LODESTAR AWARD WINNER FOR BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
From Hugo and Locus Award-winning author Naomi Kritzer, Catfishing on CatNet is a thought-provoking near future YA thriller that could not be more timely as it explores issues of online privacy, artificial intelligence, and the power and perils of social networks.
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice/Staff Pick
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
An Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Novel
A Minnesota Book Award Winner for Best Young Adult Novel
An Andre Norton Nebula Award Finalist
An ITW Thriller Award for Best YA Novel Nominee
A Lodestar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Book
“A pure delight...that’s as tender and funny as it is gripping and fast-paced. This book is perfect. From the believable teenage voices to the shockingly effective thriller plot, it swings effortlessly from charming humor to visceral terror, grounding it all in beautiful friendships, budding romance, and radical acceptance.” —The New York Times
Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I.
When a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her and ChesireCat’s existence is discovered by outsiders, it’s up to Steph and her friends, both online and IRL, to save her.
“Alongside the uplifting message about inclusivity, diversity, and found family—characters of various ethnicities identify as gay, bisexual, nonbinary, asexual, and still exploring—Kritzer’s take on a benevolent AI is both whimsical and poignant. An entertaining, heart-filled exploration of today’s online existence and privacy concerns.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In this thoughtful near-future techno-thriller, a sentient AI that secretly runs an online community dedicated to animal pictures befriends a lonely young woman who's spent her life fleeing her violent stalker father. Unable to make any lasting connections in meatspace, Steph, 16, has found a sense of community and acceptance on CatNet, unaware that the admin, CheshireCat, isn't human. When she and her mother move again, this time to a tiny Wisconsin town, Steph doesn't expect to be there long, and she definitely doesn't expect to make friends, but ends up with kind and witty IRL companions, such as artsy Rachel. After attempting to help the solitary teen, CheshireCat reveals their true nature, then goes offline, propelling Steph and her friends to uncover the dark secret lurking in her family's past. Alongside the uplifting message about inclusivity, diversity, and found family characters of various ethnicities identify as gay, bisexual, nonbinary, asexual, and still exploring Kritzer's take on a benevolent AI is both whimsical and poignant. An entertaining, heart-filled exploration of today's online existence and privacy concerns. Ages 12 up. \n
Not sure why...
I don't quite know why, but this book just didn't grab me and I ended up not finishing it. Maybe it's because I'm enough outside the online culture being depicted that it felt both alien and over-explained. Maybe I had too hard a time trying to get inside the protagonist's head.
The basic premise is that a lonely teenage girl, dragged on the run by a mother who has genuinely excellent reasons to want to move invisibly through society, finds illicit friendship and connection through an online chat board (that is, her participation is illicit, not the chat board in general). But the Presence behind the board isn't at all what it seems, and Things Start Happening. If you enjoy imaginative stories about plugged-in culture, you may well like this much more than I did.