Discussion Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee + a poll!

Hi everyone! Today I have a different kind of review than normal. In my most recent Week in Review post I asked if you wonderful readers would like me to review either of the books I read for school. I got a couple comments asking for reviews of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have a lot to say, not really regarding the book, but more about how reading it for school affected how I liked the book. Therefore, I have come up with a discussion/review post where I can just talk about everything!

Being that I read it for school, the teacher stretched the book out for about two months. She, in my opinion, overanalyzed the book which made for an awful reading experience. I feel like whenever I’ve read a book for a class I’ve never read a book and enjoyed it to the extent that I have when reading a book for pleasure. I’m not sure if it’s the idea that I’m being forced to read the book, the teacher’s way of teaching the book, or a combination of both, but I do know that reading a book for school has most often times doomed me to have only neutral feelings down to utter dislike and nothing better.

Some people may just think that it’s because I just don’t like the “classics,” I’m a YA person and that they’re too boring or difficult for a teenager to like or understand. Others probably just believe when a teen complains about reading a book for school that they just don’t like homework or reading, period. But clearly for me that’s not the case. I LOVE reading, and I do venture outside the worlds of YA to read a “sophisticated” classic or adult book every now and then.

So I want to hear from you guys: Does reading a book for a class affect your feelings toward the book?

Now on to the review…

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Release Date: April 2010 (Originally 1960)

Pages: 376

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Series: N/A

Genre(s): Classic, Historical Fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into ten languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that will really change you. It will make you think, and make you re-evaluate yourself as a person. Are you like Atticus? Dolphus Raymond? Bob Ewell? Boo Radley? Miss Stephanie? But I’m not really going to talk about the morals and all the hidden symbolism within the book because that’s like English class. I’m going to talk about the story.

I love how Harper Lee made the whole story a flashback. Right from the first page you know how everything will turn out, but yet you don’t, because you haven’t read the book yet. After I finished the book I went back to page 1 and re-read the first chapter again. It really brought the story full-circle.

I don’t really have much to say about this book other than I think it’s really worth the read. A beautiful coming of age story about learning the ways of life and just how cruel some people can be.

Like I mentioned above in the discussion, reading this book for class had a negative affect on my feelings toward this book. I really believe if I’d’ve read it on my own I would have enjoyed it much more for the story.

7 thoughts on “Discussion Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee + a poll!

  1. great review 🙂
    I really liked this book.
    I read this book by myself before and at first I didn’t like it. Then I read it in class and the way my teacher explained it made me liked it a lot. Then I read it two more times and I finally loved it. Its my favorite classic as of right now.
    if you want to read my review you can:

  2. I love To Kill a Mockingbird – I think it’s an amazing book. But I know what you mean – sometimes reading a book in a class can just wring all the joy right out of the experience. I did read TKAM in school and loved it but I also read The Scarlet Letter (with a different teacher) and that experience was pure torture. Not sure if it was the book or the teacher…
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

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