Saturday, April 2, 2011
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
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.
Ever since I read Speak, I have been enamored with this author. The way she builds upon her words creates such a heart-wrenching display of emotions fought by young adults. Although I did enjoy this version of a Merryweather High School student, I didn't quite latch on as much I had with Melinda. Both were starkly different, but each so significant for young adults to read. It's another media for kids to realize they can have a voice.
As usual, Anderson really gives you a taste of each main character. The pastor, the catty church women, the tomboy outcast, the pastor's daughter, and the child born into it all. So many emotions were drawn from me as I read. My favorite was when I realized that Kate went to the same school as Melinda. As soon as I read "hornets" I laughed and that little tie to Speak just made me love this book more.
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