Interesting twist to the mystery genre. Every bit of the book is part of the game. Phone numbers, website addresses, pictures, doodles... pay attention to everything. I would consider this a RPG for gamer grrls. This is a very good example of interactive fiction in today's web culture.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com
CATHY'S BOOK is being marketed as a new kind of young adult novel. It's interactive, with a pocket of 'evidence', real phone numbers and websites, and other extras to help you learn more about the case. To be honest, though, that wasn't what made me love this book. Sure, the extras are cool and all, but I don't think they are necessary (and that's a compliment to the book, really!). CATHY'S BOOK could have stood on its own as a wonderful young adult novel.
It's the story of, as the title suggests, a girl named Cathy. I suppose she's fairly normal at first (though she is a better artist than most of us--I love the drawings in this book!), but she quickly finds herself mixed up in some shady business, due to her involvement with Victor, her older possible-boyfriend. I can't say too much without giving away the awesome plot twists, but nothing turns out the way you think it will! It all comes together quite nicely in the end, though. The startling revelations that finish this story, however, could set up a great sequel, and I hope that one is at least being considered!
CATHY'S BOOK is fantastic for a number of reasons. There are great pictures (and usually I'm not a fan of pictures in novels--I think it distracts from the writing), it's well-written, the characters (especially Cathy) are realistic, and the plot is quite suspenseful! It's not all action and suspense, though--there's a bit of romance thrown in (that is, after all, the reason for Cathy's involvement in the first place), which makes it fun. The only thing that might subtract from the awesomeness of this book, I think, is the fact that the publishers or whoever made this decision seemed to think the great story needed 'extras' to make it worth reading. None of the press I've read on this book mentions the great novel; instead, it talks about the 'extras.' That is not what makes this book worth it, not at all!
At first, the only reason I really picked up this book is because of two things:
1. The pictures. :D
2. The fact that it was a journal.
The main character Cathy, had a thing with this guy Victor. When it ends, horribly, she wants revenge, or basically just wants to find out more about HIM. She ends up finding out more than she wanted to.
My favorite quote from this book, the most foreshadowing thing was:
"They all have to die" - Tsao, Victor's uncle
Read it, it's good.
& the pictures are AMAZING.
****JUST FINISHED THIS BOOK:
& I still say it's good, but not that great. I mean, it's really good but you get easily distracted and it's confusing at parts.
Toward the last few pages, you get a BIG shocker, that shouldn't have waited to be told at the end, but still good.