Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Released: May 4 2010

Hardcover: 310 pages

Synopsis (from publisher):
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

My Rating: 3 / 5

My Thoughts:

I loved the premise of cursers and White Cat is written by the amazing Holly Black so I expected to love this one. Sadly, this book and I did not get along. I'm not sure if Cassel's character was written this way on purpose but I just couldn't feel any empathy for him. Was it because I never knew who he really as since he's a con and well doesn't even know himself? If that's not the case, I think the execution failed. It wasn't until about two-thirds into the book that it really grabbed my attention, the real action began and the pace picked up. This is also, (suprise, surprise) when a big plot twist takes place that puts a whole new spin on Cassel!

I finished the book and thought "wow, a great ending, BUT..." then I said to my BFF "well this is book one of a series, the boring stuff should be covered now, I think I'm going to love book two!" **crosses fingers**

The one thing I must mention is that as much as I couldn't get into the story, I must give Holly credit for writing outstanding lines throughout the book. Seriously so many were just brilliant!


  1. I saw your comments but still want to read this one so I decided to get the audiobook and listen to it. That way I can multi-task if the beginning is slow.

  2. Aly ~ that sounds like a great plan! I struggled with it but think there is so much more potential in the next books. I was going to suggest either reading now knowing it will be a slow start OR wait until book 2 comes out so you read them back to back :)

  3. I agree with you, loved the premise, but wasn't a huge fan. I liked it so much better than say.. Hush, Hush. And the one part that (unfortunately) has stayed with me is the bottle full of... well you read it you know, the bathroom thing? UGH. So unnecessary. Yuck.

  4. I loved it, maybe what I liked was Cassel not knowing himself, that journey of self discover is one I love. My review can be seen here.


  5. I felt the same way at the begining of the book, it took me a while to get into it but I ended up liking it and I'm looking forward to the next one. I really liked the idea of the curse workers too.

  6. I loved it! I like that none of the characters are particularly likable. It certainly was different than the usual YA paranormal! Book Two should prove very interesting!

    My review

  7. Lisa ~ GASP! I loved Hush, Hush! Hey, thanks for the remonder about that bucket LOL.

    Steven ~ I LOVE character development, but he felt so one dimensional for so long. Once it got the good part, I loved the transition

    Cynthia ~ me too, I think book 2 will be sooo much better, it was just painful getting there LOL

    Nicola ~ I guess since nothing stood out maybe that's why I was bored for so long? Yes, book two has so much to cover, I am really looking forward to it too :)

  8. It's so true that there were some great insights in Holly's writing. I think I liked it a little more than you did, because his character was relatable to me (ya know, like someone I once knew, lol)

    Great review :-)

  9. Good review! Appreciated your honesty, as I have this one on my wishlist. Think I'll wait for book 2 and read them back to back. Thanks!