We’ve all endured the unpredictable mix of thrilling and boring tales that accompany high school reading curriculum. Some novels became treasured re-reads, and others collected dust on our bookshelves.
But hey — at least we all helped keep bookstores open by begrudging purchasing $13 copies of “The Catcher in the Rye.”
Our staff had some strong thoughts to share on this one. See which books we loved and loathed in the list below:
Elizabeth Schmitt | Features Editor
Favorite: “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez
I was required to read this the summer before my senior year for AP Literature. This book is complicated, artful and heartbreaking. I also learned about a piece of history I may have never discovered otherwise.
Least favorite: “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
I honestly hate both the Bronte sisters. Their writing contains such unimportant details — at least, to me it does — and the plots are so slow. I’m sure it all means something, but I honestly don’t get it. I love Jane Austen, so it’s not like I’m opposed to the genre. I’m just opposed to their writing.
Maggy McDonel | Opinion Editor
Favorite: “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller
A great classic that has two of my favorite things: allegories and witches. “The Crucible” is a cautionary tale of groupthink and fearmongering — a lesson most high schoolers need to learn.
Least favorite: “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
It’s far too long of a book, and just as depressing a topic. It’s self-indulgently poetic for what attempts to be a piece of historical fiction. Just plain boring.
Matt Huffmon | Sports Editor
Favorite: “The Body” by Stephen King
I’ve always been a fan of thriller novels. King is incredible, and everything he writes turns into an amazing movie. My 11th grade English Literature teacher mentioned that this one inspired the movie “Stand by Me,” and from there, I was hooked.
Least favorite: “1984” by George Orwell
I’ve never been into the whole political or sci-fi novel scene, and reading this novel only made me dislike the genre even more.
Keely Brown | News Editor
Favorite: “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan
I was assigned this book to read for a Greek Mythology Studies class, and not only did it ignite my love for reading, but it taught me a lot about history.
Least favorite: “Beowulf”
I had to read this book for an English class, and I didn’t take much away from it. It was challenging to read and comprehend, and it didn’t spark my interest.
Abby Shoyat | Photo Editor
I never read a single book in high school. Sorry, Mr. Piergalski.
Brittany Fletcher | Lead Designer
Favorite: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
We needed signed consent from parents to read this one — and we couldn’t even finish it, because a prude-y parent complained about the language.
Least favorite: “Twilight” saga by Stephenie Meyer
This wasn’t a book for class, but I still read them in high school. I wish I could erase this awful mess from my brain. Harry Potter > Twilight. Fight me.
David Rees | Chief Reporter
Favorite: “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
The plot was super dramatic, and I had a passionate English teacher that made the material so much more fun.
Least favorite: “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
The plot was just too uninteresting. Also, the characters were a little too weird for me, and I couldn’t find any way to relate to them.
Stephanie Smith | Digital Editor
Favorite: “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
Sydney Carton willingly died for the woman he loved.
Least favorite: “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sentences should never be a paragraph long.
Anne Simendinger | Life & Arts Editor
Favorite: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I’m a sucker for a good romance novel. This one is essentially a historical romance, taking place in 1946 London. Who doesn’t want to get transported to the English countryside via luscious letters between a novelist and a society that was created from a spur-of-the-moment alibi during the German Occupation?
Least favorite: “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe
Honestly, I’ve blocked this book from my memory because I hated it so much. It droned on and on and on, and from what I remember, it was very violent. I’m a rom-com girl — not a thriller fanatic.
Samuel Schell-Olsen | Senior Reporter
Favorite: “1984” by George Orwell
It illustrated the importance of individualism and free speech.
Least favorite: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
I didn't need (or want) to read about a whiny protagonist.
Darius Dudley | Videographer
Favorite: “Lord of The Flies” by William Golding
This book contains many interesting themes about constructed morality, societal rules and survival, and it really deconstructs several perceived absolutes. Many books and stories have explored similar themes, but “Lord of the Flies” stuck with me the most. Also, poor Piggy.
Least favorite: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
A boring love story that's as predictable as the sunrise. Dear god, why are there so many adaptations?