So I’ve actually done this type of post before, only last time I did a BookTube Made Me Read It, it wasn’t part of the Monthly Recommendations Goodreads group (which you can check out here), so it included a few duds in it.
Since this is part of a series of recommendation posts, it seems appropriate to focus on the books I really enjoyed and would recommend. So in a way, this is more of a “books that lived up to the hype” type of post. It’s full of some great books, so let’s get to it!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is probably the most recent addition to this list. I totally read it after hearing a number of BookTubers recommend it and was experiencing some significant fomo, which was ridiculous since I had a copy sitting on my shelf at the time.
This book is the story of Evelyn Hugo’s rise to fame as a Hollywood starlet in the 1950s. Now in her eighties, she’s decided she’s ready to tell her story, and only little-known-journalist Monique is allowed to write her memoir, which traces Evelyn’s life through her seven marriages.
This book was kind of mind blowing. Like, it went on so many twists and turns, and it was fascinating following Evelyn Hugo’s life. And of course it had to connect to Monique in some way, but I absolutely didn’t see the connection coming. I have to admit, I actually didn’t like a lot of the characters’ decisions, which prevented me from 100 percent loving this book, but I think those decisions were very authentic to the characters, and I loved getting to know them and going deep into their lives and how they work. It’s an excellent read, and I definitely understand where all of the hype is coming from.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Seanan McGuire’s series of novellas, which starts with Every Heart a Doorway, is super hyped up on BookTube, and while I’ve heard of a couple of so-so reviews, I’ve literally heard nothing bad about them at all.
The premise of the first book is basically: what happens to the kids who come back from other worlds like Narnia? How do they readjust to their lives? Can they? Our main character Nancy went to one of those worlds but now finds herself in our world but desperate to return to her magical land. So she’s sent to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, where she encounters numerous other youths who entered other realms only to be forced back into our world.
This series has such an amazing concept, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve read the first two, and I have book number three on my shelves, and I’m really excited that McGuire has extended her contract for the series to another four or five books. She just does such an amazing job creating these characters and their worlds, which is all the more impressive when you realize that each installment is less than 200 pages. If you’re a fantasy fan (and especially a fan of portal fantasies like Narnia), you definitely have to check these books out.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
I can attribute my reading of The Hating Game to one BookTuber and one BookTuber only: chelseadolling reads. She absolutely raves about this hate-to-love contemporary romance, so I decided to give it a try. And omg, I’m totally obsessed!
Thorne just does such a great job creating tension between Lucy and Josh and getting me super invested in their relationship. I love a good hate-to-love romance, but they can be so hard to pull off. Thorne blows it out of the park, though, and I really can’t recommend this book enough to romance readers. Like, it’s one of those books where I struggled to make it through my workday because all I wanted to do was keep reading The Hating Game! I’m doing a terrible job of articulating why I like it, but I can’t think of a much better endorsement than behavior like that!
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
BookTube was super excited for Adam Silvera’s newest release last fall, and while I’d heard enough hype about him that I was interested, it took me awhile to finally pick up one of his books. I went with They Both Die at the End since that was the one everyone was talking about, and I wound up loving it!
The story follows Rufus and Mateo on the day they get a call from a mysterious organization called Death-Cast letting them know that they’ll both die in the next 24 hours. The two boys don’t know each other, but they wind up connecting on their final day through an app called Final Friend, and the story follows them on their adventures together as they learn to overcome their fears and live life to the fullest.
This book was heart-wrenching, but in the best way possible. I was so invested in Rufus and Mateo’s stories, and I loved getting to know them through this story. I’m really impressed by how authentic their story felt, because it’s nearly impossible to pull off having two characters fall in love in the span of a day, but I think Silvera did it with They Both Die at the End. It’s an amazing read, and I really need to go back and read his other books. So definitely worth the hype!
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Red Rising is another book I can trace back directly to one BookTuber: Piera Forde. You don’t have to watch her channel for long to know she’s completely obsessed with this sprawling space opera with a classical Roman twist, and after binging the original trilogy in less than a week, I can totally see why.
I was genuinely on my toes for the entire trilogy and never had any idea what was coming next. I don’t think a book has ever blown my mind quite as many times as these ones did, and the surprises never stopped coming! It’s such an action-packed sci-fi series with serious political overtones that are layered into some really nuanced characters, and I fell super hard for this series immediately. I highly, highly recommend checking these books out if you want a thrilling read. Keep in mind, I struggled a bit with the first 100 pages of the first book, so don’t be alarmed if you do too. It’s totally worth pushing past, because it really develops into an incredible series that I can’t recommend enough.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon is far from the darling of BookTube, which doesn’t hype up nonfiction books too often, but I saw Emily from Possibly Literate recommend this one and thought it sounded really interesting, so I decided to pick it up. It’s a historical true crime book following the murder of Osage Nation members in the 1920s and 1930s in order to gain control of their headrights, or their rights to part of the extensive money distributed to members of the nation for the oil found under their tribal lands. This story intersects with the creation of the FBI as well, which adds another layer to the book.
I raced right through this one, and I was completely invested in who committed the crimes as well as their prosecution and more of the modern history of the crimes against the Osage Nation. It’s an important part of history that shouldn’t be forgotten, and it’s a really fascinating read. I think anyone who enjoys the occasional nonfiction or really enjoys history should check this one out. I thought it was amazing and it definitely lived up to Emily’s recommendation.
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
How can you not read a book with an amazing title like One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter? Rincey Reads recommended this as one of her favorite books of 2017, and after reading it, I can definitely see why. It’s Koul’s memoir and essay collection about growing up as the daughter of Indian immigrants in largely white suburban Canada, and it’s told with an incredible amount of humor (which is totally to be expected from a BuzzFeed writer).
Koul just touched on so many important topics in this essay collection that are worth thinking about and examining more, and I really enjoyed getting her take on them. Plus she’s super funny, so I was laughing through a lot of this book. I’m struggling to articulate more than that it’s interesting and funny and has some great insights into modern culture, so just take my (and Rincey’s) word for it and go read it already!
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I heard Born a Crime pop up numerous times on BookTube, especially with the specific recommendation to listen to it on audio, and omg, what an amazing recommendation. This is comedian Trevor Noah’s memoir of what it was like for him to grow up in South Africa as the son of a black mother and a white father at a time when interracial relationships were illegal, making him literally born a crime.
It’s so fascinating to learn more about South Africa, a country I know embarrassingly little about. Their culture and history is just so different from ours, and I was especially struck by how different (and yet similar) their view of race is. Plus there’s Noah’s relationship with his mom, which really made the book. Noah’s a great storyteller, and it’s an amazing read. And everyone who recommends listening to the audiobook is absolutely right, as Noah does a great job giving life to his stories, plus it’s pretty cool to hear his accents and listen to some of these language that we might not otherwise hear (at least, I hadn’t). It’s well worth the read!
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Last but not least is The Female of the Species, the story of a teenage girl who murdered the man who raped and killed her older sister. More than just revenge, though, Alex Croft is scared of how much she enjoyed killing her sister’s murderer, and she struggles to fit in at school when she feels so defined by what happened to her sister and her horror at her own actions. Pretty much everyone who’s read this book on BookTube has completely raved about it (though I totally remember Margot from Epic Reads being the first one to talk about it—check out her personal channel here), and it didn’t take me long after starting it to join their ranks.
This is another book that I’m kind of speechless to describe my feelings for because it’s just so amazing. Seriously, everyone needs to be an Alex Croft or have one in their lives to stand up and call men out on their bullshit, sexist behavior. She has such an amazing story and I loved seeing her start to connect with other people and come out of her shell. Plus this book was full of so many truth bombs about rape culture and how men treat women. I genuinely love all of the books on this list; Red Rising was one of my favorite books of 2017, and I suspect a few of these other ones will show up on my 2018 list. But if you only read one book from this post, I think it has to be this one.
There you have it! A handful of my top recommendations for books that BookTube has made me read in the last six months or so. There are definitely a bunch of books that get overhyped and that let me down, but when BookTube gets it right, they get it really right!
How many of these books have you read already? Let me know in the comments, as well as what some of your top BookTube book recommendations are!