Welcome to my first reread of 2015, everyone! At the beginning of this year I made it a goal to take part of the Re-Read Challenge hosted by Belle of the Literati and So Obsessed With (click here to see my original post) and I’m really happy that I was able to reread a book in January. Starting off the new year right! I won’t be writing full reviews of the books that I reread- instead, I’ll be following this format that is part of the challenge.
Today I’m here to talk about my second time reading The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger- my second date with Holden Caulfield! (Can you imagine going on a date with Holden? My, that would be one awkward date!)
When I First Read
I first read this book in my ninth grade (freshman) English class, and as you can probably imagine it was a very torturous experience. Although I didn’t mind the book then, the people in my class hated the way Holden narrated it and complained basically every single time we read it in class. Needless to say, I didn’t get much out of the story and never really grew to appreciate anything about it.
What I Remember
I remembered most of the plot, but the thing that surprised me most was the amount of complaining that Holden does. I remembered that he did complain, but boy does he do it all the time!
Why I Wanted to Re-Read
I felt like I didn’t give this book a fair chance, considering the time and place I read it. I was only in ninth grade and I feel like I had some maturing to do before I could really understand what Salinger was trying to do with this story. I’m a senior now, and I felt like I was ready to give it another try.
How I Felt After Re-Reading
I’m so happy I decided to read this book again! I connected with Holden so much more this time around, mostly because I realized that he’s just misunderstood and simply wants to be wanted. He is so incredibly lonely and though he tries and tries to reach out to others, nothing seems to work. I could relate to the way he said he was constantly thinking about things, and how he disliked people who were just so phony. Holden is over-the-top in a lot of ways, but I do believe that we are all a bit like him on the inside.
The writing style is sort of like a stream of consciousness, which sometimes could get a little overwhelming. At certain points there are pages and pages without any breaks, dialogue, or even separate paragraphs. It can get quite monotonous and dull after a while, but I understand why his monologues are incorporated into the story- they bring out his personality and show the reader how he thinks. The style of the writing makes complete sense once you read the ending, and reading this a second time with that knowledge in mind made me view the story from a totally different perspective. I still think the ending is as clever and brilliant I did when I first read it.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book again and I would highly recommend that if you’re contemplating rereading it, do!
Would I Re-Read Again
I think I would probably wait a few years, but ultimately I’ll probably end up reading this novel again. It’s one of those books that you can read again and again and get something different from it every time.
What are your thoughts on this book? Do like rereading in general? Let me know in the comments section below!