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

Title: White Cat (Curse Workers #1)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Synopsis/Summary: Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

     I don't know how to describe this book, only that everything is not what it seems and many things in this book turned out to be a con. Con is a main focus of this book, and though I haven't read any con stories before, I liked it. I love books that have heavy mystery, books that make me think (not in a philosophic way, though those are good too) and this book provided just that.

    Cassel woke up from his sleep and found himself standing on the roof, ready to jump. He survived, though somewhat disgracefully, but the school has suspended him. In his leave from school, he went to live with his granddad, and was rewarded with a mystery so big that it could change his whole life...

    The plot is fairly interesting, I love reading about the con work, since it's a complete new territory for me. As I have said before, I love the mystery, and despite the mystery factor, the plot was easy to follow. However, even though the book was all kinds of awesome, I just couldn't get into it. I found myself constantly reading the book then putting it back down after several minutes. It's not that there was anything wrong with the story, or even the writing, but I just couldn't get myself psyched for it at all. There was some close-calls, but I wasn't gripping the book when I read through these parts. There was clearly a climax, yet I didn't find myself racing through the pages, dying to know what happens next. Everything just flows through and I have nothing to criticize about the book, even though I didn't like at all that much. It's kind of weird :P

    I just love the idea of curse workers! It's pretty creative. There are 7 types of curse workers: emotional, luck, death, physical, memory, dream and transformation. Their abilities are pretty self-explanatory from the names, so I won't spend time talking about that. There are blowbacks when you curse someone, so you don't really see workers roaming freely in the book, but the setting did make the book more interesting.

    Almost every character in this book have a secret agenda, and each are just as cunning and suspicious of others as the other. Cassel Sharpe is our guy, the main focus of the story. He is the non-worker in a family of workers, so he's kind of a black sheep in that area, but not in the con part. He is smart, I am sure everyone who finished this book would give him that, but somethings it's a bit irritating that he pretty much let people throw him around like a punchbag. I wanted him to man up, but he didn't really change that much throughout the story. So...

    I hate Lila. She's kind of a love interest for Cassel, and I hate her! She's a self-centered, spoiled brat, and the whole bullying thing doesn't really do it for me. I hate her attitude towards Cassel, she was one of those people that pushed Cassel around and that's not okay with me. I know she has problems of her own but that's not the way to treat the person that's supposed to be your "best friend", according to the blurb.

    The characters that I do like are Sam and Daneca. They are Cassel's friends, and it's nice to finally see someone treat Cassel right.

    I would give this book 3.5 stars. The book is basically one big conspiracy and I love it. I love the smartness behind the story, how things are linked, how Cassel solved the mystery. But somehow this book lacked that something that pulls me in and keep me reading 'til the end. I wasn't really that motivated to read the book, hence the delayed review (this was supposed to go up on Monday :P). Now that I have reviewed it, I still couldn't find what exactly was the book missing, but it was still a worthwhile read. I would recommend this book to YA paranormal and crime story readers, the "crime" in this book will not disappoint, hope you guys will have a better reading experience than me ;)

Ratings: 3.5 stars!

Are you a fan of crime stories? What do you know about the art of con? What kind of curse workers would you want to be? Do you like the book? It's my first time reading Holly Black and I kind of have a high expectation, and it was okay Not striking though :)

1 comment:

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