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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » Cathy's Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233 » User review

The Interactive Adventures of the Intrepid ArtGirl!

  • Nov 10, 2010
Rating:
+4

I really hope this catches on.

It's not just the clever writing, though there's plenty of that here. The voice of Cathy Vickers (also known as ArtGirl, Undercover Girl, Respectable Drone Girl and Goth Grrl) comes through loud and clear in chat transcripts and diary-entry recollections. The writing is sharp and funny and resplendent in how easily it captures the voice of a teenage girl in over her head but determined not to show it.

It's not just the original story, thought that's here too. Cathy's tale is one of mystery and suspense, trying to figure out what (it anything) her older ex-boyfriend did to her just before dumping her - and just why the hell did he dump her anyway? Toying a little with typical adolescent fantasies and then leapfrogging right over them to something a little more interesting, you'll not find your stereotypical (and these days, well-worn) starstruck teenage romance. Instead, you get a story with twists and turns, heroes that are difficult to like and villains who are surprisingly sympathetic. Sean Stewart's storytelling magic is as strong as ever here.

With all that, what more could you ask for, right? As it turns out, quite a lot. Cathy's entreaty on the back of the book is addressed to Emma, but it's meant for her readers - that's you. "Call the phone numbers. Check out the websites." Added to that, peek at the memorabilia included with the book. Do some digging and crack the codes. What you find is the story between the lines of the book, the voices of the characters speak to you on the phone and reveal new information and extra clues. The voices and the websites and the ability to explore this world at will brings you into the story in a way that most books can't.

Done poorly, it could have come off like a gimmick or like bad marketing. Luckily, you can tell that the creative minds behind Cathy's Book put their hearts into telling this tale, across different media and in different ways.

It's a new kind of story. It's a little reminiscent of 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books, but much, much better. It's an interactive mystery in which you can take part in the discovery as much or as little as you want. You can just read the book and that's a satisfying experience...or you can look deeper and get to know it a little better. You can do what Cathy asks and get a richer, fuller experience.

Like I said - I really, really hope this catches on.

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More Cathy's Book: If Found Call 65... reviews
review by . March 18, 2011
When hotheaded artist Cathy wakes to find a mysterious mark on the inside of her arm she doesn't worry all that much. She just, as anyone would, assumes its (at worse) a spider bite. But when she starts feeling as if time literally stands still around her and life is moving at a slow motion pace, she knows this isn't a spider bite. As much as she tries to deny it, Cathy faces reality that her now ex-boyfriend, Victor, may have something to do with it. Did he drug her so he could take advantage …
review by . July 15, 2007
Cathy's Book is a most interesting little idea; written in journal form, it follows Cathy (naturally) as she tries to find out why her boyfriend, Victor, has suddenly dumped her. Sounds like a run of the mill story, right? Wrong. Deciding to investigate Victor, who is a few years older than the senior in high school, Cathy inadvertantly discovers that he is involved in something much, much bigger than she'd imagined and her life is suddenly in grave danger as she pursues the answers to the strange …
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Rich Stoehr ()
Ranked #80
I often hide behind a pithy Douglas Adams quote or maybe some song lyrics. I guess it makes sense that much of what I share is reviews of things I like (or don't).      People … more
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About this book

Wiki

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076242656X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762426560
This stunning debut combines reading with the world of internet gaming to create a masterful new genre that will allow teens to take the story from the page into the world of cyberspace and beyond.

Things weren’t so peachy in Cathy’s life before Victor broke up with her. Her father died unexpectedly, she’s failing school, and her best friend is mad at her. But when Cathy decides to investigate Victor’s reasons for ending their relationship, things suddenly go from bad to very, very, very bad as her findings produce more questions than answers. For instance, what does the death of Victor’s co-worker, the strange mark that appeared on Cathy’s arm, and the surreal behavior of several Chinese elders have to do with it?

Through Cathy’s unique and irresistible voice—and lots of proof in the form of letters, photographs, date book entries, telephone numbers readers can call, websites they can access, as well as secrets only a careful reader will be able to decipher—readers will enter a strange and fascinating world where things often aren’t how they appear.

Two-color illustrations plus supplemental material. Ages: 12 and up

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Details

ISBN-10: 076242656X
Author: Sean Stewart
Publisher: Running Press Kids

First to Review

"Interesting Premise"
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