Friday, December 27, 2019

Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer - ADVISABLE

Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer, 304 pages. Tom Doherty Associates, 2019. $18.

Language: PG13 (22 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



16yo Steph doesn’t remember a time when she and her mom were not on the run from her dangerous dad. The constant moves makes finding friends difficult, which is why Steph is so grateful for CatNet and her group of online friends. No matter how careful she’s been, though, Steph’s dad is coming for her, and the only help she has is stuck online. What can they do?

While I was caught off guard by the unanticipated turns Steph’s story was making, they were positive pivots to the story I had imagined from the initial description. Each unexpected step that Steph and her friends made fed my desire to see what they would do next. I think the best part is the AI character and the food for thought given to what it means to “come out” -- and how we react to those around us who do so. The mature content rating is for the sex education topics discussed, like genitals and masturbation, beyond most sex education class curriculums and mentions of other sexual acts, like oral sex; the violence rating is for mentions of kidnapping and torture as well as gun violence.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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