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 Worst Books You Read in High School English Class

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

Most Boring piece of trash ever written. A story about people who have no life and no one cares about them. Should have just wrote a sentence like this. Some people in life are shallow and useless. The End

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.

Honestly, I love the idea, plot, characters and the symbolism/allegory. But the writing and ending was horrible. The author took to much time to explain details send at the end I still couldn’t picture it and the one time I wanted details was the ending and it didn’t have any.

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 The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

Why would high school teachers try to make their students even more uncaring useless people by making them read this book about a useless uncaring person? I thought teachers were supposed to inspire you to greatness, not teach you to be an ass.

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.

This book intentionally has no plot. Who would ever want to read that.

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

8 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

9 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

10 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

The Contenders

11 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

12 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.

13 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.

14 The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka

The phrase What was invented after the first person read this book. If you feel alienated then do something about it. Kafta says, No just lay in bed and endlessly whine about it. What?

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

15 East of Eden - John Steinbeck

I hate other peoples relationships. why do people care enough to write 8,000 page books about them?

16 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

17 1984 - George Orwell

I got this for summer homework and it sucks - Ihateschool

18 Beowulf (Anonymous)
19 How to Read Literature Like a Professor - Thomas C. Foster
20 Death of a Salesman - Arthur Miller

My Life sucks so I will do nothing about it The end.

21 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

22 The Odyssey - Homer

It doesn't matter in 2017 anymore - Ihateschool

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

23 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

24 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

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

25 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

26 Othello, The Moor of Venice
27 Wuthering Heights - Charlotte Bronte
28 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.

29 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

30 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

Okay Bureacracies sometimes have conflicting rules.

31 The Pearl - John Steinbeck
32 Ulysses - James Joyce
33 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

34 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

Thanks to books like this crazy people now live under freeway bridges instead of in hospitals. Thanks :"Progressive" writer!

35 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
36 Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Worst auther in American history... WHY!

37 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
38 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Not all men through history treat women bad. stop preaching to me.

39 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
40 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
41 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
42 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

43 Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
44 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
45 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
46 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
47 Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
48 The Iliad - Homer
49 The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
50 The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
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