So when ModernLove recommends a new young adult novel, you better believe it’s going on the list. When she raved about this one, I immediately added it to my library holds list. I was super excited, and then I received it. The blurb on the cover was, “A Holden Caufield for a new generation”. There is no worse book boner-killer out there (sorry for the crudeness, but seriously…). Catcher in the Rye is on my serious SERIOUS hate list. As in if you like it, I will very much have to reconsider you as a person and acquaintance kind of hate. I decided to trust though and persevered through.
This is the story of Quinn Roberts, disaffected Pittsburgh youth. Quinn is 6 months out from his sister dying, and hasn’t recovered even remotely yet (not surprising). Quinn’s friend Geoff comes by to shake Quinn out of his funk, and from there our adventure unfolds. There’s secrets to be revealed and movie references to make. And some growing up along the way.
I have always loved a good coming of age story. They are, along with romance novels, reading catnip. A lot of the old school ones are perennial favorites of mine and re-read regularly. The problem is, as I get older, I find that I have more trouble with the new coming of age stories. There’s just so much angst. Was there always this much angst? Or is it a new phenomenon? I feel like there was less, but maybe younger, angstier me was immune to it. Anywho, there was a fair amount of angst here, but it was manageable. Quinn was a sympathetic, earnest narrator who grew enough through the story that I didn’t feel like I slogged through a nothing book (side-eyeing ACITR). Although my favorite character by far was his best friend Geoff. Geoff was a wonderfully naturally written teen boy and I had a crush on how sweet and loving he is to Quinn at this difficult time. Especially when it’s hard for teenage boys to communicate emotion.
So yeah, this was a solid addition to the angsty coming of age book canon. Not my favorite, but one that’s well written, relatable, and sweet to boot. You won’t regret it (although if you can’t do any angst then skip it), if you can handle some I think you’ll enjoy.