We've all been there: you want to start reading a new genre, but you have no idea how to get into it. There's so much on offer that you just can't decide where to start, and it's all a bit intimidating.
That's why I'm here to help!
If you want to read... Comics:
There are literally a gazillion superheroes (don't trust me? Count them yourself!) so how are you supposed to decide which ones to read? What about comics that don't feature superheroes? What about the indie publishers? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
When I started reading comics (about a year ago, before the addiction fully took hold and I started buying single issues in the handfuls...) I started with 'Batgirl' and 'Lumberjanes'.
I fell head over heels with the art styles of both, and I know that the illustrations greatly influence my purchases of comics (sometimes I can forgive a story being below average if an artist I really respect is involved in the creation). This is something you'll discover for yourself in time, but you might as well dabble with these: I can guarantee you'll have fun!
If you want to read... Contemporary romances:
I only have one recommendation for those trying to start reading contemporary romances, and that is 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han.
It's cute, but not soppy. There's not too much drama, there's a great cast of supporting characters and - best of all - it's absolutely hilarious. I've been too scared to read the sequel in case I was disappointed, because I loved this first book so much.
If you want to read... Dystopian:
That's why you start with a classic, rather than with a young adult novel. The perfect gateway book into dystopians is '1984' by George Orwell.
It features all of the main tropes of dystopians - a world like ours with a corrupt government, and a main character embroiled in a romance against all odds - but there's no teenage whining and the characters don't often do inappropriate things at stupid times (all of the inopportune kissing in dystopians is a big drag!).
If you want to read... Sci-Fi:
You want to read something futuristic, possibly set on another planet, but you're not sure if you're going to be able to connect with all of the crazy new technology and spaceship battles.
I'd suggest you start reading Sci-Fi with something a bit less intimidating, such as the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown, or 'The 100' by Kass Morgan.
I recommend 'Red Rising' because while it might be set on Mars, the struggles that Darrow has to overcome - racism, poverty, loss - are all very easy to relate to, so it's impossible not to root for the underdog in the story.
If you struggle to visualise when you're reading SciFI, that's why 'The 100' would be good for you! If you enjoy the book then you can watch the TV show: they're different enough that you won't get spoilers and can still enjoy surprises in both formats, but you won't need to imagine the spaceship that the characters call home.
If you want to read... Fantasy:
I struggle to read fantasy myself at times, so I'm hoping that some of you will have good fantasy gateway reads for me.
The only fantasies I've really managed to connect with recently are 'Snow Like Ashes' and 'The Invasion of the Tearling'.
I found 'Snow Like Ashes' easy to read because all of the characters are well-rounded, the love triangle is downplayed and the quest they're on is easy to follow. I haven't read the other two books in the series yet though, so I can't promise that the ease of understanding continues.
I hated the first book in The Queen of the Tearling series, but the second installment was amazing because of the dystopian subplot. If you're already a fan of dystopian, I'd suggest fighting your way through the first book to get to this one: it's honestly worth it.
I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday! Are there any other genres you'd like recommendations for?