Can’t escape the high school classics

Kaitlin Mahar

Chances are, unless it’s being made into a movie (ahem, The Great Gatsby), the odds of you revisiting anything from the arguably most scarring period of your life are slim to none, especially if there’s reading involved.

Kaitlin - bw

However, there’s a reason these books are classics—no matter where you are in life, they are still as relatable and entertaining as they were when they were first written. Yes, I realize how nerdy that sounds, just get to reading.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. For fans of: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky.
Whether you’re still coming to terms with your angst now, or you sow your anguish-ridden oats during your Evanescence-fueled emo days in high school, this book is the way to go. Filled with plenty of anti-authoritarian sentiments and expletives, you’ll be wanting to tell your parents where they can stick those care packages…just try to remember who pays your tuition.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. For fans of: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Once Jennifer Lawrence graced us with her presence on the big screen as main character Katniss Everdeen in the first Hunger Games movie, everyone jumped on the bandwagon that was young adult dystopian literature. However, William Golding’s 1954 novel originated many popular plot twists found in today’s hit post-apocalyptic novels, especially considering a death that’ll leave you crippled with heartbreak, though I won’t say who…

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. For fans of: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Those of you who read Stockett’s wildly popular novel (or if you just watched the movie because you think Emma Stone is ridiculously hot, even when she looks like she stuck her finger into a 1950’s-style electrical socket), if social justice interests you, then I suggest you revisit this classic. While there’s less of a romantic aspect than that which is found in The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, too, gives a poignant commentary on the horrendous treatment of African-Americans pre-civil rights, and like Skeeter Phelan, Atticus Finch will be someone you admire for his integrity and bravery. (And, if you watch the film with Gregory Peck, you may find yourself saying “Emma who?”)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. For fans of: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
I know, I know, this isn’t exactly a “book,” but it is still worth your time to check it out. Even if you aren’t into the sappy, star-crossed-lover types of romances that Shakespeare and Green are well known for, you could still give this play a second look, if not solely for the reason that Shakespeare was a pretty hilarious, inappropriate guy, examples of which can especially be found in the character of Romeo’s goofy best friend, Mercutio. Seriously, just look up the definitions of some of the words and phrases he uses—it may have been 400 years ago, but a lot of the things this guy came up with were as hysterical as they were ingenious.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird (AP photo)
Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird (AP photo)

We all know how daunting and inevitably boring reading these books can be. However, even though it may not be at the tops of our lists to read anything that isn’t assigned reading, everything deserves a second chance. We’ve grown up, we’ve learned more, we understand more—the only thing that has stayed the same are these stories. I hate to sound like my parents on this one, but try them again; you never know if your taste might’ve changed.