Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat by Holly Black 
Published: January 1st, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 310
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: First book in the Curse Workers series. Book two, Red Glove, was published on April 5th, 2011.
Buy the book: Bookdepository

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.

Let me start out by saying that I was *really* excited to finally read this book. The synopsis of this book was awesome, so I thought I would definitely enjoy reading White Cat. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy reading it all that much.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think the story is great. The storyline and the idea for the story are awesome, and I also love the fact that we have a male main character that we are following around. BUT I had a lot of trouble getting into this book. The first 80 or 90 pages (almost 1/3 of the book!) is only used to describe the world in which Cassel lives and the situation that he is in - the only person in his family who isn't a curse worker. I had SO much trouble getting through this part of the book.

After that, the book picked up some speed, and even though the story developed in a pretty darn nice plot, it didn't make me want to read faster or whatever. It never turned into the pageturner that it's supposed to be for me.

And I have to say that the fact that I didn't really enjoy reading this book had nothing to do with the story itself. I'm just someone who likes it when there's action in the beginning of the book as well - that there's actually something happening when the author is still describing the world/setting/person/whatever needs to be described to give the reader a base for the story. It never got really exciting for me, which is the reason that I didn't really enjoy reading it.

However, the story itself is awesome. I liked Cassel as a character and I liked how Black wrote the characters around him, especially his family. I've heard that Red Glove is better than White Cat, so I might pick that one up eventually. But this one definitely doesn't get the full rating for me.

My overall rating:

Because it wasn't really for me, but the story was awesome nontheless.


  1. Oh, too bad. Usually I'm the type of reader who wants action from the start, too. I wonder if I'll still be ok though now that I at least know not to expect a ton of action. Thank you for the heads up!

  2. Several books that I have read lately do not explain the world enough so it would be awesome at this point to learn about the world. I have this book sitting on my shelf I just have to get around to reading it. Thanks for the great review.


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