I decided after reading Wintergirls and Speak that I wanted to read all of Laurie Halse Anderson’s books. So I’ve been making my way through them. I plan to pick up Catalyst when I go back to the library. I was a little nervous about reading this one. I thought I might not be as interested in it since it’s a suject matter I wouldn’t normally read about. However, I found it absolutely captivating. I just couldn’t stop listening. I also learned a lot. I’ll go ahead and be honest. I didn’t know anything about the yellow fever epidemic before I read this. This book has dynamic characters, an enthralling plot, and a lot of historical information. It’s official. Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the best young adult novelists of our time.
Watching Mattie develop throughout this book was a wonderful experience. In the beginning, we meet this stubborn, rather selfish girl with big dreams. By the end of the book she has transformed into a strong woman who knows how to make those dreams a reality and take care of those in need. I was so thrilled to watch her grow with each experience she faced during the epidemic. The plot was gripping and pretty fast-paced. There was a new learning experience for Mattie around each corner, it seemed. But her trials make her a stronger person. It’s a truly amazing book with a really great message.
Anderson includes some appendices about the epidemic and the history of it. She points out some of the factual things that occur in the story. It’s very interesting, so if you read this, don’t skip that part. Emily Bergl was the perfect Mattie. She was very convincing and engaging. That’s all I ask of my audio books!