Book Review: White Cat

WhiteCatTitle: White Cat

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Release Date: May 4th, 2010

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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.” – Goodreads

I’ve been wanting to read this book for ages because of the cover alone. Very nice. Dark. All over, White Cat didn’t let me down, but didn’t pack as much of a punch as I’d expected.

I wish I could feel the other characters more. Cassel and Barron are just fine, but I’m talking in regards to the rest of the cast. They’re not quite one-dimensional, but they don’t feel fully fleshed out either.

The writing itself was good, on the upper end of what I generally see in YA. Descriptive, clear, and smooth. How the plot was written though? A different story. It was clever, but executed too slowly. There wasn’t any pop or momentum to it. Disappointing, because curse workers and crime families and murder plots can definitely be more exciting.

Also, White Cat is a bit unique in YA right now, because the romance isn’t a huge factor in the story. While it’s there, nothing huge hinges on it. It’s refreshing.

White Cat was an easy, entertaining read, suffering only from it lack of exciting execution and some semi-flat characters, scoring a 3.5 out of 5.

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