Catalyst

Psst. Guys. Hey, hey, guys. You. Yes, you, staring at your computer screen. HEY.

Midterms are over.

THANK YOU DUMBLEDORE!

Now that those horrible, ugh-worthy things are over, guess what that means? LONG WEEKEND! READING! WASTING TIME ON THE INTERNET! AND A BLOG POST FOR ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE!

Whoops. Sorry for the caps attack.

Anyway, as you have no doubt noticed, this blog post is about Catalyst, written by Laurie Halse Anderson. Which I started to read completely by accident. You know, when you pick a book while you’re waiting for something and you’re like, “I’ll just read a few pages.” And then, inevitably. . .

Yep. I was hooked. I had to finish it. So let’s jump right in: A summary!

(Be glad my review summaries aren’t like the summaries I have to write for school. Because it appears that I have an issue with a thing called brevity.)

The star of our story is Kate Malone–a senior in high school with a sharp mind, a sharp wit, and an even sharper desire: To get into MIT. Honestly, there isn’t even really a choice in the matter. Because it’s the only school she’s applied to.

No, really.

As the days tick by and she waits for her letter (her acceptance letter), Kate is getting by  fine. Really. So what if she can’t sleep? A person can get loads of things done in the night when everyone else is snoring. She’s fine. She’s got great grades, she’s got Chemistry, she’s got her friends and boyfriend.  She’s got running. It’s all good, great, she’ll have that letter any day now.

And then everything just kind of goes a little crazy.

The Litch family’s house catches on fire. Kate ends up sharing her room and home with Teri Litch, who made a habit of beating her up in elementary school. College is still hanging over her head. At least Mikey Litch is an adorable little bundle of joy.

And just when stuff is starting to look maybe a little bit better. . .it all blows up again. Only even more.

One of the things that really struck me about this book is Kate’s voice as a narrator. I love it. More than anything, I think that’s what made me want to keep reading after I sat down and read those few (17?) pages. There are some really, really, really golden lines in there, and the way Kate narrates is very uniquely hers. Her attitude is so much fun to read.

The characters are all well written, and Kate’s friends, Travis and Sarah, were definitely fun and unique. The plot was well done, too, and Anderson added a number of little touches and other conflicts, which made Kate’s community and world seem all the more developed and real. Kate’s problems with her father, Reverend Jack Malone, for example, or the little snippets of science and math references, because those subjects are both a big part of Kate and her life. The way the book is formatted is also really cool, containing snippets of science and chemistry terms that are fully integrated into the book itself. I don’t particularly like science, and I found it neat.

So, all in all, Catalyst was a really good read, and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you’ve enjoyed more of Anderson’s work. Actually, her new book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, has just been released!

I hope you’re all enjoying your long weekend, and guess what? Guess what?!

The 3rd season of Sherlock premieres in the U.S. tonight.

If you need me, I’ll be sobbing and fangirling in the other room. No doctors are needed, but cookies are always appreciated.

Bye!

Bookish Quote of the Day: “Sweat trickles along the bones of my face and licks my neck. Running, sweating, evaporating. . . I’m distilling myself in the dark: mixture, substance, compound, element, atom. The ghost is getting closer. Run faster. Push beyond the wall, push beyond my limits. My chest is flayed open; no lungs to breathe with, no heart to pound. The air flows around and between my shiny bones. My skin is silk. I take it off when I get hot. . .

I wish I never had to stop.” —Catalyst, by Laurie Halse Anderson

P.S. If any of you are interested in Vidcon, which is a convention for YouTubers and vloggers, the video below has a great idea for it. (The video she made previously that she mentions can be found here.) (She’s a great YouTuber!)

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And Now I Gush About: Fandoms!

Okay, okay, stay with me. I know it’s been a while. . .

First of all, I have two apologies. Whoot!

One: I’m sKeep Calm-Fandomorry I haven’t posted in ages. . .again. . .>meekly offers you cupcakes and Emily Dickinson poetry<

And two: I’m sorry this isn’t a book review. It is book-related (as a lot of books are the basis for fandoms), but it isn’t a review, and I realize I haven’t done one of those for a while. Unfortunately, though, I watched the finale of the second season of Sherlock yesterday, and I’m too emotionally overwrought to really focus on a review. So. . .um. . .blame the BBC? Actually, ignore my excuses. Just stop right here.

Anyway, I’m thinking this is going to be a kind of feature now, maybe, where I basically aimlessly blab about what I love about a book/author/other-writing/book-related-thing. Am I even making sense? Ergh, moving on. . .

So, I am a member of a lot of fandoms. Harry Potter, Harry Potter LoveDoctor Who, Hetalia, Sherlock (OH MY GOD SHERLOCK). . .the list goes on for a while. If I could be a Professional Fangirl, I would. If you know anyone who will pay me to look at Tumblr and YouTube and to just cry/laugh/fall over, then for the love of fanfiction, send them to me. I am serious.

One of the things I love about fandoms (there are a lot of things I love about fandoms) is that there is so much to see. There’s art, stories, GIFsets, and more, all created by people who love something unconditionally and can come together to just go nuts over it. To just celebrate it with other people and say things like, “I found the most amazing fanfic today,” and “Look at David Tennant’s hair in this!” and “THIS GIF THIS GIF THIS GIF THIS GIF ASDFGHJKL;”

Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch

Of course, it’s not all just blogging picture after picture after picture after video of Martin Freeman and/or Benedict Cumberbatch. (But, again, if you’ll pay me. . .) People also talk about stuff like why something is, or how it works, or WHOA THIS TOTALLY EXPLAINS THAT THING!!!

Or, they form awesome things like the Harry Potter HPA LogoAlliance, which uses fandom-ness and love to make the world a better place. Seriously, check it out. Being in a fan community can actually lead to some pretty interesting discussions and creations. What, you think we just randomly surf the internet all the time?

I love how, if you’re in a fandom, you can just have fun and love something, with other people who love it, and do something meaningful with it.

Not to mention all the amaaaaaazing fanfictions there are out there.

And music.

And fanart.

And. . .

Literary Quote of the Day: “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” —Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling.

P.S. My school, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, has a school newspaper! It’s online, and we’re hoping to really get some traffic going to the site, so, you know, if you want. . .

P.P.S. If you require some information on how to take care of a fangirl/fanboy, this video could be very instructive (Warning: Bit of a Sherlock spoiler):