Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black: Book Review

White Cat (The Curse Workers #1)
by Holly Black
Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6396-7
Suggested Ages: 14 and Up

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

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen. Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.

The Good Stuff
  • Intriguing and unusual world the author has created. Sort of reminded me a little of the conflict between humans and mutants in the X-Men world
  • Fascinating main character Cassel (Great name too!)
  • The relationship between Cassel and his family is very realalistic
  • Outstanding Cover -- grabs my attention and made me want to read the book RIGHT AWAY!
  • Story grabs your attention from the start and doesn't let go
  • His mom is awesome and would have loved to read more about her
  • Interesting political overtones to some of the backstory, hopefully that develops more in the rest of the series
 The Not so Good Stuff
  • Cassel's family are almost without any redeeming qualities. The exception being his Mom and Grandfather
  • Would have liked more background information on Cassel's Dad and  more present day scenes between Lila and Cassel
  • Took a while to figure out what Curse workers are
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"I smile. Sure she can be scary and manipulative, but she loves me. Ok Mom."

"The problem with forging an entire year of someone's life very quickly is that your fantasies creep in.  Maybe you meant to just get in the stuff that you needed, but that leaves a lot of space to fill. I filled the space with the relationship I wished we had."

"Marks forget that whenever something's too good to be true, that's because it's a con"

What I Learned
  • That I was very lucky to have the decent parents I did
  • I really, really miss having a Cat!  Damn you Jesse grow up faster so I can get one (Note to readers - Jesse is very --- ummm -- hands on with animals if you know what I mean)
  • Gloves are soooo not sexy
Who should/shouldn't read

  • Anyone who likes the unusual and unique settings or  likes stories involving grifters, mobsters and
    a touch of the paranormal
  • Older teens will like it, may be a little too dark for the younger YA reader
4/5 Dewey's

I received this book from Simon and Schuster in return for an honest review


  1. Great review! I will be looking into this one!

  2. Superb review! Very thorough.
    You know I was in line to get this book at a signing, and the person in front of me got the very last one :( So sad. Can't wait to get a copy.