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YA Book Reviews by Amy

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YA Book Reviews by Amy: My Thoughts on Popular TikTok Books

Have you ever heard so much hype about a book or series and felt compelled to read it? A book that you see on your Instagram feed, or a series that keeps appearing on Book TikTok, or a YA series that all the booktubers are raving about?

These are the books that I have read because I kept seeing them on TikTok, and I wanted to read them to form my own opinion; some I love, and others I haven’t always agreed with the hype, but that is the fun of reading! These are ones that I either loved or enjoyed enough to understand the hype surrounding it!

Have you read any of these popular reads?

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Mateo and Rufus receive their death-calls; these calls insure that no matter what, they will die today. Neither Mateo or Rufus know exactly what time or the circumstance surrounding their death, but know that it will happen. They both decide to make amends to family and friends, find as much closure as they can, and decide to join the app called Last Friends. When they cross paths, they decide to be there for each other to the end and make the best of their last day.

They Both Die at the End - Silvera, Adam

I was very late joining this bandwagon! I had heard nothing but great things about this title, and just always had it to the side on my TBR. Finally, after seeing it everywhere for years, I listened to it. The audiobook was great! I didn’t want to put it down. Gripping tale about death that made me ponder long after I closed the book.

Available on OverdriveHoopla, and at the library* for checkout.

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

This is a graphic novel series that follows Charlie, a boy that no longer wants to hide being in a relationship with another boy. When Charlie meets Nick, a rugby lad and kind older-boy, he finds friendship and a crush. Simply this is story is about Nick and Charlie becoming friends (or as the British say- mates) and discovering what they both want in life.

Heartstopper, Volume 1 - Oseman, Alice

Absolutely worthy of the hype that I have seen on social media, and I adored this graphic novel! The art is stunning; the expressions that Alice Oseman places on her characters are heartachingly relatable and charming. Plus, with the new hype about the Netflix show (all deserved) this should be both read and watched.

Available on Overdrive and at the library* for checkout.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Deka has always felt like an outcast in her village, and she knows the stakes if her blood ends up being gold during the ceremony. When her blood does appear to be gold, Deka must leave her village and everything she knows if she wants to survive. She decides to enter in an army for the emperor; an army full of girls that have rare gifts. Will Deka finally be accepted by people and will she be able to hold her own in a fight?

The Gilded Ones - Forna, Namina

This was a book that just kept appearing on different YouTube videos, TikToks, Instagram, and more. This was a very empowering read about Deka accepting who she is and finding the power to believe in herself. I also enjoyed the women warrior aspect!

Available on Overdrive and at the library* for checkout.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

When the Hawthorne estate contacts stranger Avery, she has no idea how she, a poor girl just trying to survive, is linked to this wealthy family that lives halfway across the country. She has never met them, but when it is announced that she will inherit the majority of Tobias Hawthorne’s estate after he dies, she instantly becomes one of the wealthiest teens in America and becomes the bane of the surviving Hawthorne’s existence. Avery must work alongside with the four grandsons to figure out her connection while trying to survive.

The Inheritance Games - Barnes, Jennifer

I kept seeing this book on Booktok, and the mystery just sounded too tantalizing to ignore. I really enjoyed this book. This is a mix of the movie Knives Out and the middle-grade book The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin for teen readers and lovers of the YA mystery genre. I loved the clues and mystery surrounding the inheritance of this semi-likable and dysfunctional family. The conclusion wraps much of the story up, but leaves enough mystery for the future sequels. I am anxiously awaiting the final book: The Final Gambit that will be coming out in a few more months.

Available on Overdrive as an eBook and eAudiobook and at the library* for checkout.

A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Pippa is working on her capstone project; while she could have picked any topic in the world, she decided to stick close to home with the disappearance and murder of local teen, Andie Bell, and the wreck that was left behind. The case has been closed for five years, but Pippa doesn’t believe that Andie’s boyfriend, Sal, was capable of committing the crime even though he admitted it before his own untimely death. Pippa begins working with Ravi the brother of the accused murderer, investigating deep into Andie’s less than perfect past. Can she prove that Sal did not commit the crime? And if she does, does this mean a murderer is still on the loose?

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder - Jackson, Holly

Okay, so this is one book that I read before the hype, but I am seeing it everywhere now! It gives me so much joy because this is a fantastic YA mystery! I thought that readers can follow the clues that Pippa presents to form their own conclusions with what happened, whether right or wrong. If you like this one, there are two more books following Pippa!

Available on Overdrive and at the library* for checkout.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

In this historical fiction novel that is inspired by Romeo and Juliet, tensions run high in 1926 Shanghai. Juliette returns home after four years in America; as the rightful heir to the Scarlet Gang, Juliette must be strong enough to become the stone-cold leader even when her heart was broken by the rival gang heir, Roma of the White Roses. With a deadly sickness running rampant and people  witnessing a monster, Juliette and Roma must put their past and prejudice behind them and work together to save Shanghai.

These Violent Delights - Gong, Chloe

My favorite book that I read last year. I saw this book on Booktok very early upon the release of this title, and I needed to see what the hype was all about! And I am glad I did. I enjoyed all aspects of this story; historical fiction with a classic retelling twist? Sign me up! I connected to the characters and fell for our secondary characters as well. The plot is simple but many faceted with it being part retelling, part horror, part historical fiction, and part romance.

Available in Overdrive and in Hoopla as an eAudiobook and in the library* for checkout.

*check the link for available copies or to place on hold


Hello everyone! I’m Amy and I am a Youth Services Librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. When I’m not trying to reach my reading goal for the year, I like to talk about what I’m reading to my family, friends, and coworkers. You could say I am a little obsessed with reading Young Adult books. I enjoy most genres, but my favorites include: Westerns, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, and Mystery. I am always looking for the next great book that makes me connect to its characters and hits me in the feels.