Books that I hate – The Great Gatsby, Nicholas Sparks, and… The Scarlet Letter

Every time that I post about a book on here, it seems like I love it, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s true.  I don’t seem to read too many books that I don’t at least like a little bit.  It’s probably because, as I mentioned in a previous post, when I start a book that I’m not entirely into, I move onto the next one.  And I rarely write about books that I only read 100 pages of.

Well, today this is all going to change!  Today I am going to list out the top 3 books that I absolutely detest!  And, in a preface to the (hopefully) amusing negativity to follow, I would like to point out that I began this thinking that I would have a top 5, but, honestly, I couldn’t pull up 5 books in my memory that I hate that much.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The first in the list of books that I didn’t enjoy, at all, from my junior year in high school.  I wanted to like this, I really did.  But I don’t think that I really dig the Jazz era “feel”.  The characters bored me and I struggled to stay awake while reading for my assignments.  I wish that I could remember specific details for what I really hated, but I believe that I forced those memories out of my mind.

I would like to note that this is a novel that I tried to revisit as an adult, thinking that maybe I could find some new-found appreciation for this American classic.  Guess what?  I couldn’t.  Maybe I’ll try again when I’m in my 30s.  Maybe then I’ll be able to appreciate what teenage and twenty-something Megan couldn’t.

2.  Anything by Nicholas Sparks

Alright.  I will admit — I love the movie, The Notebook.  I cried.  I squealed.  I daydreamed that one day I would find a love like the characters in the movie.  Oh, and Ryan Gosling is pretty nice to look at, too.  So, naturally, I believed that I would enjoy the book.  Oh, boy, was I wrong.

I borrowed this book from the bookstore while I worked there, so I didn’t actually waste any money on it.  I can’t recall how many pages in that I made it, but I do know that the story started out OK.  It was different from the books that I naturally chose to read at the time, but I was enjoying it enough to keep on reading.

At some point, though, Sparks took a crack at trying to describe the thoughts that go through the female character’s mind while she’s looking at her naked body in the mirror.  This IMMEDIATELY creeped me out.  And I can’t honestly imagine any woman thinking what this character was thinking when studying their nude reflection.

More recently I attempted to read another of his book.  It left such a weak impression on me that I can’t recall the title.  But, again, this is a book and author that I want to like.  It’s just not happening, though.  I’ve been mentally scarred from my first experience reading his work.  Might  be another one to revisit sometime in the next decade.

1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

How many times have I voiced my distaste for this book?  Countless.  Every and any time possible.  Ever.  This was another book that I had to read during my junior year in high school for my American Literature class.  Hester Prynne tried to be an independent woman and shack up with someone and the town disapproved.  The text is wordy, the symbolism is mind-numbing, and every sentence leaves me wanting to run out the door.

This is yet another book that leaves me feeling like classic American literature just ain’t for me.  And I don’t foresee myself ever, ever, ever trying to revisit The Scarlet Letter.  I just hate this one far, far too much to ever do that to myself.  Maybe it will be removed from the curriculum by the time my kids reach high school.

Don’t take my word for it, though.  I’m possibly in the minority in my opinions on the above books and authors, so definitely check them our for yourself.  But I am interested to hear your thoughts – What books do you absolutely hate?


Filed under Books, Classics

4 responses to “Books that I hate – The Great Gatsby, Nicholas Sparks, and… The Scarlet Letter

  1. Brad

    To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I just feel like the first 2/3rd of that book drags on forever. We used to teach it here and I always hated my library had to have so many copies of that infernal book.

    Also not a fan of anything by Dickens that is not The Christmas Carol.

  2. Eva

    I understand you don’t enjoy Nicholas Sparks but, I HIGHLY recommend The Guardian. It still has some of that romance in the book itself but it is mostly a suspense book. Might want to try it sometime. (:

  3. Battlefield Earth sucked big time.

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