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May 28, 2024
May 27, 2024

What is PRHS Reading?

What is PRHS Reading?

Two readers recommend some of their favorite books 

By Cadence Eastep, Reporter

In a world full of electronic devices, the act of reading is not as common as it used to be. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people between 15 and 43 years old in the U.S. spend ten minutes or less each day reading as of 2021. However, the app TikTok introduced a hashtag in early 2021 called BookTok. It brought the young adult book market up 50 percent in the first half of 2021.

The concept of BookTok is one that has brought recommendation after recommendation to readers looking for a new story to read. The hashtag has truly skyrocketed; a TikTok search of it depicts 36.1 billion views on videos featuring the hashtag as of January 2022.  A Booktok post often depicts a user recommending multiple books under a specific theme – fantasy, romance, horror. Many books can be seen recommended multiple times by many different users. Some of these titles are: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. 

Cassidy Moses, a junior, is currently enjoying a novel called Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. The thrilling and horror genre of this book is something that she is often drawn to in novels. The book encapsulates 22 short stories written over the span of King’s career. It was originally released on June 21, 1985 and helped to cement King as one of the most prominent horror writers in the United States. 

“I really like all of the imagery he uses,” Moses said, “I can see everything that’s happening in my mind. It keeps you on the edge of your seat.” 

One of the stories, entitled “The Monkey,”, follows a haunted windup monkey toy as it ceaselessly bangs its it’s cymbals together and haunts the main character Hal Shelbourn. He discovers that this toy has been haunting his family for generations, killing them and their loved ones. What ensues is his attempts to get rid of the monkey in order to protect his family from the danger that it imposes on them. The rest of the novel shares stories of this same nature – thrilling and frightening – with titles such as “The Mist” and “The Jaunt.”. 

All in all, Moses highly recommends the novel. She finds the tone to be harrowing and engaging, and she believes it to be full of suspense. She’d rate the book 8/10.

“It [Skeleton Crew] keeps you on the edge of your seat”

– Cassidy Moses, 11

Other than horror, there are also novels in more of the young adult fiction genre that get rave reviews. These stories are often relatable to teenagers and follow many different plot lines. 

Ava Friedling, a freshman, identified her favorite book as Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. 

“It tells a really compelling story about a difficult situation, and it displays high school in a way that is true. Some authors are like ‘oh, people put you in lockers’, but this one is true, and it’s a very sensitive story,” Friedling said. 

“It [Speak] tells a really compelling story about a difficult situation, and it displays high school in a way that is true”

– Ava Friedling, 9

Speak follows the main character, thirteen-year-old Melindo Sordino, as she struggles with being attacked by a boy over the summer before her freshman year. She faces bullying and depression as she remains scarred from her encounter. The story captures how hard it is to speak up and stand up for yourself, especially in situations where you feel petrified and alone. Friedling would give a rating of 9/10 to the story.

Because of The multitude of BookTok recommendations found on TikTok, not everyone is going to like every novel suggested by the public. Friedling counts herself one such critic: she read They Both Die at the End, and she didn’t have quite as high of an opinion on it as the Booktok users who recommended it. 

The book features two main characters: Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio. They meet through an app called Last Friend after being called by Death-Cast, a company that informs people that today is their last day to live. They develop a deep bond and help each other grow because it’s the last day that they can.

“It was good, but it didn’t live up to my expectations, and the end wasn’t very satisfying. But, it was still a good book,” Friedling said. However, this novel was a very popular one at the peak of BookTok. In the first half of 2021, They Both Die at the End was the best selling US young adult novel, selling 300,000 copies. 

BookTok has helped to bring reading back into the world of those who decide to partake in the trend. Readers have been expanding their horizons and tackling different genres. Some novels might not strike the fancy of some people as much as they do for others, but there are plenty of options for every type of reader.

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