Rom-Com Reads Straight from Viral BookTok

9 minute read

Love and laughter in one great list thanks to #booktok!

We are assuming that everyone has heard of TikTok by now, so we won’t bore you with a long explanation of its rapid rise to popularity. We WILL tell you that the last thing that changed the publishing world so fundamentally was a little thing called THE INTERNET.

The literary corner of the massive social media platform, known as #BookTok, has taken booksellers and publishers alike completely by storm. Content creators are driving sales with excitement about new and upcoming titles and also giving oft-overlooked backlist gems a new lease on life. Creators are talking about genres, having discussions about representation in literature and other timely topics, devoting channels to characters, and even giving cosplayers a new platform where they can show off their skills. A deep dive on BookTok can send you down a rabbit hole, introducing you to subgroups that you never knew existed. Clear your afternoon if you really want to dig in. It can be almost impossible to look away from so much excellent book-related content. Take it from us!

In order to spare you from the inevitable hours of time that you will spend watching 15-second videos, we’ve compiled a great list of some of BookTok’s favorite rom-coms. This list contains a wide variety of tropes and diverse characters, and not all of them are family-friendly. Be sure you do your research before you hit PLAY on that audiobook on the holiday trip to grandma’s house!

Readers can also engage with their favorite authors on BookTok, many of whom use the platform to interact with their readers and fans. Pay attention and you just may win some great swag during a live session or giveaway!

It’s time to put down the phone, pick up a book, and get swept into a world of missed connections, overly involved family members, dropped cell phone calls, and hilarious – and usually completely avoidable – misunderstandings. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll find your new favorite book!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Find ‘Get a Life, Chloe Brown’ on Bookshop

A witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new thingsperfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang!

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost–but not quite–dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

  • Enjoy a drunken night out.
  • Ride a motorcycle.
  • Go camping.
  • Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
  • Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
  • And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Find ‘It Happened One Summer’ on Bookshop

The first in a spicy and unforgettable rom-com duology from #1 New York Times bestseller and tiktok favorite Tessa Bailey, in which a Hollywood “It Girl” is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather–and the hot, grumpy local–that she’s more than a pretty face.

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Find ‘Better Than the Movies’ on Bookshop

Perfect for fans of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, this “sweet and funny” (Kerry Winfrey, author of Waiting for Tom Hanks) teen rom-com follows a hopelessly romantic teen girl and her cute yet obnoxious neighbor as they scheme to get her noticed by her untouchable crush.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar–and maybe snag him as a prom date–even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love–and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Find ‘I Kissed Shara Wheeler’ on Bookshop

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Find ‘Dial A for Aunties’ on Bookshop

One of NPR’s Best Books of 2021!
One of PopSugar’s 42 Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021!

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business –Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!–and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren 

Find ‘The Unhoneymooners’ on Bookshop

Named a “Must-Read” by TODAY, Us WeeklyBustleBuzzFeedGood

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime–even love–in this witty and swoonworthy romance from the New York Times bestselling duo who “hilariously depict modern dating” (Us Weekly) and authors of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and RoomiesOlive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man. Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of…lucky. With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” ( Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a fun and charming romance that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

One quick note for those of you who like your romantic reads a little on the sexier side: search #spicytok for a ton of great recommendations that are more explicit than the fare on our list.  

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