Customer Reviews for

White Cat (Curse Workers Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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(91)

4 Star

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(22)

2 Star

(7)

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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Magical Con-Artists & More

In Cassel Sharpe's alternate reality, Curse Workers have the power to alter emotions, grant you luck, break your leg, or even kill you with a single touch of their bare skin. Although 'working' was outlawed in the early 1920s, curse workers have continued to thrive outs...
In Cassel Sharpe's alternate reality, Curse Workers have the power to alter emotions, grant you luck, break your leg, or even kill you with a single touch of their bare skin. Although 'working' was outlawed in the early 1920s, curse workers have continued to thrive outside of the law under the direction of mafia-like families of magical users. Cassel hails from a long and impressive line of curse workers and con artists. And while he's not a worker like his brothers Phillip and Barron, he can definitely claim the con artist status. But Cassel is going straight. While his mom serves time in jail, Cassel is attending an exclusive private school and trying to act normal - even if he does run a small-time betting ring to cover his daily expenses. Yet the perfect image he has so painstakingly constructed begins to crumble when Cassel begins dreaming about a white cat asking for his help and sleepwalking at school. Confused with the jumbled snatches of memory from his past and the various versions of truth his brothers offer in explanation for their increasingly odd behavior, Cassel finds himself deep in the tangled web of a mysterious conspiracy spanning years and involving every person he has ever loved.


In White Cat, nothing is as it seems: from the 'public' image Cassel creates of himself, his relationship with his brothers and mom, or to his own perception of himself and his abilities. Compelling and gritty, Cassel finds truth spilling forward at the most unexpected moments from the unlikeliest of sources. I am utterly intrigued to discover where Holly Black will take the Sharpe brothers next. All three have this unique love/hate relationship with each other, tied up in knots alongside their conflicting loyalties and hopes for the future. Not to mention their own skewed perceptions of family and loyalty. It's some truly heady stuff. Then there's Cassel's grandpa who is decidedly old school but who everyone just sees as old. But wowza, the man is a killer. Literally. Although I do wish he wouldn't spend so much time being cryptic with Cassel - his insights could have saved him buckets of time.

How could I not fall instantly in love with Cassel's profusion of con-man lingo and his obvious removal from anything remotely resembling a 'normal' relationship. Familial or friendly. In Cassel's world, a mother wouldn't hesitate to use her ability to manipulate her children's emotions or reward her kids for successfully pulling off a con. Heart-breaking but so incredibly engrossing. In this exceptionally character-driven novel, Holly Black has crafted a world so unlike any other YA book I've come across. White Cat is dark. Gritty. Intense. Just my kind of story.

posted by SeeMichelleRead on June 28, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

...

Before I bought this book, I read all the hype. The positive and negative reviews and decided to buy it. The beginning of the book was less than interesting, the only good thing about the book was that the main character was kind of likable. Other than that I had to for...
Before I bought this book, I read all the hype. The positive and negative reviews and decided to buy it. The beginning of the book was less than interesting, the only good thing about the book was that the main character was kind of likable. Other than that I had to force myself to continue. I was halfway through the book before I decided that I would finish it. I was so sure it would only get better and in the middle it was actually pleasurable. It was the last 50 pages or so that really disappointed me. The whole book he talks about how great a con artist he is and the rules to be a great con artist that he's learned. I was really ticked off when he continually did things that -to me- seemed to be the opposite of what he learned. First, he never knew when to back away from the con. Second, he continually thought he was smarter than everyone else. I understand that you have to be confident in yourself but it stupid to think you're the smartest person in the room. It makes you overly confident and that only leads to failure. Third, the main character became too pathetic and less likable. He seemed to think he was so smart while getting his butt kicked the entire time. The main character came up with and overly complicated answer to a situation that could have been dealt with much simpler. The ending was anticlimactic. I don't think I will be continuing this series.

posted by bookfanaticCP on December 8, 2010

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    White Cat by Holly Black

    Cassel is in a family that is all curse workers, but he himself isn't one. Even though he was raised a criminal, he wants a normal life. But after one episode of sleeping on the roof of his dorm, he's kicked out of school on temporally leave. He spends more time with his worker brothers and grandfather and starts to think about the death of Lila, a girl he killed three years ago when a white cat shows up in life and in his dreams. Cassel starts to think that he is being worked and tries to figure out by whom. Great read, loved every minute of it. The Curse Workers is going to be such a good new and inventive series. Can't wait to find out what happens next.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    simply wonderful!!

    from the first page to the last i was breathless and couldn't wait to turn the page. i had to keep reading until i was done. the plot is genius, the characters are realistic. the story unfolds perfectly. The ending practically made me scream, ill be first in line to buy the sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Astounding

    This book was absolutely amazing! Lots of suspense and plot twists that you didn't expect. The writing was well done, the characters unique, the plot interesting. It was definitely different from the normal. A very good book that I definitely recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A mystery of self

    At first this book didn't capture my attention. Events and personalities seemed slow to advance. However, by the middle of the book, it really started to interest me. By the end, the slight twists the book gave were fun to read. The last twist, was the one that made me feel sorry and hopeful for Cassel as well as looking forward to the next installment to this series. Oh, and don't worry about that last statement. It isn't a cliffhanger, but it does set things up nicely for the next book.

    Cassel believes that he is a horrible person because he killed his best friend. He has no memory about the incident except for standing over her body with a bloody knife and a self-satisfied smile. His family life isn't normal by anyone's standards, even those of the local mob in charge of most of the workers in the city. So what does anyone with these problems do? Try to act and become as normal as possible and blend in with the mass of kids at his new school.

    The story really starts to take off when he starts checking up on his brothers. The mystery that unfolds when this happens really is the heart of the book. This is where he starts to learn who he is, what has happened to everyone and who he can trust. All things are a huge leap for a boy used to staying in the shadows.

    I gave this story 4 stars. It is a good read and I'm looking forward to the next story in this series. The book will be published in May of this year. Not too much longer to wait!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Holly Black's White Cat

    In a world where mobster families practice dark magic, Cassel feels left out as the only one in his dysfunctional family who has no magic powers. He compensates with his abilities to con and lie much like the rest of the family. As if normal teen angst weren't bad enough, he is haunted by the horrific death of a friend and struggles to remember how she died. When he dreams of a white cat talking to him and wakes up sleepwalking on the roof of his prep school dorm, his life spins out of control.

    Holly Black's fairy tale trilogy, Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, are among my favorite fantasy novels. While not about fairies, this is another urban fantasy by Holly Black, one that will keep you up all night reading to the end, as the plot twists and turns and Cassel learns disturbing things about himself and about his family. The world of curse worker mobsters is a highly original conception.

    The novel itself is excellent, but the cover art is yet another example, along with Justine Larbalestier's Liar and Jaclyn Dolamore's Magic Under Glass, of YA cover art whitewashing. Cassel has black hair, black eyes, and tan skin, yet the boy on the front cover has auburn hair and very pale skin. The continued racism in the publishing industry, which believes that featuring white people on the front cover will sell more copies, is a disgrace.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Holly is a Goddess

    Holly Black is an amazing writer, she can't go wrong. I can't wait for this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    AMAZING

    This book was suspenseful and wild.Holly Black is the best author ever.

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  • Posted March 22, 2014

    I was bored with this. Took awhile before I could even figure ou

    I was bored with this. Took awhile before I could even figure out what exactly was going on. Did not understand the whole scam, magic, workers, etc. Just did not come together for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Great book

    This book was amazing however thesecond book in the series was way better, this book didnt entice me as well asnsome other books but still overall was a great and fun read i had very high expectations going into this book at first because id heard such great things about it.i was expecting a bit more in some aspects but the book still delivered

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    To Hollyflower

    Check 'sum' result one plz :P

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Should we go back to camp?

    ~Lionfoot

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Great Book!

    Overall WHITE CAT was a great book! It had a great story line and just kept you reading. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy (:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Love it

    I throught this book was so fun i never read a book like this i'm on the last book of this series and i wish there were more books of this if u read theys books i bet u will like them sooo muuuuch

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    Finally! It took me years to cave into not only reading, but bu

    Finally!

    It took me years to cave into not only reading, but buying this book. I was worried; I'd seen bad reviews about it when it first came out that scared me away.

    But White Cat is what reminded me that my opinion on a book is what matters the most. It's lovely to have a second, third, fourth, infinite number of opinions to help you along.

    It's also nice to have a pan of brownies to yourself.

    That, however, doesn't mean that you should eat all the brownies or listen to all the reviews. Brownies can give you a stomach ache, reviews are just opinions. If you want to try something you really like then go for it!

    (Within good and logical reason, of course)

    White Cat instills an ego-boost in me because damn right I knew this book would be good. And it is! It's a wonderful story in a wonderfully built alter-world with wonderful characters. There were things that shocked me and that I just didn't see coming--which is a huge thing for me. I love being so engrossed in a story that I don't think beyond the words on the page until after I've read them. This--to me--is what makes a good book.

    (Also, that cover I just. I'm so glad I waited for the paperback because that cover <3)

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    very good

    I love all of Holly Black's books, but this one kind of dragged a little and took me a little longer to get through. Don't get me wrong, it was a good book, just not as good as some of her others. I found myself having to look back in the book for information that maybe I had missed or read over too quickly and just double check and make sure I had read it right. I was also going back to find out who was who because I couldn't remember where or when someone had been introduced in the book and what they had to do with anything. So, you really have to pay attention and will find yourself flipping back and forth just to keep up with everything that's going on in the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    I am emberstar

    Heeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaheeeeeeeehaaaaaaaa

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Beyond 5 stars!!!!

    I literally just finished reading this book, it was defiantly worth the lack of sleep! I couldn't have been more shocked or amazed at the twistnand turns in this book, it was so unpredictable. And unpredictable books are the best kind ! ;)

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Way I summarized the book to friends in four words: Cat-girl and

    Way I summarized the book to friends in four words: Cat-girl and magical mafia.

    It's true.

    I'm not going to say the book was bad; I enjoyed learning more about the workers and the world that Holly Black as created. The dynamics of the workers - how working is illegal, why the worker families have control over so much, the different types of working - was all really fun to read about.

    Cassel is a somewhat interesting character - I couldn't really connect to him, but I liked reading about him. Cassel's grandfather and Sam were probably my favorite characters, and I liked the scenes where all of Cassel's family was together. Family dynamics are always fun.

    But the world took a very long time to set up. I predicted what would happen with the white cat, with Cassel, with Sam, with the love triangle. One of the main characters was a bit of a bully who, though an interesting character, I didn't like. Characters were introduced that seemed to have no point (though they may have a point later on in the series.)

    It was something I could put down easily and not think about until I had a spare few minutes, which is probably why it took so long to finish.

    It was just... meh.

    Also, don't forget to read who Holly dedicates the book to. It's, sadly, my favorite part of the book.

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  • Posted September 8, 2012

    Con men, the magic and murder, oh my! I absolutely adored this b

    Con men, the magic and murder, oh my! I absolutely adored this book and I feel foolish for not having discovered this series (and Holly Black) sooner.

    Cassel's family is just like your average family; his mother can alter a person's emotions, his brother can alter memories, and his other brother can change a person's luck. Everyone can work a curse except for Cassel who is prone to sleepwalking and dreaming of a murder he committed three years back. Everything changes when he finds a white cat in his dorm room, and his brothers begin to act more strangely than usual.

    This story was all kinds of amazing! I loved the aspect of cursing people being illegal (workers must wear gloves to ensure that they don't curse others). Although it's deemed illegal, that obviously doesn't mean that people no longer practice it, in fact there are advocates for curseworkers. The novel continuously built up until the "big reveal" which kept me glued to the edge of my seat! I love when the author gives little information throughout the book that seems random until the climax, that's writing and story telling at its best!

    All of the characters were complex and interesting. I didn't know how to react to Cassel's family of curseworkers. They're all so manipulative and have ties to the mobster. Despite their manipulative ways they care for each other and most importantly, they care about Cass. Cass himself is an interesting character, he is extremely likable and determined to do the right thing. The Barron family is definitely one of the most interesting families that I have read about this year; I mean who else can top a grandfather with decayed fingertips who can kill you with one simple touch.

    The writing was flawless and I felt like I was transported into Cass's world. I loved the interactions between Cass and his classmates and I enjoyed seeing him react to his curseworking family.

    The White Cat was a great start to this series. With memorable characters and a twist that will surprise you, I can't wait to continue this series!

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