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Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson July 15, 2009

Posted by Lisa in Teen Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews.
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Laurie Halse Anderson

New York: Viking, 2002

ISBN: 0142400017

Age: 14-17


Catalyst is about 18 year old Kate, a preacher’s daughter, who has to have complete control of her own life.  Ever since her mother has passed away Kate has been taking care of her younger brother and her father.  Kate is determined to get into MIT; the same college that her mother had attended. 

Kate loses control of her life when she is hit with one problem after another.  First, she receives a rejection letter from MIT.  Second, Terri, a bully from school, along with her family moves in with Kate after a fire damages Terri’s house.  Finally, tragedy strikes when Terri’s brother (child) dies from a terrible accident. 

I wasn’t all that impressed with Catalyst.  The story itself started out okay, but then the ending really blew it for me.  The story just didn’t create a sense of depth with the  ending.  I was hoping that Kate and Terri would resolve their differences and become friends.  The story implied this at the end, but it just didn’t happen.  The writing style was okay.  Kate narrated the story with traditional dialogue among the characters.  The characters and the story can be connected to real life.  I just think Laurie Halse Anderson could have developed the plot a little  more and provided the readers with a more satisfying ending.  The cover itself is definitely intriguing with the large eye displayed on a blue smoky background along with the title.