White Cat

White Cat

Book - 2010
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The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn't fit in at home or at school, so he's used to feeling like an outsider. He's also used to feeling guilty--he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas-- and a plan to con the conmen.
Publisher: New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, c2010.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781416963967
Branch Call Number: YA BLACK H
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

In this alternate reality, certain people can influence your dreams, thoughts, memories, and even kill you with a touch of their hands, which is why everyone wears gloves. Cassell comes from a family of workers, but doesn't have powers himself, at least that's what he thinks. What he does have is... Read More »

Holly Black writes mesmerizing urban fantasy for teens. White Cat is the first of a series that blends magic and the mob with a noir feel.

Magic and the mob collide in this noir mystery.

From the critics

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I went through this book like I was falling down a gravity well. Part fairy-tale, part X-Men-style superhero story, part the Sopranos! Dark, suspenseful, full of plot twists in a detailed universe just next door to our own. Cassel is a teen boy with a painful past. Moreover, he’s the only member of his family without the talent to ‘work’, to put curses on people through the touch of a bare hand. As criminal clans maneuver for power by using the gifts of the curse workers, Cassel finds himself at the center of a storm of ruthless conspiracy and revenge– but in a world where both memory and emotions can be manipulated, can he be sure of anything he thinks he knows? First in the Curse Workers series, but this volume resolves strongly and can stand alone. (submitted by library patron DF)

sundanced Jul 13, 2018

This story reminded me of Madame d'Aulnoy's old fairy tale, "The White Cat", with a very unique take including a magic mafia crime family. The story is filled with dark magic and deceit, and will keep you guessing until the end.

Jun 17, 2018

5 STARS! This is possibly my new favorite book. The characters and plot are unique, and given that many YA books are pretty much just copies of popular series such as The Hunger Games, the originality of White Cat is refreshing. The story also has a lot of plot twists that I could not predict. And who wouldn't want to read about the equivalent of a supervillain/magical mafia? Also, Cassel and Lila are my new OTP, love them:) Due to the flowing, masterful writing style and perfect pacing as well as the awesome story, I got through it in about a day.
In short: just read the book!

KimberlyReads Dec 23, 2016

The Curse Workers Trilogy is full of plot twists and mysteries to be unraveled. It kept me guessing through all three books, and offers a delicious mix of con men and dark magic.

Sep 05, 2016

This book was amazing, and that isn't anywhere close to an exaggeration. I felt that White Cat easily reminded me of The Young Elites and The Outsiders.
The mystery is something that caught me right at the start. Most books fail to keep readers interested at first, but this one was completely absorbing from page one. 100% looking forward to book two.

FindingJane Sep 13, 2014

With its striking cover of a black-gloved pouty boy holding a fluffy white cat, “White Cat” launches the reader into slightly different territory. The protagonist is a “worker”, someone with forbidden powers—or is he? It’s a secret, both to the central character and the reader, and part of the thrill is finding out exactly what’s going on with him and his duplicitous family.

At times, it’s a struggle to like Barron, Philip, Cassel and their mother. They like duping people but you wonder that they’re lives aren’t better for it. They get tangled up with truly dangerous criminals, they grew up in a house filled with hoarded treasure piled in such haphazard fashion it’s more warren than home and Cassel’s attempts to be a normal and an upstanding citizen don’t prevent him from being a bookie at his upper-class school.

But Ms. Black shows how necessary their twisted values are, how the judgmental world they exist in doesn’t allow for differences unless they’re willing to bend the rules and force the system to work for them. They’re criminals but charming ones and, if they’re rigging the system, it’s only to keep it from squashing them.

Of course, as one character points out, everyone may look down on or fear workers, but everyone has always secretly wanted to be one, to wield powers beyond that of normal men. Ms. Black shows just how exciting, alluring and lonely such desires and powers can be.

ChristchurchLib Jun 30, 2014

"Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of criminals and "curse workers," people who practice magic illegally and can alter others' luck or memories -- or even kill them -- with a single touch. Cassel, who doesn't seem to have inherited his family's talents, tries very hard to convince his private-school classmates that he's just a regular guy. But he's haunted by a dirty secret from his past, a white cat that keeps appearing in his nightmares, and the odd way that his brothers have been acting around him lately. Right from the start, when Cassel awakens from a nightmare to find himself on the roof of his dormitory, this 1st volume in the Curse Workers series is an edgy, pulse-pounding read." Teen Scene July 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/36c051c4-68fe-4dcd-be55-0c8781def9ca?postId=8d38463e-7e3e-4453-9d29-53e32444377f

Aug 25, 2013

I know this is geared for a much younger audience but it is well-written and engaging - I can hardly wait for the next in the series! I really enjoyed the characters and think it's a great read...

Jul 28, 2013

The beginning was a bit slow and was confusing at times but overall the book was really good. Cassel is an amazing character. He's smart, strong, and funny. The plot was incredible. People have the ability to change people's memories, emotions, and physical being. It was hard to tell who the "bad guy" was. The ending was definitely shocking.

gutch May 20, 2013

Really really awesome! I just wish there was more action, but I couldn't put it down anyway :)

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Sep 05, 2016

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Violet_Bee_66 Jul 01, 2013

Violet_Bee_66 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Sep 05, 2016

“Clever as the Devil and twice as pretty.”

JewelMcLatchy May 18, 2013

"...The cat is just staring at me, and I think there's blood on her mouth. I look at her and see the deaths of hundreds of mice and birds. I see them just lining up to march into her mouth along an unfurling carpet of tongue like in an old cartoon. I think she wants to eat me next." / "Pet the cat, dude," says Sam. "She brought you a present. She wants you to tell her how badass she is." / "You are a tiny, tiny killing machine," Daneca coos. / "What's she doing?" I ask. / "Purring!" says Daneca. She sounds delighted. "Good kitty. Who's an amazing killing machine? That's right! You are! You are a brutal, brutal tiny lion! Yes, you are."


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