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Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

Catcher, Caught by Sarah Collins Honenberger

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Where did I get it? I bought it on Kindle a couple of years ago when it was just 99p as I'd seen it recommended. 

What's it about? Daniel is fifteen at the beginning of the book and has just been diagnosed with leukemia. He lives on a houseboat with his mother and father, who are old hippies, and his younger brother Nick. His older brother Joe is away at college but visits the family a few times. The book is set in Virginia, which I liked. 

Daniel's parents have decided he won't be having any chemotherapy or radiotherapy to try to combat the disease. Their reasons are never really given, but it is obvious that Daniel will die within the year (and I don't think the prognosis is much better for if he had treatment, but it's not obvious). Instead he's being treated with herbal remedies and so on. It becomes obvious in the book that Daniel DOES want treatment, but he at no point argues with his parents about this. He progressively gets iller throughout the book.

His best friend is called Mack, but the two of them grow apart over the course of the book. Mack has his own problems going on. He also has twin new neighbours, twins Meredith and Juliann, and Daniel is interested in Meredith. The two of them start seeing each other - something which was easily the best part of the book for me. 

Daniel is also obsessed with Catcher in the Rye which I haven't read so all the references fell totally flat for me, which didn't help me to love the book. 

I just didn't fully engage with the story, for reasons given below. 

What age range is it for? 14+

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? I think Daniel's illness counts as a disability, yes, although it's not really framed that way. Some of the illness stuff is a bit graphic. 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes. There's sex and sexual fantasy. The sex is safe, which I really liked. It's not graphic but is a little explicit. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Mentioned, but it's not graphic. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes but not really as much as you'd think. 

Are there swear words? I don't think so, not many if there are. 

What criticisms do I have? Okay so firstly the word "spastic" is used about four times in a pejorative way, eg "I'll just look like a spastic." I understand that this word isn't considered the same in America as it is in Britain, where it's a complete slur and isn't used any more. But I did think that its use had slowed in America and it was now recognised as a slur. This book was published in 2010, which I feel personally is late enough for this word not to be used. I found it horrifying, if I'm honest. 

There's also an instance where someone says they used to be "really fat, like a plus size". Okay sure, that sounds REALLY fat to me. I really think that YA has come on a lot in almost a decade... and I'm glad! 

Would I recommend the book? Not overly. I just didn't think the story was that well told

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? I was still reading on my tablet while I was away and it was downloaded. 

What do I think of the cover? I actually really like it! I thought it was bright. 

What other books is it like? The romance and cancer aspects reminded me of The Fault In Our Stars. I actually thought the romance was really sweetly done, I'd have liked more of it. 

How many stars? Three out of five. 

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