Sunday, March 16, 2008

And under the title of DAMN - I wish I'd written that....

I was in the States this past weekend with the family, and I had a few coupons for Borders. Anyone who knows me knows that I love books, but hate paying the high prices here in Canada for them. With the exchange rate being amazing, I bought a few of them. Two were erotica (of course - one was B is for Bondage, an anthology edited by the always brilliant Alison Tyler, and another, Dances with Werewolves,written by Niki Flynn - you can catch a great interview with her here). But the one "normal" book I bought is called Cathy's Book. I don't know - maybe some of you have seen it around. This is the cover.

Normally, I don't buy what would be considered "young adult" material, but there was just something about this book that jumped out at me. It had peaked my curiosity the last few times I'd seen it so I decided what the hell, let's buy it and see if it's really as good as my instincts tell me.

Well, it's all that and more.

The author, Sean Stewart, has created an interactive adventure, complete with phone numbers for the characters that actually work, and websites that the reader can go to. ( Cathy herself even has a myspace page. ) He is apparently famous for breaking that "fourth wall" and involving his audience.


For those with pre-teen or teenage girls, I recommend purchasing it for them, allowing them to read it and then stealing it from their bookshelves. The plot deals with immortals, murder, theivery, deception, and two bull-headed teenage girls who get caught up in the middle of the whole thing.

I began reading it on the journey home today - mainly when we had crossed the border back into Canada, and I didn't put it down until the end. As soon as I was done, I had to call the numbers, I had to visit the websites, I had to be involved SOMEHOW in this wonderful, imaginative piece of art. The inside is covered in "doodles" and Cathy's "notes".

I found this brief article on the Publishers Weekly website, which has got me excited, to say the least.

Cathy's Key: If Found Call (650) 266-8202
by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart (Running Press, May)
The backstory: When Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233 pubbed in summer 2006, it offered readers more than just a mystery—the book came with an “evidence pack,” including receipts, documents and other items as well as phone numbers and Web sites readers could use to obtain additional clues. According to Lisa Clancy, associate editorial director at Running Press, the publisher's access to suppliers (for its Running Press Mini Kits) were very helpful in putting together the interactive elements.
What worked: Despite a flap over product placement (Procter & Gamble struck a deal with Running Press to referenceCoverGirl cosmetics in the book), Cathy's Book became a bestseller; more than 100,000 copies of the hardcover are currently in print. “It was the first book of its kind to incorporate those elements into the story,” said Craig Herman, v-p of marketing and publicity at Running Press. “It helped to get the reader deeper into the characters, and in terms of plot, it engaged them and took them places they wouldn't ordinarily go on the straight printed page.”
The new story: Cathy's Key arrives in May, and will include new Web sites, phone numbers and evidence, including a Chinese coin, hospital ID bracelet and other items. Because the book is ostensibly written by Cathy, there are no plans for the authors to tour, though they will attend BEA, ALA and regional trade shows. A third book is scheduled for spring 2009, to coincide with a paperback edition of Cathy's Key.

I'm seriously psyched for this. I might considering pre-ordering through Amazon or what not.

But seriously guys? GO GET IT.

Stay sane inside insanity ~ and never forget your towel.


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Liz Hill said...

I'll definitely check it out.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

thanks for the book review....smooch

Travis Cody said...

The next phase in reading for young people?

It's certainly an interesting concept and hits on the interactive stuff that teens seem to be after.

Unknown said...

I will consider it - thanks :D

Meribah said...

It sounds interesting, and I like the concept of interactive books. If it gets more kids reading, I'm for it! :)

Schmoop said...

If this book invovles two teenage babes, I am so ordering it. Cheers!!

Coco said...

*perks at the "Bondage" book ... and completely misses the point to the rest of the post*

Kate said...

Hey guys -

Quick head's up (and yep, I work for the peeps who developed the app). There's a Cathy's Book app available on iTunes now.

Here's a demo video, if you're interested:



With love and pride