A gothic-infused debut of literary suspense, set within a secluded, elite university and following a dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate who uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school's promise of prestige.
Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. ...more
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I have to emphasize that ...more
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Catherine House, and it ended up being very different from the types of books I usually read. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I think it’s important to try new things and expand your horizons. But it also might partially explain why this one wasn’t for me.
The synopsis of this book compares it to Never Let Me Go. The two aren’t exactly ...more
Throughout the whole time I was reading this book I was hard-pressed to articulate why, exactly, I was enjoying it so much but now I feel sure that it's because this book does pretty much the exact opposite of what you expect it to. A narrator arrives at an austere and beautiful but also quasi-cult-like school that just so happens to be in control of a mysterious substance? Well, obviously our plucky heroine is going to spend the majority of her ...more
As much as I wanted to like this book, it didn’t work out in my favor. I didn’t really care for the main character Ines. I feel she is written in a way that you will either like or dislike her character. I did like Yaya who is a secondary character.
The book started off slow but I knew that was needed to set the scene for the ...more
I loved this book and the characters. But I don’t easily dislike books, I always tend to rate high because I just go by how they make me feel and then I get to a book I love even more and can’t give it more than 5 stars.
Whatever you think this book is going to be like, it isn’t. It’s bigger and more descriptive and moody and velvety and the characters are all complicated.
We’re all infinitely connected, all part of the same structure.
Even so, I didn't really connect with the characters or the plot — the characters and the story are just not really compelling. There are several plotlines that just do not play out well, especially the most important one of "plasma." I can appreciate the attempt, but the execution ...more
Having grown up in rural Pennsylvania I can relate to this nightmarish boarding school that makes many promises but delivers nothing but nightmares.
Catherine House is a 'community of minds' and what many fail to realize is there's educational smarts, streets smarts aka life of hard knocks, and there's common sense.
Which avenue you choose depends on many factors such as upbringing, education, ...more
…and honestly, I was a little disappointed. There is so much potential here – there is this huge, ...more
I love boarding house books- and when this book began I got a "Down a Dark Hall" vibe- my favorite book by Lois Duncan. The house was spooky, each person in the house seemed to have a certain talent and they referred to the house as if it ...more
What a strange nightmare of a book! This was not what I expected at all, but I did really enjoy it. On its surface, Catherine House is a campus novel, though this college campus is unlike any other. The students spend three years on their education, never leaving, only allowed outside items from a commissary. If that sounds like prison...it's not far off. The narrator, Ines is introduced to this strange world, ...more
It reminded me of art history class - staring at priceless scribbles for hours and rolling my eyes when the professor would say "the artwork is not on the canvas, it's how it makes you feel."
Well, this book left me feeling profoundly confused, disturbed, and a little grumpy, primarily for the lack of payoff after a buildup that is stretched day in and day out over the course of three years of college. And for all of the mystery and intrigue of ...more
Our protagonist, Ines, introspective and restless in her new adulthood, explores what it means to belong with/to an institution. At Catherine, there is the day that you matriculate, and then there is the “coming in,” the day your institutionalization really begins. It’s a quiet, dreadful terror to watch Ines gradually become seduced, ...more
The book is “quietly wild” in the way that the best gothic build books are. This is indeed a slow burn (even the climax is more of a sinister simmer than an explosive denouement), but like all solid gothic, it boasts an off-the-charts sense of atmosphere and setting.
The plot is more suspense/coming-of-age than true gothic horror (Think Donna Tartt mixed ...more
Background: Trust us, you belong here. Catherine House is an elite and prestigious school unlike no other. It’s produced some of the world’s most influential people. Once in, students are required to give 3 years to the house, including summers secluded from the outside world. Enter Ines, a rebellious undergraduate student who can’t stop looking for answers. She’s hoping to uncover the secrets and dark truths about Catherine House. .
Why I thought it was ok: I was ...more
As you move through the book, the atmospheric descriptions change as the narrators opinion of the situation changes. While not the most subtle, it creates a nice shape to the storytelling. A very ...more
Catherine House was The Secret History meets The Stepford Wives, with a little bit of Us (Jordan Peele's recent movie) thrown in. I've only been able to describe this as weird. It's weird, but kind of fun. Kind of.
Ines is a college freshman running from her past. Surprisingly, she's accepted into Catherine House, a secluded and isolated college where everything is paid for - ...more
Imagine floodwaters approaching your home. The waters rise slowly, but you know with great certainty that those waters will reach your house. It’s beautiful—but in a horrible way. That’s how this ...more