Hyped Books I Was Forced To Read In School


Hype or Like Friday is a weekly meme created by Jill @ Rant and Rave About Books, Larkin @ Wonderfilled Reads, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads.

Today’s Hype or Like Friday post is about those dreaded books I had to read in school. We all have some that we’ve read that we didn’t like! Here are five of mine:

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  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. I hated this book so, so much. But, I do think that this was a case of me just not liking my teacher, and therefore hating everything he assigned, so I’d like to revisit this at some point.
  • The Odyssey by Homer. Uggh. I had to read this, and then create a poster-board map of the journey. This was not a fun read or assignment. I would like to re-read this one as well, now that I’ve read The Iliad, and maybe I’ll appreciate this one more.
  • The poem Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” I can go on (and on and on). Unfortunately, my assignment for this one was to memorize the stupid poem, and perform it in front of the class. With hand motions! And exciting dramatic flair!! No. I still cringe whenever I hear the words “One if by land and two if by sea”. I can’t recite all of it and never could! Here’s a link to the full text of the poem.
  • Beowulf by Anonymous. Nope! Nope and nope. I don’t think I understood a word of this. Another one I need to re-read now that I’m older.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare. I just did not get this one. I’ve tried multiple times, but it’s never clicked with me. One day I will try it again!

And there you have it – my list of dreaded books that I was forced to read! And note how I plan to go back and re-read them all, except for the horrible Paul Revere’s Ride. (shudder)

And I was bad last week and didn’t mention this month’s selection for Hype or Like Friday. We are reading Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, and I haven’t read any Rainbow Rowell yet, so I’m looking forward to this read!

Stay tuned for my review of Carry On next Friday!

And how about you? Which books (or stories or poems) were you assigned way back when that you didn’t like? Would you revisit them now? Tell tell!!

And here’s my review of The Iliad in case you are interested.


19 thoughts on “Hyped Books I Was Forced To Read In School

  1. It was so long ago that I was in school that I can’t really remember… I had John Steinbeck for my author in high school and I am thinking he must have been assigned to me. I don’t remember any of his books but the Grapes of Wrath but I did re-read that for my book club a few years ago. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha!! I loved The Scarlet Letter and also The Grapes of Wrath. But I didn’t have to read The Grapes of Wrath until college, and I think that helped me love the book. Both books are so heavy! But I do love them both 🙂


  2. My school went through a phase of forcing books about the wars on us – Memoirs of an Infantry Officer and All Quiet on the Western Front. I’m willing to believe all the people who say they’re great books, but I will never re-visit them!! Re Hamlet, personally I always find I understand Shakespeare better by watching the play rather than reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I haven’t heard of Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, but I just looked it up and it sounds so powerful and haunting! I really loved All Quiet on the Western Front when I read it in school, and I remember it as being one of the most powerful books on warfare that I’ve ever read.
      I just don’t get Hamlet! Maybe I should try watching a movie version of it… !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those are some heavy reads for high school.
    That’s why my goal is to incorporate more Young Adult lit in the classroom! I think it’s important. Students need literature that they can identify with. They need books to love and be passionate about. And these books turn kids off to reading.
    I’m so glad you kept your love of reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah – they are very heavy! And I don’t recall anyone enjoying these reads! I really would’ve loved to read YA in a classroom setting – I think that more students would enjoy the reading assignments and discussions, and that the books would then feel relevant to life.
      Yeah, these books totally turned students off of reading. But a book like The Hobbit, or The Book Thief, or even Harry Potter would be far more enjoyable for students!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And that’s what I want to bring into the classroom. We can still do the Bard, but we can include modern retellings as well. And fairy tale retellings…and all sorts of fun fantasy and dystopian books!
        There’s a trend of waning enthusiasm for reading when students get to high school. They don’t WANT to read anymore. They are bored. And we need to wake them up! So I’m going to!
        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Modern retellings would be great and would really get those classic themes and stories into a modern setting and help with the understanding. So many times I remember my classmates getting so discouraged reading the classics because they were so difficult to understand.
          Good luck with your students 🙂 Your class sounds amazing and a bunch of fun!


  4. I can’t believe they made you draw a map of Odysseus’ journey. That would be enough to drive anyone crazy. I can see why you didn’t like it. His story is so heartbreaking. I’m curious what you think of it the next time around. Have you read any of Carry On since this post? I’m so behind with my move to Florida on everything. Is it me or is Carry On Harry Potter fanfic? I feel like I’m reading a borrowed story that has zero originality. I’m only 40 pages in and Donna hasn’t read more than a few chapters and is also not into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That assignment was ridiculous and really made me dislike the book, but I do want to read it again. Especially now that I’ve read The Iliad and The Song of Achilles, and I liked Odysseus in both of those books.
      Uggh. Carry On – yep, I finished it – my review should post tomorrow. It’s so strange – I can totally see why this book is really popular, because the characters are cute and I like the writing, but I just couldn’t connect to it at all! And it really felt like HP fanfic – especially at the beginning. The story picks up once Baz gets in the picture, but I just kept wondering why I was reading it, and I’m glad I got it from the library instead of purchasing it. I also couldn’t believe how thick the book was when I got it. I’d say give up and go on to something else if you aren’t enjoying it.
      Florida is such a big change from Philadelphia!!! I want to see bookstagrams poolside with palm trees 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’ll really like Odysseus now. I couldn’t connect either. Yeah, the beginning is so awkward. I felt like JK Rowling should’ve gotten a cut. I’m so bummed because I bought it with the U.K. cover from Book Depository. I definitely have given up and moved on. I’ve read 5 books since I first opened it and never went back. Yeah, Florida is a massive change. I will miss the cold weather. There will be tons of pool pics. My parents have a pool at their house. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh wow! You really went above and beyond in purchasing the book to go for that UK cover!
          You aren’t missing anything in moving on from the book. I hope her other books are better!
          🙂 A pool! What fun!

          Liked by 1 person

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