Books We Hated In High School

Moby Dick.

Oh my god, it’s been almost three decades since I’ve escaped high school and that title still nauseates me.  The-book-that-shall-not-be-named  was assigned to me in the 11th grade.  I read the first three words, “Call me Ishmael” and lapsed into a deep coma.  The book was long, the type was tiny and I knew better than to attempt to read it.

Instead, I did what any normal high school student would do and got the Cliff Notes. Remember Cliff Notes?

But even the Cliff Notes that served me so well with Great Expectations and The Scarlett Letter were unreadable in their Moby Dick versions.  They were long and torturous and good lord, it’s a whale, get over it already!

Moby Dick is the book that steered me away from becoming an English major.

I had such a profound dislike for it that I asked some of my friends which books tortured them in high school.  Click through to check the selections and add your own!  Because together, we can heal.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  And a lot of pain and suffering.

  • Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton 1 of 6
    Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton
    Liz super did not love "Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. I remember being thoroughly confused during the whole story. My only take-away was that snow sledding was horribly dangerous, which was a huge disappointment for a Texas girl who only saw a few snowflakes every year and had elevated sledding to The Best Thing Ever."
  • The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway 2 of 6
    The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
    Nancy didn't enjoy "The Sun Also Rises. Or anything by Ernest Hemingway. If he'd been a boyfriend, I would have broken up with him for Intentional Terseness. Reread The Sun Also Rises last year, still felt the same way."
  • The Exodus, Leon Uris 3 of 6
    The Exodus, Leon Uris
    Wendi has a tale of woe: "When I was in high school, I signed up to read what I thought was The Exorcist. However, about 200 pages in, I couldn't figure out why nobody was demonically possessed and why there were so many Palestinians and Israelites in it. Then I realized I'd accidentally checked out <a href="" target= "_blank"Exodus by Leon Uris.
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov 4 of 6
    Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
    Erin chose Lolita because my Advanced Literature teacher was an advanced pervert who relished in having us read aloud."
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote 5 of 6
    In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
    Kelcey chose "In Cold Blood because every since I was forced to read that terrifying book, I have been convinced that two convicts are going to show up at my door and murder my whole family. But you know, I've always been an optimist."
  • The Hobbit, J.R. Tolkien 6 of 6
    The Hobbit, J.R. Tolkien
    Jill says, "The Hobbit. Do I really have to elaborate?"

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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