Published on May 22nd, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
Books similar to The Catcher in the Rye
If you’ve read JD Salinger’s classic and you’re looking for books similar to The Catcher in the Rye, then this list of 10 books is for you.
You were blown away by the fast paced dialogue and acerbic and insightful wit of Holden Caulfield. The last thing you want to do is read something that, put simply, is phony. That’s why we’ve created this selection of old and new, classic and classic-in-the-making novels that will entertain, amuse, delight and challenge you… the perfect follow-ups to The Catcher in the Rye.
Books similar to The Catcher in the Rye
by Kurt Vonnegut
One of THE most classic books for teens and Young Adults, Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim – a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut’s) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. But don’t let the ease of reading fool you – Vonnegut’s isn’t a conventional, or simple, novel. It fashions the author’s experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut’s other works, but the book’s basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy – and humor. Like The Catcher in the Rye, a genuine classic.
by Harper Lee
The bad news is that Harper Lee only wrote one novel. The good news is that To Kill a Mockingbird is a genuine literary classic – both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. And as one of the books similar to The Catcher in the Rye, this coming-of-age novel will keep you entertained to the very last page.
Set in the deep South during the Depression, Jean-Louise Finch – better known as Scout – narrates the story with the keen eye of an adult looking back on a childhood rich with incidents that shaped who she has become. Scout might be described as a tomboy, but that would be doing her a disservice. Her adventures with her older brother Jem, and their diminutive friend Dill evoke the timeless place of childhood. Then one Fall, everything changes… Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer in their town of Maycomb, Alabama, is appointed to the defense of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the classic books for teens and Young Adults that continues to speak to new generations. If you’re looking for books similar to The Catcher in the Rye, then To Kill a Mockingbird should be near the top of your list.
by S. E. Hinton
Written forty-five years ago – when she was 16 years old – S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was written.
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers – until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. Definitely one of the books similar to The Catcher in the Rye and a genuine classic coming-of-age novel for teens and Young Adults in it’s own right.
by John Green
In The Fault in Our Stars, John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects – life, death, love – with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion. Hazel is sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred spirits, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and watching them fall in love even as they face universal questions of the human condition – How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my death, have meaning? – has a raw honesty that is deeply moving. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. Hazel Grace is a latter-day Holden Caulfield and it’s no coincidence this is first on our list of the best books for Teens and Young Adults. If you’re looking for one of the more recently published books similar to The Catcher in the Rye, then this is it.
by Mark Haddon
Mark Haddon’s bitterly funny debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a murder mystery of sorts – one told by an autistic version of Holden Caulfield. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. Haddon’s novel is a startling performance. Similar to The Catcher in the Rye, this is the sort of book that could turn condescending, or exploitative, or overly sentimental in the wrong hands – but Haddon navigates those dangers with a sureness of touch that is extremely rare among first-time novelists. Put simply; delightful.
by Marcus Zusak
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller – Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954 – igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored on its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is a true classic and one a handful of books similar to The Catcher in the Rye.
by Rainbow Rowell
While Eleanor & Park is technically classified as YA lit and has a cutesy cover, don’t let the stigma of “books for teens” fool or deter you. It is written about teens, sure, but the themes are so universal that anyone who survived high school will relate to the lives of the two protagonists. Eleanor is the new girl in town and her wild red hair and patchwork outfits are not helping her blend in. She ends up sitting next to Park on the bus, whose tendencies towards comic books don’t jibe with the rest of his family’s love of sports. They sit in awkward silence every day until Park notices that Eleanor is reading his comics over his shoulder; he begins to slide them closer to her side of the seat and thus begins their love story. Their relationship grows gradually – making each other mixed tapes (it is 1986 after all) and discussing X-Men characters – until they both find themselves looking forward to the bus ride more than any other part of the day. Things aren’t easy: Eleanor is bullied at school and then goes home to a threatening family situation; Park’s parents do not approve of Eleanor’s awkward ways. Ultimately, though, this is a book about two people who just really, really like each other and who believe that they can overcome any obstacle standing in the way of their happiness. It’s a gem of a book.
by Mark Twain
First published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English – characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry Huck Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of the genuine classics of twentieth-century literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. As one of the books similar to The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby is fast paced, slick and a wonderful insight into the Jazz Age.
And finally… how could we suggest novels that compare favorably with The Catcher in the Rye without including this very book?
by JD Salinger
The book famously begins, “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.“
Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. One of the All Time classic books for teens and Young Adults.