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Paige Schepperley, Activities Manager

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If you were lucky enough to enjoy some of the Classics in your English class this year, this list covers what you may enjoy reading this summer

If you loved The Great Gatsby, read The Virgin Suicides

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Narrator Nick Carraway has moved in next door to none other than the great Jay Gatsby himself. Throwing extravagant parties night after night, little is known about Gatsby and his true intentions in life. As Carraway becomes closer to Gatsby secrets of love and desire begin to be revealed. Gatsby’s only true love is the beautiful and married Daisy Fay Buchanan. As Daisy’s marriage falls apart and Gatsby’s desires for the only women he has ever wanted grows the audience gets to read if these two lovers are meant to be.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Published in 1993, the novel takes place in a quiet suburb of Detroit, as five Lisbon sisters beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively being watched by the neighborhood boys, commit suicide one by one. As the boys observe them from afar, infatuated, they piece together the mystery of the family’s fatal ending. The author Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the feelings of love, tragedy and lust. The audience is able to capture the true essence of youth and sees tragedy unfold first hand. Those who love The Great Gatsby will surely come to love this novels sinister view of society and love.


If you loved Catcher in the Rye, read Project X

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The classic novel The Catcher in the Rye is set around 1950s in New York. The narrator Holden Caulfield tells of his unusually pessimistic take on the world. Holden grows tired of the “phonies” around him and decides to venture into the world to discover a new meaning of life. Undergoing treatment for previous mental issues, readers journey with Holden as he tries to make sense of the world around him.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie the fifteen-year-old narrator of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, has just entered his freshman year of high school. Charlie is the eponymous “wallflower” as he is quiet and withdrawn from those around him. Throughout the book, readers follow along as Charlie pays close attention to everything going on around him and like Catcher in the Rye, makes comments on society as a whole.

Project X by Jim Shephard

Junior high, for Edwin Hanratty and Flake is a jungle. Being at the bottom of the food chain these two students seem to only have each other to try to survive high school. They find themselves victims of constant harassment from bullies and are considered a nuisance to teacher.  As these two struggle throughout their school days new fantasies of revenge begin to fill their minds and there ways of getting revenge have no limits. Like The Catcher in the Rye, their pessimistic views of the world may just be their downfall.


If you loved A Handmaid’s Tale, read Bobcat and Other Stories

A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the modern day United States of America. Due to dangerously low reproduction rates, Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Offred, being a Handmaid struggles in this new society in which she has few rights and little chance of finding any true worth in society. As she battles to live a life she believes she deserves she will put herself in many dangerous situations to stand up for herself.

Bobcat and other Stories by Rebecca Lee

Author Rebecca Lee, a well know author of short story writers, guides readers into a range of landscapes, both foreign and domestic, crafting stories into exquisite novels. A student plagiarizes a paper and holds fast to her alibi until she finds herself complicit in the resurrection of one professor’s shadowy past. A dinner party becomes the occasion for the dissolution of more than one marriage. A woman is hired to find a wife for the one true soulmate she’s ever found. All these stories and more told in one novel to captivate the audience by showing obligation, sacrifice, jealousy and deep love. Similar to the A Handmaid’s Tale, readers can come to understand many unique emotions not often pointed out in pieces of literature.


If you loved Lord of the Flies, read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

After their plane is shot down in the midst of a nuclear war, a group of British schoolboys are forced to survive without adult supervision on an unknown island. In an attempt to create a civilization, not unlike the one they left behind, the boys elect leaders and different groups of boys to do different tasks. As time progresses, leadership begins to be questioned as new characters begin to wish for more power and control.  A battle over good and evil unrolls as one character must stand alone in his fight not to convert to savagery.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 

In this classic novel, Ken Kesey’s role model is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a rebellious mental patient who comes into the hospital and begins a takeover. McMurphy rallies other patients and begins challenging the authority of the main hospital nurse Ratched. He promotes unusual indulgences such as gambling, smuggling wine and women into the ward, and openly defies the authority of others at every turn. Soon it becomes a full-on battle of Nurse Ratched vs. McMurphy as they struggle to obtain power over the mental ward. The themes of Lord of the Flies are carried into this novel by addressing the deep struggles between good and evil. As the novel progresses the audience must learn what it takes to overcome our natural desires and wants for the greater good of self and others.

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe

This novel tells the tale of 15 teenage boys that become evacuated from a boys reformatory during a time of war. They are relocated to a remote mountain village where they are greatly disliked by the local people. After a plague breaks out, the boys are barricaded within the remote location after all the villagers flee the contaminated area. In order to survive, they must build a life of their own, but living civil lives proves to be more difficult than they originally thought. Related to Lord of the Flies is this novels ability to show what may happen if young adults are left unattended to create a civilized organization. In moments of survival, the audience can see the real savagery that is within us all starting from a young age.

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