Why “Like Water for Chocolate” is the worst book in our curriculum.

The movie poster portrays how lackluster this book is.
 Photo by offscreen.com.

The movie poster portrays how lackluster this book is. Photo by offscreen.com.

Anna Lumsargis, Editor-in-Chief of On The Prowl


When looking at all of the books Central reads in their curriculum, one sticks out. That one being “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel. It is the black sheep of English class. 

The premise of the book revolves around a forbidden romance during the Mexican Revolution. It’s a simple concept — a strict mother won’t allow her youngest daughter to get married — however, it is muddied with strange over exaggerations and bizarre twists. 

“Like Water for Chocolate” gives a poor and false representation of romantic relationships. It takes it too far to a point where it’s not relatable,”said senior Brooke Stough.

When looking at the other books required such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Crucible,” there are clear messages that weave throughout the story such as racism or the dangers of a hypersensitive society. “Like Water for Chocolate” lacks this. You could come up with a possible message or deeper meaning, but it’s not a for-certain kind of thing. A strange romance novel doesn’t compete with the complexities of the other books we have read. 

“I feel like the other books we read had a purpose. They seemed like they were meant to challenge us, while “Like Water for Chocolate” seemed like a random love story,” said senior Molly Schroeder. 

This book was supposed to highlight another culture other than our own — diversity much needed in our curriculum. But it does this poorly. Instead of being an insightful and powerful story on Mexican culture, it’s a sappy and an altogether weird love story. I believe that there are many other stories that would better portray the diversity this story is supposed to achieve. 

Besides it’s strange plot, the book can also be hard to follow due to its literal interpretation of exaggerated events. If you’re not a fan of fantasy, this is not the book for you. 

“It’s not the type of book that interests me and at times it got a little confusing,” said sophomore Julia Ryer. 

Generally, the book is un-relatable because of its extreme use of fantasy mixed with reality, lacking the plot line that Mexico deserves and just doesn’t compare to the rest of the curriculum. Love it or hate it, this is a book I won’t be reading again. 

The movie poster portrays how lackluster this book is.
Photo by offscreen.com.