Cathy’s Key is a sequel to Cathy’s Book, where a teenage girl follows a message from a webpage directed to only her in an attempt to save her boyfriend, Victor from what she believes are horrible experiments to study the immortal gene. She travels to St Louis on a Greyhound bus where she meets Jewel on her way home. Jewel befriends Cathy by talking with her, nosing around in her diary and her sketchbook. By the time, Cathy reaches home, she has lost her diary and her cell phone to Jewel and has forged a strange new friendship with Jewel’s brother, Denny. The story leads us through Cathy’s escapades and encounters with her mother and her best friend, Emma.
The situations that Cathy creates can be easily related to in today’s familial environment. The struggles of a recent high school graduate, the growing pains of a friendship, the feelings felt for a boyfriend, all very real and true today. The immortal aspect of this book kept this reader very interested in the next steps. This book was the second in a series of three. There were a few references to the first book and I felt that I have understood some aspects of Cathy’s Key had I read Cathy’s Book first.
The book was an easy read and written in a way that reflected how teenagers talk and relate to each other today. The dependence on the cell phone and texting for instance were great. I think any teenager today could relate to how lost they’d be without their own cell phone and how they would be drawn to answer texts from a stranger.
At first, I was worried that the immortal aspect would be overwhelming and turn me off, but quite the contrary, the whole immortality of some of the characters in the book kept me interested and wanting to know more. It didn’t take over the book, and in the end I viewed the book as one that dealt with relationships of a teenager.
While looking for previous and other works by Stewart|Weisman|Brigg, I visited the Cathy’s Key website and was very impressed with how the authors have used all the different types of technologies available to promote active engagement in this and the two other books in the series. YouTube, MySpace, and blogs – great ways to get the young adults and adults engaged with the characters of this book.
Ages 14 and up
Stewart, S,. Weisman, J., and Brigg, C. (2008). Cathy’s Key. Philadelphia, PA: Running Press
Book Website: http://www.cathyskey.com/