by Laurie Halse Anderson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142400012
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/15/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 132,351
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: HL580L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson has received both the Margaret Edwards Award and the ALAN Award for her contributions to young adult literature. She has also been honored by the National Coalition Against Censorship in recognition of her fight to combat the censoring of literature. She is the author of the groundbreaking National Book Award finalist and Printz Honor Book Speak. She is also author of the critically acclaimed YA books Prom, Twitsted, Catalyst, Wintergirls, and The Impossible Knife of Memory. She has also authored a number of middle grade titles including The Vet Volunteers series, and the historical fiction Seeds of America Trilogy, which includes Forge, ALA Best Book for Young Adults Fever 1793, and the National Book Award finalist and Scott O’Dell Award-winner Chains. She and her husband live in northern New York State. Follow Laurie on Twitter @halseanderson and visit her at

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Catalyst 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 147 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
kpickett on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Kate is obsessed with two things; cross country and MIT. A chemistry honors student and unsatisfied daughter of a preacher, Kate dreams of getting out. But a house burns down in the community, classmate Teri and her little brother Mikey come to live with Kate. Can Teri and Mikey tear Kate away from her distructive obsessions? Not quite as good as Anderson's other novels but strong characterization still makes this a gripping read.
MeganAndJustin on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I picked this up at a used bookstore on a whim. I read it in one sitting. It is a coming of age story that doesn't pull any punches. What I liked best was that it is gripping and haunting without pulling in any of the shocking horrors of youth. Kate isn't a drug-user or promiscuous. She is just a teen growing up and making mistakes, and best of it, learning to see the world a little differently.
dotarvi on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I picked this up at a used bookstore on a whim. I read it in one sitting. It is a coming of age story that doesn't pull any punches. What I liked best was that it is gripping and haunting without pulling in any of the shocking horrors of youth. Kate isn't a drug-user or promiscuous. She is just a teen growing up and making mistakes, and best of it, learning to see the world a little differently.
4sarad on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I enjoy this book, even though the main character and I are nothing alike. She enjoys running to clear her mind and focus her thoughts and thinks of everything in terms of science, molecules, and theorems. Not much I can relate to there, but she's a solid character and there is a lot for her to deal with in this book and a lot of room to grow as a person. Her relationship with Teri Litch is great and real. They hate each other to begin with but the love of a child and a terrible tragedy help bring them together. Teri can use Kate's help, that's clear, but you come to realize that Kate has a lot to learn from Teri as well.
Awesomeness1 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. The narrator was witty but painfully realistic. Everything about this book was real and gritty. Some of the lines were just perfection. I can't think of any more words to describe this book because I loved it so much. Laurie Halse Anderson will always be one of my favorite authors.
1mb01gro on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This girl who is in 12th grade and wants to go to MIT (thats was the only school she applied to)
lrobe190 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Kate Malone is one of the two top students in her senior class. Her boyfriend, Mitch, is the other. Kate is so sure she will be accepted to MIT, that she doesn't apply to any other college. Here mother is dead and she lives with her minister-father and her younger brother, Robbie. Kate is driven to be the best person she can student, best runner, best at taking care of her family...and the stress is beginning to affect her. Then two things happen: She receives word from MIT that she has NOT been accepted and her father invites the Litch family to live with them when the Litch's home burns down. Teri Litch is the same age as Kate, but they have been enemies ever since grade school. Teri is the school troublemaker and is the total opposite of Kate and her Type-A personality. Kate must learn how to cope with the problems that life gives her and how to tell what to give up when the stress becomes too much.Anderson has created another book for teens that accurately depicts the lifestyle and pressures teens face today. It's fascinating to watch the developing relationship between Kate and Teri as they both cope with their own pressures and end up helping each other. Highly recommended.
ladycato on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Kate Malone, science and math geek, is about to have a nervous breakdown. All of her friends are receiving word back from their choice colleges, and she still waits for a single response from MIT. She can't sleep, eat; she runs in the middle of the night. She avoids the prodding questions from her pastor father. Then the neighbors down the hill are burned out of their house, and Kate is forced to share a room with the malevolent Teri Litch and her adorable toddler brother. Kate begins to realize her priorities may be a bit askew, and then everything gets impossibly worse.This is a YA book, and the voice is clear from the very first page. Laurie Halse Anderson is a master at recreating that teenage angst and voice - so good, in fact, that I didn't even like Kate during the first part of the book. She's incredibly shallow, even compared to her nemesis, Teri. Of course, she matures during the course of the book, and even the awful Teri gains new dimensions. The ending did seem abrupt, though; I wish it had gone just a chapter more, just for a smidgen more resolution. I just couldn't relate to Kate much because she would have struck me as shallow and ridiculously immature even when I was a teenager. It's a decent book, but not a keeper.
rj_anderson on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book is a work of terrible genius, but I can't go into too much detail because it will break me. Suffice it to say that it's brilliant and that it completely blindsided me and wrecked me emotionally in a way that no other book I've read has ever done.
Rosebud18 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Although there was some moments in the novel that were interesting enough to hold my attention the majority of the book i was quite bored and irritated out of my mind. The main character is irrational and as much as she tried to prove otherwise quite selfish to the people who care about her ( for example Mitch). I wouldn't recommend this book.
spincerely on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I thought that the story had reached it most saddest point and was heading to a resolution when "the thing" happens. (I should have known as it is typical LHA.) It was very sad reading during a stretch of the summer with sad events in real life too. This is a great book, though, that I would highly recommend for other teen parents.
meliarose on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A beautiful yet saddening book about the life of an18 year old girl. All she wants is to go to her dream college MIT and get away from her minister father.Since her mother died Kate has been the responsible person in her house, taking care of her father and younger brother. She does great in school and has a high GPA. She has applied to only one college MIT, sure she will get in. When the neighbors house burns down and the small family moves into Kate's house, her whole perspective on life changes. Then tragedy strikes.Slightly depressing but hopeful too. A good book all around.
MSLMC on LibraryThing 10 months ago
No matter how unhappy you are - look around and you will find someone who has it worse.
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