by Laurie Halse Anderson
4.2 134


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Catalyst 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
JBug_273 More than 1 year ago
The book Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson represents the valuable quote, “Never take anything for granted.” Anderson approached Catalyst as the sequel to her well-authorized book, Speak. The quality of this book is superb; Anderson made everything feel so real, as if you were apart in the story yourself. A straight A, math and science geek, minister’s daughter, and exquisite long-distance runner, Kate Malone, thinks she can face anything she’s given. But when her minded life starts to crumble to pieces, she faces situations she never thought she would have to experience in her life. First, Kate’s worst enemy, Teri Linch, has to share a bedroom with Kate after her house went up in flames. The only college she applied to, MIT, still hasn’t sent an acceptance letter for Kate. Her life is craving disappointment at the time; then something bizarre follows up everything that is going on in her life. It confounds the way she looks at the world. Laurie Anderson included the main idea for the reader to find themselves. It displayed what was really important in life. Towards the beginning of the novel, Kate was furious with Teri for stealing her jewelry. However, at the end, Kate realized that the situation was worthless to worry about. Catalyst definitely achieved getting its point through to the reader. Catalyst is a powerful and emotional novel that has put an impact on how I view the world, and most likely will changes yours too. It will astonish you with what Kate, Teri, and their families have to suffer with. Laurie makes the novel come to life, and always sends a message to the reader of her books. I highly recommend this book to any reader; it will keep you at the edge of your seat through all their adventures.
Beware_Of_You More than 1 year ago
**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.
KraziiReader More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how Anderson added Melinda Sordino in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
-_book_-lover-_-101 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book at least 10 times and would totally read it again. One of my favorites
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This was an okay book. And that's pretty much it. Okay. Just okay. Blurb writers (that's totally the right job title, right?) need to really think about the pressure they put on books. "Catalyst is a novel that will change the way you look at the world." Really? Yeah... no. A merely okay book can't do that or else it wouldn't just be okay. Blurbs filled with sensational promises and comparisons to other authors are common. And it's always so disappointing when a book doesn't live up to its blurb. So disappointing. I really shouldn't put so much into blurbs, but I just can't help it. I will say that, story wise, Catalyst was nothing like what I expected from the blurb. It went down a path that I certainly didn't see at all. That wasn't my problem with the story, though. My problem was just wasn't interesting. Yeah, the big twist was interesting, but that's it. That lasted for all of a couple of pages. Everything else that Kate deal with, or maybe it was just Kate herself, was boring. So uninteresting storyline paired with characters that weren't really likeable and a slightly brief (albeit interesting) twist thrown in made for a book that was plainly okay . You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
regia4ever More than 1 year ago
Another Excellent book by Laurie Halse Anderson! I loved the characters and the way they interacted with each other.  I read it with my 13 years old daughter and it gave me opportunities to have conversations with her about difficult topics. I highly recommend it
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol! I REALLY enjoyed it! Laurie has done it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing!! Buy it. Read it. Love it. Its really good!
niago98 More than 1 year ago
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.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SLArlyn More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
HannahSHS More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.