What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

White Cat by Holly Black

I know this has a new cover, but this is the cover I have, and I like it better. I know a lot of people have already read this trilogy, since all of the books are already out, but I was just now able to work it into my schedule. I actually have several Holly Black books on my TBR list, but this one was the one I decided to read first.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.

What I Liked: 1) I wasn't prepared for the grittiness of this book, and I loved it. The gloss-free writing fits completely with the story that Miz Black is telling. It is almost as if the images that I conjured when reading were mostly in black and white, just small pops of color, and dark ones at that. Kinda like the cover. 2) Cassel. I loved Cassel. And you can't help but feeling sorry for him. He is the only one of his whole family who isn't a curse worker, so he doesn't really fit in with them. But he doesn't really fit in with anyone else either, because he comes from a family of cons. Not to mention this horrible secret that he's lived with, of killing his best friend when they were younger. But underneath it all, he's got a lot of care and concern for the people around him, no matter how he was raised to con or use them. 3) There is a big reveal towards the end of the book, something having to do with this white cat, and you start seeing it coming when Cassel is starting to figure things out. But I was glad that this wasn't the end of the book. There was still probably a fourth of the book to go when you find out what the deal is with the white cat. I was very excited that the story didn't just abruptly stop with that. *yes, I had to dance around that to keep from giving away spoilers. It wasn't easy, but that's how much I love y'all!* 4) The plot. The plot moves with such a smooth pace that you'll be lost in the story and won't want to pull yourself out of it. It twists and turns in subtle ways, and Miz Black is slow to reveal different pieces of the puzzle as she takes you through the story, giving you just enough to keep you interested, but not so much to give anything away to quickly. Her writing style fit perfectly with the story that was being told, and it's easy to follow without feeling bored. 5) Character development. Cassel, along with his fellow characters were all so well developed that its easy to imagine them as real people. Not only was Cassel's voice perfect for the character as he was telling the story, but even the supporting characters had fully explored stories. 6) I loved the concept of the curseworkers. This secret society of people who have been cursed (instead of gifted) with this brand of magic. So unique and creative!

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I was left wanting at the end of this book was the next book! It was great!

Overall Thoughts: Holly Black's White Cat is a gritty paranormal with a refreshingly curious main character with sarcastic wit and hidden compassion. The plot sinks its claws into you from the beginning and never loosens its grip. Full of suspense but with subtle twists, White Cat will make you want to keep reading, late into the night and you'll be itching for the next book as soon as you've finished.

My Rating: 5 shots


  1. Yay! So glad you loved this one, because it's coming up in my review pile. I am late to the party, as usual, with this series, but I did buy White Cat at Teen Book Con and thought it sounded wonderful. I can't wait to compare my thoughts with yours :-) Thanks for the great review!

  2. Loved this book!! I can't believe I still haven't read the final book in the series. I had it pre-ordered and then when I got it I had not time to read it. :( I will have to get to it soon. Great review!!


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