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White Cat (Curse Workers Series #1)

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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 July 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love it

    First off, I want to give my props to Holly Black because White Cat was pure genuis. Cassel is the youngest in a family of workers struggling to fit in. Cassle starts to sleepwalk making thing dangerous for the facade he so perfectly perfected. He starts to notice that things aren't right with his memory. He is still haunted by the death of his best friend Lila.




    After a series of events and sneaking around, Cassel finally comes to the conculscion that someone is working him. Cassel, not a worker himself, has come to know the ways of working someone without magic. With Cassel quick wittiness and cunniness, Cassel begins to fit the pieces of the puzzle that has haunted him for years.




    With his friends, Sam and Daneca, the only people he can trust, Cassel begins to formulate the revenage on those who hurt and betrayed him. And what's worse? The people who hurt and betrayed him are the ones he trusted the most.




    The adventure of reading White Cat was absolutley astounding. I enjoyed every minute of reading it. Holly Black wrote such a great story with an awesome plotline. I have never read something so enticing, so exciting that I was giggling with giddiness while reading it. I loved how the story was something unique, nothing repeated like other books out there. This was a great read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Cant wait for Red Glove

    This was my first book by Holly Black but it definitely won't be my last. White Cat is an exciting read that you will not be able to put down until you hit the last page. Imagine living in a world where an ungloved hand is like holding a loaded gun. That is the world that Holly Black has created in her new series (The Curse Workers). Curse working is illegal and some may say that it is for good reason. Curse workers can change your emotions, your memories, your luck, and more with only the slightest touch of their hands.

    White Cat is the first in the series and follows Cassel Sharpe. Cassel comes from a family of curse workers; unfortunately he is a non curse worker. Cassel has learned to survive in their world by becoming a talented conman. He has come to love everything about the con until he starts to suspect that he is the one who has been conned all along.

    Three years ago Cassel murdered his best friend Lila. He can't remember the details of that night but he does remember standing over her dead body with the bloody knife in his hand. He is haunted by that night and what it means. The only way that he knows hoe to cope is to blend into the crown and be as "normal" as possible.

    His careful façade comes crashing down when he almost sleepwalks off the roof of his dorm following a white cat. Why is this white cat haunting his dreams? What is the cat trying to tell him? Sent home to deal with his sleepwalking problem, Cassel first objective is to get back to school and his routine (away from his family). Cassel knows that his brothers work people but waking up to their whispered conversation leads him to believe they are hiding something more. Cassel is determined to figure out what is going on. What are they up to? How is Cassel involved? Is everything that Cassel thinks he knows a lie? Could his whole life be a con? What really happened to Lila? Could she still be alive? Finding the answers to these questions will change everything...but will it be for the better.

    Talk about cliffhanger ending. All I am going to say is that I am very pissed at Cassel's mother. Very very pissed! I mean why does Cassel always get the shaft?! Read it and you will know what I mean. I can't wait for Red Glove which is due out May 2011.

    http://bringmeanotherbook.blogspot.com/

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    My form of a drug

    This book is like an addictive drug. I cannot tell you how much i want there to be a ten zillion stars button. Everyone should read this book! It is really hard not to be a total spoiler when you've read this book! READ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2011

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!

    simply amazing!there's so many twists and turns that it keeps u on the edge of ur seat! i definitely recommand it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    A different kind of magic

    I love this book!! White Cat has such good characters, Cassel is such a good narrative voice. Even the characters, who are bad are made to be likeable. The whole cat concept blew my mind. You really have to pay attention to it. As for the tense you really don't notice it. The magic is really cool, and it seems real as its set in New Jersey but there's magic as if in the real world. Read it! Its excellent and a good story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    Enjoyed this twist on the teen lit paranormal genre

    This book was a refreshing read for the teen lit paranormal genre. So many books are only about falling in love, and reading about a male protagonist's search for his identity was a nice change of pace.

    Author Holly Black writes a very convincing world where magic exists through a finger's touch. The book's lead, Cassel, finds himself embroiled in his family's drama through no real fault of his own. They're a family of con artists, so the book abounds with twists and turns.

    Once I picked this book up I had a hard time putting it down. I'm very much looking forward to the second book in this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    Great plotline and very thrilling!

    I loved the story of the three Sharpe brothers and their grandfather. It's an intriguing world with a rivetting plotline. I loved the descriptions of the 'con' and what it means to be a scam artist!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    Highly Recommend!!! I <3 Cassel!!!

    I loved the whole idea of being a curse worker. This book was so creative a great change from all the vampire and fallen angel books I've been reading lately. This book is fast-paced and the twist in it I did not see coming. I loved how it wasn't predictable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Clever as the devil and twice at pretty...

    I thought at the beginning of this book it was a little confusing, but after a few chapters I started really liking it. I guess I didn't know much since I have never even heard of the word curse worker, but wow! Holly Black has some out standing ideas! The characters were fantastic, but it was also very shocking. Just gets to show you, never to outcon a conman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 &lt;3)

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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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