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The Fang

The Fang

The Fang

Opinions on Popular Book-Tok Books


Spoiler WarningPlease note that there will be at least a couple minor spoilers in the following reviews. Reader discretion is advised.


Avid book readers have taken over TikTok, inhabiting the app with dozens of book contents designed to share their hot takes. The hashtag, BookTok has over 126 billion views, growing daily. Certain books have become popular because of this platform and will continue skyrocketing. A couple of staff writers from The Fang have decided to share their opinions on three BookTok books.


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Shatter Me – Phoebe Smith


The Shatter Me series, for lack of better words, is interesting. It is written by Tahereh Mafi and is a series of eleven books. The first novel features a girl named Juliette Ferrars, who has been locked up in an asylum for over 264 days. Juliette isn’t an average main character. She has a lethal weapon: her touch. Anyone on the receiving end may not live to see another day.  Every day seems the same until one day, an “unknown” stranger joins her in the asylum. Juliette has contact with another human for the first time in far too long. From that point onward, she experiences a surplus of exhilarating adventures, all while navigating her deadly ability. 


We soon learn that the stranger (who isn’t as unknown to Juliette as we initially thought) can touch Juliette without suffering. This man, Adam Kent, is the first and only person ever to do so… until yet another man learns that he has the exact. Same. Ability. Incredibly convenient, huh? The other person, Aaron Warner, is far from a happy-go-lucky guy. He lives in Sector 45, where Warner commands troops and rains havoc on opposing sides. He kidnaps Juliette, forcing her to use her touch to harm the people he’s against. Oh, and also, he has a massive crush on Juliette. Talk about being toxic. I would be livid if someone professed their undying love for me while still holding me captive but who am I to judge


Shatter Me was far from a five-star read. After seeing video after video on BookTok of people raving about the series, I decided to dip my toes into the Shatter Me universe, prepared to go on an adventure of a lifetime. The dream didn’t last very long. Within a few pages, it came to a screeching halt when the main character, Juliette, described the sun as a dripping, runny egg. An egg.  


Another complaint I have with the book is the romance. (Let’s be honest, based on TikTok, many people read the books for this aspect.) It bothers me that the man who kidnapped Juliette suddenly reveals his devotion to her. Juliette, the desirable main character, finds herself in a love triangle. She has to choose between the twisted, mysterious captor or her broody childhood best friend. The only two people who can touch her are both squandering for her attention. It’s easy to see that the two certainly have different methods to stay in her spotlight. This romance is incredibly staged in numerous aspects. 


Despite my quarrels with the book, the Shatter Me series has immaculate world-building. This dystopian book has just enough background and character depth to last a lifetime, and the majority of characters you read about will make an impact on the reader. Although this book series wasn’t written to suit my tastes, it’s clear most people who read Shatter Me have thoroughly enjoyed what it has to say.


Solitaire- Audrey Spardlin


Solitaire is about a girl named Victoria Spring, better known as Tori. She’s tired, done with life, bored, and very worried about her brother Charlie. 


She wants the world to leave her alone but finds herself in a sticky situation after finding a sticky note from someone named Solitaire. Whoever this person is, they’re determined to disrupt the school, no matter how brutal the circumstances are. 


In this process of Solitaire messing up everyone’s lives, she meets a boy named Michael Holden, and once he’s come into her life, he just won’t leave. Tori finds this aggravating. She truly does. 




 A cool thing about this book is that it’s based in the same world as Alice Oseman’s graphic novel Heartstopper; the story was even written and released before Heartstopper was made. 


 My absolute favorite aspect of Solitaire is how relatable Tori is. The book captures how it feels to be a teenager in a world where you’re seen as different or unlikeable, where you have friends, but you know they’d never choose you over anyone. 


My least favorite thing about this novel, and it’s not really about the book itself, is that it never got enough love to be adapted into a film or TV show. 


Of the things I’ve raved about in this book, another thing I’d praise is the main character Tori’s inner dialogue. Many of her thoughts and words throughout the novel are incredibly dark and sometimes twisted. Of these, one of my favorites from what I had highlighted was when Tori is having an awkward encounter with her “friend” Becky. During this encounter, Tori thought, “Why should I care what anyone thinks anymore? Why should I care about anything anymore.” I love this bit of inner dialogue because of its relatability and because of how much personality it shows in Tori’s character. 


 At the end of Solitaire, I wrote my love for its relatability and how, although super dark, it gave me a sense of hope. Solitaire truly is a five-star read. It’ll forever be one of the first books I recommend to people looking for a good stand-alone novel to digest themselves in.


Archer’s Voice- Hayden Frazier


Bree Prescott just wants to lose herself in a small town called Pelion, Maine, and leave everything in her past behind. For the past six months, all she could think about was how she survived, but her father didn’t. Bree felt safe again, away from everyone back in Cincinnati, Ohio. But when she meets Archer Hale, the town’s outcast, her entire world shifts.

Archer’s Voice is a book that just ripped my heart out, but in a good way. This book dives into the reality of people with disabilities in the real world. Archer, a boy who is mute, lives in a town where he is outcasted. He usually is by himself and doesn’t talk to anyone until one day, Bree Prescott, runs into him, and finally, for the first time, Archer is treated like a normal person. 


Their interaction sparks a flame between the two that Bree nor Archer can explain. Throughout the story, Bree teaches Archer how to live a average life, and Archer teaches Bree how life is as a mute, while they both reveal personal stories and secrets about each other.


Archer’s Voice was a definite five-star read for me. This book had a chokehold on me from the first chapter to the epilogue. I had seen Archer’s Voice all over TikTok, so when I went to the bookstore and saw it, I just had to get it. 


Something that I absolutely adore about Archer’s Voice is how it’s a slow burn. Coincidently, when it comes to reading books, my favorite thing is slow burns, meaning it takes a long while for the love interests to fall in love. 


While as much as I love Archer’s Voice, I do feel like parts of the book were unnecessary. For example, how Archer’s cousin Travis was trying to “sabotage” Archer’s relationship with Bree just because she didn’t like him or how, again, Travis’ MOTHER came up to Bree telling her to be with Travis and not Archer. I think things like that might add to the story, but it’s also not necessary to the story.


When it comes to annotating  books, I would say I’m a definite pro, especially since it’s just highlighting and annotating your favorite parts of the book. Throughout Archer’s Voice, I would say it’s pretty annotated, from little drawings to my opinions on what’s currently going on in the book.


One of my favorite quotes from Archer’s Voice would be from chapter thirty-five, ”I’m here for you because of you. I’m here because you saw me, not just with your eyes, but with your heart. I’m here because you wanted what I had to say and because you were right…everyone does need a friend.”  

If someone were to ask me what book I would recommend for someone to read, I know for a fact I’d say Archer’s Voice. Mia Sheridan did an amazing job writing this book, from the ups and downs to the emotional rollercoaster I was put on as a reader. Archer’s Voice, without a doubt, has been one of my favorite reads and will forever stay that way.

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About the Contributors
Audrey Spradlin
Audrey Spradlin, Writer
  Audrey Spradlin is a  junior at Lake Highlands High School, and she is a member of the school newspaper. Spradlin fell in love with the idea of joining the newspaper when she was just a freshman. She’s enjoyed writing since she wrote an essay about one of her favorite gymnasts in 6th grade.  Spradlin fell even more in love with writing after she began exploring her love for reading even more for the duration of her freshman year. Her favorite book is Solitaire by Alice Oseman, she also enjoys listening to music while going for a drive, and is an avid coffee lover! Audrey plans to write for the school for the duration of her junior year and continue into her senior year.
Phoebe Smith
Phoebe Smith, Managing Editor
Phoebe Smith has been part of the Lake Highlands High School Newspaper since her sophomore year. This year, she has the privilege of being Managing Editor for the Fang!! When Phoebe isn’t at school, she thoroughly enjoys stocking up on books (sometimes reading them) and playing all sorts of video games. She has a part-time job at Resident Taqueria, a local taco shop in the Lake Highlands area. Phoebe hopes to have a great final year being part of the newspaper before she heads off to college… wherever that may be.
Hayden Frazier
Hayden Frazier, Writer
Sophomore, Hayden Frazier was born and raised in Dallas, Texas & is a member of the school newspaper. She loves to read, her favorite book being Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Her love for writing started in second grade when she had to write fun short stories in her reading class. Her plan is to continue doing newspapers throughout the rest of her high school career. In the end, she's very excited about the newspaper and the school year.
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