Totally Emo Books

By Nicole Lero

Most people think of music when you talk about emo, but there are many other pop culture interests that people in the scene find common ground over. While the uninitiated tend to think the scene is music only, many people in it enjoy similar movies, clothing companies, festivals, Web sites, and even books. Now is the chance to get to know some emo books.

"Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture," by Leslie Simon and Trevor Kelley
This is a great guide book for emo culture that is both hilarious and insightful in a "it's funny because it's true" sort of way. The book is written by two contributors at the extremely influential Alternative Press magazine and features amusing illustrations, as well.

"The Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger
Despite being one of those books that many people had to read in school, Holden Caufield is an emo icon for many people in the current scene. A rebel with something of a cause, he's the perfect hero for scene kids. As a bonus, the character, his school, and the book all have been co-opted into song titles and band names, giving the book extra credibility.

"Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" by Chuck Klosterman
While not a strictly emo book in subject matter by any stretch, the author's obsessive mind, tearing apart and figuring out the inner workings of pop culture is absolutely as emo as it gets. Bonus: he talks a lot about how difficult the relationships in his life are, which is en emo staple.

"Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance" by Irvine Welsh
Once you get past Welsh's tendency to write in strong dialects, you find three twisted tales that are engrossing, dark, and decidedly emo. Add to this the fact that My Chemical Romance took their name from this book and you have a can't-miss emo book on your hands.

"Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk
Once the average emo person figures out how to spell this author's last name, he becomes a staple on all of their online profiles that ask for a "favorite author." Why? His books are dark, creepy tales of outcasts, or aspiring outcasts and the characters are easy to relate to. Ultimately, that is all any emo person wants, anyway -- someone, or something, to relate to.

Finally, Anything by Sylvia Plath
Without this woman's body of work, a staple of emo culture, emo poetry (also usually known as "bad emo poetry") wouldn't exist. Sylvia Plath was emo before emo even existed!

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