There's nothing worse than heading back to school after summer vacation and realizing that you did approximately zero reading for English class over the last 8 weeks (to be fair, Netflix wasn't going to watch itself for 1300 hours). The Great Gatsby languished unread on your bookshelf, you failed to crack open The Scarlet Letter even once, and you’re pretty sure Moby-Dick has a whale in it.
Should you find yourself in this unenviable situation, rest assured there are ways to get yourself out of it. Our first suggestion is to read the sh#% out of our Blogging the Classics series, which offer hilarious/legit helpful summaries of pretty much every book you’ll ever be required to read. We’ve linked to each series right here in this very slideshow; just click through for brillz, easy-to-understand analysis on Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, Catcher in the Rye, Moby-Dick, The Great Gatsby, 1984, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Go Set a Watchman.
Once you’ve given the above a go, feel free to try these:
1. Just stare at the book. Hard. No, harder than that. You’re going to have to put some effort into this if you want to absorb the information without ever cracking open a novel. Come on, really squint. Do you even want this?
2. Trick someone into writing all your essays for you, Tom Sawyer-style.
3. Tell your teacher that books are responsible for the untimely deaths of everyone you loved. You’ll need some time before you’re emotionally ready to look at a book again.
4. Explain that you did the reading, but you don’t feel qualified to write the essay that your teacher deserves.
5. Burn all your books to really immerse yourself in the bookless dystopia of Fahrenheit 451.Present the ashes to your teacher. Would a person have all these ashes if they hadn’tread the book? Check and mate.
6. Find a psychic who can put you in touch with the authors on your summer reading list. This way, they can help you parse metaphors for meaning from beyond the grave.
7. Transcend this mortal plane.
8. The essay is supposed to be between 5 and 7 pages. Say that you are only capable of writing essays that are 12 pages and that you refuse to compromise your morals.
9. Go ahead and write the essay without ever reading the book and just hope you fail upwards. They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Perhaps this is one of those times.
10. Go for a walk to clear your mind. Start running. Keep running and don’t look back. Flee the country. Start a new life.