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The extraordinary new adult fantasy of magic in our world and the price we pay for it by the author of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES Cassel is cursed Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered Life at school is a constant trial Life at home even worse No one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer No one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic workerCassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime And while people still need their touch their curses their magical killings their transformations times have been hard His granddad has been driven to drink his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magicBut there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it It's terrfying and that's the truthThe White Cat is a stunning novel of a world changed by magic In this world only 1% of the population can work magic but they have the power of nightmares


10 thoughts on “White Cat

  1. says:

    read 2 | May 2020Rereading this made me so happy I don't even know how to properly explain the satisfied warmth covering my whole soul right now It had been six years SIX years I freaking love Holly Black; I love her style that's both simple but worked with raw depth with characters who leap off the page in just a few lines and protagonists you honestly would die for despite them being pretty as the devil and twice as clever Honestly love that Keep it up Cassel sweetie you're doing your bestTeen con artists Crime families Morally grey plotlines Twisty finales and tricky mind games Fractious brotherly relationships Magic but also highschool and homework It's just all so deliciously wickedly good I wish this one could make a comeback after the hype of The Cruel Prince this old review is cringely flaily but I leave it there because babyFury really loved freaking out 😂 read 1 | November 2014This is literally the best and most underrated book ever I feel like my new life goal is going to be shouting about this book from the rooftops IT IS THAT GOOD It's mind numbingly good It has some of the best plot twists and character development It's basically Supernatural meets the mafiaCrimeohhh I love crime booksIt's like a family business being a worker You get born a curseworker though so Cassel who is the youngest of a worker family is a non worker and that'skind of hard for him His big brothers are deep into the family work for crime bosses They work for Zackeroff Cons Crimes Murder Blood moneyCassel is one of my favourite characters of all time now He's a con man although to be honest he sucks at lying and he's got a smart mouth and he's absolutely awesome He's 99% flawed But he loves his family No matter how screwed up his family is Which is a lot considering his mother's in jail his brothers work for a crime lord and his dad is deadI love books about family and warped families With Cassel's brothers so criminal and his mother in jail and yet Cassel still put them first Also Cassel spends a lot of time with his Grandfather who's a death worker I loved that too The grandpa cared and loved Cassel but didn't absolutely smother him I LOVE THE ENDING THOUGH Family means so so muchbut what do you do when your family does things you can't forgive?There are actually a few friends too Not a lot because Cassel doesn't do friends he has a Big Bad Secret hanging over his life But I loved Sam and Danika They were perfection just in the story enough to make it pop with brilliance but yet not having to be Cassel's #1 concern CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THE INSANELY GOOD PLOT TWISTS? I so would die happy if I ever wrote even a uarter as well as this This is insanely awesome Everything was perfectly explained and Holly Black brought us into this world with no excessive info dumping and no utter confusion I love it I love it I love itview spoiler oh my GOSH I cannot believe how much I grinned when I realised Cassel was the transformationist I knew it'd be someone unexpected but I thought it was one of his brothers CASSEL THOUGH? Best twist ever I just couldn't get over how his brothers basically used Cassel as their murder weapon He thinks he's the kid who's stuffed under the floorboards and no one cares about him because he's Not a worker but in reality he's their #1 asset That chair Cassel hates on? Well I reckon it's a person or something I actually wonder if their entire grubby cluttered house is partially filled with objects that used to be human Don't you reckon?? And now I totally don't think Cassel's dad died in a car accident Did Cassel kill him?? Omg I need book 2 Lila is an AMAZING character She is justwoah She is a bully and she's exceptionally well written I hate her and love her at the same time I have no idea where book 2 is going But I'm going to love it And I love Cassel so much because he's brothers are downright sociopaths and cruel and insane and yet HE STILL SAVES THEM hide spoiler


  2. says:

    45 starsHolly Black where have you been my whole life? We are largely who we remember ourselves to be That’s why habits are so hard to break If we know ourselves to be liars we expect not to tell the truth If we think of ourselves as honest we try harderBut what happens when you are forced to doubt every single memory that makes you who you are?This book has definitely made it to my ‘top ten young adult books’ list It came at the right time and it was just what I needed angst free and fun Let’s start with the main character Cassel whom I keep calling Vincent for obvious reasons I love it when female authors succeed in creating a strong male voice a thing that doesn’t happen often enough Lish McBride did it in Hold Me Closer Necromancer Holly Black did it with Cassel I really felt like I was inside a boy’s head That’s not to say that Cassel didn’t have emotional moments and uncertainties of course he did they were just handled differently In creating this character Black followed all the usual conventions but in a way that was new and refreshing For example I just want to be normal is a very common problem for YA protagonists and I usually find it eyeroll inducing With Cassel it felt genuine probably because he didn’t whine about it but instead acted in such a way that made him look like other people his age The desire was present in all his decisions – from the school he chose to attended to the girl he used to date Cassel comes from a family of curse workers people with magical ability only they call it talent not magic to influence other people using minimal skin to skin contact His mother is an Emotion worker currently in jail for working some very rich guy into falling in love with her his grandfather can literally kill people with a single touch and his two older brothers are extremely talented as well Cassel is the only one without a real talent a fact he makes up for by being an excellent con artist and an occasional thief – both skills that are highly admired in his family White Cat kept me interested from start to finish I could read this type of stories for the rest of my life without getting bored It’s always interesting when your narrator can’t be sure of his own memories or anything else for that matter but when you have all that in first person it’s especially confusing and so much fun Favorite uote I consider kissing her right there on the dirty couch but some instinct of self preservation stops me Once someone’s hurt you it’s harder to relax around them harder to think of them as safe to love But it doesn’t stop you from wanting them Sometimes I actually think it makes the wanting worseThe fascinating and detailed world Holly Black created left me wanting I can’t wait to get my hands on Red Glove audio narrated by Jesse Eisenberg


  3. says:

    45 starsI really really enjoyed pretty much everything about this book An exciting mystery memorable characters and a touch of magic I can't express how excited I am about reading Red Glove as soon as possibleHolly Black is an author that never really did anything for me before I gave up on Tithe after reading just one chapter and her Spiderwick Chronicles weren't bad children's books but they didn't really stand out from the masses either White Cat was completely different I was addicted from chapter one I loved Cassel the protagonist and found his voice believably male but easily relatable for me at the same time The story is laced with humour from the very first page when we are introduced to our protagonist dangling from a roof in his underwearBasically Cassel comes from a family of curse workers those who have various gifts such as memory manipulation dream manipulation etc and struggles with the burden of being ungifted and therefore an outsider even in his own home Oh and he happened to murder his best friend three years ago Despite this he has managed to build up some semblance of a normal life at his boarding school; well that is until the dreams about the white cat start occurring A white cat that seems to want to tell him something And then his brothers start acting strange and it becomes and obvious that secrets are being kept and Cassel is being lied toThere's all sorts going off and the story is never boring and every time the mystery appears to be solved something else will happen This is one of those books with many little mysteries to solve so even the most astute reader will find it difficult not to be surprised I thought the whole novel worked very well and I will be starting Red Glove with a keen interest in what will happen to Cassel next I'm only giving it 45 stars because this series has just begun but it's definitely one of my favourite books of the year


  4. says:

    Curse workers hated feared belovedSome can make you forget your own name Others can kill you with a single touch Rarest of all some can even transform you into something entirely differentBut don't forget their powers are a curse They experience a backlash with every use of their powers If a luck worker gives you good fortune they will experience a pleasant kickback If they give too much luck they may spend forever in a blissed out state The backlash can be unpredictable if a death worker kills you part of them will die a tooth or a finger or maybe even their heart Most curse workers are tied to the black market or other criminal enterprises Cassel's family is in the thick of it Clever as the devil and twice as pretty Cassel comes from a long line of curse workers and criminals He's the only one from his family without powers but he does his best to keep up with the family business whether it be running an illegal betting ring in his high school or scamming tourists with trinkets I can't trust the people I care about not to hurt me And I'm not sure I can trust myself not to hurt them either Oh and he killed best friend Lila daughter of a mob boss three years ago He doesn't know how or why or what could've triggered him to do that He only remembers that he can't remember Could he have really killed Lila? And if not him who? We are largely who we remember ourselves to be That's why habits are so hard to break If we know ourselves to be liars we expect not to tell the truth If we think of ourselves as honest we try harder The only issue I had with this book was that the world was fleshed out than the characters I craved details on the curse workers and all their power rather than the somewhat plodding plot Audiobook CommentsWhoa Jesse Eisenberg narrated this one it felt like I was listening to a movie Very well done narrationYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading


  5. says:

    Reread 1030 Cassel is still the sarcastic little shit I remembered I have no other option than loving him even I hate that I love this I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee I'm not a good person This book was full of charms ← See what I did there? ▧ Charm ⁂1 I do love me some liar ⁂Beware of Cassel Sharpe professional liar and Master of the game of make believe You're going to love him Being a con artist means thinking that you're smarter than everyone else and that you've thought of everything That you can get away with anything That you can con anyoneI wish I could say that I don't think about the con when I deal with people but the difference between me and my mother is that I don't con myself Charming deceptive untrustworthy sarcastic selfish Of course I loved Cassel what do you think? Since he was fourteen and well hmm killed his best friend and first love Cassel learnt that to survive he has to become a Master of pretending All the time Friendship? Nothing than an exchange of goods Who'd want a killer of a friend? Yeah? No hands raised? That's what I thought Love? Yeah sure A good way to fake normality Family? You mean the curse workers who always kept him in the dark and fed him with snippets of affection? Them? I'm not good at having friends I mean I can make myself useful to people I can fit in I get invited to parties and I can sit at any table I want in the cafeteriaBut actually trusting someone when they have nothing to gain from me just doesn't make senseAll friendships are negotiations of power” Don't get fooled despite the fact that he basically tries to con everyone we can't avoid seeing the extreme vulnerability that all his tricks can't hide and then Then we 're dealing with a charming and hopeless male lead we can't help but care about ▧ Charm ⁂2 Of course I'm lost And I love it ⁂What a multi layered mystery Each time I thought I finally got it the truth slipped through my fingers There are many subplots in this story and that's for the best we never know who Cassel can trust damn we don't even know if we can trust Cassel most of the time Everything can be a con and this makes every decision or action suspect try to overtake Cassel's shenanigans and you'll see Marks think they can get something for nothingMarks think they can get what they don't deserve and could never deserveMarks are stupid and pathetic and sadMarks forget that whenever something's too good to be true that's because it's a con As for the writing I have to point that I was pleasantly surprised by Holly Black Indeed it's my first book from this author and I must admit that I was really wary at first What a fool I've been It was a captivating page turner that never bored me ▧ Charm ⁂3 Why can't I be a curse worker huh? Why? ⁂ Never ever forget your gloves otherwise you are likely to experience one of these delightful experiences ✔ To find yourself somewhere without any idea how you came✔ Be changed in a cockroach Yeah that sucks✔ To start sobbing in remorse for something you didn't even do✔♪♫♬ Beware of the music you hear ♪♫♬ Just sayin'▧ Charm ⁂4 Applaud the cat Just do it He's got claws ⁂ For of my reviews please visit


  6. says:

    I don't even know why I liked this so much I kind of guessed most of the twists but it still so damn delicious that I immediately downloaded BOTH of the next two audiobooks as soon as I finished this oneAnd it was read by Jesse Eisenberg who did a really good job of it I was sort of surprised that I liked his reading of this thing but I did


  7. says:

    As seen on The ReadventurerWell well well Color me surprised Just when I decided never to read another Holly Black work again due to our seemingly conflicting ideas about what good writing is Emily's review of White Cat convinced me to give the author one final try And who knew I really really liked it Actually this book is one of the strongest YA UF novels I've ever read I am not exactly sure what made Black change her writing style so drastically but I won't be complaining Somehow her characters are no longer repulsive and her writing is a lot polished than before As for the story itself I thought it was fantastic It is set in an AU America where certain people have magic abilities they are called curse workers They can manipulate emotions change memories bring luck or death The magic is worked through touch Cassel the narrator belongs to a family of curse workerscon artists He can do cons too but has no magic abilities When he finds himself sleepwalking on the roof of his school dorm haunted by the memories of a dream where a white cat asks for his help Cassel embarks on a trip to discover mysteries of his past present and the white catEven though I'd read way too many reviews of White Cat before starting the novel I still managed to be thoroughly mystified by its plot I attribute it to the fact that this book has a bit of Memento esue uality to it with gradual unraveling of the mysteries tangled up by various cons and curse works Or my usual denseness wherever any kind of mystery solving is involvedAnd can I say Yay for mafia and con artistry? White Cat gave me what All These Things I've Done couldn't just enough crime backstabbing and cons to keep me glued to its pagesmy iPod Can't wait to get my hands on the seuels Cassel's mom is up to no good And what will he do about Lila?I guess the lesson here is Never say never?


  8. says:

    Why did I just now read thisWHY Imagine this scenarioCassel and Kaz Brekker Six of Crows if you did not know that please imagine my eyeballs bulging out of my head sit at a cafe and ponder schemey things Cassel looks up notices there's a girl running toward them Kaz frowns Then the girl runs past grinning really widely waving frantically considering whether she should speak and then deciding against it all while wearing a shirt that says I LOVE YOU BYE Kaz peers at his empty coffee cup and decides he hasn't been drugged and that he actually saw that Cassel wonders if his mom is playing a prank on them Simultaneously both boys think THAT CHICK WAS WEIRDReader that chick was me


  9. says:

    45Spoiler free reviewI went into this book expecting to like it because the premise sounded awesome but I was wary since it’s not exactly a book I see all around goodreads But this blew my expectations out of the park I loved this book like a lot To the point where I can’t even form coherent sentences to explain why I loved this book so much But I can’t read the next book in this trilogy until after I finish my review so here I am trying and probably failing to string together a few thoughts that actually make senseSo I’ll start with the plot This book follows Cassel the only member of his family who doesn’t possess magical powers known as curseworkers Doing magic or working was banned and so most curseworkers and curseworker families become criminals Cassel has grown up in a family of conmen and has learned to become one himself despite his lack of magic He’s put up a whole facade of normalcy around his life; he goes to a normal school with normal kids and acts as normal as he can pretend to be But Cassel’s not like these kids he never can be because he’s got a secret he killed his Best Friend three years ago But just when Cassel’s beginning to fit into his new life at boarding school an incident of sleepwalking unravels his carefully crafted facade and he begins to realise that there’s something going on that he doesn’t know about His family is keeping secrets and Cassel begins to suspect that they’re conning him So he needs to find out what’s being hidden from him so he can con them backHonestly that description doesn’t do this story justice though It’s such an interesting plot full of secrets and lies all wrapped up in a whole load of family drama It’s like a mob story but with magic There was never a point during the book when I wasn’t intrigued by what would happen next; when I could physically stop turning pages And everything just came together so well; all of these pieces were being fit together and by the end everything made sense Speaking of the end whilst everything was wrapped up satisfyingly Holly Black threw a bloody curveball and now there’s drama that Cassel needs to work through in the second book and I have no idea how he’s going fix any of what happenedI did however have many ideas about the plot of this book And by ideas I mean predictions Correct predictions Because as much as I loved this book I found everything very predictable I pretty much knew what was going on before I’d even gotten through the first third of the book This didn’t ruin the story or even greatly affect it but I do have to mention this because this would’ve been a five star read for me if it weren’t for thisAnyway now that I’ve gotten my one negative point about this book out of the way I’m free to rave about itSo characters I’m not going to say much about Cassel’s family because that’ll just lead me right into spoiler territory and I want to keep this review spoiler free in the hopes that I can convince a few people who haven’t read this book yet to give it a try What I will say though is this I hated all of them except for his grandfather And I don’t mean to say that they were badly written characters or anything like that because they weren’t that at all I thought they were all extremely intriguing and each had their own dimensions that made them very interesting to read about I loved them as characters But I HATED them as people They were just so bad at being brothers I have 3 younger brothers and I couldn’t imagine ever treating them the way that Cassel’s Brothers treat him The worst part is that I liked Barron at first I mean Phillip was always a dick but I thought Barron was sweet And then he started doing some stuff I didn’t like and eventually I hated him as much as Phillip And his mum She meant well I think I hope but it felt like she was just continuously screwing up and I just don’t know how she hasn’t learned by now?? At least his grandpa was great; he was hilarious cared for Cassel and was still bad ass I want of him in the next one because he was instantly someone I loved the first time he was mentioned and I continued to love him for the rest of the bookAnd then there was the female protagonist; I really enjoyed reading about her She didn’t play a huge role in the story until the end but based on the final chapter I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a big part of the next book But I thought she was an incredibly interesting character and I wanted to know about her She was kind of a bitch but she was also really smart and determined And she was really self aware; like she knew she was a bully but she accepted that and used it to her advantage in certain situations And it was so sweet to see how much she did for the people she cared about She put herself in danger to save her Father and protected Cassel despite her conflicted feelings about himBut she isn’t who I really want to be talking about rn Neither is Cassel’s family It is Cassel himself that I want to talk about because dAMN I LOVE HIM Like I would read about this kid I say kid we’re the same age lol doing laundry And to show you all how much I love him I figured I’d show you the first few notes I took on him all from the first chapters so no spoilers dw “It’s impossible to have problems with a girlfriend who’s no longer mine”Me Lol I love this guy “‘Nothing Just that I was sleepwalking not trying to kill myself And if I wanted to kill myself I wouldn’t throw myself off a roof And if I was going to throw myself off a roof I would put on some pants before I did it’”Me Yep Definitely love him “Her name was Lila she was my best friend and I loved her I killed her anyway”Me Oh shit I’m intrigued Is he a psychopath? Why did he do it? “I don’t think about what music I like; I think about what music I should like”Me Wow He’s so intriguing Like he seems like a psychopath but he loved Lila so he can’t be? Damn ok I’m in Holly Black I am yoursAnd these are just my notes from chapter one I have an entire paragraph about how much I love Cassel later on in my notebook side note ughhhhh discovered whilst reading this book how much I HATE not being able to take notes in the book This is why I don’t use the library as much as I should I should probably explain why I love him though Because right now I sound like a babbling messOk so reason number 1 that I loved Cassel I could relate to him so much Like he’s constantly feeling like an outsider even with people who should be comfortable around He lies to everyone to cover up the fact that he’s different And he has major trust issues Like “I can’t trust the people I care about not to hurt me And I’m not sure I can trust myself not to hurt them eitherFriendships suck”I wrote this uote down underlined it twenty times wrote “I relate to this boy on a spiritual level” and then underlined that twenty times Every though Cassel has was a thought I have had at some point in my life And I loved that Here’s another one yes I am just going to uote the whole book because it was amazing and you all need to read it “But actually trusting someone when they have nothing to gain from me just doesn’t make sense”Like Cassel is me I am Cassel Just his cynicism towards the world is everything I am and it was so nice to see that in someone elseI also just loved him because of how sweet and adorable he is Like he loves his family so much even though his brothers are dicks and his mum screws his life up over and over again Even when he finds out something horrible about his brothers he still wants to protect them He’s such a cinnamon roll and I want to protect him with everything I am Especially since he’s kind of dumb Like the blurb of this book will have you believe he’s smart and ruthless but he’s actually naive and adorable Like he’s skeptical about everyone except his family but they’re the only conmen he knows He’s kind of blinded by his love for them and whilst I thought that was really sweet it meant that a lot of the time he believed in them even when he shouldn’t have But he was very good at conning people It was so interesting to see how his brain worked when coming up with a con And Holly Black didn’t try to do that thing that some authors do where they make it so their characters aren’t doing anything bad because they like it Like Cassel full on loved conning people and that was really refreshing to see It feels like nowadays in books you get all these characters that are unlikeable because the author tries too hard to make them likeable and they end up being a big contradiction But Cassel conned people not only because he had to sometimes and because he grew up conning people and so that’s the way he knows to live but also because he LIKED it And I loved reading about that It made his character really interesting to read about and so I loved him even But like also I really just loved him because hE’S LEGIT ME One I’m sorry “I don’t know how to explain how afraid I am of being judged”I LOVE HIMOk so at this point I know you all think I’m a wreck and I am but I’m hoping you’re still reading this because this next part is the main reason I loved this book aside from Cassel obviously The world building I’m absolutely in love with this world Well it’s urban fantasy so the world is technically ours But Holly Black has woven curseworkers and their magic into our world and it’s history to the point where it’s almost a completely new world Everyone wears gloves because curseworkers work people with their hands The government is considering passing a new law that states that everyone must be tested to see if they’re a worker and there are protesters worried about all the conseuences that’ll come of that Australia was founded by curseworker prisoners and as a result a far higher percentage of Australian’s are curseworkers There are songs and tv shows about andor featuring curseworkers And slang that people use to talk about curseworking The whole magic system is so deeply ingrained into the culture of our world that it’s practically a different world And because of this it was so immersive I felt like I was living there in this alternate version of New York hanging out with Cassel And it was easy to immerse myself in this world because of how well Black integrated the world building into the story; there was never a point where it felt like I was reading a bunch of info dumps Certain aspects of the world were introduced when I needed to know them and I really appreciated this It felt like the actual plot never had to stop or pause just so that the world could be explained so the story felt fluid and was easier to read I also just thought the magic system was so Creative and different to anything I’ve seen before Like yeah I’ve seen magic systems that have the same premise characters can use their hands to control something whether it be an element the weather or in this case people But the way Holly Black has done it is very uniue there are 7 types of curseworkers luck emotion body death transformation dreams and memory Some are common than others but all are uite rare in the general population They can control a person’s luck emotions etc depending on what type of worker they are but and here’s the interesting part they’ll suffer from ‘blowback’ for doing so The blowback is or less extreme depending on what they’ve done to someone And it can be positive or negative depending on what they’ve done to someone So if a luck worker gives someone a little bit of good luck they’ll be a little lucky If they give someone a lot of bad luck they’ll be extremely unlucky too I LOVE this aspect of the magic system; it makes it so no one feels invincible because there’s always conseuences for a curseworker when they work someone It creates an extra layer of depth to the world and it’s politics; curseworking is banned but not all curseworkers are evil They don’t all want to be because that would harm them as well But by banning them it puts them in a situation where the only thing they CAN be is criminals It just makes everything about the world so much interestingOk so the last thing I’m going to talk about is the romance and there’s not much to talk about so dw this essay of a review will be over soon Pretty much all I want to say is that I really appreciate how the romance didn’t AT ALL take over the plot of the story I’m so sick of books where characters are in life or death situations and all they can think about is that hot girl they just met or whatever But that doesn’t happen in this book The romance is very subtle and builds up throughout the course of the book through flashbacks and present day events And by the end you’re rooting for them But it’s a very small subplot I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a bigger part of the second book but this first book took the time to get me invested in the romance so I’m actually excited about that though I’m also really worried about it for reasons you wouldn’t understand unless you read the book But yes my point is that I love this book Like a lot And you should all go read it Pre review My emotions are all over the place I'm kind of a mess So I'm going to take a moment to work out my thoughts and then I'll write up my review which will probably still be incoherent At this point all I can say is thank you to Helena for simultaneously completing and destroying my life me smiling through the pain rn because damn I'm a wreck


  10. says:

    Buddy read with Angela and JennyJenSeeing as how everyone and their mother has pretty much already read and reviewed this book you don’t need a long rehash from me as to what happened Instead I think I’ll talk about my reading experience This story for me was like being in a fistfight First it opens with a scene so intriguing I dub it an insta hook It hit me like a right hook Just when I began to really feel bad for the main character it sucker punched me Dirty move I know It was okay though because it pulled the next few punches as the story really began and I learned about the MC Cassel and his curse working family Damn that false sense of security I was blinded by all the world building and didn’t realize the threat of a beat down was still looming And thenand thenit hit me right when I thought we’d finally come to terms with each other Oops wrong type of whamBetterAt this point the blows started coming fast and furious and it was all I could do to get my hands up to protect myself Then at the end it scissor kicked meAnd I went