Book List

Must-Read Books That Match Your TikTok Aesthetic

July 22, 2021
Amelia Ali

Whether you first downloaded TikTok back in March of 2020, have been using it since 2017, or are only recently discovering the platform, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is a TikTok aesthetic for everyone. Check out these book recommendations based on your favorite TikTok aesthetic.

Must-Read Books That Match Your TikTok Aesthetic

1. Alt TikTok — Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi

When you know exactly who you are and you aren’t afraid to show it, you write your own story with your eyeliner pen. Total opposites, Korean American sisters Jayne and June Baek are the same: they are proud, honest, and unequivocally protective of one another. Fashion student Jayne has terrible taste in men and undervalues herself. Older sister June reminds Jayne that familial responsibility is not as fraught as she once thought. Compassionate and darkly hilarious, Yolk reminds us to be our truest selves.


2. Roller-Skate TikTok — Bruised by Tanya Boteju

Inspired by the roller-skating boom in the 70s and 80s, bruises are as common as vintage graphic tees and knee-high socks. Daya accepts her emotional and physical scars and bruises after discovering the brutal sport of roller derby. To Daya Wijesinghe, vulnerability is a weakness, as she has been conditioned to be strong since her parents’ death. With the help of her Killa Honeys roller derby team, she learns to embrace her grief and to love her new “chosen family”. The roller girl aesthetic involves little more than a pair of skates. It invokes…CONFIDENCE.


3. Baddie TikTok — SLAY by Brittany Morris

Teen coder Kiera Johnson not lives her Black girl magic but created a multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY, so other gamers can as well. After she gives the world a Black-Panther-esque RPG that Kiera must battle racism in the gaming community. But, she won’t her international phenom be ruined. This aesthetic is all about creativity and shameless confidence.


4. Light Academia TikTok — Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

Imagine meeting the love of your life in a secondhand bookstore in a small European village. Liv doesn’t have many memories of her father, but the ones she does have are for their shared love of ancient Greece and the lost city of Atlantis. When Liv receives a postcard from her father asking her to join him Santorini and help him with his documentary about the lost city, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. Soon Liv will find out not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important. This aesthetic is all about self-discovery and daylight along the Mediterranean coast.


5. Dark Academia TikTok — Breaking Bailey by Anonymous

This aesthetic focuses on themes of learning, a dark palette, and Shakespearean tragedy. For fans of Breaking Bad, the “Science Club” at the prestigious boarding school, Prescott Academy, enamors new girl Bailey. For a girl looking to escape her past, she falls in love with a charismatic chemist and further down the rabbit hole of drug-ring.


6. Witchcore TikTok — The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

This aesthetic is all about potions, nature, and spells that may or may not go awry. In the turn of the 20th century New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell finds herself enrolled in a school for witches. Haxahaven Sanitarium’s sisterhood, the immersive mystery, and the enchantment entice her. You will grieve, rage, and swoon with its poetic splendor. Perfect for fans of The Last Magician or The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.


7. Fairycore TikTok — Tithe by Holly Black

This aesthetic is all about whimsy, nature, fairies (or faeries). Fairycore is delicate, light, and one ethereal step away from Cottagecore. But, not all touches of shimmer and glitter exist in this contemporary fantasy following sixteen-year old Kaye. With her new skin and a young Fey Knight, Kaye must keep the peace between rival Fey kingdoms.


8. Cottagecore TikTok — What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

This aesthetic is all about escape toward a simple life. Whether you romanticize everything or bake as therapy, Cottagecore is the aesthetic of your dreams. Bookstagrammer Halle Levitt has an online persona that rivals her IRL awkwardness. Her escape into the well-curated persona of “Kels” helps Halle remain unassuming. With each book review paired with cupcakes decorated to match their covers, Halle soon realizes the being her true self is the most romantic of all.


9. E-girl/E-boy TikTok — Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

This aesthetic is a combination of soft and grunge. Whether one partakes in gaming culture or not, being trapped in the digital world or waiting to be brought out is never easy. For Penny Lee, though she cannot be entirely honest in the her real life, her digital communication with older, tattooed Sam is her most authentic friendship…and more. Every text, every call gives them each the motivation to reveal their true self to everyone – not just each other. Pulling off the extremely online vibe is harder than it looks.

Looking for more? Check out these must-read books if you love reality TV shows!


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