Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - Catalyst

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Meet Kate Malone-straight-A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend (to Mitchell "Early Decision Harvard" Pangborn III), unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. The...  more »
Info icon
The Market's bargain prices are even better for Paperbackswap club members!
Retail Price: $8.99
Buy New (Paperback): $9.19 (save -2%) or
Become a PBS member and pay $5.29+1 PBS book credit Help icon(save 41%)
ISBN-13: 9780142400012
ISBN-10: 0142400017
Publication Date: 9/15/2003
Pages: 240
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 86 ratings
Publisher: Speak
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Catalyst on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Anything that Laurie Halse Anderson touches turns to gold, and this book is no execption. It's absolutely amazing.
reviewed Catalyst on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Another amazing read from Laurie Halse Anderson. This is not a sunny book filled with happy days and sweet endings. A brilliant Senior doesn't get into MIT and her world crashes around her. Only that's just the beginning. The next thing she knows her worst enemy is living in her room, secrets tumble out, and Anderson throws a gut-wrenching twist into the mix that makes the worst of everyone's problems seem like nothing.

This is a book for mature young readers, and more adults should read her work.
reviewed Catalyst on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a very intelligently written book about a straight-a student, whose life is spinning out of control by a series of events that rock her world. Kate Malone thinks she can handle anything, but her life to spin out of control. This is a complex story that I enjoyed immensely. Parts of it were very sad. It puts you right in to Kate's shoes. A super read!
reviewed Catalyst on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From Chemistry honors student and cross-country runner Kate Malone is driven. Daughter of a father who is a reverend first and a parent second ("Rev. Dad [Version 4.7] is a faulty operating system, incompatible with my software.") and a dead mother she tries not to remember, Kate has one goal: To escape them both by gaining entrance to her own holy temple, MIT. Eschewing sleep, she runs endlessly every night waiting for the sacred college acceptance letter. Then two disasters occur: Sullen classmate Teri and her younger brother, Mikey, take over Kate's room when their own house burns down, and a too-thin letter comes from MIT, signifying denial. And so the experiment begins. Can crude Teri and sweet Mikey, combined with the rejection letter, form the catalyst that will shake Kate out of her selfish tunnel vision and force her to deal with the suppressed pain of her mom's death? "If I could run all the time, life would be fine. As long as I keep moving, I'm in control." But for Kate, it's time to stop running and face the feelings she's spent her whole life racing away from.
reviewed Catalyst on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this was a mind blowing book with twists in every chapter. it was a pheonomanal book that had me never wanting to put the book down. it is a great book to learn about what teeagers are thinking and what they sometimes go through
Read All 16 Book Reviews of "Catalyst"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

nursemare avatar reviewed Catalyst on + 75 more book reviews
Catalyst is a very different book from my last Anderson book, Speak (a book I highly recommend). Where Speak was very much a story about a tragic incident that happened to one person who lived inside her own head for most of the book, Catalyst was about Kate, who had a lot of friends, but was so single-minded about getting into MIT that she couldn't see anything that was right there in front of her. When she begins to notice, she forms an unlikely friendship and you can see her grow beyond her obsession with MIT to what is truly important in life.

This book was so well written that I cried like a baby when the most tragic scene unfolded. Anderson writes this in first person present tense prose and it is done so well that it holds up beautifully through the entire novel. The pacing was very well done, with just the right mix of high and low tension, so that neither dominated the book. Also, there was no point in this reading where my mind wandered because there wasnt enough occurring. The author crafted a story that was so absorbing that it could be read in one sitting which is actually what I ended up doing because I couldnt put the book down.
TropicAtHeart avatar reviewed Catalyst on + 32 more book reviews
While this book doesn't top Speak, it's still a good read. I especially like the main character - an atheist pastor's dauther!
reviewed Catalyst on + 29 more book reviews
A very enjoyable book. It made me tear up a bit, and it really brought a lot of difficult facets of life, especially teen life, to the surface.
reviewed Catalyst on
A good read about insight and planning, but not as good as Speak.
reviewed Catalyst on + 25 more book reviews
Kate has a plan for her life. She has been working on it for as long as she knows, however her life has other plans. Kate is so determined that she will get into MIT that she choose not to apply anywhere else. However Kate is about to discover life has other plans for her. She is forced to realize that there is more to life than MIT in the form of her dad and Teri the angry unpopular kid in her class, who she thought she had figured out but slowly she learns there is more going on in her backyard than she knew.
reviewed Catalyst on + 37 more book reviews
My high school daughter really liked this book.


Want fewer ads?