Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catalyst (2002)

Kate is having a rough time. She grew up without a mother. Her father is a minister who pays more attention to his parishoners than his family. Her brother is... a brother. And to make things even worse, she doesn't get into MIT, her dream since fourth grade. Now her neighbors, the Litch's have a fire and Teri, a classmate, is moving in with her until their house can be rebuilt.

It wasn't part of my plan to be the schmuck that wound up on the cot, but there you go. Teri and Mikey took my bed. As if worrying about MIT weren't enough to keep me awake I have a lawn mower roaring in the middle of the room.
The law mower is Mikey Litch breathing through his mouth, producing a decibel-per-pound output that is off the charts. I should sample the noise and sell it to struggling musicians. I'd make a fortune.
How can Teri stand it? This could explain her anger management problem. I've got to do something or I'll never go to sleep.

Teri's dad is long gone, a blessing for the family, and her mother seems to be rather shell shocked and not very helpful in times of disaster. Teri has a two-year old brother who clings to Teri like a leech and Teri, amazingly, has a chip on her shoulder and isn't the most friendly and appreciative person.

Kate is torn between suffering with her own problems and trying to make a difference for Teri and maybe put a chink in her defensive armor that puts everyone off. I have to admire Kate because Teri is mean, rude, a thief, and as obnoxious as can be. I don't know if I could have been as persistent and patient as Kate.

I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy teen age stories with true-to-life problems.

My rating for this book: ++++

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