There’s an old saying that first impressions are tough. Even for books…
During those four years in high school being assigned countless novels would be just plain torturous. When it’s something you don’t choose, that you’re forced to read, and have to answer multiple questions on, it feels like work. Especially when you’re sixteen. Nothing can change the dynamics of something you love than when you HAVE to do it.
But when those teen years are long gone, sometimes it’s time to give those books a second chance! We thought these may ring a bell…
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Image Via Wikipedia
When we were seventeen, what did we know about lavish parties on Long Island’s Gold Coast? This fantastically extravagant story revolves around a mysterious millionaire trying to win the love of a young woman during the nitty, gritty, and magical Roaring Twenties. And yes, we know all about Leo DiCaprio, but this novel is worth another read and is often regarded as Fitzgerald’s best. The books are better than the movies anyway, right?
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Image Via Wikipedia
An oldie, but a goodie, this novel is so popular that it’s been translated into almost every major language. The story of a young man named Holden Caulfield begins to unravel as he faces the rough teen years and the desire to fit in, connect, and figure out who he truly is. This story has become what it is due to its relatability and, just like Holden, it reminds us that we have to grow up and appreciate the world before us.
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Image Via PublicBookshelf
Ah yes, for all those romantics who only realized it after you began college. This is one of the many successful works that Jane Austen published and eventually received TV and film adaptations (both are amazing). The storyline follows heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her trials through life, love, marriage, status, and family. The language is rich, her sarcasm is striking, and her Darcy struggles feel real. You need this one back in your life.
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Image Via Goodreads
This has always been a tough one and not a crowd favorite for high schoolers. This dark and deep tragedy tells the tale, from beginning to end, about the brooding Heathcliff and his life turned upside down along with his “family’s”. Although the book may seem intimidating, it’s full of twists and turns that will make you realize who your favorite characters are, then confuse you all over again.
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Image Via Wikipedia
If there was one thing you’re younger self should’ve told your older self, it’d be to appreciate this book. Here we follow a group of British adolescent boys who become stranded on a deserted island. Their attempts to create a haphazard government and set of rules go awry and we watch it all unravel. This story teaches the survival skills we never knew we needed and could even be connected to present issues in society.
6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Image Via Amazon
We’re definitely a fan of this one. Although, this probably wasn’t your favorite when you were assigned ten chapters to read and answer six essay questions after. But now that THAT’S over, you can read this one page by page (no pop quiz included). Mary Shelley’s successful work is about a young scientist who manages to create a grotesque creature. We soon begin to wonder how far apart man and creature really are. This novel has a certain way of finding the dark within the light; the beauty within the distorted.
It’s no secret that these books felt like an absolute chore when we were teens, especially when we waited until the last minute to study for it or write a paper on it. We’re all guilty of that. But as we get older we change, experience life, and become wiser. So, thanks to growing up, we could never truly read the same book twice.
Feature Image Via Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash