21 Books So Good People Wish They Could Read Them Again For The First Time
Perhaps some of these will help you out of your reading slump!
We asked our BuzzFeed Books Instagram community to tell us one book they wish they can go back and read for the very first time. Here are some of their incredible recommendations.
by Kahlil Gibran
What it's about: This collection of prose poetry fables told by prophet Al Mustafa thoughtfully and poignantly examines the human condition and its many complexities.
Why it's so worth it: "We've dipped in and out of each others lives since my childhood, and it's the one I go back to when I need it." —minaal.reads
by Colleen Hoover
What it's about: In this widely popular romance story, we meet Lily, who struggled to find success after leaving her small town, and Ryle, a handsome neurosurgeon. Ryle isn't a relationships guy, but Lily becomes the exception to his no-dating rule. But then Atlas enters the picture, Lily's first love and the one she left behind when she left home, and his presence threatens everything Lily has built with Ryle.
Why it's so worth it: "It totally shocked and surprised me." —megloveswords
by Erin Morgenstern
What it's about: Upon writing this, I realized that this book turns 10 this year! Le Cirque des Rêves is only open at night. It's a circus where two young magicians, Celia and Marco, have been prepared to duel since childhood, though unfamiliar of the rules of the game. Though the stakes are high, Celia and Marco do the one thing they shouldn't — they fall for each other.
Why it's so worth it: "The Night Circus...to experience that magic again plsssss. 💖" —whatthefic
by Frank Herbert
What it's about: In this recently adapted sci-fi novel, we follow Paul, an heir to the desert planet Arrakis, who discovers mining for "spice" — a drug that maximizes life — is more dangerous than it seems.
Why it's so worth it: "That book changed the way I look at life!" —rainyday_reader
by Ernest Hemingway
What it's about: This classic tale, published in 1926, is set during post-WWI and follows two characters, Brett and Jake, as they journey from the nightlife of 1920s Paris to the bullfighting rings of Spain and examines the thought and feelings of what it means to be lost.
Why it's so worth it: "It strikes every emotion every time but never like the first." —macyhemphill
by George R. R. Martin
What it's about: This is the book series that started it all. In this high fantasy novel, there is one thing made very clear: Winter is coming. We follow a lively, rich cast of characters, each party from a unique house across Westeros, including the unforgettable Jon Snow.
Why it's so worth it: "Reliving all the drama, political intrigue, and the twists with fresh eyes? I would love to have that again." —theportablemagicseeker
by Yaa Gyasi
What it's about: This gorgeous, multi-generational story of three sisters and their families has captivated many readers through the years. We begin in Ghana where two half-sisters born in different villages are unaware of the other, and what happens when one is captured and brought into the same castle that the other married into.
Why it's so worth it: "The story was honestly so well-written and was deeply emotional to me as a Black woman. It needs to be required reading." —ama.tul.lah
by Suzanne Collins
What it's about: Before the wildly popular movie franchise, Suzanne Collins told the story of one girl's ultimate sacrifice. Set in a dystopian world, Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her younger sister in the yearly reaping where she is forced to fight for her life in the nation's Hunger Games.
Why it's so worth it: "I loved them when I was a teenager, but I didn’t quite grasp how iconic they would become. They really kicked the young adult genre into the spotlight!" —jess.ameterxx
by Ian McEwan
What it's about: A young 13-year-old girl named Briony Tallis witnesses a moment of flirtation between her sister and the son of a servant and fails to grasp the meaning behind what she's seen, setting into motion a crime that changes the course of their lives.
Why it's so worth it: "It breaks my heart every time, but shattered it the first time. Never had a book done to me what Atonement did." —toriacossey
by Becky Albertalli
What it's about: This companion novel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is told from the point of view of Simon's BFF, Leah Burke. Leah's a drummer, daughter of a young, single mom, and loves the body she's been given. Although her mother knows she's bisexual, she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends. As senior year comes to a close, Leah faces the challenge of watching her friend group fracture in unexpected ways on top of dealing with an expected crush.
Why it's so worth it: "I blew through this one and wanted to start rereading it as soon as I finished." —marontheoffbeat
by Casey McQuiston
What it's about: Son to the first female President of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and son of the royal family in England, Henry, do not like each other. When a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation drops into the hands of the tabloids, the two young men are forced to fake a friendship to make things right. But what begins as friends quickly turns into something more.
Why it's so worth it: "It is a happy place book for me." —bookgirl1983
by Akwaeke Emezi
What it's about: Set in southeastern Nigeria, one family struggles to understand how their son Vivek died after his body is brought to his mother's house, and throughout the story we begin to figure out who Vivek was.
Why it's so worth it: "It is such a powerful book that is too often overlooked. I have no doubt it would impact the same way empirically, but there is nothing like reading a book that will stay with you forever for the first time." —read.between.the.spines
by Cherie Dimaline
What it's about: In this story, Indigenous people of North America are being hunted and harvested for their bone marrow. This is crucial to recovering what the people of America have lost in this dystopian setting — an ability to dream. Because of this, Frenchie and his companions struggle to survive and stay hidden.
Why it's so worth it: "That story covered every emotion and the surprise ending was extra special. Some books have made me cry, but this book made me weep." —swinickular
by Fredrik Backman
What it's about: After a robbery, a group of quirky apartment hunters are held hostage in a building as the police slowly figure out how to deescalate the situation. Through the eyes of the hostages we begin to learn about the intricate and strange complexities of being human.
Why it's so worth it: "Everyone should read that one." —sanjh_bela
by Laini Taylor
What it's about: War orphan and junior librarian Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with finding the mythic lost city of Weep. Then an opportunity to search for Weep presents itself to Lazlo, and so he sets off on an adventure.
Why it's so worth it: "One of the most magical books ever and perfect for book lovers." —theperksofbeingnoura
by V. E. Schwab
What it's about: Told between multiple time periods, beginning in France, 1714, we're introduced to Addie, who makes an unfortunate deal with the dark, therefore cursed to walk through life as someone forgotten. Then, one day in 2014, she meets a boy who does not forget her as soon as she departs, and she must figure out why.
Why it's so worth it: "Addie LaRue! There was magic in those pages." —cammreads
by Delia Owens
What it's about: Set in a quiet town on the North Carolina coast, a young girl named Kya is forced to survive on her own. Known as "the marsh girl" with a love for nature, she's not accepted within her town, though she tries to fit in. We jump back and forth in time, watching Kya grow up in the past while learning about the murder of Chase Andrews in 1969's present, where locals suspect Kya's involvement.
Why it's so worth it: "Hands down it would be Where the Crawdads Sing. I’ve already read it twice." —___easylikesundaymorning___
by Emily Henry
What it's about: A romance writer who has lost all hope in love and a literary fiction novelist stuck in a rut meet and decide to embark on a challenge: Augustus will spend the summer writing a happy ending, and romance writer January will pen the next Great American Novel.
Why it's so worth it: "I laughed, I loved, I cried. Literally a perfect book." —artsy1
by Yangsze Choo
What it's about: Li Lan is the daughter of a bankrupt family who is presented with an interesting proposal from a wealthy and powerful family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who has died. This would guarantee Li a home, but then Li finds herself haunted by her would-be suitor.
Why it's so worth it: "It’s my all-time favorite book. Wish I could read it with fresh eyes again!" —dreamygirlreads
by Gail Carson Levine
What it's about: This beloved classic novel is an enchanting Cinderella story. We meet Ella, cursed by the fairy Lucinda to always be obedient, who goes on a quest to find the fairy and reverse this spell for good. But along the way, she meets the charismatic Prince Char, who does not know what her curse entails.
I read it as a kid and was completely engrossed with it. The story, the characters — it was wonderful. I wish I could experience that again!" —lizzfreeordie
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What it's about: Ifemelu and Obinze journey from Nigeria to America and both discover individual struggles. For Ifemelu, it's her struggle with her Blackness in America. Though Obinze hopes to join her, he ends up in London, undocumented, and the two reunite 15 years later.
Why it's so worth it: "Love story about culture, natural hair, and challenging our thoughts on where we are 'supposed' to be in life." —brezzylovesbooks