Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird Book Cover

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, (my edition) published June 2010 by Arrow Books.

Read: April 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Classics/Historical
Source: Purchased
#Pages: 309
Get It Now: Wordery

Add to Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: ‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.


The Review

Ugh. This book was SO good. I’d always considered To Kill A Mockingbird a classic, and because of my general aversion for classics, I stayed away from it. It wasn’t part of my curriculum when I studied English Literature at school, but when I started my blog I wanted to get to grips with more classics, to at least try them and see if there were any I enjoyed. This book hit the jackpot for me and I’m unbelievably chuffed to have discovered it! A witty and thought-provoking anti-racism novel, with wonderful characters, which I would call ahead of its time.

It took me a little while to get accustomed to the style of this book, even though it is described as being “young adult”, I don’t think the writing is comparable to a modern YA novel. However, once I got used to the writing style, I was sold – hook, line and sinker. I felt like I flew through this novel, I was so engrossed with the characters and their lives, and I absolutely adore Scout and Atticus. A-DORE. Lee is just such a fantastic storyteller, and I’m sad this is the only book she has released (we’ll discuss the sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird later…).

Racial prejudice is clearly paramount to the story, but while reading the book, I was often made to feel uncomfortable by the language used, and by some of the events of the novel. Which, I suppose is a good thing, when you think about it – and most likely the very point Lee is trying to make. I love that along with the hard-hitting message of the book, Lee also manages to weave mystery, nostalgia, childhood innocence, and emotionally hard-hitting events throughout. It really was perfection, and such a surprisingly accessible read for a classic. I’d also like to add that the cover of my edition definitely encapsulates Scout!

Although there is controversy surrounding the release of the sequel (I do plan to do a full discussion on this later), I will be reading it. Not because I agree with the methods used to publish it (which I need to investigate further for my discussion), but because with writing as good as this, it would be a crime to miss out on more of it.

The Rating

5/5

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird? Is it worth seeing the movie? What other classics would you recommend I read based on this review? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading, Book Geeks!

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

35 Responses

  1. Kudos to you for reading a classic and enjoying it so much! I’m just not there yet, but maybe someday I’ll have the urge. I have a copy on my bookshelf, in case that need ever presents itself. Or in case my daughter is forced to read it in school. 😉

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  2. I just finished a re-read via audiobook. Sissy Spacek was a great narrator! I wish my grandparents were still alive so I could discuss it with them, because this is the world they grew up in (my paternal grandparents were the same ages as Jem and Scout in 1935 rural South Carolina). I really felt like I was learning about their childhoods.
    It’s been years since I watched the film, but I remember it being excellent. Gregory Peck as Atticus won an Oscar (back when that actually meant something) and has always been one of my favorite actors.

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  3. Please, please, PLEASE go watch the movie! ‘Cause even though they cut Aunt Alexandra, I think the film adaptation is also PERFECTION in its own rights.

    Okay. So now the book. I’m glad it resonated with you! Because this is the novel that made me the bookworm that I am today and it makes me happy knowing fellow readers had a positive experience with it too. I just think there’s something about it that reached out deep inside me. And I don’t reread, but I’ve read this one 3 times now. It’s becoming a yearly tradition, I guess. Another thing, I don’t agree that it should be labeled as YA. It’s a coming-of-age, yes, but it’s clearly not YA. And as for the sequel, I sure am stoked for it!

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      1. Yes, I totally get what you mean. And TKAM is such a beloved classic, too. I think what’s really a shocker in this whole sequel news is that nobody saw it coming. I mean, it’s been a long long long time since TKAM came out. I also understand the reservation to go pick up the sequel; TKAM is such a class act. But I guess I’ve reached the point where no matter how Go Set a Watchman turns out to be, I’m secured with how I feel towards TKAM and Harper Lee that it, the sequel, wouldn’t ruin anything. Although, of course, I’m hoping that GSAW is great, as well.

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  4. Now I feel almost ashamed I’ve not read this book. I’ve alway heard such positive things, even from friends who read it for their GCSEs and so I’ve always felt a bit embarrassed I’ve not read it. Especially after I loathed the book I read for my English GCSE, but that’s a whole other story.

    I think I’m like you, the classic label is really offputting to me, I’ve not always had the best experience with classics, so I’ve never motivated myself to buy or read this book. I really want to read it before the next book comes out, though. Next time I see it in a shop I may have to sneakily add it to my shopping basket.

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  5. Just re-read it and it’s a wonderful today as it was when I first read it. I swear this book ruins other books because it’s just so doggone good!

    As for seeing the movie, I say it’s one that should be seen with the caveat that the books is ALWAYS better. They don’t include everything but they get the essence of the book onto the screen and they have some good child actors in the roles of Jem, Scout and Dill. And while I may not have seen Gregory Peck as Atticus when I first read it, he does a great job in the film and totally deserved the Academy Award.

    If you like stories of small towns, I can’t recommend Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon Days enough. Another favorite I may have to re-read.

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  6. […] 2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Diverse Element – Race. One of my favourite books of the year so far (and probably ever!), this novel is set in the Deep South during the 30’s and tells the story of a lawyer who defends a black man charged with rape, but through the eyes of his two children. My review of To Kill A Mockingbird. […]

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  7. […] This is so hard, because fictional parents are either absent, are the cause of conflict, or aren’t overly present in much of what I read… My favourite fictional parent is Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. […]

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  8. […] Harry Potter can usually be the answer to everything, but I’ll shake it up a little and pick To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I haven’t read Go Set A Watchman yet, but I will. I read Mockingbird this year […]

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