________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 16 . . . . December 22, 2017


Kat and Meg Conquer the World.

Anna Priemaza.
New York, NY: Harper Teen (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada), 2017.
353 pp., trade pbk. & Ebook, $17.99.
ISBN 978-0-06-256080-3 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-06-256083-4 (Ebook).

Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.

Review by Lacey Crowie.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



The girl – Meg, I guess – cocks her head at me, waiting for my response. One of her black corkscrew curls falls in front of her dark skinned face, and she shakes it out of the way while somehow maintaining eye contact. Her grin is a little too broad. I shift back in my chair just an inch.

Here's the thing: this science project isn't like some grade five thing…we're supposed to work on it for most of the year and then present it at a schoolwide competition at the beginning of March. It's worth 30 percent of our entire science mark.

And grade ten marks matter for getting into university. And getting into university matters for the rest of life. And the rest of life is a really long time to be a jobless, homeless bum.

So I can't just partner with anyone…

She taps at the screen [of her phone] a few times, then looks up at me. "What's your number? Oh, and your name, duh."

"Oh, um, Kat. Kat Daley."

"Okay, Kat Daley. You want mine?"…

"Um, just write it here." I push my planner across the desk…

She hands back my planner and returns to her phone. "Okay, now you."

I feel weird giving all my info to this stranger, but I can't really say that when she just gave me all of hers.

Once she's entered it, she plunks her phone down on her desk…and grins at me. Less manically this time. "So," she says, "what are we partnering for?"

"What do you mean?"

"I zoned out for a bit. What are we partners for? Labs or something?"

I regret everything.

Kat and Meg are two very different teenage girls. Kat has anxiety and suffers from panic attacks, while Meg's ADHD keeps her energetic and maybe sometimes a little too out there. When the two of them end up paired together for their science fair project, Kat feels as though they have nothing in common, but she soon discovers they both have an interest in the online game, Legends of the Stone, and an online gamer named LumberLegs. Over time, the girls become best friends and, through the use of their favorite game, work to develop the best science fair project out there, one with the chance of winning a trip to Ontario. But when Meg doesn't take her end of the project seriously, she and Kat end up in a fight, and the future of their project and their friendship is put in jeopardy.

      Priemaza's character-driven novel does an excellent job of showcasing two different personalities within the two main characters and using them to pace the novel. Kat is new to town, shy, organized and punctual with her homework while Meg is outgoing, loud, brazen and has little interest in school. A formula seen in many YA novels, one can assume that over the course of the novel the girls balance each other by teasing out the sides of their personality that weren't there prior to their meeting. While the formula may be recognizable, the story still reads as fresh due to the interesting lives both Kat and Meg lead – family issues, boy troubles, sex, love and friendship are all themes seen in the novel.

      Meg, being the social butterfly, develops a relationship with a boy, only to have it end right after her first experience with sex. Kat's granddad has a stroke, and she is the only one able to be there for him at the hospital. These two situations are the pinnacle moments in the novel and ground the story that centers mostly on a video game in everyday experiences and the idea of friends comforting us in times of need.

      The online video game, as well as the chat room scenes within Kat and Meg Conquer the World, add a layer of creativity and provide room for most of the comedic relief. Readers who enjoy video games will find this thread appealing.

Highly Recommended.

Lacey Crowie works at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently working on her Masters of Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia.

CM Home | Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive

© CM Association

Hosted by:
University of Manitoba ISSN 1201-9364

This Creative Commons license allows you to download the review and share it with others as long as you credit the CM Association. You cannot change the review in any way or use it commercially.

Commercial use is available through a contract with the CM Association. This Creative Commons license allows publishers whose works are being reviewed to download and share said CM reviews provided you credit the CM Association.

Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - December 22, 2017.