Catch & Release

Blythe Woolston (Author)
Backorder (temporarily out of stock)

Product Details

Carolrhoda Lab (R)
Publish Date
January 01, 2012
5.58 X 0.82 X 7.76 inches | 0.73 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Blythe Woolston is a reader. Right now, she makes her living indexing scholarly books. She has also worked as a writing teacher, library clerk, and production coordinator for a computer book publisher. Writing books is a new way for her to love reading.


"Polly Furnas's plan was college, career, and babies. That was all before MRSA, a lethal and drug-resistant strain that disfigured her face and took her eye. And as far as Polly's concerned, too her future, too. No friends visited her in the hospital, not even her boyfriend, Bridger. But Odd Estes did hang out with her; then again he was already there. MRSA stole his leg and his dreams of a football career. They had that in common, that and fishing.
"Once out of the hospital, Odd and Polly embark on a fly-fishing trip. The two MRSA-touched tens begin a road trip where they face their new futures, futures that are unfamiliar and uncertain. Through grappling with their alienation and fears, Polly and Odd start to realize who they really are. Their pain and discoveries create a compelling and beautiful tale of trials and triumph." --The ALAN Review

"Eighteen-year-old Polly recounts her road trip with Odd, a fellow survivor of the disease that killed five others from their small town, in D'Elegance, his Gramma's old baby-blue Cadillac. Fishing is ostensibly the purpose of their outing, and it symbolically charts the way the two teens process their disabilities. Polly once had a boyfriend and a sense of a normal future, and she now calls her former self 'Polly-That-Was, ' since Bridger has vanished with the disfigurement of her face and loss of an eye from MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Odd Estes lost a foot as well as some football buddies, and although the two barely knew each other before, they both now struggle to accommodate their good fortune in surviving and their misfortune of disability. Swearing, booze and weed are along for the journey, which takes them from their hometown somewhere near Yellowstone toward Portland, Ore. Neither teen is particularly articulate, but Polly's first-person narration is as snarky and devastatingly honest as she is. Odd and Polly move from isolation to a mutual connection that helps them deal with their pain. This is not a romance, but a tale of two people thrown together after their world has been turned upside down. Each is unique, vividly complicated and true. Engaging writing and characters lift this above the typical clichΓ©d story of disabled teens. Heartbreakingly honest." --Kirkus Reviews


"Polly Furnas, 18, and Odd Estes, 17, both disfigured survivors of a MRSA outbreak, feel rejected in their small Montana town. Both had typical teenage dreams for their futures, only to find themselves unlikely friends bonded by the infection. Odd, who lost a leg, invites Polly on a road trip, promising adventure and lots of fishing. Polly, wanting to get away from her mom and to escape the rejection she feels because of her facial disfigurement, opts to go along. While readers might hope for plenty of action, there is very little, leading to a character-driven novel with no plot. Odd is an unlikable character who eases his pain with medicinal marijuana and carries a gun. Polly and Odd are honest teens with strong opinions. Their interactions are interesting, but some readers will have trouble connecting with either one of them. Mature teens who finish the story will see that this is a novel about acceptance and moving on when life throws a curveball." --School Library Journal


"This book is a disturbing, yet gripping look at what happens when two teens' lives are forever changed by a lethal case of MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria) that rips through their small Montana town. Polly Furnas and Odd Estes are the two miracle survivors; now they have to make new plans. Odd invites Polly to go fishing, a trip which becomes a quest where both face their uncertain future. Woolston has created two very genuine and believable characters. It is their raw language and behavior that makes the reader want to stay with them, even as heart-breaking as their lives are. Chapter titles that reference fly-fishing spots, equipment, or lingo provide a peek at what's to come and will appeal to the outdoorsy types. This is a powerful, can't-stop-reading tale of when the life you intended is not the one you have, and that is especially wrenching when you are 17." --Library Media Connection


"When 18-year-old Polly reflects on the idea that what doesn't kill one makes one stronger, she's not thinking about herself. She's referring to a local staph outbreak that killed five people and maimed two, including Polly. 'It ate my eye and part of my cheekbone. It left behind a mess of bumpy pink scars that twists the corner of my mouth up on one side like I'm a half-finished Joker.' Her future plans (and her former boyfriend) now belong to the 'Polly-That-Was, ' and she spends her days watching TV until she hears from fellow survivor Odd Estes, who lost a leg to the infection. A fishing trip in his old Cadillac becomes a road trip to Portland, Ore., as Polly tries to understand the twist of fate that has scarred her inside and out, while she attempts to keep an erratic Odd in check. Morris Award-winner Woolston (The Freak Observer) forces readers to re-evaluate life's random cruelties and the idea of 'survival, ' as she brings her characters to the brink of death, then tosses them back in the water." --Publishers Weekly


"Polly, a self-described 'monster, ' is disfigured following a staph infection that killed several others in her town. She and Odd, another teen who survived the infection, embark on a road trip that takes them through the Pacific Northwest--and into honest discussions about the nature of disability and the drive to survive. Woolston offers an unusual perspective on healing in this nuanced story."


"Polly has physically recovered from the flesh-eating bacteria that attacked her face near the close of her senior year. She has lost one eye and that side of her face is now deeply distorted. Much more brutal than the physical scarring, however, is the fact that the boyfriend with whom she had planned a happily-ever-after future dumped her while she was hospitalized. He just couldn't stand the imperfections that New Polly bore--aesthetically, psychologically, and socially. While in the hospital, however, Polly strikes up an acquaintance with another bacteria survivor, Odd Estes, who lost his foot to the disease and has been outfitted with a robotic prosthesis that he learns to work quite well. In addition to sharing the adjustment to life as bacteria survivors, they both love fishing, and Odd takes Polly on a road trip outfitted with some nearly Kerouacian moments. Woolston's novel offers intriguing characters, contemporary ethical questions, and a story that will have appeal to a wide range of readers." --Booklist