whole new audience through BookTok. Awad’s darkly funny, seductively strange novel follows lonely graduate student Samantha as she is drawn into a clique of rich girls who seem to move and speak as one.

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Twisted Love by Ana Huang

Booktokers love their steamy romances, and Twisted delivers. Alex Volkov is cursed with a past he can't escape. Driven by a tragedy that has haunted him, his pursuits for success and vengeance leave little room for matters of the heart. But when he's forced to look after his best friend's sister, he starts to feel something. Ava Chen is a free spirit trapped by nightmares of a childhood she can't remember. But despite her broken past, she's never stopped seeing the beauty in the world, including the heart beneath the icy exterior of a man she shouldn't want. Theirs is a love that was never supposed to happen-but when it does, it unleashes secrets that could destroy them both.

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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Is this the saddest book of all time? Maybe. Nevertheless, A Little Life has wormed its way into the hearts of BookTokers everywhere and experienced a swath of new readers since it’s 2015 release. Following four college classmates, Yanagihara’s novel is an emotional story of the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.

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This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Already well-loved by sci-fi readers, This is How You Lose the Time War is finding new fans thanks to BookTok. This is an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

How can we have a best of BookTok list without Sarah J Maas? The A Court of Thorns and Roses series (ACOTAR, to aficionados) has hooked readers of all kinds for its sexy, seductive spin on the epic fantasy—some even credit it as kicking off the . Feyre is a huntress. But the life of a magical creature comes at a steep price, and Feyre has just killed the wrong wolf. Follow Feyre's journey into the dangerous, alluring world of the Fae, where she will lose her heart, face her demons, and learn what she is truly capable of.

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Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is no stranger to BookTok love thanks to her suave and sexy romances. This year’s craze? Secretly Yours, a spicy small town rom-com about a grumpy professor and the bubbly neighbour he clashes with at every turn.

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Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Every year just a couple of non-fiction books surface in BookTok. This year’s runaway BookTok hit true story was Dolly Alderton’s wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love—beloved for being both wise and deeply relatable.

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