by April Linder
Release Date: January 2, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Format: Advance Reader Copy
Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Goodreads
Romance nearly always sells me with new releases, but I can fairly say that a certain type of romance, forbidden love, is the golden ticket. As this modern young adult retelling of my favorite classic is full of it, I very easily could have stepped into a dream world.
It didn’t take long to become hooked on Catherine. I believe it was about fifty pages in that I stopped mid-page and quietly squealed with delight because I realized I had picked a winner. Catherine is told in two alternating points-of-views, Catherine and Catherine’s daughter, Chelsea, in both a past and present New York City. Although Catherine’s story predominantly takes place in the past, it manages to carefully twist and weave it ways through to the future as Chelsea begins the search for her missing mother. However, Linder makes the much appreciated decision to take her time building each separate story and each separate world. Developing an attachment to both Catherine and Chelsea’s stories was very easily done, although I did fall for Catherine’s in more of an obvious way.
Catherine and young Hence--Linder’s modern Heathcliff--build an intense relationship, sparking and flickering its way through many years that see life altering and heart shattering decisions. Hence is not only my favorite character but also the only other main character to have a presence in both stories and so I grew slightly enamored with him, feeling almost as moody and desperate as himself as his story traverses time.
Because Catherine is a retelling I expected for there to be similarities between Catherine and Wuthering Heights, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t. However, Catherine is it’s own mysterious story. A story which is being told some twenty years later through a hidden diary that Catherine left behind, and of which happened to find it’s way into her daughter’s hands. As Chelsea reads the diary, Catherine’s own story of forbidden love, jealousy, and pain unravels, threatening life as Chelsea knows it and leaving the reader burning through the pages.
Overall, Catherine served its role. Was it a modern Wuthering Heights? Not quite, but very close to it. Did I love it as much as Wuthering Heights? No, but the bar was high. Will I read another April Linder book? Absolutely. Jane, I’m on my way!
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