Book report

Out of all the novels and stories HCP students read, which one do they like the most and the least?


Sharon McCutcheon (Pexels)

Students read a variety of novels and stories throughout high school, but not everyone agrees on which ones are the best.

Lucas Evans, Reporter

Throughout their high school years, students will read a variety of novels. Predictably, some books are far more well-received than others. This got The Marionette wondering: What are the top three and bottom three picks for students at HCP?

Coming in third place for most-enjoyed book is “A Raisin in the Sun,” by Lorraine Hansberry. “Sun” is assigned as summer reading for AP Literature seniors. The play received three votes, and solidly landed in the middle of the poll.

Although the play hits on important topics like segregation and the desire to improve one’s circumstances, the third place book still received some complaints.

“I liked it, but the ending frustrated me,” said senior Jayla Wilson. 

In second place was “The Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger, receiving 4 positive votes. Students found the book fun to read and they enjoyed the less structured format.

However, the book wasn’t without its critics.

“I thought the main character was lame,” said senior Sebastian Dover.

Coming in first place by a wide margin is “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. 

“It was just cool to read, interesting, ” said senior Tanner Litle.

Read their freshman year, “451” provided interesting class discussions. Thought-provoking and deemed “not boring,” the dystopian setting and engaging plot helped push this book to the top of the pack. 

The third-most disliked book at Harding turned out to be the ancient classic “The Odyssey,” by Homer. Although it came in third place, Homer’s classic hero tale was not all that far behind “Sun” with positive votes.  

“[‘The Odyssey’] was something different than what I was expecting,” said senior Korbin Nida.

Yet, it seems this ‘different’ is not for everyone. “The Odyssey” had 5 votes for least favorite book, with students citing the pursuing workload and difficult-to-understand nature of the epic poem.

“I had no idea what was going on that whole time,” said senior Divine Visbal.

Runner-up for most disliked book was “A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,” by Douglas Adams. The book received few votes, and what votes it did receive were negative.

Senior Caleb Caldwell called it “just kind of dumb.”

“Wasn’t that the book where they destroyed the earth to make way for a space highway or something?” Dover said, illustrating how forgettable the novel was to the senior class.

However, the book was not read by many students since it was one of three choices for AP Literature summer reading.

Finally, and without further adieu, the least favorite book read at Harding is: “Candide.” Originally published by the French philosopher Voltaire in 1759, the content, language and message of the satire fell flat with today’s youngest generation. Read during their sophomore year, students struggled to appreciate novella. 

“The first half was just rape and murder,” said junior Adam Peters. “Then even the ending didn’t seem to make much sense either.”

“Did anyone like that book?” said senior Kamryn Downs asked during a discussion about “Candide.”

And in fact, no one did. The novella was difficult to read at times, and even when it wasn’t difficult to read students didn’t like what they were reading anyway.

Out of all the votes tallied, not one vote for favorite book was given to “Candide.” Apparently as diverse as the students of Harding are, it seems maybe the one thing that unites them is their distaste for this classic French philosophical tale.

Want to weigh in on your favorite or least favorite assigned novel? Email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts!