Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

A very disappointing book despite an attractive plot.

Themes: thriller, boarding school/college

The synopsis

Catherine House is a university like no other. Into its celebrated world steps Ines, a young woman who welcomes the school’s isolation rather than its illustrious past. As the gates close and Ines finds herself start to be inevitably seduced by its magnetic power, she also begins to realise the question isn’t why she chose to come to Catherine House; but why Catherine House chose her.

The review

I expected quite a lot from this book since the summary sold me a thriller taking place in a college totally closed from the outside world. It seems to have all the elements of a good mystery and indeed you find in the book some spooky vibes reinforced by a writing which aims to be gothic.

But nothing met my expectations in this book, neither the plot or the characters. Even the writing was disappointing with the unnecessary use of coarse vocabulary. The main character is just despicable, lasy and is not even trying to solve the mystery behind Catherine House. Her only activities is to go to parties, skip classes and have hangovers. The characterisation of the characters is so poor that I could not retain the name of the main one! I like to feel something for the characters of a book and in this one I felt nothing other than disgust and boredom.

And the plot isn’t helpful to get past that boredom. In fact there is no plot, no coherence in this book. At a point I thought that finally we were getting to the mysteries surrounding the college and Ines (the main character) but no. I started to skip entire parts and finally decided to drop out, which rarely happens to me.

Conclusion: a book without a plot, without characters and without much dialogues… The writing is the only reason why I didn’t lowered my rating at 1 since it’s not so bad. Such a pity for a book who has so much potential.

My rating: 2/5

Trigger warning: torture (physical and psychological), suicide

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