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Top 9 Book Hooks

What Hooks Me When I Read A Book?

I suppose all writers must have asked themselves this same question at some point in their literary careers. What truly hooks me when I decide to read a book?

 There are countless areas I could discuss with you.
 For now, I’ll leave you with what I believe

are the Top Nine Book Hooks:

1) Unusual characters:

Have you ever been reading a book and instantly connected with one of the characters? I have. Unusual and yet relatable characters are the driving force of most books. If you can relate to the main character, then you will no doubt find yourself instantly hooked. I personally love to discover new characters, with their own unique personality traits, strengths, as well as flaws. For me, the more abnormal the character and the role they play in society, the more intrigued I become.

2) The unexpected:

I really enjoy plots that involve a lot of surprising twists. The more intricate and well-crafted plots grab me from the very start. I love to feel like I’m in on some elaborate plan that one character has cooked up, unknown to the other. The idea of being on the edge of my seat with worry for a character and their ever-changing plight has my spine tingling.

3) Drama (e.g. Death:)

Death. Lots of it. With Death, we see an ultimate change in a main character, whether it is in their personality, appearance, or their outlook on life. If we grow fond of the main character, then we experience that sense of loss alongside them and feel as though their character transformation is also part of our very own. It is also important to note that a ‘death’ doesn’t always have to be physical. It could also refer to the death of an era, or of an
inter-personal relationship between two or more characters.

  • 4) Intelligence:

    Inside jokes and well-used wit or dark humor surprise me a lot when I’m reading a thriller or fantasy novel. I love writers that can make jokes or references that people seem to understand on a universal level. Characters that are also created using the same style of high intellect and humor always have me smiling and laughing with them. I would much prefer to read about a well-educated, brooding psychopath, than any other type of person, any day.

    Characters like the infamous Hannibal Lecter is a good example of these types of characters.

    5) Magic & the Supernatural:

    I find myself enchanted by how many versions of magical worlds we can create ourselves, let alone the ones I read by other authors such as Garth Nix, Terry Goodkind and J.K. Rowling. There’s something about magic that truly resonates with me. Perhaps it’s a secret longing that one day we will all be able to experience magic in some form.


    I find myself inextricably drawn to the supernatural. The idea that all around us are beings or creatures we can’t even comprehend is slightly scary, yet also extremely exciting. Reading supernatural works of fiction tends to open the mind to countless possibilities, as well as giving us different perspectives to use when we look out upon the world.

    6) Anything ‘Outside of the box’:

    Anything different or unusual really grabs me by the horns. The more bizarre, the better in my opinion.

    7) Good vs Evil (theme):

    There is truly nothing more exciting than a thrilling tale of good vs evil. When you can no longer distinguish the hero from the villain, I find that there’s a certain rush. You don’t quite know how to expect it to end. The mystery is all part of the thrill.

    8) Culture/Heritage:

    What could be more interesting than the background of a fantasy land full of interesting people. Every tribe/civilization has its own unique ways of honoring tradition and deities, of gathering food, trading, enjoying themselves, etc. There is never a limit that can be set for such details and it is these details alone that make certain fantasy worlds unforgettable.


    9) Tension:

    The ‘T’ in Thriller is most definitely for Tension. Without it, each book I pick up would be a total drag. Tension keeps you on your toes with delicious events that fill your mind with all important questions, be they about a killer’s motives, or where a character lost a prized family heirloom. The better the writer at building suspense, the more likely I am to be drawn into their work.

    ‘The Shining’ by Stephen King is truly phenomenal when it comes to the gradual building of suspense. Reading it, I found myself at the edge of my sanity along with the characters, struggling through their own crises, right from the comfort of my own home.

Why not take the time to comment below, on what draws you into a book.

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