If you love to read and you’ve spent time on TikTok, chances are you’re a BookToker. Scrolling through the app, you’ve probably seen a number of recommendations with rave reviews, from Beach Read to The Kiss Quotient or even Normal People. But what do all of these popular reads have in common? They’re all about romance — and Gen Z is the one driving the sales in the genre.
According to NPR, 10 years ago the main demographic for romance novels was women ages 35 to 54. However, in the last few years, that demographic has expanded, now including women between 18 to 54.
It’s not really surprising. Although the genre has been labelled as “silly” or “fluffy” by some, over the years more and more romance novels have come to tell stories that are by people of colour, queer authors and more — and that representation matters to Gen Z. And with the pandemic giving people more time to dedicate to reading, it’s no wonder that romance novels are taking over, especially given how diverse they’ve become — though, as NPR points out, there is still definite room for diversity to increase when it comes to BookTok.
NPR also reports that viral books on TikTok have the sales that match the hype, with sales for authors whose books have blown up on the app reaching 12.5 million this year in the US as of July.
You may also like: The richest authors of all time.
What books does Gen Z love on TikTok?
A number of popular BookTokers such as @readwithjeni and @coloringbookslit have been recommending a number of books across genres, but have included a number of romance novels among their fave reads.
These are some romance novels getting lots of love on TikTok.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers received rave reviews on TikTok and was named the most anticipated book of 2021 by Oprah Magazine.
Honey Girl, Amazon, $22.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
There’s a reason this book by Taylor Jenkins Reid is beloved by so many. Read it now before Netflix adapts it.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Amazon, $15.
In Five Years
This whimsical read won’t take you long, but it’s certainly not the love story you might be expecting.
In Five Years, Amazon, $19.
Better Than The Movies
A delightfully cheesy story about two neighbours who team up to get noticed by one of their crushes, this book will have you nostalgic for all your fave coming-of-age films.
Better Than The Movies, Amazon, $17.