Cathy’s Book
Sean Stewart, Jordan Weisman, Cathy Briggs (Illustrator)
Published by Running Press
Hard cover, 143 pages

Cathy’s Book is described as an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) book. This means that the story is fiction, but the websites mentioned are real and behave as though they are part of the story. The phone numbers work if you care to call (I presume Skype will work too). But as a standalone, the book works just fine.

The book is essentially the diary of 17-year old budding artist Cathy Vickers – full of sketches, doodles, photographs, a few name cards, and other little treasures that girls would keep. But in this case, her items and diary focuses on her ex-boyfriend Victor Chan, who abruptly dumped her the night before the story begins. 

Cathy doesn’t know why but is determined to find out. She does the obsessive ex thing – stalk him, and break into his house and steal things that she consider clues. Most of these items are included in the book, not as images printed directly on the page, but real items. Many of these clues suggests that Victor was not completely honest about who he is. 

The note on the back of the book (masquerading as a synopsis) tells us that Cathy had already gone missing and left the diary in the care of her best friend Emma. What happened to her? No one knows yet, but you can always pop online and share your theories with other fans.

The sequel, Cathy’s Key, was released earlier this year.

– originally published in Good English, The Borneo Post

 

I’ll buy hard cover if it came with interesting bits and bobs like Cathy’s Book! That side pocket is stuffed full of things – a ripped up photo, a takeout menu, name cards, and a few coloured sketches done by Cathy. It does a great job in pulling the reader in.

I found the paperback version where all of those things are printed into a few pages in the middle. Well, that’s rather anti-climatic if you’ve already seen this one!

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