Like many of you, Catcher in the Rye hit me like a truck 30 years ago when I read it. For a long time I lamented not being able to find another novel with the same style and impact. I just came across something that has the same angst and tone as Catcher, but which is set in the early 1980s: Peter Cordovan's The Mental Defective League The Mental Defective League. It is raw, funny, surprising, and sneakily smart. There is NOTHING out there that matches Catcher in the Rye, but Cordovan's book comes close
Try Catcher, Caught. Some high schools and colleges are teaching it with The Catcher in the Rye, as a 21st century retelling (of sorts). Same "cynical, slangy, vernacular voice" as Holden, but a 16 year old boy with leukemia who's just read Salinger's classic and empathizes with Holden, similar moral issues. Catcher, Caught
Anyone else ever read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Platt, its frequently compared to CitR, the first half is extremely similar though the last half may not be for most as it deals with heavier tones and is more a description of experiences than anything else, I quite enjoyed it
I read The Bell Jar in high school too, very intense. By the by it's technically TCITR but lots of people forget the 'the.' I'm careful because I speak to lots of high school classes and have to talk about Salinger. There are several new YA novels featuring kids with cancer or suicidal. Too many books, not enough time, to say nothing of trying to write all the stories I want to write. Working on a new one about the son of an illegal Mexican. Another story 'ripped' from the headlines as they say.
I believe Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney was a "modernized" (modern back in the 80's, that is) rewrite of sorts to Catcher in the Rye, isn't it? Although I haven't actually read more than a few pages of it so I can't say whether it's good or not.