I think everyone has one book that made them love all books #amiright? For me it was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Yes, I loved the first two HP books, but it was that one that created the book-mongering monster I am today. I may love books more than life, but in high school Sparknotes and Cliffnotes were more valuable to me than Myspace or Zynga (yikes, high school was a while ago).
In high school, my book list was primarily made of vampire love stories and sci-fi dystopian series. It wasn’t until very recently I decided to go back and actually read the books I was supposed to during school, and OMFG am I happy I did it. Seriously, vinas, these books I’m about to tell you about will change your life, and duh—they’re all written by amazing women!
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Yeah, I know this book is super short and I really should have read it years ago, but I was busy with Twilight OKAY? For real though, this novel by the genius Harper Lee will make you contemplate everything. You just start thinking about life and humanity and existing and just everything. It’s a book you won’t read once or twice—it’s one you go back to every so often. According to a biography about Lee, she would spend six to twelve hours a day writing, and would merely write one page a day—this was a long, painful process. But well worth it, considering To Kill a Mockingbird was deemed more inspirational than the Bible, yeah the Bible people!
Alright vinas, I actually read this one when I was supposed to! But I remember in middle school, I totally thought it was written by a dude—which was actually S.E. Hinton’s intention. Like my hero, J.K. Rowling, Hinton used S.E. instead of Susan because people would be biased towards a woman writer. After discovering S.E. Hinton is a woman, my mind was blown because “The Outsiders” is a coming of age story about boys, but nonetheless, Hinton tells a heart-wrenchingly human story. Just have a box of tissues with you when you read this one!
ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY
Speaking of heart-wrenching—I probably should have put a disclaimer at the beginning of this post saying “DO NOT READ ALL AT ONCE”. For real though, Mildred D. Taylor’s “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” tells the story of Cassie Logan and her family’s struggles in the Jim Crow South. This is another book I actually did read in middle school, but coming back to it as an adult is a totally different experience.
“Jane Eyre” is definitely one that I did not read in high school. I really should have because this book is unbelievably relatable. Not the whole love story part because I’m single AF RN—but Charlotte Bronte’s Jane is just this strong-headed feminist dealing with bullsh*t. Long story short—Jane is all of us.
Ugh, this book! Honestly, the love story part is pretty frustrating—you’ll get what I mean when you read it. But the reason I particularly love, love, love, this book is for the actual writing. Emily Bronte is a beautiful wordsmith—she really makes you consider and appreciate each and every sentence.
There you have it, vinas! Honestly, there are so many other books that we all actually should have read during our high school summers, but these are just some of my faves!
Which book from high school is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!