Book Challenge Day 11: A Book You Hated

I feel like I might get some flack for today’s post. As part of the 30-Day Book Challenge, I’m supposed to write about a book that I hated. “Hate” is a pretty strong word, and I usually don’t have that feeling toward any books, even if I really disliked them. But there is one book that I’ve come the absolute closest to hating, and it comes with a story…

plainsong coverWhen I started high school, I signed up for as many clubs as possible. French club, Art club, you name it. One of the groups I was most excited about was the Great Books club. I went to the first meeting with a friend, excited about meeting fellow nerds like me and reading some “great books.” The first book the executive board decided we should read was Plainsong by Kent Haruf, and I dove right in.

The first problem was that the executive board was made up of 18-year-old seniors, and I was a 14-year-old freshman. I think their tastes were much more mature than mine, and so many of the themes and actions in the book really disturbed me. There was a lot of sex and violence and concepts I didn’t quite understand. I think if I read it now, the book might be more appealing, but as a naive 14-year-old I was completely out of my element.

The second problem was that I decided to kill two birds with one stone and write about the book for my daily reading journal in English class. So I HAD to finish it! In addition to the mature concepts, I also found the book pretty boring. The setting is a sparse landscape in small-town Colorado, and the book dragged on to me. I honestly can’t remember that much about the writing style, but maybe that’s because it wasn’t anything spectacular.

After Plainsong, I decided the Great Books club wasn’t really my thing and switched my focus to ice hockey. I’m not opposed to giving Plainsong a second chance, but maybe it would be best to just leave it in my 9th-grade past.


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