dark emotional reflective sad slow-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? No
- Diverse cast of characters? No
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
This book is widely known for its relatability of the character feeling bitter about people and the world, while also having the self righteousness most have during one’s teenage and young adult years. Although I think this book has merit, I find it odd when grown adults identify this book as one of their all time favorites, or when someone claims that they feel akin to Holden. Holden is an extremely flawed character and has a narrow understanding of the depth of the people he knows. He makes light of very serious things, which may not have been concerning when it was first published, but would be cause for concern if anyone said such things in today’s world. I think this book would be beneficial to read in college with more perspective, rather than assigning it to high school students who may relate to and even admire Holden and his thoughts. All that being said, J.D. Salinger perfectly captures teenage angst and the universal struggle to make sense of people and the world.
Graphic: Grief, Mental illness, and Suicidal thoughts