30 Day Book Blog Challenge: Day 9

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 9: A Book You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended Up Loving

The good old “you ate your words” question. (I love those, don’t you)? Thank goodness my senior English teacher doesn’t follow my blog because she sure would get a kick out of tonight’s post. That’s right, a book I was determined to hate but ending up being hopelessly fascinated with was a book that was an english assignment.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Reasons why I felt like I wasn’t going to like the book:

  • Grapes of Wrath experience– To be fair to Grapes of Wrath I was assigned this book as a sophomore in high school, so I wasn’t really interested in reading literature pieces by Steinbeck and Dickens. I was more into things written by the likes of J.K. Rowling and Phillip Pullman. I barely read Grapes of Wrath and was bored to death by the class discussion of it so I assumed Steinbeck’s purpose was to torture high school students; therefore East of Eden surely couldn’t be good. (Please note– now that my reading taste has evolved and there’s not a teacher saying “you have too” I plan on giving Grapes of Wrath another shot.)

 

  • It was a summer reading assignment— I am absolutely against summer reading assignments! It simply isn’t fair to make a student feel obligated to do work during a DESIGNATED break period. Plus it doesn’t help that I’m a natural-born procrastinator (not a rare breed from what I hear) so my last week of summer was completely ruined as I tried to learn as much as I could from a book without actually reading it. (I was stupid).

With East of Eden I decided I wouldn’t let the book win. It was not going to ruin my summer by hanging over me and making me feel guilty so I tackled it the first week of summer…and was pleasantly surprised.

I think not feeling rushed certainly helped as I could stop and analyze what I read. And what I read was like a literary soap opera. Literally. You had the character that was evil to the core and the poor guy who was in love with her but would never understand her twisted nature. Then you had the overexaggerated scenes that only soap operas (and apparently literature) could deliver.

There wasn’t really a character that I liked as none of them were truly redeeming but it was the outcomes of these characters that keeps you watching even though you know there is a train wreck ahead. (JUST LIKE A SOAP OPERA).

The novel is absolutely fascinating, I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t help but talk about it. I was actually excited for school to start so I could discuss all the questions I had for my teacher to see if I was right about connections I made. Steinbeck beat me. He got me good.

What about you? Is there a book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving? Share it below and happy reading!

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12 thoughts on “30 Day Book Blog Challenge: Day 9

  1. I found a book in a Poundland store called The Magic Spring which was a memoir from a man trying to be English and tracing the roots of folklore. Not being interested in folklore that much (especially morris dancing) I didn’t expect much, but I managed it in 2 days, unable to put it down.

    Likewise with To Kill a Mockingbird which I also shot through. I didn’t take much interest in politics at the time of reading yet I still found it to be possibly one of the best books I’d read in a long time.

    • To Kill a Mockingbird was the same for me. I figured that since we had to read it for school it would be another classic in which I had no idea what was going on but was expected to interpret.

      I loved it though and it remains as one of my favorite books of all time! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Oooh this is interesting, I had to read Of Mice and Men for my school as assigned reading and then had to do an exam on it. It was only a small book but I was soon sick of the sight of it, even though I appreciated the story. I actually ripped a few pages out of the back to use for an art project (which I now hugely regret. :() I gave the book four stars on goodreads but because of school, I never really intend to give any of his other books a go… maybe I should change my mind!

    • I haven’t read Of Mice and Men but if it was anything like my experience with Grapes of Wrath then I totally understand your pain! East of Eden though really is a good one, as you just can’t help but watch the characters get into mess after mess. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. First my blubbering: I absolutely love this book! I read it because I’m a huge James Dean fan and he only made 3 movies before he was (tragically 😦 ) killed in a car crash. One of those movies was “East of Eden”. The film focuses only on Cal (James Dean) and Aron, which is a real shame since it leaves out the INCREDIBLE backstory, basically comparable with the Genesis section in the Bible!, regarding Adam and … oh fudge, I forget her name now. You know who I mean. Anyway, I bought it and figured the book would own me since it was so large, but it actually went by pretty fast! I’m surprised that your school had you read this book for summer reading! My summer reading was almost always putrid.

    Second – GREAT post. I think the general consensus from EVERYONE who’s ever read Grapes of Wrath is that they really disliked it (if not hated it!). Strangely enough, I was in YOUR shoes with EoE when I read GoW. I read it early on in the summer to avoid mishaps from the summer before and I loved it! Maybe that’s what happens with Steinbeck – you just have to read him at your own pace. Either way, I love how you describe your experience with Steinbeck at first, but your determination to press on and plow through East of Eden – which is NO small task. A great accomplishment and a rewarding experience, I think, as it stands out as a significant brick in the wall of American classics. Good story!

    • I had no idea that James Dean was in the movie, AHHHHH! I must see it tonight! I can’t believe that they leave out all that backstory though as it really makes the story.

      Yes, I totally agree with you on the ‘read Steinbeck at your own pace’ thats why I intend to give Grapes of Wrath another try. (So it’s comforting to know that you enjoyed it)!

      Thank you, I’m glad you understand that confronting classics can be dauting at times but it’s usuallly always rewarding in the end! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

    • Oh cool! It’s always fun to to discover a novel that you love in which you had no expectations for. But the reverse of that is always awful, reading a book you think is going to be great and instead falls flat. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading! 🙂

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