Catfishing on CatNet

Naomi Kritzer
Catfishing on CatNet Cover

Catfishing on CatNet


I'm not generally a big fan of YA novels (most of the time, I find the stupidity quotient too high), but this one knocks it out of the park.

This story does a great job of creating a very near-future world, where the internet is a lifeline for a teenage girl whose life has been spent on the run with her mother from an abusive father, never spending more than a few months in any one place, and never able to develop lasting personal friendships -- that is, until she finds the online forum Catnet and a group of similarly-bright young people from all over the U.S. who provide each other with friendship and emotional support.

The book manages to touch on topics of domestic abuse, stalking, manipulation, bullying, greed, false personas, the invasiveness of the internet and social media, and questions of humanity with respect to sentient artificial intelligence -- and it does a great job of balancing the tension and grimness with humor and humanity.

I thought this novel was fantastic, and it's first on my nomination ballot for the Lodestar Young Adult Novel Award.