Customer Reviews for

Catalyst

Average Rating 4
( 131 )
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5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(33)

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(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Awesome

I was looking for a book one night and i couldnt find a good book but then a girl recommeded the speak series and the first book i read was catalyst it was great.

posted by KraziiReader on January 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

book was boring

I though Speak was a better book, this book had un developed annoying characters, it was sad but i still hated it i would not ecommend this book i am an avid reader and this book kind just pissed me off

posted by Anonymous on November 12, 2003

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    Anderson is Untouchable

    **MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

    As I write this review, I'm forced to remember just how much this book hurt me. It moved me, to say the very least, and I will never forget the story. There's no moment in this book that bored me, and I find that as an exciting feat in a novel, as I'm usually able to set down a book and face reality once again. But that's just the thing- this book was so realistic and easy to relate to that reading it is facing reality; problems in this book are so pragmatic for the main character that you just can't help but brace yourself for the off-chance that these problems will appear in your own life.

    Kate Malone would like to think that she's got it all figured out: she's going to MIT, no doubt, and she's got love down. But, per usual, ignorance is punished. Kate's allusion of a perfect life is broken down, and things go rapidly downhill, starting with a rejection letter from MIT, and then a neighborhood fire and some unpleasant new roommates.

    Once again, I'm drawn in by Anderson's unique style of writing, which leaves the most impeccable underlying tone overall. Both parts poetic and exciting, as well as heart-wrenching and witty, the pages will turn themselves and you'll be done before you know it. But, as always with a Laurie Halse Anderson novel, the story stays with you long after the last page is turned. Read with caution as well as an open heart.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome

    I was looking for a book one night and i couldnt find a good book but then a girl recommeded the speak series and the first book i read was catalyst it was great.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Spectacular!

    No spoilers!
    Anderson writes many lovely books, and this one was the first one ive read from her. This book encouraged to read more from her. I really loved the plot, but trying to describe it would ruin some parts for people. I have a life similar to Kate's, and am longing wishing to go to MIT as well. I thought that this was an excellent read and perfectly portrayed the point of view from a teenage girl. It was full of humour, drama, adventure, and even teaches us a thing or two about chemistry and other subjects. Dont be afraid to see all the educational stuff in this book because it ties in very well in the book and really is interesting to know. For thise who are debating on whether to read this or not, really give it a try. Its a wonderful read and i gurantee it.
    Hoped this helps! :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Fv

    I love how Anderson added Melinda Sordino in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    This Changed the Way I Look at the World

    Kate Malone is not ready for the unexpected twists and turns that are up ahead. She thinks she can handle all that is thrown her way, but she is proved wrong when several tragedies occur. This straight A student now has to deal with the agony and pain while she waits nervously for what she hopes is an acceptance letter from MIT, the one and only college she applied to, to come in the mail. While dealing with this stress, Kate also finds out that her neighbor¿s house was damaged in a fire and she now has to share a room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and her little brother. Throughout these hard times, Kate sees that Teri has been stealing some of Kate¿s things and has become the boss of the house. But Kate, trying to be a good host, tries to ignore these things by running and keeping her head in school. Nothing could get worse right? Wrong. After a traumatic event, Kate¿s life goes out of control. She goes through several dramatic changes in her life for the better. She now realizes what really matters in life and what is unimportant.
    Laurie Halse Anderson connects to the adolescents that are now going through high school right now and working their way to maturity. Catalyst shows us what is most important in life without being obvious. Laurie Halse Anderson has captured the reader by making everything feel so real, as if you were in the story too. Plus, the way the cliffhangers were added made me want to read more. I also enjoy that Laurie has incorporated the science in her chapters. Knowing that Kate Malone is geek in science, I found it amusing how the author tied in these little details within each chapter that made me feel closer to the main character.
    What I found most inspiring was how Laurie Anderson had pulled in the main idea for the reader to find themselves. It should what was really important in life. From the beginning of the novel Kate was furious that Teri Litch had stolen some of her jewelry, but by the end of the novel Kate realized that none of that stuff mattered. She didn¿t need those things to be happy with her life. Catalyst was a very strong and emotional novel that has changed the way I look at the world, and will most likely change your view too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome Book and Well Written

    Catalyst, by Laurie Halse Anderson is a very emotional book. The author moves the story along perfectly, making this book hard to put down. Catalyst shows how two people can change their personalities, and become friends.
    Kate, the painfully realistic narrator, illustrates how running away (literally) from problems in life won't help anyone. Just as she finds herself stable, something changes and she falls apart again. She is forced to host the high school bully (Terri) at her house because Terri's house had burned down. Her life is a mess- until she meets Terri's son who brings her back again. When he dies in a tragic accident, Kate takes his death just as hard as everyone else. But as time passes, she realizes that Terri is worse off than she is, and Kate needs to be strong for her.
    This book made me cry and made me laugh all at the same time. The author really plays on the reader's emotions, and makes sure that you have no idea what is going to come next. Kate and Terri are unlikely, but inspiring friends that show you that everyone can change.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    People Really Enjoyed This? WOW

    I read Speak, an excellent book. Then I read this. Well, it is witty, annoyingly so, at moments when it shouldn't. All the character are completely the same except Terri, and even she has no personality, she's just wierd.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    Megan, 15 year old

    I was rather disappointed in this novel compared to Speak and Fever 1793. I found it rather dull, and didn't have the same impact as the others. I really think she wrote this more in a rush job, and wish she hadn't. Either way, I was hoping for much more than I read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    book was boring

    I though Speak was a better book, this book had un developed annoying characters, it was sad but i still hated it i would not ecommend this book i am an avid reader and this book kind just pissed me off

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    Mentions Speak and of Melinda, and well what happened afterwards

    Mentions Speak and of Melinda, and well what happened afterwards. A small scene and the reason why I picked up the book in the first place. But for the rest of the book it was alright, good but alright. Love the author's writing style though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    AMAZING!

    Lol! I REALLY enjoyed it! Laurie has done it again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Good

    This book was amazing!! Buy it. Read it. Love it. Its really good!

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    I personally love Laurie Halse Anderson, but this book was just

    I personally love Laurie Halse Anderson, but this book was just not up to par with her other books like Fever and award winning Speak. Some events were just not fitting in with the plotline and the book went all over the place. it was hard to follow. If you really read it though, it is a pretty good book. a new plot, definitely something that no one else has written about. It had good characters, just not one that really fit in with the story. Anderson is a great writer but this one was definitely not one of her best pieces. I just felt that the ending was off. There was no climax in the book, just bits of a story jammed together. Don't read this if it will be your first Anderson book.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    the voice here was not as fresh as it was in Speak

    Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson is a sequel/companion to Speak. It's set one year after the events of Speak. This novel is narrated by Kate Malone: straight-A senior, science and math whiz, and daughter of the local reverend. Kate's also a great runner, which is good because Kate's been running from a lot of things:

    Kate has been the family caretaker since her mother died. She hasn't been sleeping as she waits to hear from her dream college (she runs instead). And now Teri Litch, Kate's nemesis, and Terry's little brother are living with the Malones. Kate tries to ignore all of these problems by running and keeping her head in the sand. Besides, things couldn't get any worse. Until they do.

    You'll have to read the book to figure out what happens next because I don't do spoiler reviews.

    So now we can talk about the book in technical terms: The book is broken up into elements (solid, liquid, gas) and features quotes from an AP Chem prep book. Most of them are straightforward enough to be understandable and relate to the story. Kate also makes use of scientific elements for her narration without being overly scientific (AKA confusing/boring).

    I greatly admire Laurie Halse Anderson. She's a great writer and she never comes off as smug or pompous in her interviews at the back of her books. Even better, Anderson is a fresh voice.

    That said, the voice here was not as fresh as it was in Speak. In other words, Kate's narration sounds a lot like Melinda even though they are completely different characters. That bothered me. I like that Anderson's prose is so snappy and often sarcastic, but it was weird having two disparate characters narrate in almost the same voice. Given the connection between these two books, I suppose comparisons are inevitable so I'll finish the thought: Melinda is a more likable narrator than Kate. That makes a difference.

    Ironically, the increased dialogue in this book (Melinda does not talk throughout most of hers) doesn't make the characters more developed. The minor characters, particularly Sara and Travis, remain flat: developed enough to be quirky but not present enough to be memorable. This might be because Kate's social circle is larger, giving Anderson more characters to fit into the narrative.

    The other thing to bear in mind about Catalyst is that it is not the same kind of book as Speak. Kate's path throughout the narrative, and her way through her problems, is very different than Melinda's. (If you haven't guessed yet, Kate's path involves a lot of running.) This book also has a different appeal. Speak seemed more universal, the scope for Catalyst is more narrow. Anderson does a great job of capturing the anxiety and drama that surrounds the college application/acceptance process. She also creates a compelling study of the silent, overachiever that seems to be at every high school. More importantly, Anderson shows that those achievements don't always come without a cost.

    Overall, Catalyst is a good book. I enjoyed it and I would recommend it. But Speak was a great book that was, overall, more powerful than its sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Seriosly...

    Why do all the reviews have to tell the ending and the good parts of th books?? it ruins the story for everyone
    (One star for all those ppl who tell the endings)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Wonderful!

    A great sister book to Speak. If you've read Speak, you definitely need to read this next!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    Beautifully written and Highly Recommended

    John Greene gave me a list of great books that he too enjoyed and the Catalyst was surely there.I enjoyed reading it and felt that I too was experiencign the events.Some characters will make you mad, but soon find that they are surely great.Sad and tragic things happen but is worth at the end as the main character discovers a great part of herself and who she is sorrounded by.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    amazing!!! :D

    kate malone is just a teen and does not konow what she is in for when her neighbor/ enemy teri has to live with her! then teri's little bro dies! :( :( he was only like 2 also! then at the end teri and kate work together to make the house how teri wanted it 2 b!!! :D

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Deep Reality Check!

    Catalyst is a novel about a young girl, Kate, who is overwhelmed with being an over achiever. Her life consists of acing chemistry, being a track-star, living motherless, and hopes of getting into M.I.T. Although the stress of all this is not the worse, when Teri, the schools bully¿s, house burnt down, she was forced to come live with the local pastor. The pastor just so happened to be Kate¿s dad. Life takes a lot of unconventionally twists as Kate deals with what she has to do with her future as well as what to do with Teri and her little brother Mikey. The author did really good job at keeping cliffhangers at the end of chapters and maintaining an interesting plot. However the ending of the book was not one that I would like to brag about. I was highly disappointed in the same manner that Kate was in regards to M.I.T. Although she changed a lot as a person and was able to bond with new people and work through some hard times, she still did not maintain the relationship with her friends that I deem fit. The overall moral though did shine through, part of the reason I had a hard time enjoying the ended was because it was a bitter truth. The theme showed to me that sometimes you need to be able to give up yourself to be able to further someone else¿s life. As true as this it, is doesn¿t make for a happy ending all the time. I would still recommend this book for others though because of the great writing skills and taste of reality. I personally took away that being an overachiever doesn¿t always end up the way you want it too. Sometimes no matter how hard you work, you can¿t avoid tragic incidents. Reviewed by Hannah.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    It was okay.

    I heard this book was pretty good so I decided to read it. At first I really liked it since it seemed to be about this girl who is just worrying about her future. But then the story seemed to take a turn...and a wrong turn at that. It ended up being pulling away from this worried, lost girl to her hanging around with Teri and her son. I don't know I guess some people would think it was good, but once Teri became part of the big picture the whole book went downhill. She never even told her father about not applying to safety schools which I thought she would do and I hated the ending. Anyway if some things were a big different I'm sure this could be a great book. But for me it's just okay.

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