So, those of us here in some sort of school, what books have you been assigned to read/ have read over the summer? What did you think of them? I'm taking two English courses next year, an Honors and an AP (Liked both teachers, didn't want to pick between them, so I just took a third option), so I've had 5 books assigned to me. Dante's Inferno (Eng. 4H): The first book I read. Everyone knows the basic premise, and I have to say, I enjoyed it. The translation was really well done, and while the rhymes don't really match, it's understandable. Also, for a 300 page, 600 year old (or so) poem, I found it to be a pretty easy read. Go figure. The Scarlet Letter (Eng. 4H): Ugh. This one hurt. Apparently Nathaniel Hawthorne was paid per word, and if that is the case, it shows. The first chapter is 40 pages of literally nothing happening that has nothing to do with the main plot of the novel. The rest is somewhat bearable, but it is a pretty tough one to sit through. I would not recommend anyone read this on their own free time; I get wanting to have read one of the "classics", but some novels just do not age well. All The Pretty Horses (AP Lit): Written by Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote No Country for Old Men and The Road. While I enjoyed The Road, I can't exactly say the same for this one. First of all, the grammar is limited; no commas, quotation marks, etc. For whatever reason, in this book, it bugged the crap out of me and made it a chore to read, especially the first 30 pages. As for the novel as a whole, it is okay, but the characters aren't very memorable, and it feels like nothing of consequence is achieved or occurs. Not terrible, just meh. The Color Purple (AP Lit): Well... You know the old joke about the Lifetime channel, where all men are evil and just want to hurt women? Yeah, this book is that incarnate and then some. I mean, main protagonist is raped by her "father" in the first five pages. Seriously. There are only two, maybe, sympathetic males throughout the entire novel. As for the story, I found it to be dull, and none of the characters were very interesting. Also, "female empowerment" is a big theme, so if you want more from a novel, you are better off elsewhere. However, I will say that it is written in a similar manner to a diary, and that makes the book pretty easy to read. I'd say it is bad, but it could have been worse. Jane Eyre (AP Lit): So, this is the last of the books, and the one I am currently reading. I can't give a final judgement yet, but I can give you my impressions from halfway through the book. To be honest, I'm finding it pretty dull, but then again, I am not a fan of romance novels. It kind of feels like a female version of a Dickens novel in a way (Young orphan raised in an abusive environment, sent away to a tough school, etc.); at the very least, there are a few similarities. The writing style is antiquated, which can make it even more of a chore to read, though I get that it is almost 200 hundred years old, so I am not being entirely fair. Overall, I would have to say my favorite, by far, is Dante's Inferno. Anyway, those are just my (abbreviated) impressions of the books. Feel free to add your own.