Thursday, April 23, 2009


Book: Catalyst
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Like/Don't Like: I liked it all the way up to the end. And then it fizzled.

I pray for good endings. Not necessarily happy endings, although I always prefer them. But just a well written ending. A good ending is all about timing. It should come right when you need it and shouldn't last too long and it shouldn't be rushed and should answer enough of your questions to satisfy you and still leave a few so that you're thinking about it for the rest of the day. When I spend all of this time with the characters and the story there are few things more satisfying to me then a good ending nicely written.

This did not have a good ending. Sure, it was happy-ish, but suddenly it was there and I was left wondering what just happened. Which is a shame, because it was a pretty good book.

I've read a few of Anderson's YA fiction and have really enjoyed them (Fever 1793 and Speak). She does teenage angst really well, even colonial teenage angst in Fever 1793. She nails it here too. Kate Malone is a high school senior, dad's a minister, mother is dead (why are there ALWAYS dead parents in YA fiction?), honor roll student, bound for MIT. Or, at least she's applied to MIT. And you see where this is going. But there's a twist that I didn't expect that shifted the whole story in a really interesting way and it hooked me.

And then suddenly it was done. For like 100 pages Kate is miserable and confused and then in 2 she's fine. The end. The ending came in a hurry and with little explanation and it made me feel a little cheated.

I should probably be a little more forgiving of this because the book really was good. But I wanted more. And not "Wow, this was so great, I wish it wouldn't end," but "Really? Did some pages fall out?"

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