You may not know it, but you have been casting your votes for the top books of 2014 every time you tweet about a book. Drawing from over 80 million tweets, BookVibe has compiled the definitive list of titles that rocked social media over the past 12 months. The list covers an eclectic range of titles and shines a spotlight onto the literary tastes of today’s readers based on frequency of mentions.
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green (1.2 million tweets)
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (400,000 tweets)
- Looking for Alaska by John Green (150,000 tweets)
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (90,000 tweets)
- Hannibal by Thomas Harris (80,000 tweets)
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (70,000 tweets)
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (60,000 tweets)
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (50,000 tweets)
- 1984 by George Orwell (40,000 tweets)
- Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (40,000 tweets)
With more than a million tweets, John Green’s The Fault in our Stars seems to be the Twittersphere’s favorite book, which won’t come as a surprise to his 3.5 million followers. On the face of it, Neil Gaiman and Paulo Coelho—each with more than two million followers—might feel puzzled that none of their books made it. However, when you look at Green’s wider social media presence, it’s clear he’s in a different league.
In addition to the whopping 2.6 million likes on Facebook, Green also runs a YouTube channel with his brother, Hank, that has over two million subscribers. His fan base is broad and eclectic, and that is part of his appeal—that even at 37 years old, Green has a distinctly upbeat and adolescent voice that pulls in readers and viewers from all relevant social media platforms.
While The Fault in Our Stars is undoubtedly classified as a YA novel, Green possesses the unparalleled ability to write in a way that appeals to a variety of audiences. With unforgettable main characters, snappy dialogue and a brutally honest execution of the plot, TFIOS spans genres and caters to all age groups—which is why people came out in droves to watch the wildly acclaimed movie of the same name. The modestly budgeted film of $16 million went on to be crowned as one of the most profitable films of 2014, grossing over $300 million worldwide.
Green doesn’t need a major motion picture to reign supreme when it comes to book discussions, though. His first novel, Looking for Alaska, generated more than a 100,000 mentions, with the general sentiment being sky high. The popularity of these tearjerker love stories between teenagers extends to Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, which boasts half as many tweets as Looking for Alaska.
Novels of decades past have also infiltrated the list of the year’s top tweeted, with recognizable titles such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (which was released digitally as an e-book and rumored to be banned earlier this year) and George Orwell’s 1984—glaring anomalies amidst the sea of today’s in demand teen books. The two classics combined have spawned well over a 100,000 tweets, but it’s no coincidence that they both serve as required reading for most high school students—upon closer inspection, many of the tweets are from students who are less than pleased with their reading assignments. Even the positive mentions, when they come, are not nearly as overwhelming as the ones that John Green’s novels have inspired.
Dinosaurs, a mysterious cannibal, and a devious wife round out the list and they all have one thing in common—they’re either subjects of the silver screen or a television show. Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park proves that although dinosaurs are extinct, their fan base clearly isn’t. With the new film coming out early next year, its no wonder that the novel has drawn over 50 thousand tweets, and the buzz is only climbing higher. Thomas Harris’ Hannibal, which recently made its small screen debut on NBC, boasts an impressive 80,000 mentions, while Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl follows close behind, pushing 70,000 tweets. Recent research suggests that film adaptations of books have the ability to influence people to read, so while critics may bemoan the latest adaptation of a book for the silver screen, the halo effect does increase the book’s readership which, at the end of it all, is exactly what the author wants.