White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat
by Holly Black
ISBN-13: 9-781416-963967
Rating: 4.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really, really liked it

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers – people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest tough of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn’t got magic, 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.

Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself 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 behaviour of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to outcon the conmen.

White Cat is so fun and unique. Cassel is part of a family of curse workers, even though he isn’t one. Two older brothers, mother, father, grandfather…he’s the white sheep of the family. Except he isn’t as white as he’d like, what with killing his friend Lila 3 years before the book opens. The book follows Cassel as he gets suspended from school and sent home, where he’s swept up in curse worker business. Oh, and there’s a mysterious white cat, of course. It’s taken me ages to write this review because I don’t want to spoil any of the book. So this one’s going to be a bit shorter than my usual.

I loved Cassel. Even though he’s the odd man out in his family, he still made a place for himself. Cassel is a conman – a good one, and proud of it. He’s making his way through school, and while he may not necessarily like his family, they are his family. All thw hile, he’s dealing with the knowledge that he killed his best friend, Lila, three years before, and that his mother’s in jail for curse working. He’s got a lot of strength, and while he’s not the most honest or trustworthy person, he still know his right from wrong. Cassel just considers some wrongs not too bad (cons, mostly). Really, there’s just something about him that’s likeable.

Cassel is definitely the major attraction in this book. The whole plot revolves around him, and it’s done so well. The cons are perfect, and as the book goes on, you realize (along with Cassel) that everything is not as it seems, and some curse work is afoot. There’s tension, confusion, worry and fast paced action. And always, Cassel is wondering if what he knows is real is actually the truth. White Cat is a well put together book, with engaging writing. You’ll be questioning everything you’ve read, and loving it all the more for it (even if you get a little confused along the way. It doesn’t last long).

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6 thoughts on “White Cat by Holly Black

  1. You’re right that this book makes you question things all along. That’s when I know that something is incredibly clever + awesome. I love being ‘conned’ by a con story. Nice review!

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