Hey guys! Welcome to another blog post. This one is the companion to the one I did a couple of weeks ago, where I talked about 5 books I read for school that I loved (if you’re interested in reading that post, you can click here to go to it.)
I debated for a long time about whether or not I wanted to actually do this post, because I want this blog to be a positive place. I spend most of my time on this blog talking about books I love, or getting excited about new bookish events that are happening, and that’s what I like. I like talking about the things I love. A post like this is a tad outside of my comfort zone (I guess that’s just a theme for this week, though—Tuesday’s post was also something a little different from the stuff I normally write).
Because of all that, I’m going to preface this by saying
that none of these books are books that I truly hated. I don’t think I have
ever read a book that I legitimately hated—that’s why all of my star ratings on
Goodreads and here are 3 stars or above. To me, 1 and 2 star ratings are
reserved for books that I really hate, and I can’t recall a time where I have
ever felt that passionate about my dislike for a book.
Really, I should probably have titled this post, “5 Required
Reading Books I Disliked or Felt Meh About,” but that’s not nearly as
compelling. Anyway, let’s just get into the books. These are in no particular
David’s Story by Zoë Wicomb
I read this book last semester in the class Non-Western
World Literature and, well… it was all kinds of confusing. It’s about South
Africa after the end of Apartheid, and this one man named David who is trying to
figure out who his family is. It’s intentionally told in a nonlinear way, which
would be fine—nonlinear storytelling is awesome. But there were no dialogue
tags or quotation marks, or anything else that would indicate when someone is
talking, and conversations weren’t always (or even usually) split into
different paragraphs. Oftentimes it was hard to tell if someone was talking or
if that was just description, or if someone new started talking.
I spent most of my time reading this book just being utterly
confused about pretty much everything that happened. I know that all the
weirdness in this book was done on purpose. The point of the book is that it’s
supposed to be kind of stream of consciousness, nonlinear. But it was just too
much for me, personally.
1984 by George Orwell
This one is a weird one, because I liked one of George
Orwell’s other books, Animal Farm, which
I also read in school, relatively well. I actually almost included it on the
companion list to this one. This book, though… it had some adult themes and
scenes that made me, as a sophomore in high school, uncomfortable (and would
probably still make me uncomfortable as a junior in college—some things never
change). It was also just really disturbing, especially toward the end, and the
Warning: SPOILERS. Skip to the next book if you haven’t read
the book and you care about being spoiled.
I didn’t like how negative the ending was. I prefer for my
dystopian novels to end on a happy note (or at least an okay note—I want them
to overthrow the evil government and start working toward a better world). This
one didn’t. The main character basically goes insane, and the government is
still in control. The end was just… so hard for me to read.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Honestly, I think part of my problem with this book was not
the book itself but the class I read it in. I didn’t really like the teacher
and that negatively colored my view of most of the things that we studied in
that class. When I first started reading this book, I liked it. Or, at least, I
was interested in it. Then partway through the book, I lost interest and it
just got boring. I didn’t really care about the characters or what was
happening to them. I thought one of the characters, Pearl, was just…
unsettling, in general. Overall, it was just an okay book. I wouldn’t read it
again, but I guess I’m glad to have read it just so I can say I’ve read it.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
This is another situation where I think I would have liked
this book a lot better if it hadn’t been for the class itself. I read this book
in the same class that I read The Scarlet
Letter in, and the teacher had us skip over parts of the book, which I
hated. The book itself, from what I remember of it, was fine. It wasn’t great,
at least to me, but it was fine. I haven’t ever actually read the entirety of
this book because the teacher thought it would be a good idea to skip over
certain sections that she deemed “irrelevant.” Once again, my annoyance about
that colored my opinion of this book. Maybe someday I’ll reread the book, in
its entirety this time, and I’ll like it better. For right now, though, it’s on
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I had to read this book during the summer before my senior
year of high school, and it took me ages to get through because it was just really
boring to me. I feel like that’s repetitive, but the thing is that to me, a lot
of classics are just boring, or confusing. I know that’s probably blasphemous
to say, since I’m a writing major, and I’m supposed to love fine literature. I
do, though—I just have a different definition of what “fine literature” is than
most people probably do.
This book did have its moments, where I was legitimately
engaged, but for the most part, I was just slogging through it, and I didn’t
like it in the end.
That’s all for today’s post, guys! Let me know down in the
comments some books you read in school that you hated. And if you’ve read and
loved any of the books on this list, let me know that, too. These are just my
personal opinions and just because I feel this way doesn’t mean you are wrong
for feeling differently. We’re all friends here.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next time!