A review by glittery_witch
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

adventurous emotional funny lighthearted reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I’ve heard that it is a red flag if someone likes this book. Guess I’m your problematic fave now. 

The Catcher in the Rye follows 16 year old Holden Caulfield as he is stranded alone in New York City for several days after being kicked out of boarding school. The novel is written in an informal, conversational style resembling stream of consciousness, through which the events of the book, as well as the protagonist’s memories and thoughts are narrated in an intimate way. 

One of my favourite things about The Catcher in the Rye is that Holden’s mental health issues gradually become obvious to the reader, as they are reflected in his way of perceiving the world, and the manner in which the world reacts to him, but this trait is never exploited, mocked, or used gratuitously. Instead, it is simply part of who he is and we learn to understand him over the course of the novel. A second element that I really enjoyed is the dry, sarcastic type of humour in this book which had be laugh out loud a couple of times. 

That being said, I 100% see why this is a miss for many readers, especially if you’re forced to read it in school I can see it being super dull and uneventful. The pacing is extremely slow, and there is little in terms of a traditional plot with rising and falling action, a climax, etc. Also, Holden is an annoying little shit (although I think he is being an annoying little shit in a very entertaining and original way). Personally, I wouldn’t put it on a reading list for teens, because I don’t think it appeals to the majority of them. But if you’re a little literature nerd like me who enjoys more unconventional structures and experimental modes of narration, you might just really like The Catcher in the Rye. 

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