By: J. D. Salinger
How have I never read The Catcher in the Rye before now?
I’m a little bitter that I missed out on this book for so long. I’m blown away by it.
Who hasn’t heard of The Catcher in the Rye? No one. It’s a huge classic, and for good reason. But somehow, I’ve never had a reason (or should I say opportunity?) to read it before now.
I’m so glad I did.
I rarely gush over books. But this book is amazing. I’m sorry my adolescent self never got the chance to commiserate with Holden Caulfield. As much as Holden is a heartbreakingly unique individual, he’s very relatable. Salinger has a way of saying things that everyone must think but just can’t quite verbalize. He speaks to high school, to family relationships, to personal tragedies. Even though I’m not 16 and struggling through puberty and the hell that is high school, this book speaks to me on a very powerful level.
I’d always heard the title, but I never knew what it meant. I thought it was some old, obsolete cultural reference that I didn’t get. But now that I know, it makes me want to cry. The beauty of Holden’s innocence and heartbreak is overwhelming.
I want to say that teenagers should read this book. But really, everyone should read this book. If you’re somehow like me and you’ve made it past adolescence without picking this one up, stop what you’re doing and make time for it. And if you read it as a teen and remember it with a bittersweet smile, pick it up again; read it with new eyes. And if you are a teen, Holden Caulfield is ready and willing to draw you in.
I have a feeling this one’s going to haunt me for a while.
If you liked A Catcher in the Rye, check out these novels:
(for themes of adolescence)
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Old School by Tobias Wolff
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
(for other books by Salinger)
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Meridian by Alice Walker