5 Books We Wish We Were Assigned to Read

Carson Francis

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When it comes to teens and books, the two don’t always come together. Yet when it comes to the assigned reading we do for English class, students would rather have the option to choose which book they want to read instead of the teacher picking the novel. Students want to read books they are interested in and can relate to. Here are the top five books students wish they were assigned to read in class.


  • “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky 

In this coming-of-age novel, the main character, Charlie, is a quirky teen entering high school. As he enters high school, he’s not quite sure where he belongs or where he fits in; standing to the side as a wallflower. But soon after entering, he becomes close friends with the out-going, but odd senior Sam and her step-brother Patrick. The three overcome their own personal battles together as the school year goes on. But as it does, Charlie continues to face depression and relives a horrible moment in his life in which he is still learning to cope with. A lot of teens can relate to how Charlie feels; not knowing where you fit in in high school or not wanting to face reality. The novel also provides insight into mental illness and how the people who have these personal battles feel and think; that those with mental illnesses are real people with real feelings.

You can buy the book here!


  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

This is an old-time classic that everyone is familiar with! Unfortunately, not everyone is assigned to read this impactful story. In this riveting story, readers follow the young Jean Louise Finch, her brother Jem and their widowed father, Atticus. Taking place in the mid 1930s in Maycomb, Alabama, the story focuses on the topic of racial inequality and losing innocence too soon. Throughout the book (without giving away spoilers), the children learn the harsh truth of reality of the 30s and racial discrimination. Yet with a loving father, they are raised to respect everyone and they learn how every person is the same, despite differences such as race. They learn to stand up for what they believe in and to stand up for others for when they may not have a voice.

You can buy the book here!


  • “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

In the comedic rom-com, which taking place in the late 80s, social outcasts Eleanor and Park attend high school in Nebraska. Eleanor is the new girl at school and people do not take to her kindly. People tease her because she has a full-figure and a head full of curly, red hair. But on her first day, she meets Park; a teenager who is self-conscious of himself and his Asian heritage. The two form an inseparable bond with each other over mix tapes and comic books, all the while learning the harsh truth of Eleanor’s home life. Teen readers can appreciate the story and relate to the events of creating friendships, feeling left out, overcoming inner struggles and one of the most complicated of them all; love.

You can buy it here!


  • “The Testing” by Joelle Charbonneau 

Almost as if The Hunger Games and Divergent came together, The Testing is the first book to the Testing series. In this dystopian world, there are colonies in which top graduates from each colony are chosen each year to participate in The Testing from the United Commonwealth. Those who finish The Testing get to work with the government and help “fix” the war-stricken world. But the teenage protagonist, Cia, discovers the dark secrets that her government hides from the colonies throughout her time in The Testing. The fictional story is one that students wish to read and one that teachers can appreciate as well.

You can buy it here!


  • “Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon  

In the emotional novel Everything, Everything, we follow the sick teen Maddy. Maddy is literally allergic to everything outside her house, so she is house-ridden. She’s never been able to have a normal childhood or teenage experiences. That is, until Olly, the new boy, moves in next door and changes her life forever. Students can enjoy the story as it shows risks that Maddy takes and teens can relate to taking risks even if it means a bad outcome. They can also relate to falling hard for someone despite the bad that can come out of it.

You can buy it here!

Hopefully in the near future, we can actually choose our own reading material that we like. Until then, we can spend our days reading these fantastic books in our own time! Read on, titans!