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Catherine House

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  6,952 ratings  ·  1,840 reviews
A story about a dangerously curious young undergraduate whose rebelliousness leads her to discover a shocking secret involving an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.

You are in the house and the house is in the woods.
You are in the house and the house is in you . . .

Catherine House is a school of higher learning l
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Custom House
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Candice Gigous Save yourself and stop reading. The story gets a little more interesting at about 100 pages and then goes back to boring. I found the book to be a str…moreSave yourself and stop reading. The story gets a little more interesting at about 100 pages and then goes back to boring. I found the book to be a struggle to read and very tedious. I kept reading to see if anything described in synopsis actually happens, but nothing really happens.(less)
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Lisa Kennedy
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Average rating 3.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,952 ratings  ·  1,840 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
School of selected, special, successful, superior students (too many S letters in a sentence seems like special spell. Oh no! Again too many s letters make me feel like stuck in a spell) made me think: Hey, we have some kind gothic, intriguing thriller, more understandable and less brain cell killer version of Ninth House (yes, I was not intelligent enough to enjoy that book.) or some kind of Truly Devious trilogy’s murder mystery with just a little Hogswarts vibes.

I have to emphasize that worl
Apr 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Believe me when I tell you that I tried to like this. I really, really did but I'm at 60% and I just can not force myself to keep reading this. For whatever reason my brain is struggling to understand what any of this is about. There is a lot of eating, drinking, nudity, and casual sex. I normally don't rate a DNF but I read over half of this son of a b and I feel that was enough to qualify a rating.

"You are in the house and the house is in the woods. The woods are in the house. The stairs a
Chelsea Humphrey
This definitely won't be a book for everyone, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the weird, quirky attributes this story had to offer. Please do not confuse the author's brevity of content for writing that isn't fully expanded upon; each scene is a slow, dread inducing dance that marries mystery with sensuality. The revelations might not be shocking to the seasoned suspense reader, but I felt the overall draw is more in the luscious setting and character interactions that gave me a foggy se ...more
Nenia ✨️ The Trash Empress ✨️ Campbell

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When I first started reading this book, I couldn't quite figure out why the ratings for CATHERINE HOUSE were so poor. Ines was a desperate, anxious, introverted girl filled with insecurities and a sense of fatalism that cause her to act out wildly within the confines (or prison?) of her new school, a university-like institution that doesn't call itself a university, where scholarship is given to all who are accepted but expulsion is as e
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
"The cup is in my hands.
My hands are in the house.
The house is in the woods.
The woods are in my hands."

You know that saying, "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is"? Yes, of course you do. We all do. 

So why is it that characters in books and movies act as though they've never have heard this phrase? Instead, they go all into things that are blatantly, screamingly, shockingly too good to be true.

This is the case with Ines, the edgy and provocative protagonist of Catherine House. On the
Elyse  Walters
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh my goodness...
At times I felt I needed to have my head examined while reading “Catherine House”. But there is an addictive quality mixed with a few lagging parts.... but then back to addictive.

I could have a field day talking about a variety of smorgasbord tidbits found inside this mysterious puzzling world-of-weird!

....One of the characters goes by the name ‘Baby’.
Infantilizing - creepy - but fitting to the girls character...
and the overall creepiness of the entire school.

Diane S ☔
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5. We are living in a unsettling and uncertain time. I think that is why I was drawn into this novel. Catherine House is a very unusual school. Past students of this school have graduated to become successes in many fields. Prospective students are thoroughly vetted, nine hour interviews, recommendations and these are gone over with a keen eye. Those accepted commit to three years, without the usual school vacations, leaving everything from their last behind. All food, clothing, supplies and m ...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Catherine House......the place you finally belong...the place you want to stay...the place you want to leave...the place you love...the place you hate... Holy mixed reviews on this one! I truly enjoyed this slow burn. This book is not a cookie cutter book, it is a completely unique story. You have to have an open mind and you have to pay attention and dig deep. Suspend some belief- it gave me a bit of a Ninth House vibe. With that being said, it will not be for everyone, but it sure was a good f ...more
So why didn't anybody tell me how much of my time I was going to waste reading this book?

Yes, it was atmospheric. Yes, I was intrigued at the idea of this taking place at a boarding school BUT this book was so boring. The main character was insufferable and did a lot of things that did not make sense. I don't understand what Thomas intended by creating such a frustrating character. At the beginning I thought I would be able to get used to her, but it just got progressively worse. She just seeme
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Claustrophobic, disturbing, and gorgeously written.
Dannii Elle
Catherine House is a college that produces greatness. Those who leave its hallowed halls do so with blazing glory in their future but are oddly tight-lipped about their past. The students there are cut off from the outside world for the entire three years of their stay and pay no price for the education and board they receive. Funding keeps the school alive, as do the mysteries surrounding it.

I thought this was going to be a dark academia story, following pretentious scholars and their dark dee
Katie B
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, fiction
3.5 stars

This wasn't a perfect read but for the most part I did enjoy this one. It might have lost me a little bit at the end but that's okay because my overall opinion is pretty positive. The story is different, or at least compared to most of the books I typically read, and I do tend to place a high value on stories that feel unique.

Catherine House is an exclusive school and and its impressive list of alumni includes presidents, Supreme Court justices, writers, inventors, you name it. There ar

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Not sure what to put this under.
Fantasy realism?

This is a book club read.

And I’d say very quickly it’s not a book for everyone......yet.....I’m glad I read it.
You see! I’m confused.

All the way through this I took each page, each chapter each section as it came.

In parts reminding myself this is a YA book.

It’s oddly unusual.

Catherine House is odd alright.

The mantra that is spoken is odd too.

The pupils were realistic.
When I'm lining up forthcoming books I want to read, I tend to think of some as definites and some as maybes. I had Catherine House on the 'maybe' pile. I thought: elite university; newcomer with a secret; idyllic environment in which Things Are Not As They Seem – these are themes and tropes I like, but they've been done a million times, and there's a good chance this will bring nothing new to the table. Boy, was I wrong about that: this is such a rich and intoxicating novel, and it turned out t ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Custom House) for promotional purposes.

I know not a lot of people liked this book, but I oddly liked it. It’s not going to be an all time favorite of mine, but I was satisfied with it.

A lot of people say that nothing happens in the book and there is some merit to that. There are a lot of scenes that aren’t that important to the book because they are kind of mundane. To me, I liked those parts because it helped highlight what life was
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really excited for this one., For no reason it turns out. The characters were undeveloped and the pace was slow.. It would be better labeled a "novel" than psychological thriller because this book never gets you on the edge of the seat. I instead fell asleep.
Anna Luce
DNF 15%

“Here, no one knew who I was or what I'd done.”

Why, why, why, do the protagonists in these 'academia/campus' novels always have a dark secret related to their dark past?
It would be different if the narrator mentioned their mysterious past later on in the narrative but here she alludes to it within the very first chapters...
Plus, the narrator tries hard to be taken as this 'edgy, not like other girls girl' and I'm also kind of done with these type of characters:

“My hair slunk over my sho
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Never Let Me Go
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

DNF ~40%.

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 th
K. Elizabeth
What a strange novel! Catherine House is definitely unlike anything I’ve read before. It’s odd, mysterious, confusing, and very blunt with its writing. That said, although I loved all the uniqueness and strangeness, the story and end left a lot to be desired.

Most importantly — what happened in this book? It felt like the entire story was a lot of strangeness that never came to conclusion. In simpler terms, it felt like there was no rhyme or reason as to why characters were acting the way they we
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is an atmospheric gothic, scifi, YA/ New Adult, sinister boarding school, mystery read. The Catherine House is a super selective and highly coveted school that produces the best minds from their graduates. Because of their very large endowment, tuition is free, but no phones, internet or any contact with the outside world including families for three years.

The story is centered around Ines who is running away from her past. The story is seen through her eyes. A slow burn mystery unfol
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect book for my reading mood - a spin on a campus novel where the institution known as Catherine House manages to be elite but also questionable, cutting off the outside world (and all technology) from the students for three years. It is moody and features a MC with a past, a mysterious layer of secret deeds, an external legacy, and art!

I think all the pieces are here and the fragmentation in how the novel is told aligns with Ines and how she experiences the world, but it did c
I am in the house, I said. My hands are on the table. The house is in the woods.

2.5 stars

Okay, my feelings on this one are kind of a mixed bag, so it took me a couple of days to untangle them. On the whole, I liked the book. But, of the ~300 pages, I spent about half of them bored and waiting for the action to pick up.

The book begins at the start of Ines' first of three years at Catherine House, one of the most exclusive and prestigious colleges in the US. The school is infamous for both its
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Rating may change, and review to come - I have to think about this one.

So it's been a couple of days since I read this book, so lets all cross our fingers and see if objectivity can help me get my thoughts into words!

What was Catherine, exactly? Let's say, a community of minds. A crucible of experimental, reformist liberal arts study. Research-and-development institute for the most radical new materials sciences. A postsecondary school more selective than any Ivy League, and so terrifically endo
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs

I’m a total sucker for a creepy, private school novel and Catherine House did not disappoint. With gothic elements and a touch of sci fi, this one really sucked me in.

Catherine is an extremely elite and mysterious school for kids to attend after high school. The school is free and provides all room and board, but the students are locked within its gates with no outside contact for three years. The studies are immensely challenging and some fields are even groundbreaking. As rigorous as C
Ines comes to Catherine House to leave her past behind. It's a dark past, with secrets and memories she'd rather forget. And that's good, because Catherine House is an institution that requires its students to give it three total years of their lives--leaving behind their families, television, music, and more. In return, they get a completely free education and the promise of a liberal arts background that has formed the minds of some very famous people: authors, inventors, presidents, and more. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-f
3.5 stars. Very rare that I find myself loving and being frustrated by a book at the same time.
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Students at Catherine House are all special. They have to be special to give up everything the outside world has to offer to commit themselves to three full years at a selective school hidden in rural Pennsylvania. Catherine House offers its students completely free attendance to its experimental learning and research experience and a promise of success beyond its iron gates.

A new first-year, Ines has come to Catherine as a last resort to escape her boisterous and chaotic life. Instead of stric
May 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nothing really ever happens in this novel and I'm a little disappointed in the ending. I couldn't care about any of the characters and Ines wasn't a likable main character either. I did want to know more about the plasm and I feel like we never really got to learn the whole point behind that. This wasn't much of a thriller and I found myself a little bored.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy.

PS this is my 90th book of the year!!
1. Lots of gorgeous imagery, the kind that yanks you out of your world and highjacks your senses.

2. Ines never, ever comes into sharp enough focus; most of what we think we understand of her is filtered through others’ ill-informed observations, as she is mostly silent on her personal history and/or opaque in what little exposition she provides. Still, I recognize a great deal of me in her, from the self-deprecation to the below average intelligence.

3. The tale is rife with sexuality, so much so
I won this on a First reads Giveaway and I was really excited about the premise.

Catherine House is an old exclusive school that offers college degrees in "new materials" and "plasm." Students that are accepted into the school do not need to pay a fee but must live there for three years and cannot have any contact with the outside world. No tv, internet, phones, or visits with family and outside friends. While the initial description of Catherine House seemed creepy and atmospheric and promising
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Elisabeth Thomas grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she still lives and now writes. She graduated from Yale University and currently works as an archivist for a modern art museum. CATHERINE HOUSE is her first novel.

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“I don’t know. I’m scared that out there, someday I’ll look around and realize forty years have passed and no one can see me. That I’m gone.” 0 likes
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