5 literary fiction books popularized on Tiktok

·3 min read

Since the popularity of Tiktok, a short-form video hosting application, industry trends have shifted drastically.

Tiktok, in all of its glory, has inflected almost all existing industries. It has transformed the way some industries function and have become some sort of popularity chamber, wherein, if you’re a hit on the app, you’re a hit everywhere.

The print industry is no different.

Reading has always been perceived as a high-brow hobby and appears to be “uncool,” as represented in films. You don’t see the cheerleader cracking a book open for leisure purposes; they’re somehow always at a party because it was the cool thing to do.

Times have changed, apparently. Now, thanks to Tiktok (and other social media platforms), reading has become a trend.

Here are five literary fiction books popularized by the app:

“The Song of Achilles” by Madelline Miller

“The Song of Achilles” is a retelling of the Greek hero, Achilles’ rise to prominence in the midst of the Trojan War. The novel twists the original tale and makes Patroclus, Achilles’ lover and soulmate. As heartbreaking as the first two books, you will definitely need a box of tissues next to you as you read the tragic narrative of “The Song of Achilles.”

One of its most memorable quotes goes, “And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.”

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When you scroll through the #Booktok hashtag on the app, it is highly possible the first book you’ll come across is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s most popular release, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.” It is an account of the life of fictional Evelyn Hugo, a ‘60s Hollywood starlet and her salacious reputation in the movie industry. Riveting, heart-wrenching and profound, the novel focuses on the stumbling blocks of stardom and fame. It also touches on the struggles of queer people in the past decades. The novel’s most notable quote from the titular character of Evelyn Hugo is: “I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box.”

“The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” by V.E. Schwab

The central theme of this novel lies in our human nature to want more and more. Addie Larue is graced by an omnipotent being to live forever but at a price. Addie is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she comes across.

One of its remarkable quotes goes, “What is a person, if not the marks they leave behind?”

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

Another #Booktok cult favorite is the harrowing story of Jude St. Francis. “A Little Life,” packs a punch with its themes of trauma, found family and tragedy. It also tackles queer relationships. A lot of its readers on the app attest that the novel is the saddest and most tragic book they’ve read.

Here’s one of its most notable quotes: “He is so lonely that he sometimes feels it physically, a sodden clump of dirty laundry pressing against his chest.”

“Normal People” by Sally Rooney

This literary fiction novel follows the slow burn romance between Connell and Marianne. It isn’t as simplistic as one romance novel goes; as it also turns toward serious matters such as dysfunctional family dynamics and financial struggles.

Reading literary fiction books is a stellar way of learning more about the world. It may be fiction but the lessons it imparts to its readers apply to real-life experiences. Fiction has a power to transform our way of living and consequently, our perception of the world.

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