A renewed, global interest in reading has sprung from an unlikely source: TikTok. The social media giant has a flourishing #BookTok community, one that saw the social media company seizing the opportunity to create its own TikTok Book Club earlier this summer. The club is now into its second month, which means an all-new title for TikTokkers and book lovers to enjoy.
For the month of September, the choice is Bolu Babalola’s Honey and Spice(opens in a new tab).
Like with August, TikTok’s Book Laureates will read and discuss the book of the month individually, ultimately gathering together in a TikTok Live where all five have a conversation about the read — find all the links and details at TikTok’s dedicated hub. This time around, Babalola herself will host a Live Q&A discussion with BookTok creators and be creating related content on her platform.
Already, the laureates have introduced Babalola’s book on their platforms. BookTokker @jackbenedwards describes it as his “most anticipated book of the summer,” while @cocosarel said she’d been manifesting this novel as a book club choice.
Babalola’s debut novel has had social media and critics abuzz since releasing in July. On TikTok itself, #bolubabalola has 312.3K views, while the hashtag #honeyandspice houses hundreds of videos about the book. The New York Times has described Babalola’s romance offering as “sexy, messy and wry.”
Honey and Spice is centered around Kikiola Banjo, a college student and aspiring journalist, who meets Malakai Korede, an enigmatic and charming transfer student. The ensuing story draws upon romance tropes that the TikTok community is currently fascinated by: fake dating, enemies-to-lovers, and university love.
Babalola is a self-proclaimed “pop vulture scholar” and “romcomoisseur“, labels that are a testament to her noted cultural appeal and knowledge. The British-Nigerian author has a wide digital presence and has been lauded for uplifting modern, intersectional narratives of love.
Honey and Spice has already had its time in a prominent book club when it was chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her July pick.
“The #BookTok community keeps getting stronger, and is having a huge impact on people’s perception of reading,” says James Stafford, head of partnerships and community at TikTok. “No matter how well-known a genre or author, there’s a community celebrating it on TikTok, and we’re excited about the #BookClub format as a way to keep sparking these conversations.”