Young Adult Lit/Crit

January 31, 2008


Filed under: Look What I'm Reading for Book Club! — kariredmond @ 2:05 am

Hey guys!

I finally got around to finish the last few chapters of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson. I really thought it was a great book for many reasons, but I was still a little disapointed with the ending. I won’t give it away, but it didn’t quite answer the questions that I had in the manner that I was expecting.  That being said, the book is really still worth reading. It is a quick, captivating read with a great main character. Basically she is a stressed out high school senior trying to get into her dream college. Her mother passed away when she was young, which left her to care for her preacher father and her younger brother, while upholding the household duties.  Somehow she still manages impressive grades and an award winning track career, as well as a healthy social life.  In reality there is nothing healthy about the life of this young woman who suffers from anxiety, depression, and insomnia.  Her delicate existance is compromised by a cleptomaniac unwanted houseguest and a large rejection from MIT.   

I think this novel will really appeal to young adults who are perhaps feeling overwhelmed by life’s curveballs, as well as those who perhaps need an alternate perspective on bullies.  After reading this book I think there is value in Anderson’s common theme: re-prioritizing our lives to give weight to the things that really matter.  Reading Anderson would be good for anyone needing a “healthier” perspective on social cliques or even teens starting the college application process.



1 Comment »

  1. Kari
    I read this book over Christmas break, and I also found the ending disapointing. I don’t think this was one of Anderson’s best books. However, that being said, I think adolescent readers would probably enjoy this book for many of the reasons you pointed out above. Aside from those topics, other themes include a journey self discovery, personal growth, and dealing with the various responsibilities teens have, such as preparing to go away to college, high school athletics, and family.

    Comment by mandygrl101 — January 31, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

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