White Cat by Holly Black

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Cassel is the youngest in the family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck by the slightest touch of their hands. His mother and his brothers have their own special abilities, yet he doesn't have one. This makes him feel like an outsider. He knows no magic; simply a normal human being. Except for one tiny little detail; he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Now Cassel has been getting dreams of a mysterious white cat, trying to tell him something. Disturbing things have started happening too, in and out of his family. He realizes he needs to figure out what's truly going on, or risk losing everything he has... if he still has anything left.

Plot: 4.5 stars
The synopsis alone was enough to convince me to read this. I have never read a book about curse workers before, so this was an entirely new territory for me. I have to say, I enjoyed it a lot. It was unique and original, interesting and intriguing. I loved learning about the fictional world that Holly Black created, and would love to see more of it in the future.

Characters: 4 stars
I have to admit, I don't really care much about the supporting characters. Fortunately, I liked Cassel. He sounds like a real guy, genuinely battling with his own insecurities, confusion, and guilt. He appears to be vulnerable, which to me, makes him automatically likable. Another character I found that I liked and rooted for is none other than the white cat. I don't want to say much, as I don't want to spoil the book to anyone, so I'll just leave it at that.

Writing&Pace: 3.5 stars
It took me a while to get what's truly going on and to understand what the story is actually about, but when I did, I was able to get into it. I liked the writing; very simple. Also, this is indeed a fast read as I finished it in a day.

Cover: 3 stars
First off, I really liked the photo of the guy in the leather jacket and gloves, holding the white cat. I did however, find the title a bit confusing. The author's name is printed a bit too big -- bigger than the actual title. If I didn't know anything about the book, I would probably have assumed that 'Holly Black' is part of the book's title itself.

Overall: 4 stars
Though it took me a while to get into the story, I ended up really enjoying it in the end. It's an original read. I liked the main characters. I was entertained, and was satisfied with the ending. I am most definitely going to read its sequel right when it comes out.


  1. Nice review, Jillian. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I saw this yesterday at the store and I thought of getting it, but didn't. I'm still not sure if I want to read yours is one of the few positive reviews. Holly Black's name is so ridiculously huge on the cover. Great review!

  3. Very good review, Jillian! I'm particularly interested in this book since I just got it, but I have been less than impressed with Black before. I've heard, though, that this one is pretty good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts - and I especially liked the neat way you broke it down by category :D

  4. Great review! I'm glad you liked this one! I really did too! :)

  5. @Julie P: Thank you!

    @Adriana: There's been a lot of mixed reviews about White Cat, I heard. It's probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. I'd love to know if you end up getting it.

    @Amelia: Thanks :) I write reviews differently every time, depending on the book, but I find this one the most clear. I don't usually like Holly Black either, but for the most part, this was a pretty original story.

    @Holly: Yeah, it was really entertaining and different than usual.