Why am I not hating a required English class book?

With all due respect, when we opened the box of fresh books a few weeks ago and it hit me that we were about to start a new unit, I was not very thrilled. Reading used to be one of my favorite hobbies and I would become addicted to books. However, as high school began, that passion drained and the books that I read for school exponentially added to my lack of desire to read.

But as I began to read “Exit West,” I found myself interested in what happened, and wanting to read the next chapter. So why is this book different than all of the other books? The syntax is unique and the culture is different than any book that we have read, but normally those aren’t factors that excite me. Perhaps it excites me that it doesn’t take place in 18th century Europe and written with extremely complicated diction. However, I have simply found that the plot is intriguing. While the story of a refugee is extremely relevant in our world at this time, it isn’t something I see or experience first hand, so reading about a situation like this is something I have not had much exposure to. I am constantly waiting to see what comes next. The mix of realistic plot lines and the transporting doors keeps the readers on their toes as the real world takes a “magical” twist. This aspect, along with the political issues that are quite obviously alluded to, make this book an interesting read.

I am not saying that I have given up on my dislike of required English class reading material, I am simply saying that compared to all else, I have enjoyed this book the most. From Jane Eyre to short stories to Shakespeare, Exit West has been quite above average.

2 thoughts on “Why am I not hating a required English class book?

  1. Josephine D

    I agree with you. While I tend to try to give required reading the benefit of the doubt for the most part, I definitely enjoyed Exit West a great deal more than many other books I’ve had to read for English. I think part of the reason is that Exit West is such a good balance between being contemporary and also being incredibly original. Nowadays, so many books have been written that it’s hard to write a new book that feels like it hasn’t been done before. Old books, on the other hand, are often more original, but feel less relevant and accessible to modern high school students. However, Exit West, despite being and feeling quite modern and timely, feels original. Even though it definitely has familiar elements that other stories have (such as romance, a journey across the world, and even a touch of science fiction and fantasy), it still feels new and fresh.

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  2. TAKUMA K.

    I really dislike reading plays in english. I believe that plays are written so that they can be performed by actors on a stage, not read alone and on a couch. When someone writes a play, they can disregard any description of the setting and other things that the audience will be able to see. When you take that away by reading it, I feel that my mental image of what the place looks like collapses in on itself because there is nothing to support it.

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