website statistics White Cat - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

White Cat

Availability: Ready to download

The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forge The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker. Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic. But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrfying and that's the truth. The White Cat is a stunning novel of a world changed by magic. In this world only 1% of the population can work magic but they have the power of nightmares.


Compare

The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forge The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker. Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic. But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrfying and that's the truth. The White Cat is a stunning novel of a world changed by magic. In this world only 1% of the population can work magic but they have the power of nightmares.

30 review for White Cat

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    [read 2 | May 2020] Rereading this made me so happy I don't even know how to properly explain the satisfied warmth covering my whole soul right now. It had been six years! SIX years!! I freaking love Holly Black; I love her style that's both simple but worked with raw depth, with characters who leap off the page in just a few lines, and protagonists you honestly would die for despite them being pretty as the devil and twice as clever. Honestly love that. Keep it up Cassel, sweetie, you're doing y [read 2 | May 2020] Rereading this made me so happy I don't even know how to properly explain the satisfied warmth covering my whole soul right now. It had been six years! SIX years!! I freaking love Holly Black; I love her style that's both simple but worked with raw depth, with characters who leap off the page in just a few lines, and protagonists you honestly would die for despite them being pretty as the devil and twice as clever. Honestly love that. Keep it up Cassel, sweetie, you're doing your best. Teen con artists. Crime families. Morally grey plotlines. Twisty finales and tricky mind games. Fractious brotherly relationships. Magic but also highschool and homework. It's just all so deliciously, wickedly good. I wish this one could make a comeback after the hype of The Cruel Prince. (this old review is cringely flaily but I leave it there because baby!Fury really loved freaking out. 😂) [read 1 | November 2014] This is literally the best and most underrated book ever! I feel like my new life goal is going to be shouting about this book from the rooftops. IT IS THAT GOOD. It's mind-numbingly good. It has some of the best plot twists and character development. It's basically Supernatural meets the mafia. Crime...ohhh I love crime books.It's like a family business, being a worker. You get born a curseworker though, so Cassel, who is the youngest of a worker family is a non-worker and that's...kind of hard for him. His big brothers are deep into the family work for crime bosses. They work for Zackeroff. Cons. Crimes. Murder. Blood money. Cassel is one of my favourite characters of all time now. He's a con man (although to be honest, he sucks at lying) and he's got a smart-mouth and he's absolutely awesome. He's 99% flawed. But he loves his family. No matter how screwed up his family is. Which is a lot considering his mother's in jail, his brothers work for a crime lord, and his dad is dead. I love books about family and warped families. With Cassel's brothers so criminal and his mother in jail and yet Cassel still put them first. Also Cassel spends a lot of time with his Grandfather, who's a death-worker. I loved that too. The grandpa cared and loved Cassel, but didn't absolutely smother him. I LOVE THE ENDING THOUGH. Family means so so much...but what do you do when your family does things you can't forgive? There are actually a few friends too. Not a lot, because Cassel doesn't do friends (he has a Big Bad Secret hanging over his life). But I loved Sam and Danika. They were perfection, just in the story enough to make it pop with brilliance but yet not having to be Cassel's #1 concern. CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THE INSANELY GOOD PLOT TWISTS?!! I so would die happy if I ever wrote even a quarter as well as this. This is insanely awesome. Everything was perfectly explained and Holly Black brought us into this world with no excessive info-dumping and no utter confusion. I love it I love it I love it. (view spoiler)[ - oh my GOSH. I cannot believe how much I grinned when I realised Cassel was the transformationist. I knew it'd be someone unexpected, but I thought it was one of his brothers. CASSEL, THOUGH?!! Best. twist. ever. I just couldn't get over how his brothers basically used Cassel as their murder weapon. He thinks he's the kid who's stuffed under the floorboards and no one cares about him because he's "Not a worker" but in reality he's their #1 asset. - That chair Cassel hates on? Well, I reckon it's a person or something. I actually wonder if their entire grubby cluttered house is partially filled with objects that used to be human. Don't you reckon?? - And now I totally don't think Cassel's dad died in a car accident. Did Cassel kill him?? Omg. I need book 2. - Lila is an AMAZING character. She is just...woah. She is a bully and she's exceptionally well written. I hate her and love her at the same time. - I have no idea where book 2 is going. But I'm going to love it. - And I love Cassel so much because he's brothers are downright sociopaths and cruel and insane and yet HE STILL SAVES THEM. (hide spoiler)] It goes on my shelf of Favourites. Perfection, pure perfection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    4.5 stars Holly Black, where have you been my whole life? We are, largely, who we remember ourselves to be. That’s why habits are so hard to break. If we know ourselves to be liars, we expect not to tell the truth. If we think of ourselves as honest, we try harder. But what happens when you are forced to doubt every single memory that makes you who you are?! This book has definitely made it to my ‘top ten young adult books’ list. It came at the right time and it was just what I needed: angst-free a 4.5 stars Holly Black, where have you been my whole life? We are, largely, who we remember ourselves to be. That’s why habits are so hard to break. If we know ourselves to be liars, we expect not to tell the truth. If we think of ourselves as honest, we try harder. But what happens when you are forced to doubt every single memory that makes you who you are?! This book has definitely made it to my ‘top ten young adult books’ list. It came at the right time and it was just what I needed: angst-free and fun. Let’s start with the main character, Cassel (whom I keep calling Vincent for obvious reasons). I love it when female authors succeed in creating a strong male voice, a thing that doesn’t happen often enough. Lish McBride did it in Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. Holly Black did it with Cassel. I really felt like I was inside a boy’s head. That’s not to say that Cassel didn’t have emotional moments and uncertainties, of course he did, they were just handled differently. In creating this character, Black followed all the usual conventions, but in a way that was new and refreshing. For example, I just want to be normal is a very common problem for YA protagonists and I usually find it eyeroll-inducing. With Cassel it felt genuine, probably because he didn’t whine about it, but instead acted in such a way that made him look more like other people his age. The desire was present in all his decisions – from the school he chose to attended to the girl he used to date. Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, people with magical ability (only they call it talent, not magic) to influence other people using minimal skin-to-skin contact. His mother is an Emotion worker currently in jail for working some very rich guy into falling in love with her, his grandfather can literally kill people with a single touch and his two older brothers are extremely talented as well. Cassel is the only one without a real talent, a fact he makes up for by being an excellent con artist and an occasional thief – both skills that are highly admired in his family. White Cat kept me interested from start to finish. I could read this type of stories for the rest of my life without getting bored. It’s always interesting when your narrator can’t be sure of his own memories or anything else for that matter, but when you have all that in first person, it’s especially confusing and so much fun! Favorite quote: I consider kissing her right there on the dirty couch, but some instinct of self-preservation stops me. Once someone’s hurt you, it’s harder to relax around them, harder to think of them as safe to love. But it doesn’t stop you from wanting them. Sometimes I actually think it makes the wanting worse. The fascinating and detailed world Holly Black created left me wanting more! I can’t wait to get my hands on Red Glove audio, narrated by Jesse Eisenberg.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Curse workers - hated, feared, beloved. Some can make you forget your own name. Others can kill you with a single touch. Rarest of all - some can even transform you into something entirely different. But don't forget, their powers are a curse. They experience a backlash with every use of their powers. If a luck worker gives you good fortune, they will experience a pleasant kickback. If they give too much luck, they may spend forever in a blissed out state. The backlash can be unpredictable: if Curse workers - hated, feared, beloved. Some can make you forget your own name. Others can kill you with a single touch. Rarest of all - some can even transform you into something entirely different. But don't forget, their powers are a curse. They experience a backlash with every use of their powers. If a luck worker gives you good fortune, they will experience a pleasant kickback. If they give too much luck, they may spend forever in a blissed out state. The backlash can be unpredictable: if a death worker kills you, part of them will die - a tooth, or a finger, or maybe even their heart. Most curse workers are tied to the black market or other criminal enterprises. Cassel's family is in the thick of it. Clever as the devil and twice as pretty Cassel comes from a long line of curse workers and criminals. He's the only one from his family without powers but he does his best to keep up with the family business - whether it be running an illegal betting ring in his high school or scamming tourists with trinkets. I can't trust the people I care about not to hurt me. And I'm not sure I can trust myself not to hurt them, either. Oh, and he killed best friend Lila (daughter of a mob boss) three years ago. He doesn't know how, or why, or what could've triggered him to do that. He only remembers that he can't remember. Could he have really killed Lila? And if not him, who? We are, largely, who we remember ourselves to be. That's why habits are so hard to break. If we know ourselves to be liars, we expect not to tell the truth. If we think of ourselves as honest, we try harder. The only issue I had with this book was that the world was more fleshed out than the characters. I craved more details on the curse workers and all their power rather than the (somewhat) plodding plot. Audiobook Comments Whoa. Jesse Eisenberg narrated this one - it felt like I was listening to a movie. Very well done narration. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    4.5 stars I really, really enjoyed pretty much everything about this book. An exciting mystery, memorable characters and a touch of magic... I can't express how excited I am about reading Red Glove as soon as possible. Holly Black is an author that never really did anything for me before. I gave up on Tithe after reading just one chapter, and her Spiderwick Chronicles weren't bad children's books but they didn't really stand out from the masses either. White Cat was completely different, I was 4.5 stars I really, really enjoyed pretty much everything about this book. An exciting mystery, memorable characters and a touch of magic... I can't express how excited I am about reading Red Glove as soon as possible. Holly Black is an author that never really did anything for me before. I gave up on Tithe after reading just one chapter, and her Spiderwick Chronicles weren't bad children's books but they didn't really stand out from the masses either. White Cat was completely different, I was addicted from chapter one. I loved Cassel - the protagonist - and found his voice believably male but easily relatable for me at the same time. The story is laced with humour from the very first page when we are introduced to our protagonist dangling from a roof in his underwear. Basically, Cassel comes from a family of curse-workers (those who have various gifts such as memory manipulation, dream manipulation, etc.) and struggles with the burden of being ungifted and, therefore, an outsider even in his own home. Oh, and he happened to murder his best friend three years ago. Despite this, he has managed to build up some semblance of a normal life at his boarding school; well, that is, until the dreams about the white cat start occurring. A white cat that seems to want to tell him something. And then his brothers start acting strange and it becomes more and more obvious that secrets are being kept and Cassel is being lied to. There's all sorts going off and the story is never boring, and every time the mystery appears to be solved, something else will happen. This is one of those books with many little mysteries to solve so even the most astute reader will find it difficult not to be surprised. I thought the whole novel worked very well and I will be starting Red Glove with a keen interest in what will happen to Cassel next. I'm only giving it 4.5 stars because this series has just begun but it's definitely one of my favourite books of the year.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

    Reread 10/30 : Cassel is still the sarcastic little shit I remembered. I have no other option than loving him even more. "I hate that I love this. I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee. I'm not a good person." This book was full of charms ← See what I did there? ▧ Charm ⁂1 : I do love me some liar ⁂ Beware of Cassel Sharpe, professional liar and Master of the game of make-believe. You're going to love him. "Being a con artist means thin Reread 10/30 : Cassel is still the sarcastic little shit I remembered. I have no other option than loving him even more. "I hate that I love this. I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee. I'm not a good person." This book was full of charms ← See what I did there? ▧ Charm ⁂1 : I do love me some liar ⁂ Beware of Cassel Sharpe, professional liar and Master of the game of make-believe. You're going to love him. "Being a con artist means thinking that you're smarter than everyone else and that you've thought of everything. That you can get away with anything. That you can con anyone. I wish I could say that I don't think about the con when I deal with people, but the difference between me and my mother is that I don't con myself." Charming, deceptive, untrustworthy, sarcastic, selfish : Of course I loved Cassel, what do you think? Since he was fourteen and well, hmm, killed his best friend and first love, Cassel learnt that to survive he has to become a Master of pretending. All the time. Friendship? Nothing more than an exchange of goods. Who'd want a killer of a friend? Yeah? No hands raised? That's what I thought. Love? Yeah, sure. A good way to fake normality. Family? You mean the curse workers who always kept him in the dark and fed him with snippets of affection? Them? "I'm not good at having friends. I mean, I can make myself useful to people. I can fit in. I get invited to parties and I can sit at any table I want in the cafeteria. But actually trusting someone when they have nothing to gain from me just doesn't make sense. All friendships are negotiations of power.” Don't get fooled, despite the fact that he basically tries to con everyone, we can't avoid seeing the extreme vulnerability that all his tricks can't hide, and then... Then we 're dealing with a charming and hopeless male-lead we can't help but care about. ▧ Charm ⁂2 : Of course I'm lost! And I love it. ⁂ What a multi-layered mystery! Each time I thought I finally got it the truth slipped through my fingers. There are many subplots in this story and that's for the best : we never know who Cassel can trust, damn, we don't even know if we can trust Cassel most of the time! Everything can be a con and this makes every decision or action suspect - try to overtake Cassel's shenanigans and you'll see. "Marks think they can get something for nothing. Marks think they can get what they don't deserve and could never deserve. Marks are stupid and pathetic and sad. ..... Marks forget that whenever something's too good to be true, that's because it's a con." As for the writing, I have to point that I was pleasantly surprised by Holly Black. Indeed it's my first book from this author and I must admit that I was really wary at first. What a fool I've been! It was a captivating page-turner that never bored me. ▧ Charm ⁂3 : Why can't I be a curse worker, huh? Why? ⁂ Never ever forget your gloves, otherwise you are likely to experience one of these delightful experiences : ✔ To find yourself somewhere without any idea how you came ✔ Be changed in a cockroach. Yeah, that sucks. ✔ To start sobbing in remorse for something you didn't even do. ✔♪♫♬ Beware of the music you hear. ♪♫♬ Just sayin' ▧ Charm ⁂4 : Applaud the cat. Just do it. He's got claws. ⁂ For more of my reviews, please visit:

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I don't even know why I liked this so much. I kind of guessed most of the twists, but it still so damn delicious that I immediately downloaded BOTH of the next two audiobooks as soon as I finished this one. And it was read by Jesse Eisenberg who did a really good job of it. I was sort of surprised that I liked his reading of this thing, but I did. I don't even know why I liked this so much. I kind of guessed most of the twists, but it still so damn delicious that I immediately downloaded BOTH of the next two audiobooks as soon as I finished this one. And it was read by Jesse Eisenberg who did a really good job of it. I was sort of surprised that I liked his reading of this thing, but I did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tatiana

    As seen on The Readventurer Well, well, well. Color me surprised. Just when I decided never to read another Holly Black work again (due to our seemingly conflicting ideas about what good writing is), Emily's review of White Cat convinced me to give the author one final try. And, who knew, I really, really liked it. Actually, this book is one of the strongest YA UF novels I've ever read. I am not exactly sure what made Black change her writing style so drastically, but I won't be complaining. Some As seen on The Readventurer Well, well, well. Color me surprised. Just when I decided never to read another Holly Black work again (due to our seemingly conflicting ideas about what good writing is), Emily's review of White Cat convinced me to give the author one final try. And, who knew, I really, really liked it. Actually, this book is one of the strongest YA UF novels I've ever read. I am not exactly sure what made Black change her writing style so drastically, but I won't be complaining. Somehow her characters are no longer repulsive and her writing is a lot more polished than before. As for the story itself, I thought it was fantastic. It is set in an AU America where certain people have magic abilities (they are called "curse workers"). They can manipulate emotions, change memories, bring luck or death. The magic is "worked" through touch. Cassel, the narrator, belongs to a family of curse workers/con artists. He can do cons too, but has no magic abilities. When he finds himself sleepwalking on the roof of his school dorm, haunted by the memories of a dream where a white cat asks for his help, Cassel embarks on a trip to discover mysteries of his past, present and the white cat. Even though I'd read way too many reviews of White Cat before starting the novel, I still managed to be thoroughly mystified by its plot. I attribute it to the fact that this book has a bit of Memento-esque quality to it, with gradual unraveling of the mysteries tangled up by various cons and curse works. (Or my usual denseness wherever any kind of mystery-solving is involved.) And can I say Yay for mafia and con artistry? White Cat gave me what All These Things I've Done couldn't - just enough crime, backstabbing and cons to keep me glued to its pages/my iPod. Can't wait to get my hands on the sequels. Cassel's mom is up to no good. And what will he do about Lila? I guess the lesson here is Never say never?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura Herondale

    4.5* *Spoiler free review* I went into this book expecting to like it, because the premise sounded awesome, but I was wary, since it’s not exactly a book I see all around goodreads. But this blew my expectations out of the park. I loved this book, like, a lot. To the point where I can’t even form coherent sentences to explain why I loved this book so much. But I can’t read the next book in this trilogy until after I finish my review, so here I am trying (and probably failing) to string together a 4.5* *Spoiler free review* I went into this book expecting to like it, because the premise sounded awesome, but I was wary, since it’s not exactly a book I see all around goodreads. But this blew my expectations out of the park. I loved this book, like, a lot. To the point where I can’t even form coherent sentences to explain why I loved this book so much. But I can’t read the next book in this trilogy until after I finish my review, so here I am trying (and probably failing) to string together a few thoughts that actually make sense. So, I’ll start with the plot: This book follows Cassel, the only member of his family who doesn’t possess magical powers (known as curseworkers). Doing magic (or working) was banned, and so most curseworkers and curseworker families become criminals. Cassel has grown up in a family of conmen, and has learned to become one himself, despite his lack of magic. He’s put up a whole facade of normalcy around his life; he goes to a normal school with normal kids and acts as normal as he can pretend to be. But Cassel’s not like these kids, he never can be, because he’s got a secret: he killed his Best Friend three years ago. But just when Cassel’s beginning to fit into his new life at boarding school, an incident of sleepwalking unravels his carefully crafted facade, and he begins to realise that there’s something going on that he doesn’t know about. His family is keeping secrets, and Cassel begins to suspect that they’re conning him. So, he needs to find out what’s being hidden from him, so he can con them back. Honestly, that description doesn’t do this story justice, though. It’s such an interesting plot, full of secrets and lies, all wrapped up in a whole load of family drama. It’s like a mob story, but with magic. There was never a point during the book when I wasn’t intrigued by what would happen next; when I could physically stop turning pages. And everything just came together so well; all of these pieces were being fit together, and by the end, everything made sense. Speaking of the end, whilst everything was wrapped up satisfyingly, Holly Black threw a bloody curveball and now there’s more drama that Cassel needs to work through in the second book, and I have no idea how he’s going fix any of what happened. I did, however, have many ideas about the plot of this book. And by ideas, I mean predictions. Correct predictions. Because as much as I loved this book, I found everything very predictable. I pretty much knew what was going on before I’d even gotten through the first third of the book. This didn’t ruin the story, or even greatly affect it, but I do have to mention this, because this would’ve been a five-star read for me if it weren’t for this. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten my one negative point about this book out of the way, I’m free to rave about it! So, characters: I’m not going to say much about Cassel’s family, because that’ll just lead me right into spoiler territory, and I want to keep this review spoiler free in the hopes that I can convince a few people who haven’t read this book yet to give it a try. What I will say, though, is this: I hated all of them except for his grandfather. And I don’t mean to say that they were badly written characters or anything like that, because they weren’t that at all. I thought they were all extremely intriguing, and each had their own dimensions that made them very interesting to read about. I loved them as characters. But I HATED them as people. They were just so bad at being brothers. I have 3 younger brothers, and I couldn’t imagine ever treating them the way that Cassel’s Brothers treat him. The worst part is that I liked Barron at first. I mean, Phillip was always a dick, but I thought Barron was sweet. And then he started doing some stuff I didn’t like, and eventually I hated him as much as Phillip. And his mum! She meant well, I think (I hope), but it felt like she was just continuously screwing up, and I just don’t know how she hasn’t learned by now?? At least his grandpa was great; he was hilarious, cared for Cassel, and was still bad ass. I want more of him in the next one, because he was instantly someone I loved the first time he was mentioned, and I continued to love him for the rest of the book. And then there was the female protagonist; I really enjoyed reading about her. She didn’t play a huge role in the story until the end, but based on the final chapter, I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a big part of the next book. But I thought she was an incredibly interesting character, and I wanted to know more about her. She was kind of a bitch, but she was also really smart and determined. And she was really self-aware; like, she knew she was a bully, but she accepted that, and used it to her advantage in certain situations. And it was so sweet to see how much she did for the people she cared about. She put herself in danger to save her Father, and protected Cassel despite her conflicted feelings about him. But, she isn’t who I really want to be talking about rn. Neither is Cassel’s family. It is Cassel, himself, that I want to talk about because dAMN I LOVE HIM. Like, I would read about this kid (I say kid, we’re the same age, lol) doing laundry. And to show you all how much I love him, I figured I’d show you the first few notes I took on him (all from the first chapters, so no spoilers dw): “It’s impossible to have problems with a girlfriend who’s no longer mine.” Me: Lol, I love this guy “‘Nothing! Just that I was sleepwalking, not trying to kill myself. And if I wanted to kill myself, I wouldn’t throw myself off a roof. And if I was going to throw myself off a roof, I would put on some pants before I did it.’” Me: Yep. Definitely love him. “Her name was Lila, she was my best friend, and I loved her. I killed her anyway.” Me: Oh shit, I’m intrigued. Is he a psychopath? Why did he do it? “I don’t think about what music I like; I think about what music I should like.” Me: Wow. He’s so intriguing. Like he seems like a psychopath, but he loved Lila, so he can’t be? Damn, ok. I’m in. Holly Black, I am yours. And these are just my notes from chapter one. I have an entire paragraph about how much I love Cassel later on in my notebook (side note: ughhhhh discovered whilst reading this book how much I HATE not being able to take notes in the book. This is why I don’t use the library as much as I should). I should probably explain why I love him though. Because right now I sound like a babbling mess. Ok, so, reason number 1 that I loved Cassel: I could relate to him so much. Like he’s constantly feeling like an outsider, even with people who should be comfortable around. He lies to everyone to cover up the fact that he’s different. And he has major trust issues. Like: “I can’t trust the people I care about not to hurt me. And I’m not sure I can trust myself not to hurt them, either. Friendships suck.” I wrote this quote down, underlined it twenty times, wrote “I relate to this boy on a spiritual level” and then underlined that twenty times. Every though Cassel has was a thought I have had at some point in my life. And I loved that. Here’s another one (yes I am just going to quote the whole book because it was amazing and you all need to read it): “But actually trusting someone when they have nothing to gain from me just doesn’t make sense.” Like, Cassel is me, I am Cassel. Just his cynicism towards the world is everything I am, and it was so nice to see that in someone else. I also just loved him because of how sweet and adorable he is. Like, he loves his family so much, even though his brothers are dicks and his mum screws his life up over and over again. Even when he finds out something horrible about his brothers, he still wants to protect them. He’s such a cinnamon roll, and I want to protect him with everything I am. Especially since he’s kind of dumb. Like, the blurb of this book will have you believe he’s smart and ruthless, but he’s actually naive and adorable. Like, he’s skeptical about everyone except his family, but they’re the only conmen he knows. He’s kind of blinded by his love for them, and whilst I thought that was really sweet, it meant that a lot of the time, he believed in them, even when he shouldn’t have. But, he was very good at conning people. It was so interesting to see how his brain worked when coming up with a con. And Holly Black didn’t try to do that thing that some authors do where they make it so their characters aren’t doing anything bad because they like it. Like, Cassel full on loved conning people, and that was really refreshing to see. It feels like nowadays in books, you get all these characters that are unlikeable because the author tries too hard to make them likeable, and they end up being a big contradiction. But Cassel conned people, not only because he had to sometimes and because he grew up conning people and so that’s the way he knows to live, but also because he LIKED it. And I loved reading about that. It made his character really interesting to read about, and so I loved him even more. But like, also, I really just loved him because hE’S LEGIT ME. One more (I’m sorry): “I don’t know how to explain how afraid I am of being judged.” I LOVE HIM. Ok, so at this point I know you all think I’m a wreck (and I am), but I’m hoping you’re still reading this, because this next part is the main reason I loved this book (aside from Cassel, obviously). The world building: I’m absolutely in love with this world. Well, it’s urban fantasy, so the world is technically ours. But Holly Black has woven curseworkers and their magic into our world and it’s history, to the point where it’s almost a completely new world. Everyone wears gloves, because curseworkers work people with their hands. The government is considering passing a new law that states that everyone must be tested to see if they’re a worker, and there are protesters worried about all the consequences that’ll come of that. Australia was founded by curseworker prisoners, and as a result, a far higher percentage of Australian’s are curseworkers. There are songs and tv shows about and/or featuring curseworkers. And slang that people use to talk about curseworking. The whole magic system is so deeply ingrained into the culture of our world that it’s practically a different world. And because of this, it was so immersive. I felt like I was living there, in this alternate version of New York, hanging out with Cassel. And it was easy to immerse myself in this world because of how well Black integrated the world building into the story; there was never a point where it felt like I was reading a bunch of info dumps. Certain aspects of the world were introduced when I needed to know them, and I really appreciated this. It felt like the actual plot never had to stop or pause just so that the world could be explained more, so the story felt more fluid and was easier to read. I also just thought the magic system was so Creative and different to anything I’ve seen before. Like yeah, I’ve seen magic systems that have the same premise: characters can use their hands to control something, whether it be an element, the weather, or, in this case, people. But the way Holly Black has done it is very unique. there are 7 types of curseworkers: luck, emotion, body, death, transformation, dreams, and memory. Some are more common than others, but all are quite rare in the general population. They can control a person’s luck, emotions etc depending on what type of worker they are, but (and here’s the interesting part), they’ll suffer from ‘blowback’ for doing so. The blowback is more or less extreme, depending on what they’ve done to someone. And it can be positive or negative, depending on what they’ve done to someone. So if a luck worker gives someone a little bit of good luck, they’ll be a little more lucky. If they give someone a lot of bad luck, they’ll be extremely unlucky, too. I LOVE this aspect of the magic system; it makes it so no one feels invincible, because there’s always consequences for a curseworker when they work someone. It creates an extra layer of depth to the world and it’s politics; curseworking is banned, but not all curseworkers are evil. They don’t all want to be, because that would harm them as well. But by banning them, it puts them in a situation where the only thing they CAN be is criminals. It just makes everything about the world so much more interesting. Ok, so the last thing I’m going to talk about is the romance, and there’s not much to talk about, so dw, this essay of a review will be over soon. Pretty much all I want to say is that I really appreciate how the romance didn’t AT ALL take over the plot of the story. I’m so sick of books where characters are in life-or-death situations and all they can think about is that hot girl they just met or whatever. But that doesn’t happen in this book. The romance is very subtle and builds up throughout the course of the book, through flashbacks and present day events. And by the end, you’re rooting for them. But it’s a very small subplot. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a bigger part of the second book, but this first book took the time to get me invested in the romance, so I’m actually excited about that (though I’m also really worried about it for reasons you wouldn’t understand unless you read the book). But yes, my point is that I love this book. Like, a lot. And you should all go read it :) Pre-review: My emotions are all over the place. I'm kind of a mess. So I'm going to take a moment to work out my thoughts, and then I'll write up my review (which will probably still be incoherent). At this point, all I can say is thank you to Helena for simultaneously completing and destroying my life :))))) (<-- me smiling through the pain rn, because damn I'm a wreck)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Navessa

    Buddy read with Angela and JennyJen Seeing as how everyone and their mother has pretty much already read and reviewed this book you don’t need a long rehash from me as to what happened. Instead, I think I’ll talk about my reading experience. This story for me was like being in a fistfight. First it opens with a scene so intriguing I dub it an insta-hook. It hit me more like a right hook. Just when I began to really feel bad for the main character it sucker punched me. Dirty move, I know. It was o Buddy read with Angela and JennyJen Seeing as how everyone and their mother has pretty much already read and reviewed this book you don’t need a long rehash from me as to what happened. Instead, I think I’ll talk about my reading experience. This story for me was like being in a fistfight. First it opens with a scene so intriguing I dub it an insta-hook. It hit me more like a right hook. Just when I began to really feel bad for the main character it sucker punched me. Dirty move, I know. It was okay though, because it pulled the next few punches as the story really began and I learned about the MC, Cassel, and his curse working family. Damn that false sense of security. I was blinded by all the world building and didn’t realize the threat of a beat down was still looming. And then…and then…it hit me right when I thought we’d finally come to terms with each other. Oops, wrong type of wham… Better. At this point the blows started coming fast and furious and it was all I could do to get my hands up to protect myself. Then at the end it scissor kicked me. And I went:

  10. 5 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    At first when I read the blurb I saw mobsters and con artists and was like, I don't know man, that doesn't sound good. I've loved everything else so far by Holly Black, so I was like, well, let me go ahead and take a chance on this. Plus, what a weirdly cool title. And I LOVE weird things! Cassel was so awesome, and it felt nice to read a whole book from a guy's perspective. Also, he seemed like a real teen boy. And the magic system? Very interesting with the whole we-have-to-wear-gloves-thing. I At first when I read the blurb I saw mobsters and con artists and was like, I don't know man, that doesn't sound good. I've loved everything else so far by Holly Black, so I was like, well, let me go ahead and take a chance on this. Plus, what a weirdly cool title. And I LOVE weird things! Cassel was so awesome, and it felt nice to read a whole book from a guy's perspective. Also, he seemed like a real teen boy. And the magic system? Very interesting with the whole we-have-to-wear-gloves-thing. It's one of the best urban fantasies I've read! There are some pretty great twists, and that freaking ending! Oh man, I need to start the next book. Seriously!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristalia

    Final rating: 2/5 stars “The thing is that it’s really hard to stop discrimination when something’s illegal,” the girl says. “I mean, everybody thinks of workers as being criminals. Like, people use the word ‘worker’ to mean criminals. And, well, if we work a work, even once, we are criminals. So most of us are, because we had to figure it out somehow and that was usually by making something happen.” “And there are lots of workers who never do anything bad. They go to weddings and hospital Final rating: 2/5 stars “The thing is that it’s really hard to stop discrimination when something’s illegal,” the girl says. “I mean, everybody thinks of workers as being criminals. Like, people use the word ‘worker’ to mean criminals. And, well, if we work a work, even once, we are criminals. So most of us are, because we had to figure it out somehow and that was usually by making something happen.” “And there are lots of workers who never do anything bad. They go to weddings and hospitals and give people good luck. Or there’s people who work at shelters and they give people hope and make them feel confident and positive. And that word—‘cursing.’ Like all we can do is bad magic. I mean, why would you even want to do the bad stuff? The blowback’s awful. Like, if all a luck worker ever does is make people have good luck, then all he has is good luck too. It doesn’t have to be bad.” “Magic,” the girl says. “It’s just all magic.” I don't get whats up with the hype about this book? It definitely sounded promising but...there are lot of buts around. This is a story about a guy[Cassel] who killed his best friend [Lila], and the white cat who is stalking him. Sounds weird but ok......(right?)? Anyways, the paragraph above explained the status of so called "workers", and i was wondering why the author didn't put it in the beginning in the first place. It just made the story pointlessly confusing at times. Not to mention that lack of fast revealings got the story quite slow, and add to it loooooooong chapters and there you have it. I thought about dropping it in the middle, but i decided to stick till the end (because i can't just drop it before i read it all, not my style xD). So, the last 1/4 was extremely entertaining - actually really awesome >:D, while 3/4 of the book were confusing and quite boring. Which is why i am gave this 2 stars. Not to mention, first 3/4 of the book were absolutely predictable . I could already connect that: 1. (view spoiler)[ Cat was (view spoiler)[ Lila (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] , 2. (view spoiler)[ Cassel was a worker with (view spoiler)[ transformation powers (which is the ultimate awesome power. And that he didn't (view spoiler)[ kill Lila, but turned her into cat. (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] , 3. the brothers were actually hiding the fact that (view spoiler)[ Cassel was actually one of them. (hide spoiler)] . I didn't predict though that the brothers Philip and Barron (MAJOR SPOILER) (view spoiler)[ used Cassel to kill people, then erased his memory and that they were doing it from the accident with Lila (hide spoiler)] . ___________________________________________ CHARACTERS : ___________________________________________ Not to mention, i didn't like any of the characters. ♦ Cassel : Cassel is totally boring guy. I usually love when books are told from first person view but only when it is the guy who is the narrator, but Cassel, Cassel just irritated the hell out of me. I don't think i succeeded in having sympathy for him at all. He is the type of the teenage girls in whose story everybody is keeping secrets and she doesn't know anything about it. Oh, and everyone here are keeping secrets from Cassel, under the "you are not worker so we can't tell you anything". So.......he is the non-worker in worker family. Check. He doesn't have powers. Check. Boring. Check. Irritating. Check. Not to mention: average. Check. ♦ The white cat: i can't really say anything about it, except it is an object of horrors. Hahahhaha. ♦ Lila: Meet Lila: Ironically, i was watching anime "K", where there is a girl called Neko, which has strikingly same appearance as Lila from the flashbacks (except for the length of her hair). Cute. And that is all i am going to say about her. Except, i don't like her so much. ♦ Everyone else: All of them were annoying me. Except Cassel's mother. She didn't have time to annoy because the whole book she was in Jail. Barron and Philip - i wanted to slaughter them. But as they say, everything for the family. ___________________________________________ OVERALL : ___________________________________________ Characters were very much annoying, and the plot was cofusing and boring at times, but it does have strong ending. Therefore, only the ending was enough for me to not drop this series. I just hope that the second book will be better than White Cat. I really hope so. ____________________________________________ >>> My review for Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2) <<< This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    3.5 stars Your average 2010 YA but with some modern perks. Holly Black was ahead of the game even back then 🤧 This book was surprisingly dark and twisty. I really enjoyed following Cassel around in his search for clues. I didn’t find the world building mindblowing, but it was fun to read about some kind of parallel reality in which everyone wears gloves to protect themselves and others from magic. My main issue with this book is that for a good 60% not a lot happens. I was almost halfway through an 3.5 stars Your average 2010 YA but with some modern perks. Holly Black was ahead of the game even back then 🤧 This book was surprisingly dark and twisty. I really enjoyed following Cassel around in his search for clues. I didn’t find the world building mindblowing, but it was fun to read about some kind of parallel reality in which everyone wears gloves to protect themselves and others from magic. My main issue with this book is that for a good 60% not a lot happens. I was almost halfway through and I was considering dnfing it, but I’m glad I didn’t. What made me keep going was Cassel. He’s a lovely main character, and if I had read this around five or six years ago, I would have had a crush on him lol! The cool thing is that he’s funny and sometimes very naive, but he also just cons people like that and he doesn’t care a single bit. Man, I love his duality. This was a fun mystery and honestly, compared to other YA books published in those years, it stands out. The plot isn’t a given right away, and the book definitely uses tropes, but not blatantly. For example, there is something that resembles a love triangle but it’s not the usual one because it’s layered. The chosen one narrative is there too, but the main character relies on his cleverness instead. So, I quite enjoyed this book, but I don’t think I’m ever going to read book 2. I should’ve read this when it first came out, I’m sure it would have been one of my favorite series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Burning Rose (Jess)

    Oh my god. It was so good. So so good. Cassel is a character I'll never forget. The whole book was perfect. And I finally broke my reading slump! I feel so good right now. And the end was absolutely amazing. Love it. I need the 2nd book. Oh my god. It was so good. So so good. Cassel is a character I'll never forget. The whole book was perfect. And I finally broke my reading slump! I feel so good right now. And the end was absolutely amazing. Love it. I need the 2nd book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janina

    Okay. This book has the word “cat“ in its title. How could I ever hesitate to read it? Simply put, I was rather less enamoured of Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales series and actually couldn't see myself picking up another one of her books. I had given her two chances, and she hadn't convinced me. Don't get me wrong, Tithe and Ironside certainly weren't bad, but I'm normally looking for something better than not bad. Positive reviews abound made me look closer into White Cat, though. And I didn't Okay. This book has the word “cat“ in its title. How could I ever hesitate to read it? Simply put, I was rather less enamoured of Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales series and actually couldn't see myself picking up another one of her books. I had given her two chances, and she hadn't convinced me. Don't get me wrong, Tithe and Ironside certainly weren't bad, but I'm normally looking for something better than not bad. Positive reviews abound made me look closer into White Cat, though. And I didn't regret it. Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, magicians wielding their power by touch. Curse work is illegal, so basically, Cassel also comes from a family of criminals. His mom can work emotions (and doesn't hesitate to use this talent to her advantage), his grandfather death – only Cassel can't work anything. Yet, there is something mysterious going on with him. He keeps dreaming of a white cat and a girl he once knew but tried to erase from his memory. He sleepwalks. He can feel that there is something wrong, but nobody will talk to him about it … This story is fresh and new. It is set in a world that is so similar to ours, yet strikingly different in certain aspects and features a main character that is broken, feels left out, clearly shows criminal talent, but never crosses the border into unlikable. There are clans of curse workers dominating the underground – reminiscent of the mafia – and a family that definitely deserves to be called problematic: A mother in jail, two brothers associated the most feared worker in the whole country and more than one skeleton in the closet. And on top of all that, there is a very special cat. I loved this book's atmosphere. In parts, it had something of an old black-and-white movie, quiet and mysterious – gentlemen with leather gloves pulling out guns, secret meetings in dark places. Yet, it was also firmly rooted in the modern world. Cassel's friends from school added a certain light-heartedness to the story and Cassel's subtle humour in general really suited me. I just immensely liked his character and felt extremely close to him despite our many differences. Additionally, Black never felt the need to explain her world to me. It was just there the way it was, and she left it to me to figure things out. I love to be introduced to a new setting that way and hate nothing more than detailed explanations as to why certain things are the way they are. It makes me feel like I'm not taken seriously as a reader. All in all, a series I look forward to continuing. This book was full of surprises and unforeseeable twists, shady villains and sometimes even shadier allies. It is definitely one of those stories where you can't trust anybody to tell you the truth (not even the narrator), but I for my part really enjoyed the suspense this created.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

    *4.5 Stars* Lie until even you believe it-that's the real secret of lying. The only way to have absolutely no tells. Too bad I'm not quite there yet. When I try to think of a word that reminds me of this book, the most forthcoming is just this: Weird. This book was all kinds of weird. But, when I take the time to really delve deeper and actually peel back the layers of this intricate story-line, I begin to 'see' so many more words pop into my mind: Haunting, clever, mesmerizing, addicting...swe *4.5 Stars* Lie until even you believe it-that's the real secret of lying. The only way to have absolutely no tells. Too bad I'm not quite there yet. When I try to think of a word that reminds me of this book, the most forthcoming is just this: Weird. This book was all kinds of weird. But, when I take the time to really delve deeper and actually peel back the layers of this intricate story-line, I begin to 'see' so many more words pop into my mind: Haunting, clever, mesmerizing, addicting...sweet. There are so many ways to look at a story and if you filter all the mystery out of the words, then it does, in fact, come off as a super weird book. But when you totally immerse yourself and ask 'Why is this happening?', 'What triggered this?', 'Where the hell is this going?', I swear that you'll find yourself racing through the pages and before you know it, you'll be closing the book. It's that kind of story. I don't want to be a monster, but maybe it's too late to be anything else. Cassel is one of those characters that really gets under your skin. You don't quite know why you like him, but you find yourself laughing at his sarcasm, feeling pain for this kid who grew up feeling like the most insignificant member of his family. You find yourself smiling at his charm and your heart breaking when he thinks of Lila, his childhood best friend (and only friend), and the girl he killed years ago. This sounds shady as fuck, I'll give you that, but in this world, everyone wears gloves to hide their 'curse' and to prevent their touch from doing irreparable damage by making contact with someone's skin. This is a world where children grow up around con workers as mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers. Even if you aren't involved with the con work, there's still a chance you've been 'cursed' and are considered a worker. This simply means you might have a touch that causes selective memory loss, luck, death, etc. But with each of these 'gifts' there is ample cost-No gift in their world comes without a price. I hate that I love this. I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee. I'm not a good person. You're probably still wondering about how he murdered his best friend and the girl he's always been in love with, right? I didn't know how I'd feel about it, personally. But, for whatever reason, I found myself identifying with him, sympathizing for him, hoping it was all a misunderstanding and that he had been worked. See, Cassel is the only one in his family without a gift-he is the only non-curse worker. I think this made him a really sweet and relatable character, and all the more identifiable as someone who had significantly screwed up in his past. And, more than that, it was devastating to see how much he just wanted his brothers to love him and accept him, but instead they grew up stomping him under their foot as if he was an insignificant piece of trash, just because they could. Now, I can't say nothin' about anythin' but I will say this-If you grew up with a deplorable family that did deplorable things...what keeps them from conning you? Marks think they can get something for nothing. Marks think they can get what they don't deserve and could never deserve. Marks are stupid and pathetic and sad. ..... Marks forget that whenever something's too good to be true, that's because it's a con. At times I found this to be very dark and even somewhat disturbing, but that was more at the beginning. Once I began to see everything unwind, it all started to make sense and I became fully immersed in figuring out what was wrong with the distorted picture we were being given. Lies upon lies, and betrayals on top of betrayals, we don't get a clear picture until the end-and even then it's like looking through fractured glass. It was excellent. The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true. Altogether an amazing story that I couldn't put down even for a minute. More than once I was covering my mouth with my hand to stifle a gasp and begging for a better end than what was coming for Cassel. In a way, this book was almost told through an unreliable source's eyes and we are left wondering what's reality and what's make-believe. I loved this aspect. Each time we learned something, we realized there was so much more to the story and it never really stopped growing as a plot, it never really and truly ended. So, I absolutely cannot wait to start book two. If it's even half as good as this one I will be ecstatic...but more than that, I can't wait to see what becomes of Cassel and his new-found 'friends.' He's still trying to figure all that out. And that cliffhanger-agh!!! For more of my reviews, please visit:

  16. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    It's safe to say that it's not the cover that attracted me to this book. I was actually quite surprised to see its many great reviews. Yes, I'm a book judger. Oh well. I picked this up as an audiobook and actually liked it a lot. Some people are born as workers in Cassel's world. Workers can "work" people with their hands. By touching someone, they can alter their memory, kill, give good luck, bad luck. You name it. Cassel is the only one in his family who is not a worker. He's been getting these It's safe to say that it's not the cover that attracted me to this book. I was actually quite surprised to see its many great reviews. Yes, I'm a book judger. Oh well. I picked this up as an audiobook and actually liked it a lot. Some people are born as workers in Cassel's world. Workers can "work" people with their hands. By touching someone, they can alter their memory, kill, give good luck, bad luck. You name it. Cassel is the only one in his family who is not a worker. He's been getting these weird dreams that make him sleepwalk in very unfortunate scenarios. I found the plot of this book very original and quite fun. I loved Cassel, the protagonist. I loved that it was a male lead. They're so rare but they're great. No girly angst. Cassel was charismatic and I quite enjoyed the narrative by Jesse Eisenberg. His voice was very fitting for Cassel's character. The plot twists aren't too difficult to figure out. But it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the story. It was still fun to walk through it with Cassel and see him figure it out. The book isn't dark. But i think it may be heading that way. Cassel is very innocent in the start, so I think it contributed to the lighter, fun read. By the end, though, we saw glimpses of grimier times with conspiracies and intricate politics. I'm happy that I gave this one a chance regardless of the dreadful cover. It's not what I expected at all. I was also told the sequel is just as good. This is one to not pass up if you like paranormal.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fares

    Book 1 of 3 in my "I'm a loser challenge" Why do I do this to myself?!!! And Oh Helena? I hate you for being better than me 😩 Book 1 of 3 in my "I'm a loser challenge" Why do I do this to myself?!!! And Oh Helena? I hate you for being better than me 😩

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Absolutely loved it! I’ve read a few Holly Black novels recently and love her take on the fae world. This novel was not about the fae but a whole new magical setting. The first third was pretty good and then it really took off. An original world of magic and workers, where everyone wears gloves so their skin never touches, a family of con artists. Casserole was a really believable character. Really looking forward to the rest of the series. Recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    kazually ♡

    dnf at page 46 i really didn't like this book; it was extremely boring, and i was slightly confused at what was happening. buddy read (kinda) with Maica! dnf at page 46 i really didn't like this book; it was extremely boring, and i was slightly confused at what was happening. buddy read (kinda) with Maica!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ceilidh

    Holly Black is the anti-Cassandra Clare. While Black’s series has been using cover quotes from Ms Clare (a good friend of Ms Black) to promote the series, Black’s writing stands leaps and bounds beyond anything Clare has ever written and “White Cat” is a brilliant read on pretty much every level. It’s not often these days that I’m surprised by a YA book. Maybe it’s the market itself, maybe it’s my own YA oversaturation, but whatever the case may be, when a YA comes along that I find entertaining Holly Black is the anti-Cassandra Clare. While Black’s series has been using cover quotes from Ms Clare (a good friend of Ms Black) to promote the series, Black’s writing stands leaps and bounds beyond anything Clare has ever written and “White Cat” is a brilliant read on pretty much every level. It’s not often these days that I’m surprised by a YA book. Maybe it’s the market itself, maybe it’s my own YA oversaturation, but whatever the case may be, when a YA comes along that I find entertaining, creative, exciting, witty and mysterious and makes it all seem so effortless, I can’t help but get excited. (The book is classified as YA by some and adult sci-fi/fantasy by others, but since it was in the YA section of my library, I’ll classify is as such.) Even if crime based novels aren’t your thing, I highly recommend this book. Taking the concept of underground crime families and adding magic to the equation, Black has created an exciting, detailed world full of depth and intrigue, populated by a wide variety of interesting characters and genuine surprises. There’s a definite Sopranos-style vibe throughout the novel, as double crossing and black market jargon are casually discussed, but it fits in wonderfully with a well crafted and extremely readable mystery. How refreshing to see this sort of story in YA where the stakes are genuinely high and things are at true risk. The pacing is quick and smooth, even during quieter moments where Black skilfully manages to avoid turning discussions into info-dump sessions. The way the crime world is intertwined with the magic element is almost seamless and I was particularly fascinated by the different types of magic workers and how their gifts are also curses. Black’s writing style is very much suited to this type of story; it’s crisp, often sparse, very witty and avoids any sort of unnecessary visits into the town of purple prose. The narrator of this tale, Cassel Sharp, is a joy. That sounds like an exaggeration but hear me out. One, he actually sounds like a man. Two, he manages to be tortured and scared without ever becoming whiny or overwrought, which is no easy feat. His familial interactions are interesting and never quite what they seem (The Sharps themselves are a colourful bunch, all with their own secrets and problems with so much at stake.) Three, he actually grows and develops as a character! He’s a witty, sneaky and extremely intelligent man but he’s also confused, scared and haunted by his past. His family are hiding things from him, he’s hung up on his ex-girlfriend, he’s desperately trying to con his way back into school and then there’s those dreams that plague him. Everything is handled with skill and wit. He’s definitely one of the best protagonists in YA right now. It’s also incredibly refreshing to see the small romantic element of the story not completely overwhelm the plot. It’s something that’s definitely on Cassel’s mind but he’s got other things to worry about and he knows how to prioritise! Outside of Cassel, I had a huge soft spot for his grandfather as well as his mother. She’s only featured a few times and only ever in phone call conversations but you can feel her presence throughout the book. She’s definitely the head of the clan and it shows. I can’t wait for more of her in the sequel. If I was to criticise anything about this book, it would be this small thing. The cons are described in great detail, which is fascinating, and Cassel frequently tells us, as do many other characters, how great they are at the job, but then they immediately screw up. It got a bit repetitive but luckily didn’t spoil this wonderful book for me. I heartily recommend “White Cat” to everyone, especially those of you who, like me, were getting a sick of paranormal YA. It’s not quite an accurate label for this series but Black excels in her field with this series, creating an intricate world with intrigue, complexities and fascinating characters, and I am thoroughly excited by the prospect of getting my hands on the sequel. 4.5/5.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    2* dnf: idk because I skipped ahead, but around 18% I think Lame and boring. I thought the main character was going to be schemey and smart, but no he's just a stupid kid. Cassel sucks. 2* dnf: idk because I skipped ahead, but around 18% I think Lame and boring. I thought the main character was going to be schemey and smart, but no he's just a stupid kid. Cassel sucks.

  22. 4 out of 5

    jade

    I had low expectation about this book because urban fantasy could be hard for me to get into. Besides, it’s not encouraging that the book is in a male voice by a female author. Therefore, I had only intended to take a look at the first page. However, first page turned into second page and so forth. I couldn’t put it down. All the while I was reading, I kept trying to stop and switch to the book I had in mind. Well, I never did. And here I am, eager to finish the whole series. It's surprising how I had low expectation about this book because urban fantasy could be hard for me to get into. Besides, it’s not encouraging that the book is in a male voice by a female author. Therefore, I had only intended to take a look at the first page. However, first page turned into second page and so forth. I couldn’t put it down. All the while I was reading, I kept trying to stop and switch to the book I had in mind. Well, I never did. And here I am, eager to finish the whole series. It's surprising how real and likable the male voice, Cassel, is. You'd never mistake him as a girl. Cassel is a con artist with a conscience. At 17, he has a terrible past and has gone through quite some hardship. He struggles to find his place but never wallows in self-pity. Instead, he meets the challenges head on without getting overly sentimental. There's a sense of humor even in a really bad situation. He has that vulnerability and self-depreciation to make you root for him, and to see him out-smart powerful adversaries is such a satisfying feeling. The book has the obvious Sopranos vibe going on but it's mostly within YA range. And the mystery! It's fascinating to connect the dots. Clues are dropped here and there, while the world-building is effortlessly weaved into the story. There's never long passages of info dumping, which is quite impressive given how detailed and creative this magical world is. Though this book may not be a heady emotional ride that tugs at your heartstrings, it is nonetheless a cleverly written, engrossing story with rich world-building and likable characters. I'll definitely continue with the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lia

    I expected to like this book the same way you like to watch baking shows or cat videos on Youtube. That said, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. White Cat was absolutely mind-blowing. 5 stars was the only possible way I could rate it because honestly?, I have nothing to complain about (which I know, is so unlike me, but here we are). It took me literally five hours to finish the book, because it was completely impossible for me to put it down. Everything about it was exactly as I wante I expected to like this book the same way you like to watch baking shows or cat videos on Youtube. That said, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. White Cat was absolutely mind-blowing. 5 stars was the only possible way I could rate it because honestly?, I have nothing to complain about (which I know, is so unlike me, but here we are). It took me literally five hours to finish the book, because it was completely impossible for me to put it down. Everything about it was exactly as I wanted it. I think that one of the reasons for which I connected so strongly with this book is that I could see myself in the MC, Cassel. I know that's probably not the best reason, but he usually did things as I would have, and his mind wasn't so different from mine. This is a book about a charming liar: someone who can flash a smile, say the right words at the right time and fool you while you don't even understand what's happening. But Cassel is not only an excellent actor, he's also human and vulnerable, and I could feel his very own emotions as if I were the one experiencing them - his guilt, his regret, but also his fury. He isn't the kind of person that just waits for things to happen, but he was the one moving the plot forward, and I liked that he was smart, but not unbelievably so. He was very intuitive, but there were still times when he had no idea what was going on, and I liked that. The writing was very good. It wasn't particularly flowery, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and I think this series has the potential to be a new favorite of mine. I like mysteries and I like magic, and the book was slightly creepy at times, which is always a plus. Also, I'm well known to have a weakness for books that explore family dynamics, especially when they're about difficult sibling relationships. And, well, this book has organized crime in it. I know what you're thinking: so what? But, guys. Martin Scorsese is my favorite director. I know every line of Goodfellas by heart, and I think The Departed is a masterpiece. So yeah, crime families are definitely my kind of thing. I'm going to stop right here, because this review is honestly just me fangirling like crazy over this wonderful book. But I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the second one! White Cat is one of the best books I've read this year, probably one of the best books I've read period. I read it on my Kindle because I'm lazy and didn't have a lot of money to spend, but I think I'm going to get the physical copy of it as well, so that I can place it on my shelf and sigh contentedly whenever I pass by it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    2.5 stars It's fine. A nice and enterteining enough story, but nothing special. It didn't reach me, it didn't make me feel. Just fine Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2) 2.5 stars It's fine. A nice and enterteining enough story, but nothing special. It didn't reach me, it didn't make me feel. Just fine Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I don’t have a quote because by the time he said something I liked I got myself into a faff trying to get my notebook and then find my pen and then it wouldn't work and… it was just too much hassle. Oh and also, I don’t really know how Ms Black is spelling all her character names so apologies if they’re wrong. High Points. Curses + Mob Families + Secret Underground World = Um, YES. The whole idea behind this series is absolutely genius and the world that Black creates is just spectacular. I reall I don’t have a quote because by the time he said something I liked I got myself into a faff trying to get my notebook and then find my pen and then it wouldn't work and… it was just too much hassle. Oh and also, I don’t really know how Ms Black is spelling all her character names so apologies if they’re wrong. High Points. Curses + Mob Families + Secret Underground World = Um, YES. The whole idea behind this series is absolutely genius and the world that Black creates is just spectacular. I really want to move so I can have an excuse to buy these gloves Heebie Jeebies. Cassel. Fraternal love. Asian housemates. Kitty Cats. A love story I could get behind. Grandpas. Sleepwalking. Blood packs. Jailbird Mums. Low Point. OK Cassel, you are amazingly cute (and I know you’re supposed to be of Indian heritage but I kept picturing you as this lovely chap. Mmmmhmm.) and you’ve been through a lot. But gosh you are dim. But more on this in your own section, boyo. I also would have liked this book to be a bit darker. There is a lot of really grim stuff hinted at (What did Cassel actually do?/ Grandpa channelling his inner Dumbledore/ Blowback) but it was never really explored. Considering this book is about powerful horrifying mobsters who can destroy/control/manipulate you with their hands… this book was a far far too tame. MORE VIOLENCE PLEASE. I have faith and hope that these few quibbles will be ironed out in the other books of the series. I got the impression that Ms Black was testing the waters a little bit and hopefully she’ll take the plunge and wallow in the grimy potential that these books have. Also… when Mr Eisenberg was chatting on about the cats in Cassel’s back garden all I could think of was this. So I would giggle to myself nervously... because what would happen if cats had thumbs? Hero. Right, back to Cassel. I really did like Cassel. He was funny and smart and, like I mentioned before, I’d definitely fancy him in real life… even if he did randomly change race for no reason. But by gum was he dumb. Seriously, it took him forever to realise what was happening around him and I know, I know… the story does kind of explain why he was all confused but… Mate, you’re supposed to be a conman, you’re supposed to be on the ball. When it got to the big reveal scenes and Cassel was all like ‘What?! WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?!’ I got really confused because I thought we’d already found that out. I’m obviously too clever for my own good.. but yeah, Cassel. Sort it out. Also, please become more gruff and angry. You’re on your way but I would like more ‘Oomph’ next time. I’m awarding you a ‘B’ at the moment but you need to pull your socks up. Also, you are very forgiving. This would be commendable in most circumstances but I’m sure no one would judge you if you threw a punch at a wall or ate the last piece of pizza or something equally as aggressive. Get your own back! All these points will make no sense whatsoever if you haven’t read this book but I needed to get them off my chest. I did like Cassel though and I thought Ms Black/Mr E did a great job in portraying your bumblingness and your honesty… even if you are a little slow. It’s endearing…. Ish. Best Friend. I loved Sam and Danika (Daneka? Danecka? Whatevs), Cassel’s friends from school. Sam is a complete goof who, even though he was also a little thick and didn't react normally in situations where it would be OK to freak out, I would like to be friends with him. And get drunk with him… because I can imagine him being a great drinking buddy. And buying the first round. And D (gonna stick with that) was also great if not a little bit of a cliché goody two-shoes. But I think these two will get to stretch their legs a little in the next two books… or at least I hope so. Love Interest. I don’t want to say much about this but I really loved what Black did with this. It was original and, considering the cracked out circumstances, really realistic. And also…. I can’t believe I’m saying this. But if we’re heading in Triangle Infested Waters…. I think I’ll be OK with it. Urgh, I feel dirty. Baddie(s). OK, these baddies have potential. Especially two of them. But I was a little disappointed with one of them…. I was expected him to get all Brando-esque. But alas, he did not. Apologies for the vagueness… but spoilers are lurking. Theme Tune. Memory- Elaine Page. I’M KIDDING. Or am I? I was at first but then I listened to the words several times (for research purposes only, of course. And then I had to watch this just to be sure my reasoning was correct… *ahem* ) and realise that the lyrics are poignant and beautiful and particularly apt for our fluffy white titular character. Touch me/ It’s so easy to leave me/ All alone with my memory/ Of my days in the sun/ If you touch me/ You’ll understand what happiness is/ Look a new day has begun. Um, I’m pretty sure Trevor Nunn wrote this song with this book in mind. But fine… I know people hate musicals because they are ridiculous human beings who have no sense of JOY in their lives and have no soul. So you can have this one which has no relevance whatsoever except it talks about cats and it allows you to make strange noises when you sing along to the chorus. But you made your choice…. Yeah, you made your choice. Lovecats- The Cure. Angst Level. 5/10. Like I mentioned before, there was definitely a sense of darkness looming within these pages (or in my headphones… um…) and one that could really have been really affective and harrowing if explored deeper. I have my appendages crossed for this to be remedied in the next books, which I can’t wait to read. Also, for the emotional stuff… Cassel isn’t really a whinger which is great, because there was a great chance that this book could have been filled with countless ‘WHY ME?!’s. But it wasn’t. Ms Black seemed to set the groundwork for a slightly more unhinged Cassel (which, considering the circumstances… is perfectly understandable.) which, again, I hope gets developed in the next books. Recommended For. People who are looking for a great new series to sink their teeth into. People who like the dark side of magic. People who like pretty, sparkly stones. People who don’t understand what is going on around them… even if it has flashing lights, loud sirens and shoots glitter in your face at sporadic moments. People who wish their brothers would take them out for pizza on a Tuesday night *glares in vague direction of my brother which is probably nowhere near to where he actually is because my geography is shocking* People who feel that Elaine Page sings directly to their soul when she sings 'Memory'. People who thought Godfather Part 3 would have been better with more elbow length gloves. You can find this review and other exciting things on my blog here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    I have no idea why I set this one aside last year or maybe the year before after reading maybe a 1/3 of it. But I have been in SUCH a slump after reading The Coldest Girl in Town (easily 5 stars!) that I knew I just needed more Holly Black. And this time I was unable to put this one down! And I LOVE me some male YA pov too! Also enjoyed the boarding school atmosphere so A+ for that as well as the exciting and mostly unpredictable plot that held my interest throughout.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sail ♛ A Wicked Reader

    Helena, I love you for making me read this. RTC!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Catie

    3 1/2 stars I don’t know why I expected this book to be bad. Maybe I’ve read enough paranormal YA’s to have overload trauma flashbacks whenever the genre comes up. But guess what? This one is actually good! Chalk this one up as another triumph for goodreads recommendations. I find the fantasy world that she builds here to be very compelling and intricate, and since the main character starts out the book very much out of the loop, the details are allowed to assemble and grow slowly and organically 3 1/2 stars I don’t know why I expected this book to be bad. Maybe I’ve read enough paranormal YA’s to have overload trauma flashbacks whenever the genre comes up. But guess what? This one is actually good! Chalk this one up as another triumph for goodreads recommendations. I find the fantasy world that she builds here to be very compelling and intricate, and since the main character starts out the book very much out of the loop, the details are allowed to assemble and grow slowly and organically with nary an infodump in sight. This is a world where “curse-workers” (ie, magic users) are living underground, with the threat of the government jailing them, or abusing their powers. Cassel is a member of a long line of curse-workers, and his two older brothers work for the Zacharov family, using their abilities to further the mafia’s illegal ends. Cassel has always been the odd man out as the only member of his family to be born without powers, but following in his mother's footsteps he has become an accomplished con man. When he starts sleep walking at his boarding school and having detailed dreams involving a white cat, memories from his past begin to surface, including a traumatic incident with a girl that he loved. The main character is a bit naïve to begin with, and slow to catch on to what’s really going on. This is all very understandable, once the full scope of his history is revealed…but it didn’t stop me from wanting to shout “DUH!!” at the big reveal scene. Still, he more than makes up for his initial guileless innocence in the end. I am hoping for a more ruthless, crafty Cassel in the second book. *Crosses fingers for no guilty agonizing over misdeeds.* I did also spend the large part of this book wishing that it would be darker and grittier – more like the mafia from The Departed and less like the hapless mobsters from The Goonies. I think that this can also be attributed to Cassel’s initial innocence. By the end of this thing, there’s drinking, con artistry, death, and blowback. “Blowback” has to be one of my favorite elements of this book: all curse workers suffer from the magic that they perform. So for example, Cassel’s grandfather the death worker has blackened nubs of fingers, as they slowly die every time he takes a life. And, there’s a compelling piece of info about blowback at the end of the book that I can’t wait to find out more about. There’s a little romance here that I actually found a bit heartrending and not sickening at all! (That's kind of big for me.) There’s even a teensy preemie of a love triangle. It’s not annoying, but I still hope that it never grows legs. I love Cassel’s nerdy cohorts from school, Sam and Daneca. I hope we see more of them. Perfect Musical Pairing The Dears – I Fell Deep I’m pretty sure that all the best indie rock bands come from Canada. I guess it’s the least they can do to make up for Justin Bieber. This song makes me think about Cassel’s relationship with his brothers, and his slow awakening and rebellion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cara

    If any of you are like me you are/were put off by the cover. It looks creepy, right? A guy with leather gloves holding a cat? How unappealing is that? Well after reading the book I know this cover fits the book completely, and the creepiness is probably part of the point. And the cover gives it a mafia feel, which is central to the whole order of the curse workers. Anyways onto what's beyond the cover. Cassel at the moment is attending a private school, trying to forget some horrendous memories t If any of you are like me you are/were put off by the cover. It looks creepy, right? A guy with leather gloves holding a cat? How unappealing is that? Well after reading the book I know this cover fits the book completely, and the creepiness is probably part of the point. And the cover gives it a mafia feel, which is central to the whole order of the curse workers. Anyways onto what's beyond the cover. Cassel at the moment is attending a private school, trying to forget some horrendous memories that are haunting him. He also is trying to ignore the fact that he has no curse (or gift depending on who you are asking). He feels like an outsider wherever he goes, whether it is in his family or among his classmates. Cassel comes from a family of curse workers who can bring luck, manipulate emotions, physically hurt people, kill them, all just with a touch of a hand, hence why people in this society wear gloves. Cassel has to go back to live with his family now because of a nightly episode he had at school, and now that he's back he has a feeling things aren't what they seem; especially now that he keeps seeing a white cat... People who know me know that I really like reading about sibling relationships, and this book was no different. I like to read about good relationships, but this one shows how complicated and twisted they can become. You can feel Cassel's seeking for a closer relationship with his older brothers, but can't seem to find out how to do that when they always are hiding things from him. Out of the two brothers, Phillip and Barron, I can't help but feel like Barron is the saddest of the characters of the whole book. The book has a dark tone to it, which makes sense because Cassel is struggling to feel normal at all cost. Surrounding him is shady secrets and deeds and even though he doesn't want to be, he can't help feeling that he falls into the same vicious cycle. Black does a good job of describing the surroundings without the story’s pace getting bogged down. I could feel myself itching and cringing when you read Cassel's description of his house and the contrast you see in other places. The whole concept of curse workers is the strongest aspect of the book. How the community is glorified and vilified at the same time. At the center of all this is Cassel who is not your typical protagonist. He's not perfect at all really, but I get where he's coming from. Though the character of Cassel feels three-dimensional I felt like we didn't get to know all the characters, but since it is a series I'm hoping the other books will expand on that. Now for why I couldn't give the book five stars, and basically it came down to one character. I can't reveal who it is, but suffice to say it's a girl and she gets on my nerves. Other than that though I'm eager to read Red Glove because as per usual the book leaves you at a lurch. Oh why do authors like to torture us so?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    So you know when you hit that stride where no matter what book you pick, it ends up just sucking? Such is the place I found myself in, again, when a friend peeked through my TBR list and pointed out a few Sure Things for me to check out. Thank the Lord for Goodreads recommendations! I was intrigued by this book after seeing a few reviews pop up I put it on my list, and promptly forgot about it. I always have that head-desk moment after reading a book that I had been putting off and realize how m So you know when you hit that stride where no matter what book you pick, it ends up just sucking? Such is the place I found myself in, again, when a friend peeked through my TBR list and pointed out a few Sure Things for me to check out. Thank the Lord for Goodreads recommendations! I was intrigued by this book after seeing a few reviews pop up I put it on my list, and promptly forgot about it. I always have that head-desk moment after reading a book that I had been putting off and realize how much time I had wasted with the newly loved characters! Anyway, so this wasn't like anything I can remember reading (at the moment). The story is about a family of curse workers, meaning they have the magical ability to manipulate x, y, or z in a person. Be it luck, emotion, death, or transformation just to name a few. Cassel is the only one in his family that can't work curses and his 2 older brothers (along with his mother and grandfather) make a show of saying how he has to be protected, and left out of "secret worker meetings" and what not. He is the outsider in his mob-like family and has found ways to compensate by being spectacular at reading people. As the story unfolds we learn that not only does Cassel have some serious skeletons in his closet, but he isn't the man he thought he was. This was a book that demanded my attention and refused to be put off by anything as mundane as taking care of my kids (before I get hate mail, I'm obvious exaggerating this. My kids were given food and water whilst locked in the dog kennel, so all was well). I have a weakness for well written first person stories, and Holly Black sure knows her stuff! I probably would have given this 5 stars actually, but for the fact that I felt the climax was a bit rushed, and I have some lingering questions. What the hell was it that Phillip wanted Cassel to say to his wife? What did she remember? What was it that his grandpa said he wanted to speak to him, and the guest in his bedroom, before his very annoying mother called? I just would have liked a bit more of something during the party/bathroom scenes. I'm not sure what, just that I wanted more of it. All in all this is a book I would happily recommend to my fellow lovers of all things magical, and those who want that book that isn't the same as everything else. I can't wait to read Red Glove (even though that one will be a $10 book instead of the awesome $3 that this was).

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.