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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Catherine by April Lindner

320 pages, YA Contemporary, Classic Retelling
My rating: 5 stars


A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before.

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

My 2 cents

So this story is a modern retelling of Wurthering Heights.  I've never actually read the book before, but I've heard the basic plot.  This story is set in two different time periods: modern day and 20 years before.  The past is told by Catherine, a teen girl who lives in one of the hottest music clubs in NYC with her brother, Q (Quentin) and her father.  Her father owns it, and they only book up and coming rock bands, so its a really cool setting.  She finds a teenage homeless musician by the name of Hence, and convinces her father to let him live in the basement and give him a job.  Of course, Catherine and Hence fall in love.

The present day is told by Chelsea, Catherine's daughter.  She thinks her mother died when Chelsea was three years old, but she finds an old letter and newspaper article that shows her mom just disappeared.  She went off to NYC to "finish some business" and was never heard from again.  Chelsea runs away to NYC to try and find her mom.

I loved both Catherine and Chelsea.  They are very much alike, except their upbringing.  Knowing that she disappears, reading Catherine's story was chilling and much more dramatic than a simple teenage love story.  We get to meet all the people in Catherine's world, and ponder whether any of them had anything to do with Catherine's disappearance. 

I figured out the "who" about halfway through the book, but I really was very surprised at the ending.  The pacing in the story was great, it just kept building up the suspense, which I loved.  The characters were very real, and it was easy to see all their motivations.   I also liked that every single one of them had obvious flaws.  I would say the only true "pure" character in the story is Chelsea.  

I think I really need to read Wurthering Heights now, so I can compare the two stories!  This was a great, intense quick read!


  1. I've been pining after this one as soon as I heard it was a retelling! I have read some pretty negative reviews on it so it's nice to read the opposite point of view once in awhile. Love flawed characters, makes them all the more realistic. Great review, I think I will give this one a chance!

    1. That's awesome! I hadn't heard any negative reviews on it yet, which was a good thing I guess! I loved it! Thanks for stopping!


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