Hey everyone, and welcome to my first post of 2019! As promised, I wanted to review Catcher while it was still fresh in my mind (and heart). This book was featured in my top reads of 2018 post because it was so. good. And let’s talk about why shall we?
Chapter Length: ✭✭✭✭✭
Cliche Count: ✭✭✭✭
Overall Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭
Synopsis: When a boy with grey eyes tells you it’s not your time to die, do you listen?
Ever since the day her baby brother Axel died, Carson has been dreaming of the same boy — the one who told her it wasn’t her time to go when her family’s lift crashed through a bridge railing and sank to the bottom of a river, shattering her life forever. Trapped by the new divide between her and her parents, and by their drastic measures to shelter the only child they have left, Carson escapes into her dreams every night, floating among the clouds with the grey-eyed boy who saved her. Until her eighteenth birthday—when fate sends her family home up in flames, leaving her waking world flipped upside down.
Suddenly, Carson finds herself on the other side of the country in the big city of Terigon, alone for the first time in her life, and dropped into the only waking dream she’s ever had: to attend Yorker Specialty School. But sinister forces are at work beneath the surface of her world, and as the grey-eyed boy slips away from her dreams—only to be replaced by nightmares of flame—Carson finds herself engulfed by a world of deathly secrets and haunting shadows…one that makes her the key player in the ultimate game of fates.
Characters: I have to preface this section by saying that this is the biggest conflict I have about Catcher. Although I love the personalities of Carson and Grey as the main characters, I felt like I never got a good mental image of them. If you asked me to describe Carson, I would say the generics: she’s white, tall, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. And Grey? He’s the dream boy that Carson is in love with that has grey eyes and some muscle. That’s all I got from reading the entire book. So while I’m giving this section a high star review, it’s because the characters personalities are so likable, but I just wish Kalyn took more time to expound on their details. In other words, this book kind of felt like I was reading a very deep and poetic text conversation between two people, but with no faces to match names.
To explain their personalities: Carson is a lovable and extremely sheltered teenager. She’s a bookworm, loves coffee, and spends a lot of her time in her head in the clouds–with Grey. Although she is clever in discovering the pieces to the puzzle she finds herself in, she is simultaneously clueless in piecing them together (which adds to her likeableness in my opinion, because I think it shows her intelligent quirkiness).
As for Grey, he is literally the epitome of a dream boyfriend. He is caring, funny, patient, and encouraging of Carson to explore herself and the complicated circumstances in her waking world (although cautious to never push too much). Me being the fluffy YA fanatic that I am, I loved this about him. When I was writing my notes for this review, I actually wrote down that he is the quintessential example of a good significant other. *Loving sigh*
Cover: do I even need to explain? The cover is beautiful. That is all.
Pacing: The pacing of this book is one of the many reasons that I love it so much. It opens slowly—somewhat introducing Carson and her family, but most importantly detailing the event that caused her life to be the way it is. But when things start to go wrong, the pace increases right along with the turn of events. Since the story is obviously told through Carson, her rapid thought process while trying to piece together the puzzle increases the intensity that we the readers feel. In other words: not too slow, not too fast, but just fast enough to keep you turning pages.
Chapter length: Likewise with pacing, the chapter length is appropriate to the turn of events. Short enough to not lose interest, but long enough to fully detail the physical environment and emotional atmosphere.
Cliche count: I think this book is completely unique to anything I’ve ever read before. It’s a perfect chemistry between a modern societal atmosphere with futuristic twists. Said a different way: teens are still teens but instead of physical screens from laptops and TVs, their screens are programmed into their heads. That being said, the “I fell in love with the boy of my dreams” theme is eye-roll worthy, but still leaves a small smile on my face anyway.
Catcher is one of those books that I didn’t want to finish. The plot’s twists and turns left me turning pages as fast as I could even though I dreaded how fast I was going through the book. The characters’ personalities made me laugh and connect to them, even if I couldn’t entirely picture them in the end. And I must say: the ending of this book surprised me because it took a dark turn I don’t think any of us saw coming. (If you read it—you know what I’m talking about!) BUT, this simply makes me even more excited for the release of the second book!
In summation, I’d recommend this book for someone who likes YA fluffiness, flowery and poetic words, a solid mix of contemporary and futuristic, and a dystopian world disguised as a utopia.