A Book I Hated

I was in the mood to write, but I didn’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time on a post, so I thought I’d opt for a Bookish Behaviour question. And could there be a better question for a Monday than, “What is a book you absolutely hated?”

I could go with some of my more recent bad reads, like Snookie’s A Shore Thing or James’ Fifty Shades Darker. I could go back to my studies in English Literature and discuss my loathing of Naipaul’s The Enigma of Arrival or Scott’s Staying On. However, I decided to go further back, way back to the middle school days, and go with a “classic.”


Man, I hate this book. I honestly couldn’t even tell you what actually happens in Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. I read it so long ago, and my memory is crap even for books I read earlier this year. I just remember being forced to read it for school and being so disappointed. It was boring, repetitive, and gross (if I remember correctly). It’s amazing to me that a story about a thirteen-year-old getting trapped in the wilderness after a plane crash can be so bad. But this book succeeds.

I know it may not seem fair of me to keep judging this book that I can’t recall the details to, but I have such a vivid recollection of my feelings about the book when I read it. It is so visceral, that when I see it is still found on the table of “school reads” in the bookstore, I get angry. And every time, I point at it and tell my husband how much I hated that book.

What are your feelings about Hatchet? What age did you read it? What book do you absolutely hate?


  1. I relate SO MUCH to this. I was required to read Hatchet in middle school too (I think like 6th grade). We had just finished The Giver, which I LOVED, and my teacher insisted that Hatchet was great too. I thought it was so boring. I hate reading survivor fiction now because of how tedious I remember Hatchet being. I’m always surprised when people say they love it because I just don’t get it.

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