School Assigned Books That I Actually Enjoyed!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

In this post, I want to list the books that I remember being assigned to read in school that I actually enjoyed. There aren't really all that many, but there are some!

Starting with my FAVORITE book that we got assigned in school...

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Originally published in 1967 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Summary (from Goodreads): 
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

I think I read this book in 7th grade originally. I loved this book so much! I bought my own copy and a lot of times I'll pick it up and start flipping through the pages and before I know it, I will have read the whole thing! I love the movie as well. I made my boyfriend watch it and he keeps nagging me going, "How come ALL of the movies you make me watch have SUCH depressing endings?!"

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Originally published by Bantam Books, Inc in 1966

Summary (from Goodreads): 
An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.

Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.

I think I read this one when I was a junior in high school. I don't remember much about this book, but I do remember that I really liked it and read it quite quickly.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Published in 1997 by Scholastic Books

Summary (from Goodreads):
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read.
Gail Carson Levine's examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him. Ella Enchanted has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor.

Also, I really really loved reading Romeo and Juliet when we did that lesson in my Freshman year English class! It was probably one of my favorite ever English lessons and I was the only one in my class (I think out of the whole class, all whopping 44 students in my grade) to get over 100% on the test. I got every question right plus the bonus questions. Because I'm pretty much awesome if you didn't already know.

Were there any books you were forced to read in school that you actually ended up enjoying?


  1. I love Ella Enchanted! I can't believe you got to read it for school. :)

    I haven't read the other two, but they're actually both on my to-read list. The one book from school I remember really loving is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It's one of the original dystopian novels, and it was the first one I ever read.

    1. Definitely check out the outsiders! It's such a quick read and its so so good!! I honestly don't remember much about the other one so I should pry read it again!

    2. Also I've never heard of that dystopian one, but I might have to check that out!

    3. I'm sure the library has it, so I should just sit down and read it. So many books, so little time... :)

      I haven't read We in ages, but I just remember being so happy that I FINALLY liked a book we were reading! Let me know if you end up reading it!

  2. I never had to read any of these in school! In AP English (Lit and Lang), we read Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice, Crime and Punishment, The Scarlet Letter... lots of classics that were, quite frankly, boring :D Though I liked Huck Finn and P&P. Great list, Cyra!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I've never had to read any of those ones! I kinda wanna read pride and prejudice though! I just haven't gotten around to it yet!


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