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book review YA fiction

Book Review: Catfishing on Catnet (YA)

UPDATE- This won a 2020 Hugo Award!!

You can also pre-order the sequel Chaos on Catnet


Considering that the plot is pretty dark, this was a fun, light read. It’ll be perfect for curling up with when it’s November release rolls around, and you can read it with some warm drink curled up on the sofa. I found the plot unguessable and was pretty much on the edge of my seat up until the end of the book. I was worried that it would be too wrapped up for a sequel, which I started hoping for pretty early on in the read.
The setting is soon, much of the tech described is either available now or in the works, and that point alone made it more deliciously creepy with plausibility.

Steph is starting her Junior year of high school at a new school (again!) as her Mom moves them around extremely often to keep ahead of her stalker/violent father. Because they run all the time, Steph hasn’t had many friends IRL, and she has friends on CatNet in her clowder- which is kind of a private chat room on a website devoted to cat pics. (It’s a great idea, I mean, I’d join a site like that) Anyhow, her virtual friends and her real friends all end up helping her to escape from her Dad after he tracks them to a small town.
The side plot is that her Mom has some computer code that he wants, and in discovering that, Steph realizes that the chat room coordinator isn’t human but is a sentinel AI. It all makes more sense when you read it. I neglected dinner and stayed up way too late reading it, so you know its good. It is the kind of YA that adults will enjoy reading also. I can see book clubs snatching this one up as well.

By Jenny Naughton

JENNY NAUGHTON and her husband share their 1930's era Chicago home with four sons and a daughter. A voracious reader, Jen reviews books before their release for dozens of publishers on her page: Windy City Reader. Jen also blogs (on WordPress!) about classical, mostly secular, home education at Good Enough Homeschool.
In her spare time, she runs an online book club for teens and helps other home educating family match their kids with the perfect book for them.
You can find Jen misbehaving on social media on
Twitter: @jennynau10

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