Rating: 4.5/5 stars

"Wattpad" is an app that quickly connects writers with an audience to test their work on. For readers, that means "Wattpad" represents an almost limitless catalogue of new stories to read, all held in the comfort of their phones. A cursory login and experience with the setup process immediately introduces readers to the broad range of content now at their fingertips.

The volume of unfamiliar covers and authors presented when setting up a new profile might be intimidating or concerning for users expecting to find their favorite published novels. For everyone else who has wondered where they could find their maximum dose of fan fiction or independent writers working through progressive rough drafts of their books online, "Wattpad" is the place for them. All books are categorized by genre with special categories for fan fictions and other subjects, such as werewolf or vampire. The app also supports tagging stories with popular topics to allow users to find the perfect stories like using #thewalkingdead to find the newest “The Walking Dead” fan fictions.  

"Wattpad" is a place where readers “connect around the stories that matter to them,” according to Melissa Nightingale, Head of Global Marketing at "Wattpad" in an email interview. The platform to socialize around books in the new age of e-books and web novels is what the app strives to be for all of its 40 million users, and it definitely hits the mark. The user base has generated a huge library to browse through and many books are in active revision phases that really allow readers to be a part of the process to make their favorite stories even better. The freedom to include the reader really fosters a sense of community that is not often seen in smartphone apps, and is truly a supportive environment for the writers putting themselves forward.

The only downside I found in my time with the app came right at the beginning. Finding the initial library of books I wanted to read was tricky when so many different options were thrown at me, and sorting through all of the stories that were not interesting to me took more time than expected. This is quickly overcome after finding that first book. From that, suggestions can be made and similar books and stories can follow.

Overall, a free reading app with the community that "Wattpad" has is fantastic, and its speed and usability put it at the top of apps I have used in the last few months.

For fans of: Reading