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  • Noha Badawi

Your guide to fall in love with books.

We all dream about traveling the world, meeting new people, learning new languages, exploring times and places we never thought existed and indulge in different cultures. It's always exciting whenever you're about to embark on a new adventure; your eyes grow big, and you just don't know where to look first, you want to take it all in and never miss a single detail.

Books are that adventure.

They're the gate to not just the present, but to the future and the past. The gate to worlds that never indeed existed but someone was brave enough to write and explore them. Books are how you get on a plane and travel (sometimes to different destinations at once) and live in the shoe of someone else for just a couple of pages. The stories we read in books are not just about the adventures we embark upon, they're about the characters we meet and the friends we find in them, they open our eyes and make us see the world entirely different, they change your perspective on something and they expand your thinking and imagination beyond measure.

Reading is a passion renewed every.single.day with every single book I pick up; I get a lot asking about where to start, what to read first...etc. For me these are very, very important questions. Here's why, first one of my main purposes in life is to spread the love and joy of reading stories. Second and most importantly that first book you pick up is key to making you falling in love with all the other books; it's the master key to fall in love with reading. I'm in no way the perfect expert, but I want to make it as simple as possible for you to dive into this world. Also, it's great time to note that stories are never read the same twice, what I read and enjoy could be different for another; people are different and therefore we look at things differently. This guide is only but a simple head start for you to get reading. 


Each one of us prefers a flavor of something, a certain theme and genre that intrigues us more than the other and that's how you'll find all the recommendations below; if you're interested in fantasy per say, you'll find the best books to start reading in that genre, same for contemporary, middle grade and so on. Feel free to dive into all genres to get a taste of what you love the most; all recommendations across different genres will be ones to hook your interest in reading in general.


FANTASY


The genre that opens up new worlds ahead of you, worlds and places you never even thought possible to exist, adventure you never knew are there to embark upon and heroes like you've never met before. This genre takes you far far away, deep into your imagination and it opens up your heart, mind and soul to new possibilities. Wanna dive into it? Start with these:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass is an incredible series debut to get you hooked; the story of an assassin who arrives at the castle to do the biding of a ruthless king. Provoked by the crown prince and protected by the captain of the guard, you embark with Celaena Sardothien upon a journey like no other. The series evolves; it starts easy and simple with the first two books and bit by bit it grows, hook you more, and you grow with it. This series makes you feel things, cry, laugh, and trust me by the end, you will hug the book.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare is another incredible choice to start with. This series takes you into the world where all the stories are true and you name it; vampires, werewolves, warlock, hunters fighting evil, runes making magic and super powers possible, romance to swoon over and a plot to keep you hooked till the last book.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling might seem like an obvious choice, and you might already be familiar with the story from the movies but trust me the books are a complete different experience. A story of magic and people like you've never read about them before, you build this connection to the world, the characters, the friends and they become not just a story you read; they become family.


MIDDLE GRADE


Now you hear middle grade and you think okay, this is for the kids. Well, no! Middle grade is the genre for everyone, yes it's exciting for the 11 years old but still the older ages loves it and it was one of the genres that got me back into reading after the huge Harry Potter slump back in 2007/2008. Nothing writes better in that genre more than dear old, uncle Rick Riordan he writes rich and amazing adventures filled with knowledge, history, mythology, friendships, hardships and hilarious dialogues. The heroes he writes are super relatable and fun to embark upon an adventure with. He takes from Greek mythology, to Roman to Egyptian and back to the Vikings and Norse and you will love and enjoy every single moment, his language is simple and he gives you all the details right in between the lines and you finish reading with all this new knowledge while you enjoyed an amazing story. He wrote many series and here's what you can read:

Start with Percy Jackson & the Olympians , then continue on with The Heroes of Olympus and finish with The Trials of Apollo. Travel to Egypt with The Kane Chronicles and ride with the Gods of Asgard in Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard



HISTORICAL


Historical is a genre for those who are thirsty for knowledge on the past, the ones who love documentaries, war movies and survives stories. It may not be the easiest genre to start with but some authors out there made so easy because there are survivors stories that must be told and heard. Among these authors is Ruta Sepetys and her books Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea are the best to get you falling in love with that genre. She tells both stories easy and simply, with an uncomplicated language and easy to follow plot.


CONTEMPORARY


This is the genre for those who love the present, the 21st century and the now moments. These stories are always light, easy to read, simple and super fast to fly through. I'm not a big fan myself right now, but I can't not admit that these books made me fall in love with reading more years ago. Some of the best books to start with and personal favorites of mine are:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell where romance and art meet.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell where you don't just fall in love with reading and books, but you fall madly in love with writing.

Since you've been gone by Morgan Matson; a story of two friends having each others back and suddenly one of them moves away and the other has to venture on her own and find her way back to her friend. It has all things about facing your fears and being who you truly are.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky where you go with Charlie through all the high-school drama, and the dramatic side effects of growing up.


SCIENCE FICTION


Now it's finally time to travel to galaxies far, far away and ride through the stars. Many of you might think that this is a super complicated genre to tackle, geeky and all-high-tech; but not at all! These stories give you the same thrill of exploring as fantasy but more because the world could be very similar to the one we live in yet advanced. Here are some amazing series that could get you to fall for these type of stories:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer isn't just a story of princess who needs to win back her throne, or a world where space travel and living on the moon is a possibility. But it's a story where all the fairytales we grow up knowing are retold, in space !

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman is another great live in space and travel through galaxies and world kind-of-adventure with squad and friendship goals and evil people to fight.

Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi is a series of a world in revolution, looking for a fair and just ruler with citizens having super powers, a mix between X-men and the Hunger games but with an amazing, poetic writing, romance to die for and a thrilling story.



It's fair to note that these books are nothing but only the start, each genre has more gems and more beautiful, complicated and amazing stories and you'll love every minute of it. I just want to point out that these recommendations are all based on my own reading experience, there's no guarantee that what I recommended up there is the perfect choice for you, I'm only trying to transfer what I tried and worked for me in a way that could possibly work for you.

And remember that if you don't like reading, you just didn't happen to find the right book for you yet!

Let's talk it out more in the comments, tell me your thoughts and which books you're excited to pick up first.

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