I picked up the book with a frown- I'd read it in High School and despised it. But I could get extra credit for reading and creating a write up of it, so I decided to plow through it as fast as I could.
Only, I couldn't.
Something has happened in the last five or six years, something that changed how I judge books. I think I finally grew up. My views on books have matured. In high school, I was discouraged because not a single required read was light, with a happy ending, and vibrant plot. I'd decided that there were enough sad and bad things in the world, and I didn't need to read to find that out. I lived it every day. If I was going to read, I wanted to enjoy myself. And now, while I still prefer the happy ending, I understand where the other endings fit. I understand their place.
I fell in love with Jem and Scout. Dill, too. Atticus is a wonderful father, who does his best to raise his son and daughter as a single parent. The first hundred pages are stories over three years that get us aquainted with the characters, the situation. And then the happy bubble is burst, and Bad Things happen, and Jem and Scout and even Dill have to decide how they will respond, how they will grow.
And despite her qualms against it, Scout turns into quite a lady.