Monday, December 19, 2011

Audiobook Review: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

High school senior and science geek Kate Malone dreams of attending MIT. In fact, she is so confident that she'll be accepted that she didn't bother to apply to any other colleges. While her friends and even her boyfriend are getting accepted to Ivy-League colleges, Kate waits with bated breath for her own acceptance letter.

As the straight-laced daughter of a minister, Kate frequently finds herself grappling with two different sides to her personality. There's in-control Kate: the girl who is always taking care of others  (namely her little brother who has severe asthma) and keeping her family together, then there's the Kate that is one more crisis away from a breakdown.

And suddenly, crises abound for Kate. When a fire at her neighbors' house leaves them with nowhere to go, her do-gooder father offers to let them stay at the Malones' house - in Kate's bedroom. This wouldn't be a problem for her if it weren't for the fact that her neighbor Teri Litch is her arch-nemesis. With her future looming in the balance, will Kate be able to hold it together long enough to make it to graduation and then MIT in the fall?

I adore Laurie Halse Anderson. She is one of my favorite authors of all time. She is a rock star. When I met her at NCTE and got my picture taken with her, I was starstruck.

Catalyst was a solid, quiet novel, that delivered Anderson's consistent, to-the-point writing style. But it didn't knock my socks off the way books like Speak and Wintergirls did. Did I still like it? Most definitely. It's just not a book that will linger in my mind long after I finish reading the way her other books did.

The audiobook was narrated by Samantha Mathis and her performance was convincing as the voice of Kate. Her clean style of narrating worked quite well in concert with Anderson's no-nonsense style of writing.

Final thoughts: While not my favorite book of hers, Anderson writes a solid, consistent narrative that I highly recommend as an audio listen.

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
Audiobook Narrator: Samantha Mathis
Published: September 2001 
Publisher: Speak and Listening Library
Pages: 232
Audiobook Length: 6 hours, 1 minute
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: Young Adult

1 comment:

  1. I haven't ready any books by this author. I'll have to add her to my reading list. I also like the idea of audio books. Great post!