Review: White Cat

Author: Holly Black
  • Series: Curse Workers #1
  • Published: May 4, 2010
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Pages: 320 pages (Hardcover)
  • Source: Library
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 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 behavior 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 out-con the conmen.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

All I have to say is that the Sharpe family is one messed up crew!

Cassel grew up in a world where everyone has to wear gloves unless they want to run the risk of being worked. Curse workers can take control of almost everything. Some bring death, some manipulate emotions, some manipulate luck, and the rarest of all is the type of worker that can transform anything. But despite growing up in a family of workers, Cassel Sharpe is not one. He's the only non-worker in his family, so instead, he focuses on the con, running a gambling ring in his boarding school before he got kicked out for sleeping walking through dreams evolving around a mysterious white cat. But, damn, does this boy have a lot of juicy secrets!

As the tale unfolds, we learn about the true identity of the white cat and lies unravel by the bucketful. Buckle yourself in because this story is surely one fantastic ride!

I really enjoyed reading from a boys perspective. Cassel always worried about things, but went with his gut instinct in every situation. He was smart, always thinking two steps ahead of everyone else, and he could take a punch or two. He is an amazing schemer and conman and as we learn more about him, you can't help but feel sorry for his lack of working ability and lack of a loving family. His mother's in jail, his father's dead, his eldest brother Philip may or may not be working his poor wife and baby, his grandfather is an openly feared death worker, his other brother Barron is away at law school, he recently broke up with his girlfriend, and the love of his life, Lila, is no longer with us. But even with all of this going on, Cassel never pitied himself or looked for sympathy. I loved his character for that. He's certainly strong.

What I really love about this book is that it kept me on my toes. Some of the plot twists in this story were completely twisted, some had my mouth hanging open in shock for hours as I sat back and thought about the bombshell that Black threw at me, and some were just executed way too quickly. I had trouble keeping track of things at times because there was so much secrets being kept and different versions of the same scheme being carried out by different parties involved. It was all so confusing, yet so amazing at the same time. Some portions weren't as drawn out or detailed as others, though, which is why I docked a star. And I wish the intentions of some characters or Cassel's initial thought processes were a bit clearer at times. For example, his visit to the sleeping specialist could have gone a bit more smoothly.

Either way, with different rules about following your mark and how to properly con an individual, I could not put this book down. I was completely enraptured and it is definitely one of my favorite male perspective books. I recommend this book to any fantasy lover who wants something truly unique and twisted that'll keep you on your toes! 

I love this cover. It's gorgeous and just from looking at it, I knew I had to read this book. It grabs your attention and makes you want to read it.
4 stars


  1. I love Holly Black, but I haven't read this series yet. This is one that I actually accomplished making myself wait until the final book came out to read. That never happens, so go me! Now if I can whittle down my TBR a little bit, I can get to it already. Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. I've heard so much about this series lately and am really interested in picking it up but now I'm a little hesitant. I'm not a fan of books that don't have a good ending (doesn't have to be happy). I'm interested in the plot though. This is one that would probably be a library book for me. Thanks for the review!