2020 End of Year Book Review: 5 Books Tiktok Made Me Buy

Elissa Mae
9 min readDec 21, 2020

Like many of you stuck at home I have recently picked up reading again to pass the time and stay inside where it is nice and Covid free. My whole life I was in love with reading and I would plow through books after books in mere days but was always looking for more. At one point I had ran out of space and those poor books ended up on the floor of my bedroom (I know I am a horrible book mom). For the last few years it has been hard to pick up a book for fun anymore, it always felt like a chore and I found myself wanting to do other things with my time. But recently (with the help of tiktok) I have found more and more books that actually get me excited to read again so I have decided to do a small book review of everything I read these last few months!

**Also fair warning there may be some spoilers ahead!**

1. Serpent & Dove



I was drawn to this book because I love anything fantasy related and I am a sucker for romance and enemies-to-lovers troupe, but it was the cover that drew me in.

This book was marketed (on tiktok) as a spicy and dark book that left you in love with the characters and yearning for the second book.

While I overall loved the story line it was not my favorite book that I have read this year. I got my fill of enemies-to-lovers troupe and it was just enough darkness to have me pausing when I read (with a really good twist) but it was not as spicy as I would have liked it. I also did not feel the need to pick up the second book. One thing to know about me is that I am really impulsive so it takes some suspense and maybe some cliffhangers to keep me going but this book was not it for me.

Overall, I would recommend it but it is on the tamer side.

Below is the synopsis and where you can purchase it:

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation — marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

2. The Folk of the Air Series



So while this one was more Ya than I was used to, I actually really loved this series. This was another one that was hypes up on tiktok so when I dove into this series I knew what I was expecting but the level of detail in this series was what kept me reading.

I loved how in all of the books there was always reference to the last and even among the twists and turns of the series you could always find small clues that led up to these events. Don’t even get be started on the second book’s cliffhanger.

Below is the synopsis and where you can purchase it:

This was was also a bit darker but the faeries in here seemed more in character and aligned more with superstitions than the other books do. As a writer myself I tend to take this book as an example when planning my own novels.

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him — and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black comes the stunning The Folk of the Air trilogy filled with twists and enchantment, as one girl learns the meaning of true power when she finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

3. The Dark Tide



This book had a small amount of LGBTQ+ representation which it what drew me to it in the first place but what kept me reading was the great world building.

All the sudden you are thrust into this world that is so dark yet shows how normal people would try to live their life through it.

This book was beautifully written and was actually the one that got me over my reading hump after all these years. I keep this one close to my desk just because when I look at it I am reminded of how much I loved the world building in it.

Below is the synopsis and where you can purchase it:

Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken this year, Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Thomas Lin, her secret crush, and the only boy to ever escape from the palace after winning the love of a queen. Working together they protect her brother but draw the queen’s attention.

Queen Eva cast away her heart when her sister died to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. With the tide rising higher than ever before and the islander’s whispering that Eva’s magic is failing, she’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.

When Thomas is chosen as sacrifice, Lina takes his place and the two girls are forced to spend time together as they wait for the full moon. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, the two girls find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on

4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue



I have almost no words to describe how completely beautiful this book is. ALMOST.

If there is one book that you choose to read, choose this one. This book is written like straight poetry and leaves you guessing after each page. I read this all in one sitting and could not stop crying afterwards (not just because it was slightly sad) but because I literally could not believe the ride it took me on.

I tried to reread it but nothing will ever prove as great as the first time that you read it. I fell in-love with every character in there (even the bad one) and it was the only book that made me wish that I did not get the ending that I so desperately wanted. Right after I read this book I recommended it to literally every single person I knew.

The great thing about this is it has real LGBTQ+ representation but literally this book is so heart breaking yet so lovable that I can’ get it out of my mind.

Below is the synopsis and where you can purchase it:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever — and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

5. The Shadows Between Us



This is one badass female if there ever was one. From the start, literally the first sentence, she talks about how she had killed her previous boyfriend.

This is also another one of the troupe that I absolutely love, I came to kill you but slowly fell in love with you.

While this world may have not been as elaborate as the others on this list it gave you just a touch of what you needed to keep the fantasy alive. AND this one had a huge twist at the end that I didn’t see coming at all.

For anyone looking for a badass female leave that literally doesn’t give a shit about anyone… this is your book. I found myself begging for her to let him go but she is one strong willed boss lady.

Below is the synopsis and where you can purchase it:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen — all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

This is just a few in the long list that I bought from tiktok! If you are interested in more of these types of content let me know! Thanks for reading!

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