Book Review: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson



This was a book featured in my 1st ever Friday Finds. You can go HERE if you’d like to have a wee look at the other finds.

Page count: 232 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Drama

Type: eBook

Source: My local library

BlurbMeet Kate Malone-straight-A science and math geek, minister’s daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend (to Mitchell “Early Decision Harvard” Pangborn III), unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, things change as suddenly as a string of chemical reactions; first, the Malones’ neighbors get burned out of their own home and move in. Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri’s little brother. The days are ticking down and she’s still waiting to hear from the only college she applied to: MIT. Kate feels that her life is spinning out of her control-and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart. Set in the same community as the remarkable Speak, Catalyst is a novel that will change the way you look at the world

My Thoughts:

***2 stars***

Overall I thought this was a little less than OK. It wasn’t particularly special. Most of it centered around a girl silly enough to apply to just one college (university). I mean, unless your parents owned the damn university that was just plain stupid. Straight A’s are great, but competition is stiff. If you’re silly enough to assume you’ll definitely get in you need to retake Life. I’ve had the experience of being rejected by a University, and you Move On! You don’t spend days acting like its the end of the world, especially when others around you have bigger fish in the fire.

I was actually about to say nothing that bad happened to Kate. And then I remembered her mother died. But somehow this is taken out of focus. She throws it into her internal monologue sometimes. But I just didn’t really feel it. Everyone deals with grief differently so I guess burying it might have been hers.

Kate’s character hadn’t really grown much by the end of the book in my opinion. She was still a little self centred. She accepted the rejection from MIT, but well, what choice did she have?

Kinda saw the twist involving Teri and her little brother earlier on, but shrugged it off…I read the tragedy on the train and struggled to keep cool. It was genuinely sad. As was the reality of Teri’s family life. Although, to me it felt like we barely touched on those things. I would have preferred to get to know Teri better. See things through her eyes, as opposed to Kate’s narration. Not sure I would have liked her anyway… From what we do get to know she is a bully and a thief. Yes, she had a troubled past, but still. Hardship isn’t an excuse to be horrible to other people.

Maybe that was my problem with the book? Perhaps I just couldn’t find a character that I could fall for. Or even tolerate. I don’t know what happened, because the first couple of chapters seemed really promising.

Someone had described this book as ‘Powerful and life changing’ I genuinely don’t know what I’ve missed o.o

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