may ➹'s Reviews > To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
68157476
2.5 stars

Bestseller. Pulitzer Prize. 18 million copies printed worldwide. One of the greatest American novels, even. And I… did not like it?

I was expecting a really thought-provoking book with important messages. And I did get it! But I also got: boredom, slowness, dryness, confusion, and random unnecessary scenes that did nothing to further anything.

🌹 INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT MESSAGE

I’d like to first talk about the message, because that’s honestly why this is 2.5 stars and not 2 or lower. This book has such a powerful message, especially considering the time period it was written in and what was going on in America at that time.

(To be honest, I think a lot of what I interpreted from this book was like... a combination of what the book actually said, what I wanted to see, and what I wanted to talk about. I mean each and every word of the following rant but it might not be actually what the book was implying.)

I can connect so many events and things that they talk about in this book to current events, and that’s saying something huge. Even fifty years later, we are STILL facing the same problems (albeit on a smaller scale). Atticus says that when it’s a white man in court against a black man, the white man will always win. There are probably some cases where black people have won (I haven’t done research on this, thus why I say “probably”), but even then, it’s 1) probably not a lot, and 2) not enough. But when we talk about police brutality today in America and white police officers shooting black unarmed men, and the white police officers getting away in court, what Atticus said still applies. Because even if some of the police themselves are not racist, the court system is, and it is corrupt, and it’s something that has always been prejudiced. Always.

And that’s what this book is trying to show. It’s trying to show us that no matter how actively aware we are of what we say, what we do, and what we think about people—we will always be prejudiced. Society has ingrained in our minds racist attitudes and outlooks, and even if we try our hardest to expel it, it is still there. I still catch racist or prejudiced or discriminatory thoughts running through my own mind, and I am a person of color who has experienced racism and am deeply against it. This is something that we all have to be aware of, constantly, because it is buried so deep in society that it has become buried so deep in ourselves, and it is difficult to tear it out.

No one is born racist, but as soon as we are born, it is there. It lurks in every corner in every life no matter what experiences we have, because it manifests from the very structure of society then, society today, and society probably decades from now. Racism is an endless cycle, created by corrupt cultural values and societal attitudes, and it is doomed to ingrain itself into the minds of everyone and to repeat itself over and over and over again.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to say better, do better, and be better. In fact, it gives us all the more reason to try.

However, while the message is very strong and very important, that is... literally its only good quality. Everything else I HATED.

🌷 I WAS BORED AND ALMOST FELL ASLEEP

Those first hundred pages? Boring. Absolutely boring. I absolutely HATED that whole first section, because it was boring to read and I literally DID. NOT. CARE. about anything that happened, nor did I care about any of the characters. It was boring, it was pointless, and providing Scout’s outlook on the current events could’ve been done in a much shorter and much less dense way.

It was just so SLOW ?? and dry ?? and confusing ?? There were the most random scenes that had no effect on the plot or characters whatsoever. Sure, it’s great to provide backstory to things. But including every tiny, minuscule, UNNECESSARY detail about their childhood??? I think the hell not, good sir.

And to be honest, after reading the whole book, I still don’t really care for the characters. The only one I actually like is Atticus (of course), and the rest (Scout, Jem, etc.) are meh. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them. They’re just so very meh. AND Scout is way too smart for her age. People may think otherwise but she is so precocious and it is SO ANNOYING.

🌹 IT GETS SLIGHTLY BETTER

As soon as we got into the trial and after part, though, my interest increased considerably. I was able to actually focus on the story more—instead of finding myself falling asleep like I had been in the first section. It was very interesting to read about. And some events I did not see coming at all (though it was written in the MOST BORING way that I couldn’t really bring myself to care about it, sad as they were, which shows some really horrible writing skills).

I honestly could comment more on the whole trial section, but if I had to find the willpower and effort to read the first section of the book and receive nothing in compensation, I don’t feel particularly obliged to deeply analyze things in a positive light to convince you how [clears throat] ggggggggGGGGOOOooooOOOOOddddddDDDD and PPPPeeeeEEErrrrffffFFFFFFEEEeeeeeeeeccccccCCCtttTTT this book is. Because it is not. (In my very humble opinion.)

🌷 HOW THIS BOOK IS PROBLEMATIC (I hate this word)

Of course, the message I talked about is just my interpretation of the book, and I find it a very important one. But I do think this book contains some problematic (I hate this word) elements, especially when thinking about the world today.

Today, we are “taught” to believe the victim—of rape, harrassment, assault, and other forms of abuse. It’s something we should all do. But in this book, we are inclined to not believe the victim in her claim that a man raped her, since we are led to believe that this was a false accusation because of the man’s skin color. It’s a complicated situation: Do we believe the victim, or do we believe the perpetrator who may have been falsely accused because of racial prejudice?

The characters are also disturbingly problematic (I hate this word). Atticus, as much as I like him, is a white savior. It makes a little bit of sense in the time period, but it surely does not fit in times like now, when white people need to step back and make sure to let people of color have a voice. Allies are extremely important, but there’s a difference between an ally and a savior. Calpurnia is also a black woman who is written off as complicit in her own servitude (though she is luckily not treated as a slave or servant). She also... doesn’t seem to have many complexities to her character, and neither do the other black people, who are portrayed as helpless (which is true) and act as if Atticus is the only one that can save them (which is really ugly). And even Mayella Ewell: The way her character is written can show that people who are of lower status or are not as welcome in society might not be believed if they were raped and spoke up about it.

And the fact remains that this book is a book about racism… written by a white woman in Western society. It’s nice that she tries to tackle racism and bring awareness to it or whatever, and I personally interpreted the message as something very important, but Harper Lee could not have written a book accurately educating about racism because she has no experience in it. Even someone who experiences racism cannot write completely accurately about it, because the individuals facing racism are exactly that—individuals, not a monolith. But they can sure write it more accurately than someone who has never experienced racism and can only view it from a Western white person’s perspective. (This isn’t necessarily a problematic fact of itself, but it’s something I think people should remember.)

🌹 CONCLUSION?

SO! A book I expected to like and had a great message (as I interpreted it), but one I was ridiculously bored by. Maybe it’s because I don’t like historical fiction? Maybe it’s because I don’t like classics? Maybe it’s because I had to read it for school? I don’t know.

The only thing I liked about this book was the message, and everything and everyone else can go rot in a hole. Far, far away from me.


(Also, before the haters come @ me, can we just note?? Real quick??? That I can appreciate a book’s message and SUPPORT that message and still not enjoy reading the book???? Because I actually have opinions that Will Not Always Match With Yours????? Thanks.)
252 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read To Kill a Mockingbird.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

June 24, 2017 – Shelved
June 24, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 19, 2018 – Started Reading
January 21, 2018 –
page 54
14.36% "i praise this author for having the ability to, on the first page, make a connection between broken arms & ancestors, but unfortunately i like books that make sense so i, for one, HATE THIS BOOK"
January 24, 2018 –
page 168
44.68% "hi my name is may and i really Do Not Like this book"
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reads
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: boring
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: disappointing
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: school
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: pov-female
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: pov-1st
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: library
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
February 5, 2018 – Shelved as: important-messages
February 5, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: 2-and-a-half-star
February 8, 2018 – Shelved as: reviews-im-proud-of
February 13, 2018 – Shelved as: adult
February 13, 2018 – Shelved as: paperback
May 20, 2018 – Shelved as: unpopular-opinion

Comments Showing 1-50 of 64 (64 new)


Charis Rae lol try to like it??


Fefe omg I dislike this book so much, good luck!!!


message 3: by may ❀ (new)

may ❀ bye hater


Kristen i hated having to read this in high school but i didn't give it a chance at all because i was being rebellious. lol


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I CANT WAIT FOR YOUR ROASTS


Michael Try and appreciate this book ☺, remember the time period it was written in and the social issues it is addressing ☺


may ➹ charis wrote: "lol try to like it??"

i've read about a third of it now and i'm still not liking it! :/


may ➹ Fefe wrote: "omg I dislike this book so much, good luck!!!"

aaahh someone who doesn't like the book!! thank u for the luck, i'll need it 😂


may ➹ maybelline™ wrote: "bye hater"

u said so urself that this was boring


Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥ I read this book a few years ago and I actually ended up liking it. *lol* I mean it's a typical classic but the story and Atticus character were somehow intriguing.


marie this is my favorite book !!!!! its so important


chelsea! ❀ this is the best update i’ve ever read


Carly McCunn I’m currently reading this in my English class and the first part is super boring and I’m honestly still not liking it that that much.


Kaja (red panda) *:・゚✧ I had to read this for my final exams at end of high school for english as 2nd foreign language. The book is ... highly pretentious, I don't even know how I managed to talk about it at spoken part of the exam and not sound completely disinterested.


Susan Mesler-Evans i remember i had a hard time with the first half, but i really liked the second. (but honestly the movie is so great and so faithful that you could watch it and get close to the same effect.)


Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen) (This is one of my favorite books ever so i'm going to judge you just a bit if you hate it)
❤️


Kellyn Roth I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOUR RANT REVIEW! I mean, I feel like this book has a great message - for the year it was written, anyway. But nowadays, there are just sooo many books addressing racism that it's not like we have to turn to random sometimes nonsensical allegories for them. ;) But I'm a lot less strict with this book than you will be (which is what makes this exciting).


may ➹ Kristen wrote: "i hated having to read this in high school but i didn't give it a chance at all because i was being rebellious. lol"

i was really excited to read this bc of all the good things i heard about it!!! and then i actually started reading it lmao


may ➹ theo wrote: "I CANT WAIT FOR YOUR ROASTS"

I'M SO EXCITED TOO


may ➹ Michael wrote: "Try and appreciate this book ☺, remember the time period it was written in and the social issues it is addressing ☺"

yes i definitely get that it was an important message when it was written and is still an important message!!! but just bc i appreciate a book doesn't mean i enjoy it :)


message 21: by sapphic madeline (new)

sapphic madeline ok so i love scout (the sassTM) and atticus (the wiseTM) but jem is a disappointing sack of nothing that i have no attachment to whatsoever ...
but the movie is good !! idk i really enjoyed this book (and the english teacher i read it with), but i get where you're coming from!


Kellyn Roth Yeah, everything you said about the book is super accurate!


message 23: by lacy (new)

lacy If it makes you feel better, May, I didn't like this book either. I was forced to read it for school which pissed me off because I had to section it out and I hated that. However, I appreciate the message it going for and I would like to try and read it again as an adult. Teenage Lacy was angsty and anti everything. lol.


message 24: by aris ☆ (new) - added it

aris ☆ smeh i had to stop reading it because it was so boring but i'll probably go back and try again because my mom won't stop bugging me to read it ugh


may ➹ Virginia Ronan wrote: "I read this book a few years ago and I actually ended up liking it. *lol* I mean it's a typical classic but the story and Atticus character were somehow intriguing."

ah i'm glad you liked it virginia! i didn't find any of the characters that intriguing (except for atticus of course) but the story definitely was 😊


may ➹ marie wrote: "this is my favorite book !!!!! its so important"

i'm happy u like it so much!! i found it really important... but also really boring 🙈


message 27: by Sana (last edited Feb 09, 2018 09:16PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sana teach me to write boss ass reviews bby ily and this review


Cookielover I feel this


Kimber Thank you for what you said about Mayella. That character in itself is racist because she is simply poor white trash.


message 30: by Hritika (new) - added it

Hritika Finally a review I can relate to!


Caitlin I would have never been able to word it better myself.


may ➹ Carly wrote: "I’m currently reading this in my English class and the first part is super boring and I’m honestly still not liking it that that much."

yeah the first part was so so boring and when you're halfway through the book and don't care about the characters, then it's hard to care about them after the trial


may ➹ Kaja (red panda) *:・゚✧ wrote: "I had to read this for my final exams at end of high school for english as 2nd foreign language. The book is ... highly pretentious, I don't even know how I managed to talk about it at spoken part ..."

BIG MOOD. honestly the only part i'm interested in is the racism discussion, and i'm pretty sure more than 75% of the message i got from it was interpreted bc of my own experiences and not... the actual book


may ➹ Susan wrote: "i remember i had a hard time with the first half, but i really liked the second. (but honestly the movie is so great and so faithful that you could watch it and get close to the same effect.)"

the second half was so much better than the first! it wasn't enough to redeem it for me, but more enjoyable to read, i agree


may ➹ Kaylin wrote: "(This is one of my favorite books ever so i'm going to judge you just a bit if you hate it)
❤️"


:))))))))))


Helena Summers I agree, the beginning was definitely slow and it could've been shorter. I really liked the final part though, but it took me so long to read because I was bored to death at some parts and, as you say, the characters weren't even that interesting. I think I liked it despite all that, but I don't really remember it well


Naima ✩ Look at may replying to comments 4 MONTHS LATER


message 38: by Erin (new) - rated it 3 stars

Erin I read this in high school and didn't like it much either :( but I do want to reread it one day to see if I view it any differently.


may ➹ lacy [a ravenclaw library] wrote: "If it makes you feel better, May, I didn't like this book either. I was forced to read it for school which pissed me off because I had to section it out and I hated that. However, I appreciate the ..."

i hate sectioning books as well, i had to do that + annotate it 🙄🙄 i hope you like it better if you read it now, lacy!!


may ➹ aris ☆ wrote: "smeh i had to stop reading it because it was so boring but i'll probably go back and try again because my mom won't stop bugging me to read it ugh"

the second half is a lot less boring but it wasn't enough to make the book good 🤷🏻


may ➹ Sana wrote: "teach me to write boss ass reviews bby ily and this review"

💓💓💓


Larry Dahle Your opinion, so important to you yourself, pales in light of the millions who have loved this story.
I'm sorry you choose t
Sigh...


may ➹ oh, sorry, larry, i don't usually need other opinions to match mine in order for me to feel validated but you do whatever makes you feel better about yourself


message 44: by bee (new) - added it

bee SICK BURN. Larry didn't stand a chance... ❤️


message 45: by Ida (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ida Wilcox First I would say I dont think Harper Lee wrote this book to educate anyone on racism. Secondly, why are people always treating fiction books like they should be non-fiction. Its very annoying. With that said, I also found this book to be very boring and dry. Many of times I found myself falling asleep while reading it.


Surina Aww, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. :(


message 47: by Alan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alan Braswell You were bored with the first part of the book because every one forgets that part. They run right to the trial and talk nonstop about racism. Then I ask well what is the other part you found so boring about? Scout, Jem, and Dill trying to lure Boo out of the house. The way the school teacher talked to Scout. The way the woman in the black church spoke to Calpurnia about the white children in the church. About that women speaking to Jem and how Jem reacts. You see. The entire book is about how people act. And how we react to the way those people act. In the very last chapter of the book, Jem tells Scout. Maybe Boo doesn't want to come out of the house.


may ➹ @Alan lmao I don’t even remember half of the events you described


Mercy I was also bored when I read this book and outside of it's message thought it was highly overated. The writing could have been much better.


Grant Friedman May, I enjoyed your review. You hit the nail on the head, one of the ‘great’ novels was just boring.


« previous 1
back to top