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Cathy's Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233 Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 3, 2006

4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 3, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up–When Cathy's boyfriend breaks up with her, she is determined to find out what's going on. Set in the San Francisco Bay area, the book tries to do too much. It is written as a mystery, and there are phone numbers to call, Web sites to visit, documents to look at, and doodles to view. But none of it adds up to an interesting story. The plot is almost a rote vampire tale with a family drama thrown in, and it takes forever to get into it. And the use of different fonts and doodles on almost every page makes it hard to read. The book seems intended to draw in gamers or fans of shows like Lost or the film Donnie Darko, but there are many media-generated worlds that do the job better. This book covers familiar ground, and spicing it up actually does more harm than good.–Amy Patrick, formerly at New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sean Stewart is both an award-winning novelist and a pioneer in interactive and multimedia fiction. In 2001 he won the World Fantasy Award for his novel Galveston and acted as lead writer and co-designer of “The Beast,” which Internet Life called “the Citizen Kane of online entertainment.” He lives in Davis, CA. Jordan Weisman is the creator of the successful MechWarrior line of PC games, one of the best-selling PC games of all time, Creative Director for the entire Microsoft entertainment division, and co-director (along with Sean Stewart) of the I Love Bees game, which won a Webby Award and an International Game Designers Award for Innovation. He lives in Bellevue, Washington.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids; Bk&Acces edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076242656X
  • ASIN: B000MR8TEK
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Petty on October 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Cathy's Book" is an interesting, great read! It is about a girl who is suddenly dumped by her boyfriend, Victor, after mysteriously fainting and waking up with a needle mark on her arm. The story follows her and her friend, Emma as they unfold the mystery of why her boyfriend dumped her and where this mysterious mark on her arm came from. As they get deeper and deeper into their investigation, they learn shocking things about Victor, and Cathy ends up suspecting that Victor is a murderer. That is only the main plot. If I were to write about all of the sub-plots, I'd have a good three of four paragraphs.

The various doodles and notes drawn alongside the writing in the story give you a better feeling of who Cathy is. What is even better is that the phone numbers (such as the one on the cover of the book, and the ones mentioned throughout the book) are actually real, working numbers that take you to the voicemails of each character. The book comes along with a small, clear package that containes pictures, letters, drawings and even more "proof" to go along with Cathy's story. This book was really entertaining, and it had a mysterious plot that kept me reading.
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Format: Hardcover
You know you want to. Don't worry. I guarantee she won't answer. You'll get her voicemail. You don't have to leave a message. ... But if you're clever, you can figure out her voicemail access code and learn a little more about her. And you know ... this book is Cathy Vicker's personal journal. If she's in trouble, it might be your duty to poke around in a bit to find out what's going on. But wait -- what's all this crap glued to the inside front cover in a baggie? Newspaper clippings, vital documents, a take out menu, business cards, sketches, a ripped up photo? Aw man. This could become pretty time consuming.

At least it did for me. I've spent the better part of two days following up on every lead I can find in this little parcel. I've been calling phone numbers, cracking access codes, comparing signatures, and piecing together dates. Seems that this precocious 17-year-old girl has hooked up with a fella named Victor of about 23 -- probably too old for her to be dating in any case -- and he may be involved in drugs? Questionable genetic research? The Chinese Mafia? At any rate, Victor's co-worker has been murdered, Cathy's got a mysterious needle mark on her arm, and her best friend Emma needs Cathy to pitch in on their joint Biology project.

To solve the mystery I've mostly been investigating web sites: both factual, pre-existing ones and fictional ones constructed for the conceit of this ARG. (That's "alternate reality game," Mom.) Cathy and Emma have their own My Space and AIM pages, of course. But there's even a site for a fictional wireless phone company with a forum in which all of Cathy's new helpers can share secrets. Here, let me get you started in your investigation.

I really can't say enough about this book. It's quite ingenious.
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Format: Hardcover
Cathy's boyfriend, Victor, unexpectedly breaks up with her and Cathy is not handling it well. Two days prior to their breakup, she woke up after an evening with Victor in which her memories remain fuzzy with a mark on her arm that looks like a needle track. Cathy isn't one to just sit back and take this, regardless of what her best friend Emma thinks, and soon she finds herself deeply involved in a complex puzzle with a murder, a biotech company, and some really scary men in Chinatown. What dark secrets will be revealed in CATHY'S BOOK?

Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman have written an unusual tale in which reader participation appears to be encouraged. A packet is included with clues from the story, such as pictures and newspaper clippings, which adds to the hands-on feel of CATHY'S BOOK. The approach is definitely engaging although only time will tell if this RPG style will work with young adult readers.

CATHY'S BOOK is written as if it were the journal of a 17 year old girl. The artwork and doodling is interspersed throughout the story and provides a very realistic touch to the overall effort. The storyline veers off in a rather odd track, but is a plot that will more than likely appeal to fans of RPGs. As a character, Cathy is very well developed although her reckless behavior may give parents a few qualms about younger readers. However, Cathy's actions are very much in line with the type of person she is.

CATHY'S BOOK is an interesting meld of mediums. The modern day RPG element is definitely kitschy and will certainly obtain some fans on that aspect alone. CATHY'S BOOK is recommended for older teenagers based on the content and is an interesting book that fully engages the reader in the story.

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Format: Hardcover
Cathy is not only a funky dresser, but also creative, clever, fun, curious and an artist extraordinaire. From the book's exciting cover, which states in gray letters against a black background "Cathy's Book if found call (650) 266-8233," to the ensuing pages of artistic doodles and adventures, this is one terrific read. Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman have gone out on a limb with some daring ideas and succeeded in creating an interactive, totally hands-on reading experience that teens will go wild for.

Set up as a kind of diary and sprinkled heavily with wonderful drawings, Cathy writes about her relationship with the mysterious Victor, her very best friend Emma, her frazzled mother and the pitfalls of getting involved in something very dangerous. Her diary covers about a month of her life as she investigates Victor's sudden withdrawal and strange behavior. As she becomes more deeply involved, she realizes that Victor is not who she thinks he is, that he possibly has used her in some kind of terrible experiment (there's a needle mark on her arm and a blank space in her memory) and that even murder is possible in the weird happenings of the Chinese underworld.

Emma is the brains, technology and nerdy part of Cathy's world. She pulls Cathy in and tries to keep her focused as well as attend to her school projects. After all, Cathy will not succeed in anything if she doesn't settle down. Emma is also pretty peeved that their science project failed because Cathy was so distracted. Throughout all of this, however, Emma's family has their own issues, and the wealth that surrounded Em is suddenly gone because her father loses his job. What else can happen in all this chaos? Oh, plenty can --- and does!
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