Grade 10 Up–During the summer between his high school graduation and leaving for state college, Tim Temples works and drinks hard and discovers that he is not alone at the center of his own universe. In the course of about 15 weeks, he watches his older brother–a former baseball star like their father–degenerate socially and physically for no obvious (to Tim) reason. It's during this same time that he is smitten for the first time in his young womanizing life. Helena is more than five years his senior, hard-bitten by life and her own sarcastic attitude, and only Tim believes that the affair has lasting potential. Daytimes are spent working in a food packaging plant, hauling boxes, and noticing that his old high school friends are quickly fading into the old men who staff the plant year round. Only belatedly does Tim realize that he is different from most of his friends, most of his family, most of the town. He's leaving to be a college guy, in a world just down the highway but very far away in terms of prospects. Leitch draws readers to Tim slowly and places him within a cast of characters who are finely etched, realistic, and memorably quirky. Teens will recognize people they know among these characters, some admirable, most deeply flawed, all genuine. This is a keenly felt and absorbing read about this bittersweet rite of passage.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
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Gr. 9-12. The summer before college can be a stressful one, especially if you have a physically demanding, brainless summer job and you are in love with an older woman. Tim Temples has just these problems--as well as a reputation as a ladies' man that he can't live down and a golden-boy brother, who has just returned home without explanation. Catch could have been a formulaic, light YA novel, but in Leitch's hands, it becomes an authentic narrative of growing up in small-town America as the son and brother of well-known athletes--well known, at least, in Mattoon, Illinois. Tim is also a golden boy, and he suddenly finds himself evaluating his life, his future, and the reality of loving someone who may not return his feelings. Leitch draws his characters with depth and charm, creating mostly multidimensional individuals. Readers may wish for a better-articulated character in Tim's brother, Doug; his appearance is fraught with a mystery that is never divulged. But this substantive title will entice both male and female YA readers with its thoughtful, authentic, and romantic young man's voice. Frances Bradburn
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This is one of those books I enjoyed an extra amount because I really related to it.
No I was never a baseball star or town stud, but I did grow up in a similar town, I... Read more
after reading this book i became a huge fan of Will Leitch. he is an amazing writer. this book made me laugh, it;ll make you cry. Read morePublished on July 1, 2011 by acestarz
I'm a middle-aged woman who left Mattoon in 1980--almost just as soon as I finished giving my valedictory speech at MHS--and have worked in publishing in Boston, New York, and... Read morePublished on June 6, 2010 by J. A. Cason
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read!
It is humerous, insightful, and very memorable. It is easy to read, informational and introspective. Read more
" Catch " was a wonderful read. I love small town books because I'm from a small town! I was able to visualize the characters and their surroundings. Read morePublished on August 22, 2008 by KMG
I'm a big fan of Will Leitch's DeadSpin website (although he recently left for New York Magazine), and happened to notice that he'd also written a couple of books. Read morePublished on August 2, 2008 by CopyGal
I really enjoyed "Catch". Will Leitch realistically captured Tim and his friends. There were many similarities to people in my life. Read morePublished on March 6, 2008 by C. Bower
I thought overall the book was very amusing and great read for young adults, although the rape scene semmed very out of placePublished on March 12, 2007 by Q-Tip
While the story itself is a good idea, the execution is awful. This author cannot write. The cliches, the awkward sentences, the forced dialogue . . . Read morePublished on February 3, 2007 by Nicole