Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Review: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

I have 1 more book to read by this author, Fever 1793, and then I've decided to move on to another author.

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $7.99

Link for the book @ Publisher:,,9780670035663,00.html?Catalyst_Laurie_Halse_Anderson
Hardback $17.99
Paperback $7.99

Author's site:

This book was borrowed from the library for reading/reviewing.

Published by Viking-Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers September 30, 2002/240 pages/for ages
12 and up

I have to admit that this was not my favorite from the author Laurie Halse Anderson. I read this book quickly, in 1 evening. Could it be that I'm becoming bored with teen angst and drama?
Kate Malone is in the final months of her senior year in high school. She is a chemistry and science and math whiz, a member of the National Honor Society, a cross country runner. She is a facts and figures kind of gal, she has a analytic and logic type mind. Her dream is to attend MIT. She has a boyfriend named Mitch, he's a great kisser. Her mother died 9 years ago, her dad is a pastor, she has 1 younger brother Tobey.
On one hand Kate is in a whirl of busyness at home: laundry, house cleaning, caring for her sick asthmatic brother, cooking, reminding her dad and brother of their own duties. Kate has taken on the role of mom in addition to her school work and high school activities. She has a problem sleeping, relaxing.
When the neighbor's house burns and this family moves in with Kate and her dad and brother, she is at first insensitive and selfish. I wondered where this part of the story would fit in, but it was important, it gave Kate another dimension to her character that I liked.
What I liked most about Kate's character was that she took seriously and did the best she could in filling in with caring for the home and her brother and dad, since her mother had died. I thought her dad was pre-occupied or inept in not knowing what Kate was going through in keeping up her school work, and also juggling her home responsibilities. I'm sure he was engaged and focused on his own duties at church, which Kate I felt resented. Kate needed counseling, she was at times chilly and sardonic, not wanting to feel anything, not wanting to confront these unresolved areas of her life that were like a blinking light going, "yield, yield, prepare to stop or suffer the consequences of stuffing your emotions."
Kate's friends are introduced in to the story as well as a boyfriend. Although they are apart of the story, it is Kate that is the speaker and the focus is on her.

Blissful Reading!

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