Rated Reads


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rated: Moderate

Kate’s life with her dad and brother is handled with precision. Good Kate takes care, she studies like crazy, she makes sure everyone has what they need. As soon as she gets her acceptance letter from MIT, her life will be as orderly and perfect at the periodic table that she adores.

Only there is another side of Kate: the one that hates being the daughter of a minister. The one who can’t sleep, who has never really mourned the loss of her mother. The one who maybe told a big fat lie about her college applications. A Kate who isn’t brave enough to stand up for Teri when she sees her being bullied.

Pretty soon, Kate has to find a way to morph back into one self before she crumbles into emotional pieces. And when Teri ends up being more a part of her life than Kate had ever wanted, Kate is faced with experiences that change everything.

This isn’t your average young adult novel. This is a novel that really digs into the hurts we feel, the horrible things that happen to us — and the things we choose that we regret. Laurie Halse Anderson is such a master at writing the female protagonist. She puts teens in situations that are just too much to handle — just like they get into in real life — and then explores the fallout. Abuse, loss of a parent, tragedy — Kate has to slog through all of this alongside Teri, and I dare any reader to remain untouched by their story.

Rated: Moderate for extensive moderate language, extensive mild language, one use of strong language and some pretty adult themes.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Catalyst
  • by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: