Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Classic
Published: January 30, 2001 by: Back Bay Books
Rating: 2/5 stars
In this coming of age classic, we follow Holden Caulfield, who has recently been expelled from his prep-school, and is "attempting" to get his life back on track. Through is struggles, we are able to dive deep into his teenage mind, and realize his biggest demon of all: alienation.
This book was... something. There has definitely been debate on this book. Some love it, some banned it, and some, like me, were just left confused. I wouldn't say that it was a horrible book, because I just didn't understand it. I found it all kind of weird.
What I will say about this book, is that the characters were done really well. Salinger did a great job at capturing the emotions and feelings of a troubled teenager. The book is written in a slang that can be seen as relatable to teens during the time, although I do have to say that the average teenager probably doesn't swear as much as Holden did. It still, really got the essence of the character.
The book definitely holds some strong themes. The basis is around this struggling figure who is alienated from society. People want nothing to do with him, and he wants nothing to do with people. I understand what Salinger was trying to get across, and I think that this book can be very powerful to those who need it. The quotes in this book, were magnificent.
I guess the reason me and this book just couldn't get along is because I just didn't get it. I found that the plot went nowhere and it felt more like reading a diary entry of a kid off school than a novel. I didn't find just following Holden's life all that interesting, and the language also through me off as well. Yes, teenagers swear a lot, but there was no need to have every other word be something that's vulgar. It just seemed a little wrong.
The whole character of Holden kind of annoyed me as well. Yes, the kid had some major problems and I did feel sorry for him, but he was kind of a jerk. It didn't really seem like he wanted to help himself, and I feel like he could have resolved a lot of his problems if he was just remotely civilized for one moment. I get he was supposed to be a "bad boy" figure, but he irked me to no end.
Maybe I just didn't like this book because I couldn't connect to it all that much. I've never been in his situations, and so I just found everything to be kind of wrong. Either way, it is a classic for a reason and it was very emotionally raw.
Have you read The Catcher in the Rye? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess