Monday, August 1, 2011

Book Review- White Cat

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.

First of all, the concept was really cool. And I love Cassel's name, it's epic. Cassel Sharpe lives in a world where a simple touch can be life or death, love or hate, good or bad. He lives in a world where people with magic are called workers. Workers are shunned by the normal people because they think that workers are bad people. Because curse work is illegal most of the workers have ended up working as mobsters or con artists. They also work for large crime families or other workers.

I thought that Cassel was a good character. I think that he is a character that some of us at least can relate to. Why? Well Cassel happens to not only be an outsider at his school since few people are related to workers, but he is also an outsider in his own family since he can't do magic. One of the traits I liked about him was his strong sense of family ties since I believe that family is very important. 

All the characters were very good too. From Cassel's brothers, his friends, family, and other people. They were all believable and cool. I loved his friends, they amused me. As did his grandpa. And I love how he turns out in the end, go grandpa! 

And the plot was amazing. As the story progresses Cassel figures out that his memories have been tampered with. So as you read, you're never really sure what's real and what isn't until the very end. I enjoyed how Holly Black explores the idea of memories and how they affect you. Like, if your memories change, does that change you? Can changing someone's memories make them a better or worse person? 

The other concept I thought was cool was the concept of curses or magic in this book. There are many different types of curses, good and bad, ones that can give you luck and protect you from other curses, to ones that can erase your memories. And according to the story, we find out with every time you curse someone, you get a blowback or something happens to you. Kinda like a check and balance. So say if you erase some one's memory, than a part of yours is gone too. Or like with Cassel's grandpa, he's a death workers which means he can kill people by touching them, so for every time he curses someone, he loses parts of his fingers. Eventually he's left with just stubs where his fingers used to be. 

Of the things I didn't like, I found some misspellings (although one of them I wasn't sure if it was intentional or not) and things got confusing for me at times that I had to reread something. I had problems following the story line and figuring out how a con worked. But other than that, I really loved this book! 

Overall this book was really good and I'd certainly recommend it. And I normally wouldn't read this type of book, dark and morbid
 at times, but overall I thought it was interesting. And it's good to read something you normally wouldn't. I haven't read Black's other books, but I've been meaning too. 

So, have you ever read any books about mobsters and gangs? Actually, do you know of anyone who has stories about mobs and gangs? According to a rumor floating around my family, we used to be related to some guy in the mafia. But he died a long time ago and we don't know if it's true or not. 

On Goodreads: White Cat
Her Website:  Holly Black


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