“What’s your favorite book?” is a loaded question anytime, but on a date, it can be downright terrifying. Fear not, we’ve searched the depths of middle school syllabi near and far to gather a list of some of the best and worst books in the English-speaking universe, and tell you what in the hell they mean about that person sitting across the table from you.
1. The Catcher in the Rye: They went through a moody phase and probably have a solid investment portfolio.
2. Cloud Atlas: They see movies, read the book, like the movie better, and will never admit it.
3. Brave New World: They’re probably just into future theories and sexual liberty, but you might want to have the eugenics talk sooner rather than later. Just in case.
4. Game of Thrones: They’ve got all the patience.
5. Pride and Prejudice: They’re all about the happy ending and love Judi Dench movies.
6. The Art of Fielding: They think everyone (including you) deserves a fair shot.
7. Twilight: They’re (unconsciously) really into Shakespeare.
8. Titus Andronicus: They’re really into Shakespeare.
9. The Great Gatsby: They’re a cynic with a heart of gold and a sad past.
10. The Adventures of Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer: They probably spent a lot of time alone in the woods as a kid, which made them kind of awesome.
11. To Kill a Mockingbird: They did poorly on the LSATs.
12. The DaVinci Code: They’re troubled by Beyonce’s Illuminati connections.
13. Little Women: This person is growing and maturing through experience. Lock it down.
14. The Outsiders: They wear the same boots they did in high school and have an affinity for Bruce Springstein.
15. On The Road: They’ll always have an extra flannel something you can borrow.
16. The Scarlet Letter: They’re your 10th grade English teacher.
17. Ulysses: They are still paying off grad school.
18. Fifty Shades of Grey: They’re really into Twilight, so basically, they’re into Shakespeare. But sexy Shakespeare.
19. Lord of the Flies: They were definitely a camp kid.
20. Identity Crisis: They don’t really “get” sports.
21. Dracula: Make sure to lock your diary, cause they’ll probably read it.
22. Eat, Pray, Love: You won’t have to ask too many questions about their life. They’ll tell you all about it.
23. The Adults: They might have a few daddy issues, but the north-eastern swarm more than makes up for it.
24. The Lord of the Rings: They like staying in hostels a little too much.
25. The Southern Vampire Series: He’s a bottom.
26. Fight Club: Run. Run now.
27. The Virgin Suicides: The journey, not the destination, is what’s important to them.
28. Divergent: Holy christ, no. Run faster than you ran from Fight Club. In fact, run back to Fight Club.
29. Harry Potter 7: They understand that true love A) conquers all and B) lasts forever.
30. Harry Potter 1-6: They need to stop being lazy and finish the series.
31. Bossypants: They have strange cravings for sugar-free orange juice.
32. Flowers in the Attic: Total wildcard. Totally worth it.