Reading literature in high school may have seemed boring and useless, but there are a lot of novels that are worth giving a second chance. Maybe it’s the wisdom we gain with age, or maybe just our tastes change altogether; whatever the case may be, here are some novels that are sure to be favorites for many years.
For the movie goer: The Giver by Lois Lowry
The mystery surrounding the plot of this novel has always enticed readers. The Giver makes readers think while also bringing society into question. Despite its futuristic overtone, readers can still make parallels to our world. Why you should re-read: With the movie coming out, starring big names like Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and Katie Holmes, it is sure to be at the top of many reading lists.
For the horror lover: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
At first read, this novel is the typical monster tale. It has everything from mad scientists to creations gone wild. It is sure to keep you on your toes and to give you goosebumps.Why you should re-read: The plot of the novel is more complex than what meets the eye. With a re-read, you are sure to get a deeper understanding of the realistic characters that deal with tragedies and situations that we can relate to today.
For the romantic: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This classic has been a beacon of romance for hundreds of years. During our first read, we all fell in love with Mr. Darcy and wished we had the same courage as Elizabeth Bennet.Why you should re-read: After reading this book again, we can see that it is about so much more than Elizabeth and Darcy’s romance. It’s about the relationships we choose to have in our lives, whether that is with sisters, family members, or friends.
For the child at heart: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book is narrated from the perspective of Scout Finch as she ages from six to eight years old. It chronicles the struggles of her family during the Great Depression, as her father represents a black man charged for a heinous crime.
Why you should re-read: This novel, written through the eyes of an innocent child, allows the reader to see segregation and racism in a new light. The voice Lee creates for Scout is one that will stick with you forever.
For the adventurer: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
This is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings novels and it sets up the backstory of the characters we love including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Gollum. Tolkien dives deeper into the universe of Middle Earth, and his descriptive writing allows us to truly feel like we are part of Bilbo’s adventure. Why you should re-read: You are never too old to experience the journeys that Tolkien creates in this novel. Especially with the first two movies out, it is interesting to see the pages come to life on screen.
For the Syfy lover: 1984 by George Orwell
This novel is a classic in syfy fiction. In high school, we remember the basics of how Big Brother is always watching, but there is so much more to read between the lines.Why you should re-read: The messages about society that this book sends are very relatable today. It makes us question where our society is heading and, with increasing presence of technology in our lives, poses the question: are we ever really alone?
For the timeless girl: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The imagery Fitzgerald uses to describe the lavish parties is enough to have you hooked on this classic. It’s easy to get swept up into the lifestyle of Jay Gatsby just as Nick Carraway did. This novel chronicles the journey Gatsby takes to win back his one true love, told through the eyes of newcomer Nick.Why you should re-read: Similar with many books turned to movies, the novel far outdoes the film (even with Leo starring in it). It is refreshing to return to the 1920’s where parties, jewels, and alcohol were the only cares one had in the world. With each read you become more and more enthralled, just like Nick Carraway.
For the Shakespearian: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
This play dives deep into the mystery of madness and allows readers to question what insanity really is. Prince Hamlet of Denmark is confronted by the ghost of his deceased father and begins to question if his father’s death was really an accident, or the work of someone particularly close to him.Why you should re-read: Believe it or not, Hamlet is referenced a lot in pop culture. Disney’s The Lion King and the hit television show Sons of Anarchy both have parallels to this Shakespearian tragedy. Reading this play will give you deeper insight into the human mind, and will prove just how far it takes to push someone over the edge.
For the mystery lover: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This book follows Jane from her childhood, when she lives with her rotten Aunt, to womanhood, when she takes a job working for the secretive Mr. Rochester. Jane soon finds that living in Rochester’s beautiful estate is not everything it seems and that Rochester may be hiding a dangerous secret.Why you should re-read: Unlike most other novels with a mysterious undertone, this one tells the story through the eyes of a strong female character. Jane’s sharp wit and tongue are something we can admire as women of the 21st century.