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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

I started my reading journey in the fall of 2021, nestled quietly in the comfort of my first-year dorm room with no outlets to entertain myself. So, I decided to try something new. A single bored endeavor has unraveled into a serial hobby; now, you won’t find me ever without my face buried in a book, or at the very least, have one resting comfortably in my bag that is waiting to be yanked out the minute I get a free second.

I would not say I have read excessively because I am quite a slow reader, but there are some books that have left a lasting impression on me. Personally, it would be criminal for me not to share these books with you. Especially with university and hectic schedules, reading could be the last thing on your mind when you’re just trying to get through the day and get all your schoolwork done. Whenever you do decide is the right time to start reading, here are some books to help you find, or reignite, your love for reading:

The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The story follows renowned, classic Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo, who is generally known for keeping her affairs private. After years of mystery, Hugo finally spills the beans to Monique Grant — a seemingly random, unestablished writer who Evelyn requests by name despite the fact they have never met. Twists, turns, comedy, love, and sweet anecdotes make this a perfect read to start your reading journey!

This is a popular BookTok book, and in my opinion, rightfully so. I ordered this book on a whim during winter break. Just two days later, I had somehow finished reading this 390-page book. While the number of pages can seem daunting for a first read, I think Taylor Jenkins Reid does a marvelous job of making complex storylines and characters easy to follow. More importantly, Taylor Jenkins Reid has such a beautiful way of writing. No matter your opinions about the book itself, there is no denying that the writing style keeps you thoroughly engaged and makes you want to keep flipping to the next page.

The kite runner – khaled hosseini

The novel follows the friendship of Hassan, the son of a housekeeper, and Amir, the son of a rich and powerful figure in Kabul, Afghanistan. What starts off as a heart-warming, innocent friendship between two children trying to make light of the Soviet-Afghan war turns into a series of unfortunate and heart-breaking events that culminates in a beautiful ending and lessons of forgiveness. I will stress a trigger warning for this book because there are events of sexual assault and other horrific incidences that are described in detail.

The Kite Runner is the first book in a two-book series that had me ugly crying on my bathroom floor, consumed by a heart-wrenching pain as if someone had just told me Taylor Swift won’t ever release Speak Now: Taylor’s Version. Khaled Hosseini is one of the most phenomenal authors of our generation. His books are typically set in Afghanistan, which is where he lived for much of his childhood before moving to the United States. Beyond the beautiful storylines and morals, I personally love the way Hosseini manages to capture the utter disaster that Afghanistan has faced in losing its rich culture and norms to terrorism and Western invasion. While it is not the main focus of the book, the culture and setting of the book helped me develop a greater appreciation for Afghan culture. The storyline and characters also touch your heart like no other.

This is a book that will undoubtedly leave a mark on you, and if you’re looking for a book to really make you feel everything all at once, this is a MUST pick up!

A Thousand splendid suns – khaled hosseini

The story follows the lives of two Afghani girls, Mariam and Laila, who have two seemingly different storylines and lives. The first part of the book tells the story of Mariam, born in the 1950s; the second part details the life of Laila, born in the 1970s. Eventually, their lives intertwine, and they form the strongest bond of womanhood. Multiple times, I found myself heaving, trying to catch my breath in between sobs as I read on so I will warn you— this book will have your heart heavy. Nonetheless, if you get past the war-driven melancholy, you will appreciate the fantastic storytelling, the dense yet engaging storylines, and the inevitable impression it will leave on you.

If there were an award for authors who had me ugly crying, Khaled Hosseini would be the sole winner. Once again, Hosseini strikes with another beautifully written book that will sit you in front and center of an emotional rollercoaster with all the twists, turns, loops, and flips you could imagine. I only remember not having my nose buried in this book when I was done with it!

Everything I know about love – dolly alderton

Everything I Know about Love is Dolly Alderton’s beautifully written memoir. She encapsulates the nostalgia of girlhood, womanhood, friendship, relationships, and everything in between in a comical and almost coming-of-age way. From the good moments to the embarrassing moments, she explores the nuances that exist in growing up and finding solace in it by narrating her own life and experiences

I never believed in the phrase “everything happens at the right time” until this spring break in Boston when I was receiving my sister at the airport terminal and happened upon this book in the airport bookstore. This book had been on my “want to read” list for a while now, and while it was always in the back of my mind, I never actually got around to reading it.

In the ten days of spring break, I finished this book cover to cover, taking my time to feel every emotion that comes with reading such a relatable piece of work, written comically and ironically by Dolly Alderton. As a fellow “raging twenties” club member, the feelings of being lost, confused, and having absolutely no clue where my life was headed were feelings I deeply resonated with. This book not only calmed my worst fears but also made me feel OK navigating this tricky stage in life rather than burdening myself with having it all figured out from the very beginning. The simplicity and relatability make this exactly the kind of book a main character in a movie would read when they’re coming to their biggest awakening. Dolly Alderton isn’t some preach, “work-harder” guru; she’s quite the opposite, actually. I felt nostalgic reading about an age I’m still in and ages I have yet to experience. It made me excited to navigate the rest of my twenties and even my thirties, forties, and beyond. If you’re looking for something lighter and more real, this is absolutely the book to read to start your journey!

Making time for reading can seem overbearing and not a useful use of your time in the midst of all the clutter of life and school and work. While I can’t make any promises, I do think that setting up a little time in your day, even if for 5 minutes, to explore these new worlds can make life slow down for a while. These books are a perfect way to kickstart that!

Tvisha Rao

Rutgers '25