The Great Gatsby
Overachiever: It’s commentary on social classes, wealth, and the American Dream has stayed with you.
Average Student: You know Gatsby wasn’t everything he pretended to be.
Terrible Student: You’re pretty sure Gatsby was pretty great. You can’t wait to have a Gatsby themed wedding.
The Old Man And The Sea
Overachiever: Much like the protagonist, you were obsessed and determined to get a good grade. You read it twice and studied hard. You remember how happy you were with that A.
Average: You can’t remember what grade you got. It was graded on a curve and didn’t really affect your final grade.
Terrible: That you copied the overachievers’ work and got the exact same A. Unfortunately, it didn’t really affect your final grade.
The Grapes Of Wrath
Overachiever: You savored all 464 pages over summer break. Taking in every detail, and dissecting all the complexities of Tom Joad. Consequently, you missed every party that summer so you don’t have any memories of the fun times your classmates had.
Average: You read most of it. Well, A LOT of it. Okay fine, your teacher joked “the author said you could skip the chapters where nothing happens, they’re just kind of scene setting” and you took full advantage of that. Which was good, since as you recall, it was a very busy summer for you.
Terrible: You remember that there was definitely a lot of dust but can’t remember if there was anything about grapes. You definitely remember all the fun you had that summer.
Overachiever: You LOVE this book today as much as you loved it then. You read it twice and treasure every aspect of social commentary brought forth in the gothic novel. In a way Jane was your only friend that summer.
Average: You remember “Reader, I married him” and other pieces of the story, but mix this up with Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility.
Terrible: You read the back of the book to get the gist of it. You can confidently say that it was about a person named Jane Eyre.
Of Mice And Men
Overachiever: You hold dear the hope and naivety you had for the future of Lenny and George.
Average: You still remember how sad you were at the story about the rabbits. You’ll never forget the rabbits.
Terrible: You think it was actually about mice. Like maybe not quite a Stuart Little or Great Mouse Detective way, but definitely there were men AND mice involved.
Overachiever: Everything. It’s your favorite book, in a really annoying way.
Average: Not much. You haven’t thought about the book since high school.
Terrible: Nothing. You also say it’s your favorite book in a really annoying way.
Overachiever: You still understand the intricacies and nuances of Orwell’s dystopia. You confidently use it in online arguments warning about disinformation and government overreach.
Average: You know “Big Brother Is Watching You”, but not much more other than the year it was set. You understand the reference when people compare the current state of the world to the story.
Terrible: You never touched the book. You are also most likely to misuse it as a comparison to current real world situations.
The Catcher In The Rye
Overachiever: You identified with Holden Caulfield’s sense of alienation then just as much as you do now. Sadly, probably even more now. You fondly recall the innocence of youth.
Average: You remember that Holden Caufield was an asshole.
Terrible: You remember that they didn’t make a movie out of the book.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Overachiever: As a kid you related to Scout’s coming of age story; but as an adult you think more about the novel’s comments on the complexity of right and wrong.
Average: You read the first and last couple chapters and then skimmed the rest. Just enough to pass. The movie filled in the gaps. You could probably name some characters.
Terrible: You haven’t the slightest idea what the book would be about. You’re also not sure if mockingbirds are real.
Lord Of The Flies
Overachiever: You devoured every harrowing detail of the book before the first week of vacation was over, and are still haunted by the decisions those children made. Kids can be so cruel, both within the story and your classmates who made fun of you reading the book the first week of vacation.
Average: You read it at the last minute, but it’s themes stuck with you. Years later you hold reverence for Piggy and sympathize with their parents.
Terrible: You didn’t read it. Didn’t even try. Lord of The Flies…Lord of The Rings…Lord of The Dance…they might as well all be the same as far as you’re concerned. You’ve made little growth since High School.
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