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White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)
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White Cat (Curse Workers #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  23,027 ratings  ·  3,094 reviews
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...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
Holly 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 harder.

But 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 a...more
Nov 08, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Emily May
As seen on The Readventurer

Well, 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. Some...more
Emily May

4.5 stars

I 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 possible.

Holly 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 ad...more
Okay. This book has the word “cat“ in its title. How could I ever hesitate to read it?

Simply put, I was rather less enamoured of Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales series and actually couldn't see myself picking up another one of her books. I had given her two chances, and she hadn't convinced me. Don't get me wrong, Tithe and Ironside certainly weren't bad, but I'm normally looking for something better than not bad. Positive reviews abound made me look closer into White Cat, though. And I didn't...more
Litchick (aka Navessa Allen)
Buddy read with Angela and JennyJen

Seeing 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 more 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 o...more
It's safe to say that it's not the cover that attracted me to this book. I was actually quite surprised to see its many great reviews. Yes, I'm a book judger. Oh well. I picked this up as an audiobook and actually liked it a lot.

Some people are born as workers in Cassel's world. Workers can "work" people with their hands. By touching someone, they can alter their memory, kill, give good luck, bad luck. You name it. Cassel is the only one in his family who is not a worker. He's been getting these...more
Final rating: ★★/★★★★★


“The thing is that it’s really hard to stop discrimination when something’s illegal,” the girl says. “I mean, everybody thinks of workers as being criminals. Like, people use the word ‘worker’ to mean
criminals. And, well, if we work a work, even once, we are criminals. So most of us are, because we had to figure it out somehow and that was usually by making something happen.”
“And there are lots of workers who never do anything bad. They go to weddings and hospitals and g
Holly Black is the anti-Cassandra Clare. While Black’s series has been using cover quotes from Ms Clare (a good friend of Ms Black) to promote the series, Black’s writing stands leaps and bounds beyond anything Clare has ever written and “White Cat” is a brilliant read on pretty much every level.

It’s not often these days that I’m surprised by a YA book. Maybe it’s the market itself, maybe it’s my own YA oversaturation, but whatever the case may be, when a YA comes along that I find entertaining...more
I had low expectation about this book because urban fantasy could be hard for me to get into. Besides, it’s not encouraging that the book is in a male voice by a female author. Therefore, I had only intended to take a look at the first page. However, first page turned into second page and so forth. I couldn’t put it down. All the while I was reading, I kept trying to stop and switch to the book I had in mind. Well, I never did. And here I am, eager to finish the whole series.

It's surprising how...more
3 1/2 stars

I don’t know why I expected this book to be bad. Maybe I’ve read enough paranormal YA’s to have overload trauma flashbacks whenever the genre comes up. But guess what? This one is actually good! Chalk this one up as another triumph for goodreads recommendations.

I find the fantasy world that she builds here to be very compelling and intricate, and since the main character starts out the book very much out of the loop, the details are allowed to assemble and grow slowly and organically...more
So you know when you hit that stride where no matter what book you pick, it ends up just sucking? Such is the place I found myself in, again, when a friend peeked through my TBR list and pointed out a few Sure Things for me to check out. Thank the Lord for Goodreads recommendations! I was intrigued by this book after seeing a few reviews pop up I put it on my list, and promptly forgot about it. I always have that head-desk moment after reading a book that I had been putting off and realize how m...more
White Cat, the first book in the Curse Workers took me a little to get into but once I did, I found it an addictive story.

Cassel is part of a Curse Worker family; each with a different ability to affect a person with one touch. His mother can affect emotions, and his brother Philip can manipulate a person’s body, and Barron can influence a person’s luck. All of them have abilities except for him. He’s always felt left out and a little less for not being one of them. The one thing that sets Cass...more
I don’t have a quote because by the time he said something I liked I got myself into a faff trying to get my notebook and then find my pen and then it wouldn't work and… it was just too much hassle.
Oh and also, I don’t really know how Ms Black is spelling all her character names so apologies if they’re wrong.

High Points.
Curses + Mob Families + Secret Underground World = Um, YES. The whole idea behind this series is absolutely genius and the world that Black creates is just spectacular. I reall...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If any of you are like me you are/were put off by the cover. It looks creepy, right? A guy with leather gloves holding a cat? How unappealing is that? Well after reading the book I know this cover fits the book completely, and the creepiness is probably part of the point. And the cover gives it a mafia feel, which is central to the whole order of the curse workers.

Anyways onto what's beyond the cover. Cassel at the moment is attending a private school, trying to forget some horrendous memories t...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

I LOVE THIS BOOK! I normally try to refrain from all-caps declarations of love (exception: Christian Bale), but it is unavoidable and White Cat is worthy of them. This was a quick read but I had so much fun with Cassel that I immediately bought book two, Red Glove, literally right after I finished the final page of this. It's addictive - an all-male POV ya novel that's entirely credible and authentic in its voice, set amid a unique and compelling pl...more
Oct 18, 2012 Maggie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maggie by: Flannery
Audiobook rating: 2 stars.

This is the second book of The Readventurer Challenge and... it didn't work for me. I'm not giving White Cat an official goodreads rating because the narration didn't hold my attention enough for me to completely follow the story. This is now my 7th or 8th audiobook, and I love listening to them, but Jesse Eisenberg and I just didn't mesh well together. And I'm not a virgin and I can drive! TMI?

The premise of mafia controlled curse workers sounded like The Godfather me...more
Feb 03, 2012 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, ya
Meh. Time has been kind to my opinion of White Cat, but I’m still not over the moon for it as so many other readers/reviewers seem to be. I can’t really put my finger on what’s missing, there’s just this general hum of something lacking. Given that, I suppose I can only provide my pros and cons list and let you readers decide for yourself.

Strong points:
1. The concept. It’s unique, interesting, and really, never before seen in YA UF, which makes it fun and fresh.
2. Cassel. He makes for an interes...more
4.5 stars

The Storyline
Cassel was born into a family of curse workers; however, he’s the outsider of the family… the one born without magic. Not to say he’s perfect…he’s become quite the con man at school and plus he did kill his best friend Lila and has lived with the guilt for the past 3 years. While at school he begins having dreams where he’s visited by a white cat that obviously wants to tell him something but Cassel isn’t paying that much attention… I mean it is just a dream, right? And the...more
Morgan F
I don't have too many strong feelings about this book.

My favorite aspect of this book was the concept. I really liked all the curse-worker stuff, and the blowback idea was great. In this book, actions had consequences, whether it'd be killing a man with one touch or just changing the odds of a game in your favor. Most fantasy nowadays, people just do whatever they want with the unrealistic threat of "dire consequences". Well, this book has a system. I like systems.

Cassel was a pretty unreliable...more
This can also be seen at The Book Eater.

Well, that was interesting.

Some rambling thoughts:

I liked the writing. It fits the genre and the story and is, for me, a welcome change in Black's usual writing style. So if you didn't like her previous novels and are thinking of skipping this one because of it, think again. You'll be surprised.

I also now get why everyone cites this series as an example of well-written male pov. It is good. That's probably why I didn't completely identify with the narrator...more
This is a difficult book to review. It has a new (for me) and innovative idea for a story. It is told from the male character's point of view. But it was strangely unsatisfying. Things are revealed a little too early on in the story.

Curse Workers are people born with the ability to change your emotions, dreams, luck, memories, or even transform you with a touch of the hands. "Workers" as they are called in the book, are usually gloved to prevent accidental touches. Curse working is illegal and m...more
DarkHeart "Vehngeance"
Holly Black's writing isn't for everyone, but I adore her ability to wrap the darker aspects of real life into her world of make believe. I love that things aren't easy for her characters, that life is complicated and the choices they make have repercussions.

I loved the idea of curse workers and a world where you're only safe from them by the virtue of gloves they wear. Additionally, I like that the book's protagonist, Cassell, is a male - as I only have a handful of male POVs in my YA library,...more
Honestly, when books are this good, there's nothing left to say except...

This book made me so happy I jizzed in my fucking pants. Not even joking. I fucking did.
Husband: That book's called WHITE CAT but the author's name is BLACK? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

This is why I can't take Husband to the library.
Margaret Stohl
I study this book. Every sentence in it is perfect.
I always feel a little bit guilty not liking Holly Black's books as much as other people seem to. White Cat is a wonderfully imaginative retelling of the fairytale, complete with crime families, conning, magic, and general weirdness. It begins at a boarding school but isn't really a boarding school book. The 'worker' magic was really interesting and developed in a way that was both creepy and believable, and the novel itself was paced well and put together.

So what's the issue? I don't know. It p...more
3.5 stars, I am rounding because of the last 30% of this book. The beginning is slow, Holly Black takes world and story set up seriously. Aside from the awesome open scene (one of the best opening scenes ever), the story is very a slow build and may be frustrating at times. But once the halfway mark is hit, it becomes rewarding. I listened to the audio and while in the end I enjoyed the performance, it took me awhile to connect with the characters. I would recommend reading this book instead of...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
4.5 stars. What a fun surprise this book turned out to be. I was expecting a standard formula PNR, written in the gritty style that Holly Black seems to possess. White Cat was about as far removed from the typical angsty YA formula PNR as any other genre would be.

I loved the curse worker world that Ms. Black built. I loved that the main character was a male, which isn't as common in the PNR genre. I especially loved the mafia family vibe that this book was putting out. Nothing about this book fe...more
Kimberly Derting
You guys know I almost never rate books anymore but some books deserve more than five stars, and WHITE CAT is definitely one of those books. (Where is the gajillion star button???) Some of the most brilliantly flawed characters and incredible world building I've read. No question, I adored this book!
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Hooked on Books : White Cat (Curse Workers) by Holly Black - Start Date: October 23, 2014 1 4 Sep 24, 2014 06:37PM  
Obsessed With YA ...: Day 4: FINISH! 1 4 Aug 02, 2014 06:58AM  
Obsessed With YA ...: Day 3: Chapters 11-14 1 1 Aug 02, 2014 06:58AM  
Mystery, Crazines...: White Cat 1 3 Jul 29, 2014 06:04PM  
Obsessed With YA ...: Day 2: Chapters 6-10 1 3 Jul 25, 2014 11:19AM  
Obsessed With YA ...: Day 1: Chapters 1-5 1 4 Jul 24, 2014 07:17AM  
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Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Gl...more
More about Holly Black...
Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3) The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #2) The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #5)

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“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.” 681 likes
“Clever as the Devil and twice as pretty.” 636 likes
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