Hello and welcome my very first book review on this blog!
Today I am releasing my thoughts on the novel Catcher by Kalyn Nicholson. Kalyn is a YouTuber and social media content creator who I have been following for a few years. I absolutely love and adore her content. She released her first novel (a sort of dystopian YA romance) about a year ago and I finally got around to reading it mainly out of curiosity of what it was about. To be honest, I didn’t have the highest expectations of it since from what I had gathered it sounded like a pretty fluffy, shallow romance story geared towards young teens, but I was still curious to see what a novel written by Kalyn would be like, so I finally read it.
In most ways, it was what I was expecting. I think the storyline and even the under developed dystopian society I saw other reviewers complain about had interesting potential for sure, but there were several things about the story that bugged me, which I thought it would be fun to vent about in blog post form. I just wanted to say before I begin that I’m not trying to bash on the wonderful soul who wrote this book in anyway, I just thought it would be fun to post my critique and thoughts on the book here! Also this review does contain spoilers just in case anyone reading this cared to know.
#1. The book had too much of the author’s personality. It’s possible she was trying to make it recognizable to her viewers through putting in a lot of her own characteristics, but the main character Carson just seemed like a watered-down version of Kalyn herself, with the same coffee addiction and love of running. Other than those things, she didn’t seem to have a whole lot of her own personality traits and was always passively letting things happen to her. And the love interest Grey’s character is grossly underdeveloped and basically only exists to dote on Carson and make all of her dreams come true, not seeming to have any of his own interests or character flaws, which in my opinion is the most fundamental mistake any romance novel can make. I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all.
#2 Another small side thing that bugged me was how everything the characters ate was vegan, like they were always drinking soy milk, etc (the author herself is vegan if you didn’t know). Like if that’s a part of their society that they don’t eat or farm animals that would be a cool detail, but it was never explained as such in the storyline. And the fact that the coffee shop in the book was called Koze just seemed like a shameless plug for her brand to me. I mean it would be an adorable name for a coffee shop for sure so I see the temptation to use it but it’s already the name of her brand so throwing it in the story like that just seemed tacky. In general there were a lot of things about their society that felt like she was trying really hard to make it different from our world but they were just slight variations on things like the internet and social media. And the portals where you could just punch in an order and food and clothes would appear? How does that work? Do they have to pay for it? Is it like a monthly payment that they make or do they have to buy it each time? These are the questions that haunt me haha.
#3. A few of the reviewers on Goodreads complained about the writing style, and the best word I can use to describe it is extra. It didn’t bother me hugely, but there were definitely parts where it was just excessive and detracted from the storyline and of course there were a few typos. She is a first-time author who is self-publishing and juggling a lot of other life stuff so it’s completely understandable to have a few errors. But those didn’t bother me nearly as much as the plot itself. Which brings me to my final and biggest rant point….
#4 When we find out in the story that Grey has been protecting Carson all along, that he knew that her life was in danger and had made this whole elaborate plot to save her, I suddenly felt very cheated. This whole time we had been following an extremely bland, mundane day to day plot of Carson’s life, where literally all she does is drink coffee and type things into her portal (essentially the same thing as a Google search). She slowly figures things out throughout the chapters, but the plot itself is just so incredibly BORING. When compared with how interesting Grey’s side of the story is, I honestly think the novel would have been 1000 times better if it had been written from his perspective. Please tell me I’m not the only one? I would 100% read that version of the book.
I hope you enjoyed my first Book Rant here on the blog and hopefully I’ll have another one up soon! Also be sure to check Kalyn out on YouTube as well as her other platforms if you enjoy motivational and inspirational online content and have a lovely rest of your week!