Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson was a surprising read for me. I read it only because I had to find a book in the library for English class. It was an interesting read indeed and very opposite of what I thought the novel was about. Catalyst is a contemporary read and Laurie Halse Anderson surprised me once again with this book. I was never sure what I was getting into when I read this book, but it made me think huh at the end.
I've seen and read some of Anderson's interviews before and noticed that she put a lot of herself in this book. For example, she was the priest's daughter in town. Laurie Halse Anderson still makes me want to read even though the story is some what normal. I think that because you think that it's kind of normal on the surface if I told you what it was really about, but when you read Kate you see all her different sides and all the different sides of the people around her.
I really loved for some reason Good Kate and Bad Kate. It wasn't extreme and stereotypical priest's daughter being the best goody too-shoos in the world, or being the emo kid in the back of the room staring wholes into the clock's second hand. It was more real and I think it was easier to relate with.
The shocker at the end was unexpected, mostly because I was worried about Kate. That was amazing and I applaud Laurie Halse Anderson for that because it takes skill to make someone care for someone else by their actions and thoughts in a novel that's less than three hundred pages. At some point in this novel, I though that it was a novel about a girl being bulimic, or having some sort of eating disorder because of all the pressure she was in.
Then there was the college aspect of the book that got me really worried. If you haven't read the book I don't think this is a horribly bad spoiler, but Kate only admissions into one college, MIT. That really bothered me for some reason that she was so obsessed of going there and only admission for one college. That's scary for me to even think of and the fact that when I was reading all Kate could think of was MIT not accepting her just made me made at her. Even though, that was Good Kate going to MIT, but it was also Bad Kate for doing that to herself.
There are many family issues in the story and I think I'll let Laurie Halse Anderson tell it because she is the best. I give Catalyst a head nods, thumbs up because it's one of those stories I think that everyone should read.