The Oracle

The Final Countdown

Senior Editor Cassidy Foronda ranks the three best and worst books she’s read in high school

Cassidy Foronda, senior editor

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After four years of late night readings, I’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s the breakdown of which books at GBS are worth the struggle, and which you can just SparkNote. (I’m kidding. You should read. Do your homework.)

BEST 3:

3. A Prayer for Owen Meany: RIFE WITH SYMBOLISM, LOVABLE CHARACTERS AND ACTUAL LAUGH-OUT-LOUD HUMOR, IRVING HITS EVERY NECESSARY NOTE FOR AN AMAZING STORY.

AND THE NAMESAKE CHARACTER TALKS IN ALL CAPS!!! WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE???

2. The Things They Carried: O’Brien’s reflections on war, writing, memory, love and life force you to re-examine your own experiences, then reexamine again.

1. The Sound and the Fury: The narration style (especially for the first half) is dizzying. There are characters so dark and actions so heartbreaking, you can’t help but ache alongside them. The Sound and the Fury is easily the densest and most difficult piece I’ve ever read.

Yet, its emotions, settings, characters and prose make this book a looming presence in my mind even more than a year later.

WORST 3:

3. Hamlet: Hamlet is basically a giant drama queen who can’t make up his mind, and everything goes wrong because of who he fundamentally is as a human being. That hits a little too close to home for me to like.

2. Crime and Punishment: It’s a crime that this book got published and it’s a punishment to endure 500 pages too many of Fyodor Dostoevsky dragging on a young murderer’s eventual downfall while romanticizing murder, vanity and mental illness. At its core, Crime and Punishment is a character exploration of someone who kills (bad) and feels bad about it (rightfully so), which maybe wouldn’t be too horrible if that said character didn’t make me want to walk into the ocean.

1. In the Time of the Butterflies: I wanted to like this book SO badly. Between four bada** women, real-world inspirations and the fact it was written in the 21st century, it seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, it was.

Where I was expecting imaginative writing and an exciting plot, I found bland prose and unnecessary details. Three out of the four sisters were irritatingly dull (shoutout to my homegirl Minerva for defying the odds). I’m surprised I got as far as I did, and I only made it through the first few chapters.

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The Final Countdown