Worst Books You Read in High School English Class

These are the pieces of "classic" literature that your sadistic high school English teacher forced you to read and write reports about, take tests on, and discuss in circles. I actually don't hate a majority of these books (I even love a few of them), but I just added a bunch I knew people read and didn't like. Presented in no particular order.

The Top Ten

1 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Only the last 1/3 of this book is even relevant to the whole plot

One of the greatest books ever written, does not deserve to be on here or #2. What the hell? - truckturner

One of the best books I've ever read. Memorable characters, a riveting story, and a great allegory of racism in the deep south. - Spark_Of_Life

I respect your opinion, but why do you hate all of these classics?

2 Better Off - Eric Brende

More like "Better ON". I actually doubt the Amish community would like this snob's book. - Swellow

Worst book I've ever read. Period. See my entry in "Worst Books of All Time" about it for my full review. - Spark_Of_Life

3 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
4 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

I thought it would be good as I believed and still do believe what Golding was saying about human behaviour, but, my god, it was boring! Essentially my entire class thought it was boring and hated it.

Loved this book. It's gory, grim, and darkly beautiful. Golding can make a savage murder sound artistic. - Spark_Of_Life

A superb illustration of just how thin the veneer of civilization can be.

I cannot stand this book. It’s incredibly boring and hard to understand. It has a theme that humans are best completely separated from nature, which just isn’t true. This book may of been decent at the time, but this book best just stay at the time it’s from.

5 Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

No Grade 9 can survive without reading Romeo and Juliet in English class.

I love this book since I am in love with my boyfriend and I am always afraid to lose him - Ihateschool

Never before has a such a great story had two such bland main characters. This should have been about Mercutio. - Spark_Of_Life

6 The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
7 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Boring as hell - Ihateschool

Most boring book and stupid premise I've ever read. The writing style of Bradbury is awful too.

It could've been a good book, but it was too anti-technology in my opinion. - RalphBob

Good but there's something that I can't quite put my finger on about this book that makes it kind of unlikeable. - Spark_Of_Life

8 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

This is the black widow of literature. It takes your heart and attaches it to Lenny, only for it to KILL ANY GOOD FEELINGS YOU HAVE BY HAVING GEORGE, HIS BEST FRIEND, SHOOT HIM. But still, what a great book. - Spark_Of_Life

9 The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

I didn't hate it, it just kinda left me cold. - truckturner

This book has so much swearing in it

A travesty of literature that has no place in courses at the middle- or high-school level. It championed libertinism and the rejection of the beliefs and mores of the established order, as proximately represented by parents. Think of it as Anarchy 101.

I like this book - Ihateschool

10 Macbeth - William Shakespeare

People in my school's drama club claim it's so bad that saying it on production night will curse the play and kill the cast members.

His best play. Dark, gory, and memorable with some of the most evil characters in literature. Tragically short, though. - Spark_Of_Life

The Contenders

11 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

Interesting story and characters. Most boring execution I've ever had to drag myself through.

Dumbest book i’ve read in my life

The morals of this book are meaningful. However, the book itself is actually extremely boring. - Swellow

12 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

This is my #1 most hated book. Mainly because Conrad’s style is so hard to read and the premise also sounds boring, which makes it harder to read.

13 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Not the worst book but it gets boring around the 12th chapter - AlphaQ

The film is worse and more confusing.
Book: 2.5/5
Film: 1.5/5 - AlphaQ

14 1984 - George Orwell

I got this for summer homework and it sucks - Ihateschool

15 Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

A bit tedious and thin, Dracula is better. - truckturner

Maybe you missed the point of both this and "Brave New World." The point is the condemnation of human arrogance, the blind worship of science, rejection of a higher power, the nightmare of totalitarian thought---all dire warnings for our own time.

So true.

16 Beowulf (Anonymous)
17 How to Read Literature Like a Professor - Thomas C. Foster
18 The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

This book is the reason my grade is tanking in English. This book can burn in Hell.

19 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Worst book I read in English this year. Over 500 pages of nothing overly interesting happening coupled with boring 19th century Romance. AND WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF JANE COLLAPSING ON THE DOORSTEP OF THE ONE HOUSE BELONGING TO HER LONG-LOST COUSINS? - Spark_Of_Life

20 The Odyssey - Homer

It doesn't matter in 2017 anymore - Ihateschool

What's Homers last name? Plus Homer Simpson is way better - Ihateschool

21 Animal Farm - George Orwell

This and 1984 should be required reading, as they pull the veil of romantic heroism from the demonic face of socialism/communism.

Oh we are reading this right now. It's garbage - ProPanda

What a gut-wrencher of a book. Can't tell if I liked this or not. - Spark_Of_Life

22 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

The only reason I want to read this book is because the lion king is based iff this book - Ihateschool

23 The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

The short from Veggietales is better - Ihateschool

This doesn't deserve to be on the list, it's a great American novel. The movie is terrific, too. - truckturner

24 Othello, The Moor of Venice
25 Wuthering Heights - Charlotte Bronte
26 Ethan Frome

Boring characters. Boring setting. And literally no plot or story. The entire book is just Ethan Frome complaining about how he is too much of a puss to do anything. I guess it does teach a valuable lesson about not being a beta.

27 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer

Great, tragic story about a misunderstood young man who just wanted acceptance in nature. John Krakauer telling pointless personal tales of trekking into the wilderness and endless paragraphs repeating the same info over and over? Not so great. - Spark_Of_Life

28 The Pearl - John Steinbeck
29 The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner

Apparently Faulkner himself thought that this book made no sense without being published in 4 different ink colors - NymeriaWaters

30 East of Eden - John Steinbeck
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
33 Julius Caesar

Boring. And why does Artemidorus have a whole scene to himself? He only has 4 lines in the entire play! - Spark_Of_Life

34 Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
35 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
36 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
37 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
38 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
39 Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
40 The Iliad - Homer
41 The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
42 The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
43 Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
44 Ulysses - James Joyce
45 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
46 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
47 Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
48 Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
49 As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
50 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
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