This weekend I went into Barnes and Noble and purchased a few books. How is that different from any other weekend you ask? I do frequent bookstores almost every chance I get, but this time I purchased one of the best, most moving books I’ve read in a long time. Before I tell you what book I’m writing about, let me tell you a little about it.
The main character resonates with me, as it will with anyone who is…well, alive. A lonely teen, he just wants someone to talk to. A friend to listen, to tell him things are going to be okay during a hard time in his life; a place to go where he can feel safe. Instead, he has run-ins with three women at a bar, his brother’s ex-girlfriend, a group of nuns, and a prostitute. The list could go on from there, but I think you’ve got the idea. He squashes his sorrows with alcohol, cigarettes and his security blanket, a hat.
Still don’t know what book I’m talking about? I’m sure most people read the book in high school…The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
I decided to buy The Catcher in the Rye because I hadn’t read it in a good 12-15 years (I can’t remember exactly what grade I was assigned to read it). I remember liking it, which was so rare for me to like an assigned book in school. I would buy the Cliff Notes (not recommended, trust me) and go home to read a book I wanted to read, not one someone told me to read. Stupid, I know. I missed reading a lot of the great classics, but for some reason, I picked up J.D. Salinger’s book and couldn’t put it down.
Reading it again, now at 29 years old, I was amazed at how close this book mirrors young adult books today. The main character, Holden Caulfield has the same problems that teens have in today’s YA section in bookstores. He’s been kicked out his boarding school due to poor grades (or not doing his work), he drinks (despite being underage), smokes like a chimney, thinks about sex (even going as far as hiring a prostitute despite being a virgin), deals with death and mourning, religion, suicide and uses bad language throughout the book. Keep in mind, this book was first published in 1951 (58 years ago for the math challenged), but still sells roughly 250,000 copies a year. This book transcends time like no other classic that could be considered young adult.
I don’t want to give too much away. I want every single one of you, if you’re a teen or a teen author/writer, to please read this book. Even if you’ve read it, and it’s been awhile, pick it up again. You won’t be disappointed. Trust me!
Questions for Aprilynne Pike!
7 years ago