Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: September 2002
Publisher: Viking Press
Page Number: 233
Purchased: Barnes and Noble
Get ready for all of the feels when you read this book. I just finished it last night, but still today I have been thinking about it all day. That is how much it stuck with me. I rarely cry during a book, this one caused tears to flow down onto the pages. It ripped my heart out, then put it back in.
I have always loved this author. I have had this book on myself for a long while. I never realized it was a companion/sequel to Speak. It's apparently set one year after the events of Speak. This made me instantly want to read it. I loved speak. I have read it a total of ten times so far, and I am sure I will pick speak up again in the future.
I am going to be honest and say that I went into this thinking that it would have a lot more to do with the books speak. It lacked that for me. I felt like it had nothing to do with speak. The only part where Melinda from speak is mentioned is when Kate goes to the art room, where Melinda is having art class and mentions the rape. Ummm... hello? Can we have more? I was expecting Melinda to sort of help her with what she was going through.
I loved all the AP Chem terms that showed up in the book. I hated that Kate made the stupid choice of choosing only one school to apply to. This book almost lost me hear, because she was sort of being a drama queen, over something that she caused herself. After a long while I realized why she only applied to one. It was because she wanted to make her mom happy, her father, friends, and to prove to everyone that she was worthy.
This book just like speak deals with the touch subject of rape, abuse, and overcoming challenges. This one does is in a gentler way than Speak did, its not the main subject, or storyline. It's such a hushed background subjects. At one point it is mentioned, but quickly hushed away.
The main character is Kate Malone a straight A student. Very much a science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, brand new girlfriend, unwilling family caretaker, emotional avoidance champion. She manages her life by organizing it, as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all, or so she thinks.
Her father is a Good Man of God, she has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's adorable, trouble making little brother. This causes her all sorts of problems, but also ends up being the best thing to happen to her.
Kate's life is less and less under control-and then, something happens about page 60 or so that blows it all apart, and forces her to examine her life, self, and heart for the first time. This part killed me. Tore me apart. I actually had to set the book down and take a breather. The way the author, pulled you in made it seem like it was happening right in front of you.
After that every single page was like a roller coaster ride. I was hanging on to my seat, riding all the ups and downs the storyline threw at you.
It did have its downsides though. At some points it has very high emotion and every act being handled with high drama. Everything could lead to the end of the world in this girl's mind. It has several side characters that aren't completely explained, or explored. I understand that there is so much drama to this book, but sometimes the character appears out of no where, or leaves without an explanation.
Catalyst is a novel that will make you think, laugh, cry, and rejoice--sometimes at the same time.
Goodreads Book Description:
Meet 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.
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