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Catherine House
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CATHERINE HOUSE | Discussion > Catherine House | Year One

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message 1: by Lala, owner (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lala BooksandLala (booksandlala) | 92 comments Mod
Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
In my edition, "year one" begins on page 1 and ends on page 132.

what do you think so far? if you had to rate the book right now, what would you give it?
any predictions for "year two" ?
is this a mystery book or not? lol


Shannon | 7 comments The first 20 pages or so gave me false expectations for the rest of the book ... I really thought I was going to love it but after the first chapter it’s just been kind of boring and slow? Maybe I’m missing something.
I do love the atmosphere of the book but the story itself so far really isn’t hitting it for me. I thought it would be more mystery based but it’s just a repeat of Ines days really with some difference here and there. I wish we would dive more into the world and not just wash over scenes. I can’t get connected to any of the characters apart from Baby ... and now look how that ended 👀 If I had to rated it fight now it would be 2.5 Stars


ReadAlongWithSue | 56 comments This is sorta reminding me of Gilead, but as YA.
I’m keeping my mind open. So far I’m inquisitive as to where this is going......or just plain determination!


Sania | 4 comments I like this so far! I love the setting of the school and the diversity of the cast. Plus this story feels like a cult-y slow burn mystery. I'm excited to read more!


Sydney | 6 comments I feel very disconnected from the main character. Maybe I’m supposed to feel that way since she’s so apathetic about being at the school, but right now I don’t really care what happens to her?? I do like the setting though.


message 6: by Joanna (last edited Sep 04, 2020 08:02PM) (new) - added it

Joanna Pats (_jpats) I'm not too sure if I like this book. The main character is so apathetic to everything that I'm feeling the same.
Also, is this a YA? Lots of talk of sex and drinking. Not to mention, they're in post secondary so technically older than YA age group, no?

Edit: I checked on Indigo's website and it is under "general fiction" so it's not being sold as YA here in Canada.


Ashleykuz (littlethingslearned) | 2 comments I agree that the target audience seems a little vague...the writing feels like it should be YA, but the content itself makes it seem like it's not? I was intrigued by the cult type aspect, but it's all been kind of background noise to Ines' bored sort of descriptions about her days, which seem to contain a lot of unnecessary info. Hoping it picks up from here!


Bookginner | 5 comments The prose in this book is something I really do commend. I love it.
The writing disguised in this seemingly unending psychedelic & apathetic narrative is also very useful for the gothic tones it tries to sell but I can definitely see a problem with it especially with the readers wanting connection with the book.

The pace is too slow. Year one ends with a pivotal event but still it didn't drop as hard.

I hope Ines dives more aggressively into the House's secret. We need the tea. now!


Chris (stardustedreads) | 11 comments I am enjoying the book so far. I might have DNF'd had I not been reading it for this book club but I'm glad I kept go. It was hard to get into at first, the narrative meandering and a little boring. But once the themes became more concrete and the plot started to take shape, it was infinitely more enjoyable. Currently a 4 star read but if I can really wow me (probably in Year 3), it could be a 5 star.


Chris (stardustedreads) | 11 comments I will say that this certainly feels like an adult book to me. It follows in the footsteps of other lit fic focused on college students. Perhaps it's more NA than adult but it does capture a very Gen Z energy and our feelings on the inbetween of being a teen and being an adult


message 11: by Eli (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eli (elidhios) | 24 comments I’m enjoying it so far but I cannot connect with the main character. The beginning was slow and I didn’t understand what was happening but after a bit the story gains more structure and becomes more enjoyable. I would said so far 3 stars!


Kaitlyn Henderson | 1 comments I'm really enjoying this so far! It is very atmospheric and I enjoy Ines. She seems broodish and a bit sarcastic and I love it. Usually by a 100 pages into the book I want to have a clear understanding of mystery we're supposed to be trying to figure out, but the slow burn of this seems like it's going to pack a punch in the end. I would say this doesn't read like YA to me, more so just regular fiction. as of right now, I'm feeling a 3-4 star


Sarah | 9 comments As of now, I would give this 3 stars. It's very atmospheric and creepy, and I love the writing. But Ines doesn't feel very real to me; her only personality traits seem to be apathy and avoidance. And maybe that's on purpose? She's so elusive and I feel like she's trying so hard to disappear and run from her past, that she barely knows who she is. But it also just feels like she's not a fully developed character. So we'll see what Year 2 brings!


Sarah | 9 comments Shannon wrote: "The first 20 pages or so gave me false expectations for the rest of the book ... I really thought I was going to love it but after the first chapter it’s just been kind of boring and slow? Maybe I’..."

Lala wrote: "Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
In my edition, "year one" begins on page 1 and ends on page 132.

what do you think so far? if you had to rate the book right now, what would you give it?
any pr..."


Baby! :( :( :(


Ashley (booksndoggos) | 7 comments I'd rate it in the middle so far: 3. I'm curious as to where it will end up. I get the mystery vibes, but I'm also disconnected. I'm thinking that is how it's supposed to be because of the continuous procedures to make people feel 'better.' It is like they are erasing their emotions.

But, has anyone else noticed their 5 senses coming through on this book? I'm wondering if there will be any connections to food later on. Almost every page discusses food. Same with the intimate connections and touching of people. You can also catch the other senses repeated quite frequently. Style of writing or theme?

I guessed pretty early in that Baby would end up no longer. I wonder what meaning this has for year 2.


message 16: by Samantha (last edited Sep 07, 2020 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Samantha | 11 comments Ashley wrote: "I'd rate it in the middle so far: 3. I'm curious as to where it will end up. I get the mystery vibes, but I'm also disconnected. I'm thinking that is how it's supposed to be because of the continuo..."

I hadn't really noticed all the senses (will be in tune to that now) but for sure noticed the food thing, so many sweets! The cookies in particular seem like they might have significance.

Was a little sad about Baby mostly because I enjoyed her strangeness. I hope that as the book progresses we learn more about what happened to her seems like she may still have an impact on the book.

There is a strange slow almost melodic feel to the writing and I sometimes feel myself getting bored but then some little thing will draw me back in. It is a hard book to think about rating.


message 17: by Kayla (new) - rated it 1 star

Kayla | 4 comments Sydney wrote: "I feel very disconnected from the main character. Maybe I’m supposed to feel that way since she’s so apathetic about being at the school, but right now I don’t really care what happens to her?? I d..."

That’s exactly how I feel. The main character is so apathetic that I just can’t connect with her. I also can’t connect with any other characters either. I’m finding that I just don’t care what happened that made her run away from her life. I kinda don’t care about the plasma either. At this point, I’m hate reading, hoping it will get better, but I’m not optimistic. 1 star if I had to rate it now. I also feel like some of the writing is lazy - like the author is using the guise of being secretive to not actually describe anything. I’m just not getting sucked in. I don’t think this is plot driven or character driven at this point, and I’m a little over 100 pages in.


message 18: by Kayla (new) - rated it 1 star

Kayla | 4 comments Ashley wrote: "I'd rate it in the middle so far: 3. I'm curious as to where it will end up. I get the mystery vibes, but I'm also disconnected. I'm thinking that is how it's supposed to be because of the continuo..."

I notice the food references, but there aren’t enough descriptions of the food to make my senses engaged like in other stories with that much food talk.


Ramakrishna | 14 comments I can already sense how this one will be one of those books which will be difficult to rate. I love the atmosphere, and strangely even Ines. She apathetic and doesn't care a lot but I'm drawn to her. I'm intruiged about the school. It can go either way from here.


Christien Dugas | 9 comments As of right now, I would probably rate it a 3. I am not hating the book but I am far from loving it. The pacing is slow and odd. I get the feeling that it’s very cult-ish kind of vibe, which is intriguing me, but I find it hard to enjoy the main character. Her attitude towards everything is so...blah. She seems to want to care, or at least seem like it, but she doesn’t. I get she is running away from something, but doesn’t seem worried about losing the school, so I am not sure. I do find their diets of lots of sweet foods a bit interesting. I wonder if there is something in the food, which makes it mysterious.


Charlene (scrappychar) | 33 comments I'm struggling with this book. I am finding that things are just slow. Not much has happened, but they have introduced some interesting concepts, so maybe it will take off in year two. I do think the writing is good though, like I mean it is well written. I will keep trucking.


Penny -Thecatladybooknook this book definitely wasn't what I thought it would be but it was ok. i ended up giving it 3 stars


Nancy (nancysreads) | 5 comments I think it's okay so far. I was waiting for the introduction to be through and it looks like we passed that already.

I did predict something would happen to Baby and like others mentioned, I hope this is explained in the book.

My prediction is that Ines will go rogue as she finds out what happened to Baby and I'm hoping that she's following but not following, if that makes sense.

I do think it's mystery. No one really knows what is Catherine House or what actually happens after it and that's what I'm hoping to find out.

My rating so far would be at a 3.5


message 24: by Alma (new)

Alma Martinez | 1 comments I am struggling to get into this book. It’s a slow start and I find am forcing myself to keep reading for the sake of the book club. I hope it gets better soon.


Kristin Katsuye (fristinkristin) | 12 comments Read the first 71 pages so now on chapter 3 I think? The one titled The Tower. I went into this completely blind. I didn’t even think I would get the chance to read it before the live since there was a long wait for the library loan. I got lucky & didn’t even read the summary just started in.

I’m really enjoying it so far. I want to see more of the mystery of this too good to be school. It’s obviously giving out some creepy cult vibes. I want to find out more about the school & about the students attending there too since each seems to have their own problems.


Sierra Cutchin (siesiec92) | 2 comments This book is weird to me. I really am struggling to get into it, but I'm also reading it quickly and I haven't even thought to DNF it. I knew something would happen to Baby. It seemed inevitable but I was hoping it would be more... dramatic? You could see the downward spiral happening but I just thought she deserved more of a death. It felt quiet. I thought this book would be more cult like. Maybe it will get better as it goes.


Dee Dee (Dee Reads for Food) (dee_reads_for_food) | 43 comments I have no idea what I'm reading...


Kimberly Swartz (authorkimberlyswartz) | 4 comments Year One done and I have no clue what is going to happen next. I think so far it is a 3 star read because it hasn't caught my attention in any important way. I don't feel much for any characters and all I can think about is Ninth House while reading.

Year Two...I just can't wait to see how Ines deals with everything she has left.


Melanie | 28 comments This book is very.. odd. I love the premise of a cultish school where the students are cutoff from the outside world, but this just isn’t doing it for me. The writing is much too poetic and flowery for my liking, and overall it just isn’t what I thought it would be; if I had to rate it now it’d be a 2 star. I wouldn’t say this is a mystery/thriller, but we’ll see how the book progresses I guess.


Danielle (petal_pages) | 2 comments I can genuinely say I don't really know what's going on lol. I think I would rate the book lower if I wasn't so enthralled and pulled in by the writing. I was really expecting to not enjoy the novel (for some reason I just had bad vibes about it) but the way the author is describing everything is extremely captivating to me. While I don't feel like I'm connecting very much with the main character, I literally don't even know her name, I love that it's not feeling very "chosen one" ish. I don't mind that in a novel, but reading about everything going on from on outsider that's also not quite understanding what's happening is making me feel much more sane.


CariB | 3 comments This is slooooooow. Found it difficult to get into this story. A big event finally just happened at the end of year one, so I’m hoping it’s going to start picking up from here—that Ines will actually DO something to figure out what’s going on.

Is Ines supposed to be an unreliable narrator? Does anyone else get that sense? She’s very apathetic about everything and kind of frustrating, but I’m wondering if that’s intentional to lead to some kind of weird twist.

Also, someone else mentioned a focus on food and senses. Did anyone else notice all the sugar?! I mean one meal was four courses of desserts! And there are always cookies between meals. And even fruit (she grabs handfuls of blueberries for one meal). And other foods are described as bland (I think she described chicken as “grey”)?


Jessica (jessreads13) | 3 comments I just finished the first chapter and I'm having a difficult time following the story. I hope it gets better


message 33: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Deehring | 5 comments I couldn’t get into this book. I wasn’t in the right mind set. I need to try again another time.


Shivanshi Shukla | 1 comments Indeed the book is quite slow but I'm in love with the atmosphere and Ines I just want to know more about catherine it's a bit spooky I would probably rate it 4.0


Sierra Hinds | 14 comments Overall I would say that I'm not loving this book so far... It seems like I am not the only one to feel this way either.

Like a lot of other people have said, it does not feel like much has happened. There is a lot of alluding to different cult-y, mysterious, scary, f***ed up things. But not really any true evidence or hooks that would make me want to keep reading.

I don't love the writing. I can't figure out if we are present tense experiencing things with Ines or if she is telling us a story because it keeps saying "I said then" and other sort of awkward phrasings like that.

If I had to rate it right now I'd probably give it 2.5 stars purely because for some reason, despite Ines being incredibly apathetic which is part of why I am not really pulled into the story, she is incredibly intriguing and I feel inclined to continue reading just to know more about her.

I would not say it is a true mystery, at least not as of Year One.

I do not really have any predictions except that I think that alcohol/inebriation might have something to do with plasm working on the students. Because it is just plain weird that they are served alcohol with almost every meal. I think it might help make them more susceptible to hypnosis or whatever the plasm stuff is doing to them.


Molly (birdsfeet) | 3 comments So, I feel like I don’t like this book - but suddenly I was done with year one in one sitting without even realizing. So maybe I do?

I like the writing tone/style - it’s really helping me glide through the story. I’m both interested and not interested in the plot, but that could be because the main character is pretty whatever about everything?

I’ll probably have this finished by tomorrow. Right now I’d have to say it’s a 3 star read for me!


Tyler | 7 comments I don't know what to make of the book so far but I can't it it down. At the current moment, I'd give it 4 stars because the premise is interesting. I honestly have no predictions for year two. I hope to get more background into what's happening at the house. I hope with Baby's death, the mystery will unfurl in year 2 or 3. I want to know what happened to her.


Marissa Fulton I went into this not knowing much about it other than that people don't really seem to be enjoying it. The first chapter had me hooked, and I was really intrigued about what was going on in Catherine House. However, as it's progressed, I'm just not that into it. At this time, it's a low 3 star for me. I still want to know the truth about the school, but I don't care about the characters or what they're doing. I didn't even care when Baby died, because it seemed so obvious that it was going to happen and we really were given no details to evoke any strong emotions. Still reading because I'm curious, and hoping things pick up soon!


Xiomara Canizales (xiomaracanizales) | 1 comments DNF @30%
I have read the synopsis of the book and immediately though of Ninth House plus Truly Devious and got excited, ignoring all the bad reviews. Probably too much expectations.
I hate books that create mysteries based on the lack of information that the readers get from the story, it always feels like something is missing, like the story is halfway developed. An the second thing that I disliked was the speed of the events, everything happened so fast, we were jumping from thing to thing that it felt pointless.
Since it is a debut novel, I think the author has a lot of room for grow, I think there were some interesting ideas, the development was no the greatest but next book may be better.


Dajana Ivana (dajanaivana_) | 3 comments honestly, after the first chapter, had i not been reading for the book club, i may have DNF'd it. the first chapter failed to draw me in and intrigue me. but once i knuckled down and read Year One, i felt slightly different. this isn't too say that im super into the book just yet, but i am a little bit more interested in where this could go. i definitely agree with those who are saying it's hard to connect to Ines, i feel the exact same way. i had a liking towards Baby, and well.. as much as this definitely isn't my favourite right now, i am going to power through Year Two and hope that it gets a lot better and honestly i'm still waiting for the blurb's description of a 'subtle tingling of horror' - if i had to rate it after Year One, i'd probably say 2.5-3 stars.


Nicole (nicolebookish) | 16 comments I read this between August 25 & 31 so I am putting my thoughts in the sections. No spoilers here.
At this point I liked it but was very confused.
As someone who lives in America & used to work at a Unviersity I find it Hella sketchy that they gave free tuition....def makes me think they are hiding something.
I hoped they'd answer questions in year two.
It got real creepy really fast! Def would categorize it as Thriller/Horror.


Molly (birdsfeet) | 3 comments Marissa wrote: "I went into this not knowing much about it other than that people don't really seem to be enjoying it. The first chapter had me hooked, and I was really intrigued about what was going on in Catheri..."

Yes! This is exactly how I feel. I want to know more about what's going on in the school out of curiosity, but I could not care less about any of these characters. They all feel so two dimensional. Are we supposed to feel connected to them? If yes, then I must have missed something. Baby's death was predictable and the only emotion I felt was that maybe things will pick up. However, if I have to read about the main character eating/snacking again I might cry!


liz ✨ (lzrddd) | 6 comments I'm not sure how to feel about the book so far. I think it's interesting, definitely giving me cult vibes. I also wasn't expecting what happened to Baby at the end of Year One. I'm also curious about what we're going to learn about the new materials concentration, and how the main character is going to stumble into it. I just finished reading The Secret History as well as Ninth House before that, so overall I'm not sure if this dark academia genre is for me lol. However, I am curious to learn more about the mysteries behind Catherine House. I'm still not really understanding what the main character did wrong in her senior year of high school, and it feels really overblown somehow? Most people seem to be having a hard time with the book so far and I'm glad it's not just me. But like I said, I think dark academia in general isn't for me. That said, I am liking the Latinx representation so far. Curious to know everyone's thoughts going forward and hoping that Year Two sheds more light on the mysteries.


message 44: by Ina (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ina (inawillems) | 15 comments I have no idea what is going on. I felt like nothing happened during the first year, except for Baby's death, but they didn't really tell us anything about it so that doesn't count, but for some weird reason I'm still drawn to the book. I am hoping to discover more about what is truly going on at the school during the second year.


message 45: by hannah (new)

hannah (hannahflorey) | 11 comments Well everyone.... i am only like 2 hours into the audiobook and i’ve decided to DNF. I am just not enjoying it even a little, so i’m gonna put it down. Likewise, I see in the reviews for Catherine House that most people end up giving it mediocre reviews anyway, so I doubt I will grow to enjoy it. Oh, well. Better luck next time I guess. See y’all next month!


message 46: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Kantor (kimkantor) | 37 comments I also was listening to this audiobook and gave up about 2 - 3 hours in. I thought maybe I’d pick up the book and see if that would be any better but, after reading the comments, I think I’ll pass and just watch the live. I really don’t care enough about the story to give it any more time. Oh well, better luck next month!


message 47: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate | 15 comments I was also listening to the audio and I feel the same way as you, Kim... it just wasn't for me!


Samantha | 11 comments Kim wrote: "I also was listening to this audiobook and gave up about 2 - 3 hours in. I thought maybe I’d pick up the book and see if that would be any better but, after reading the comments, I think I’ll pass ..."

I listened to the audio book as well but ended up listening at 1.25 times speed, it helped as the pace was just too slow for me.

But I commend you for knowing when to give up as well sometimes a book is just not worth slogging through.


Benjamin Hellerud | 13 comments so far, i love the concept, not really digging the execution. it’s not horrible or anything, but as of right now, i’ll definitely never give it a reread. i’d probs give it a 2.5/5⭐️ if i had to rate it right now. not really sure where i see year two going as of now


message 50: by Traci (new)

Traci (traciller) | 1 comments I'm kind of getting a late start. I just got to the part where she has her first physical and I was surprised that the doctor was so casual about sex between students there. I know sex is inevitable among the students but it's interesting that the school is so casual about it. I like that, because it makes it easier to practice safe sex, as evidenced by the frank attitude when the doctor asked if Ines was having safe sex, and the fact that there were condoms just out there ready for Ines to grab. I also really liked the discussion about periods, because you don't see that in a lot of books. You don't see discussion of pap smears, either, really. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong books. :p

I'm not sure how I feel about the book as a whole yet, but I am having trouble connecting to the main character. I think if I'd read this as a teen or pre-teen I would've had no trouble. I, too, was a broody kid and I liked to pretend I was apathetic toward everything. I'm not saying she's pretending, I'm just saying those traits would probably have had me connecting with her. Now, as an adult, I just find her kind of boring and bland and hard to connect with or care much about. I am interested in this mysterious past of hers, though.

Also, I know it's a gate but the spirals on the cover remind me of octopus tentacles. Does it do that for anyone else?


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