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4.3 out of 5 stars
Catch
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
What a moving, utterly memorable read!

This book entirely exceeded my expectations. Having little to no interest in baseball or the midwest, I still found myself completely riveted from beginning to end. The author has an excellent ear for dialogue and a seamless, natural style. Rich in evocative detail and clever nuance--though never in an obvious, overdone way--I would highly recommend CATCH to anyone of any age!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
CATCH was the best book I've read in a long, long time. At least, the best book I wasn't forced to read.

The author made me understand what it's like living in small town America. He also touched on topics that were more familiar to me--maybe too familiar. Like, what it's like to leave everything you know to take a chance on things that are different, confusing, and maybe better than anything you knew before.

I felt Tim's happiness when love came his way, and his pain when things didn't work out the way he wanted.

All in all, Tim, the main character, has a good heart, and in the story, he discovers that. Readers do, too.

Pick CATCH up and go hang out with Tim Temples and his friends on their way from high school to college--and on Tim's way from selfishness to a sense of the world around him. It's a great ride, and you won't be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Tim Temples is a high-school graduate. He has

survived the four long gruesome years of hanging

out with his posse, drinking, and meeting nearly

every girl in their small town of Matoon. Okay,

so it wasn't that wretched. Not only that but the

Temples family are legend, for playing baseball.

Tim's father, Bryan, played in the minor leagues

and would have made it to the majors except for

injuries. Tim's older brother, Doug, was drafted

by the Cardinals, but went to collage instead.

Now when Doug comes back from that four year

scholarship Tim fears that it has ruined him.

Since Tim is the next to go to college, he fears

that he will also not finish, become fat, always

be angry at everybody, along with an assortment

of other things that changed his brother to the

pathetic state he is in now. Tim is facing his

last summer with his posse called the Horsemen,

and the normal routine. At his summer job of

carring crates, Tim meets Helena. Helena is 23,

gorgeous (with a full rack), and hates his guts.

This soon changes, and they become girlfriend and

boyfriend. They spend every night together, and

the Horsemen are forgotten. Things will change

with college soon approaching. Will his

relationship with Helena change? Will he end up

like Doug, fat and lazy? Who knows until the last

page.

Quick witted dry humor, cussing, romance, and

the average legend in a small town. The closest

thing that I can compare this novel to is J.D.

Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye". I won't lie,

there is quite a bit of cussing, and sex. But it

is not so much that this is all that there is.

It's also a realistic fiction story of a teenager

heading off to college in the year 2005. It was

one of those books where you just kept reading,

always telling yourself that you will stop at the

next chapter. Ten Chapters later you are still in

the same position that you started in, saying

you'll stop at the next chapter. You look deeper

still. It's a story of friendship and family.

Things will change but with the support of those

close to you.

Reviewed by a student reviewer for Flamingnet Book Reviews

[...]

Preteen, teen, and young adult book reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading CATCH and I was utterly moved. The characters are unique and involving and it perfectly captures that moment between high school and college, youth and maturity. Pick it up!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
There is a trend among young adult literature to stage the proceedings in big cities, well-known towns of glitter and glam such as Manhattan, Chicago, and Los Angeles. And although there are books out there that feature the small towns of America, they usually feature made up burgs and use euphemisms to get small-town life across. This is not the case with CATCH, and for that I can be grateful. I can be even more grateful that the author set his story in Mattoon, Illinois, a place that actually exists, is where Mr. Leitch grew up, and that is located only about two hours from both where I myself grew up and where I now reside.

Mattoon is a city, not a town, and is larger than my own hometown and yet smaller than the place I now call home. But when I opened up my copy of CATCH and immersed myself in the life and times of Tim Temples, I was immediately brought back to my own adolescent years. The Hardees parking lot where the high-school kids gather could be the same Hardees lot that I knew intimately from weekend cruising. The Lender's Bagels plant could be the reincarnation of the Quaker Oats plant that once resided in a neighboring town during my youth. Jacob Kuhns, the small-bit actor who is the most famous person ever to come from Mattoon in CATCH, and Tim's dad, who played Minor League baseball for a St. Louis Cardinal's affiliate in his younger days, could be dead-ringers for the celebrities of my own small hometown.

Tim's brother, Doug, attends the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, a college I myself once considered attending. Jessica, the good-girl of Mattoon, could be any number of girls I went to school with. Could be, in fact, me. The "Buck Fush" bumper sticker can actually be seen, to this day, on the rusted out pick-up trucks I still see when I go back to my hometown for a visit. The yearly Bagelfest, with it's parade through downtown, mimics the ones I saw as a child.

In a word, CATCH brings to life small-town America in a way that no other book has ever done. Although it's the story of Tim Temples, of the summer between high-school graduation and probable college admittance, it's a lot more than that. It's the story of what it's like to grow up with everyone in town knowing your name; of the cops understanding that you're not a bad kid for having an open container of alcohol in your moving vehicle; of people expecting you to follow in the footsteps of a semi-famous father and brother that you know you'll never have the ability--or desire--to fill.

This isn't growing up in New York City, or L.A., or the gigantic metropolis that is Chicago. This is real life, real America, the ups and downs of growing up, of falling in love, and of wanting to be the kind of person you can be proud of. This is the story of a guy who wants to break out, not necessarily of small-town America, but of small-town thinking. This is Tim's story, and my story, and the story of hundreds of thousands of teenagers throughout Midwest America.

You can't go wrong reading CATCH, and Mr. Leitch can never go wrong by accepting who he is, where he came from, and who he's become--which is the author of one hell of a great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book on a whim and spent the rest of the day with it. I loved Tim and his brother's fading connection through baseball, and thought the family dynamics were beautifully written. Tim's affair with an older co-worker was nicely portrayed with just the right amount of attraction and regret. I hope we get to meet Tim again when he begins his new life in college.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
when i checked out the book Catch from i local library i was quersome at what to expect. but when i open the cover and started to read i was immeadiatl drawn into a whirlwind of excitement and forbidden love. as the story goes on your will tossed around and until at the very end the storm lets you go and you are not dishelved but satisfied with the way it ended and forever touched by Tim Temples charm and Helenas wit. everyone who loves to read a good novel about how life really is and how to deal should read Will Lietchs book; Catch
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
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 California. I've got a BA in English lit and an MBA, and I have traveled the world. But, boy oh boy, did this book remind me of where I came from. I recognized just about every place mentioned, and I felt the boredom and despair that were so omnipresent. So much is the same as when I was growing up there. Leitch's prose took me a while to get used to, but then the obvious struck me: the word choice, the syntax, the ideas are all from the perspective of the 18-year-old main character who was raised in Mattoon, so it's perfect. I loved Bagelfest being the device that followed the story arc. Very satisfying ending, too. But, I can't bring myself to give the book to my great nephews and nieces who live in nearby Casey, IL. (That's KAY-ZEE, NOT KAY-cee, just like it's MAT-TOON-rhymes-with-spittoon, not muh-TOON.) Of course, sex, drugs, and drinking exist in high school. But, wow, is it ever rampant and casual in this book. Very well done first novel. I'm off to check out what he's up to now....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed "Catch". Will Leitch realistically captured Tim and his friends. There were many similarities to people in my life. I laughed; I cried; I hope Will writes another book. Also any book that can get a reference to Eric Cartman in the first sentence and a library reference on the first page is my kind of book!
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Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
" 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. Will Leitch got me to read descriptions without me even realizing it- he was very detailed in his writing without being overbearing.
Even in the heartbreaking moments, Will was able to stay HUMEROUS and light-hearted. It made this read extremely insightful and memorable.

The main character, Tim, is just 18 years old and is at his last summer before going to college. In his small town, everyone knows him and loves him- not because he's an outstanding child, but because his father was a big baseball guy in the minor leagues about ten years back. Tim is effectively riding his father's coattails and no one seems to mind. The crisis on Tim's mind is- stay in little Mattoon and live the life of a King, but risk falling into the mindless work at the Plant for the rest of his life? or go to college a couple hours over, and become no one- but learn a zillion new things?

The story moves slowly with Will taking his time to describe things like, how to play the beer/ card game "As*hole", what a big guy's hanging-over belly is called: dunlap (cuz it "dunlap" over his belt), and the serenity of the night sky that can hold a million stars without the city lights. I've never been to Mattoon (which, by the way, APPARENTLY isn't pronounced Ma-TOON- I still don't know how it's said) but I FEEL like I've been there. I feel like I've met these people. I have had friends like these and the pranks we've pulled are similar. Great times! (stupid kids)

" Catch " was beautifully written. I love Will's style. It was so easy to read and follow along with. I wish I could meet "Tim" and give him a hug.
Great great story. I found it in a small used book store in Portland, ME that has books stacked from floor to ceiling in 13 foot walls (books EVERYWHERE, I WAS IN HEAVEN)- how's that for getting around, Will? I've already bought an extra copy to send to my cousin because I can't bear to part with my copy at the risk of him losing it. Wonderful.
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