Books I Had to Read in High School, Ranked

Inspired by @bisexual. Alternative titles included: Books I've Read and Some Books I Started To Read But Didn't Feel Like Finishing; Why Did I Major In English Again?; and Mistakes My English Teachers Have Made
  1. 1.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream, 10th grade
    My ALL-TIME FAVORITE Shakespeare play. Would read this and literally just laugh out loud. I've seen countless productions of this play, more than any other. Titus will always have a special place in my heart, but Midsummer's is my go-to Shakespeare #nerd
  2. 2.
    The Kite Runner, 11th grade
    I still can't believe this was assigned reading. Would recommend to people who don't like reading. Was a game changer for me in the type of books I read for fun towards the end of high school.
  3. 3.
    Fahrenheit 451, 10th grade
    This is one of my favorite classic books of all time. I actually did reread this after high school and it was still great. Would've picked it up on my own to read no doubt.
  4. 4.
    The Lovely Bones, 11th grade
    I had already read this before I read it in high school, but reading it at 14 and reading it at 16 was a completely different experience.
  5. 5.
    The Great Gatsby, 11th grade
    Started the book on schedule, then sat down to read the next assigned chunk and just finished it in the same sitting. Could easily see why it's a classic and why it's constantly being adapted. Another all-time favorite.
  6. 6.
    Hedda Gabler, 12th grade
    This. Freaking. Play. So much feminism by something written by a man!! Ibsen was one of the first playwrights to use realism as a form of written expression. I love Ibsen. I read three more of his plays the summer before college because I loved Hedda Gabler so much.
  7. 7.
    Twelfth Night, 12th grade
    I've read this for a class four separate times now and each time I fall more in love with it.
  8. 8.
    The Crucible, 11th grade
    SO GOOD. I love Arthur Miller. This play turned me onto him and I am forever grateful.
  9. 9.
    Of Mice And Men, 9th grade
    10/10 would read again and still cry. Probably one of the only times I've cried at school.
  10. 10.
    A Streetcar Named Desire, 11th grade
    LOVED IT. Would love to see this play preformed live.
  11. 11.
    Frankenstein, 10th grade
    It took us almost three months to read this book. Three. Months. I would've liked it more if I had read this on my own. I liked it a lot better once I found out that Mary Shelley actually wrote Frankenstein as a horror story competition between her husband, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron. She won. #girlpower 💁
  12. 12.
    Richard III, 12th grade
    So underrated. This should be taught more often.
  13. 13.
    Fences, 12th grade
    Would read/recommend anything by August Wilson in a heartbeat.
  14. 14.
    Hamlet, 12th grade
    A classic. I love Hamlet. A little long but that's all right.
  15. 15.
    Tess of the D'Ubervilles, 12th gradd
    I don't know why, but I loved this book. I can't figure it out. I loved it so much that I vividly remembered it enough to compare it to other books in my Victorian Literature class four years later.
  16. 16.
    Romeo and Juliet, 9th grade
    Classic. Nothing bad to say here. Not one of my favorite Shakespeare plays but enjoyable and simple.
  17. 17.
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 11th grade
    I didn't really enjoy the book literarily, but I'm glad to have read it to receive a first-hand historical description of the Civil Rights Movement. I think this should be on required reading lists for history classes.
  18. 18.
    Othello, 12th grade
    I feel like Othello is one of those things I tried really really really hard to like but I just couldn't. I tried. I really did. Maybe it was just close to graduation and I was antsy. Idk.
  19. 19.
    Beloved, 12th grade
    I had a hard time wrapping my head around some of the concepts in this book. I would love to read it again now after I've read some of Toni Morrison's other work and see how I feel about it now. Good writing, it just didn't click with me.
  20. 20.
    The Color Purple, 11th grade
    If I had read this in college I would've been all over this book. 15 year old Cecelia didn't really appreciate it as much as she should have.
  21. 21.
    The Catcher in the Rye, 9th grade
    Ok tbh I never actually finished 🙈 I really didn't relate to Holden at all. Would put it on my "try again" list (coming soon).
  22. 22.
    As I Lay Dying, 12th grade
    Eh. This was all right. Not spectacular but not terrible. What I would expect out of high school reading.
  23. 23.
    The Lord of the Flies, 9th grade
    Great concept, boring execution. Would enjoy reading (maybe writing) some well-written fanfiction with the same plot line.
  24. 24.
    Things Fall Apart, 11th grade
    Filed under: will try again before I'm 30 with renewed appreciation for the subject and the author. I was 16 and stupid.
  25. 25.
    Angela's Ashes, 11th grade
    I don't understand why this is so popular. I really don't. I have read much better memoirs with much better writing. I just didn't feel connected to the story at all.
  26. 26.
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 10th grade
    I couldn't read this. The dialect was way too strong for my 15 year old attention span. I don't think I even finished this. I had to read it to get into my AP English Language class and I still managed to get accepted into the class.
  27. 27.
    King Lear, 11th grade
    Noooooo. Read this again in college; still not a favorite but didn't want to burn it as badly the second time around. I just felt no connection to the story or the characters.
  28. 28.
    Oedipus, 10th grade
    NO. I don't know what it was about this play but I could NOT stand it. 🙅
  29. 29.
    The Metamorphosis, 10th grade
    Read literally two pages. Didn't understand why or how he turned into a cockroach. Why a cockroach? Of all things? Thought it was stupid. Gave up. Wrote a paper without having read the book. Got an A-. 🙌👊