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White Cat (Curse Workers #1)

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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  35,142 Ratings  ·  4,217 Reviews
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers: people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider; the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 310 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Mary No one can tell the workers and nonworkers apart so if a worker decided to take off their glove, no one would know if they are a worker and about to…moreNo one can tell the workers and nonworkers apart so if a worker decided to take off their glove, no one would know if they are a worker and about to work someone else. This way there’s less discrimination between workers and nonworkers and extra protection from workers. Also they only wear gloves because a worker is only supposed to be able to work with their hands(less)
Hai Lam Yup. But the book will explain later (aka. around the middle to near end) why and how the first couple chapters happen. In other words: imagine the…moreYup. But the book will explain later (aka. around the middle to near end) why and how the first couple chapters happen. In other words: imagine the book is like a numbers line from 0 to 10. You don't start at 0, you start at 2 or 3 instead.

PS: i'm bad with words :P Hope this helps.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-series, audiobook
Curse workers - hated, feared, beloved.

Some can make you forget your own name. Others can kill you with a single touch. Rarest of all - some can even transform you into something entirely different.

But don't forget, their powers are a curse.

They experience a backlash with every use of their powers. If a luck worker gives you good fortune, they will experience a pleasant kickback. If they give too much luck, they may spend forever in a blissed out state.

The backlash can be unpredictable: if a d
...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


Reread 10/30 : Cassel is still the sarcastic little shit I remembered. I have no other option than loving him even more.

"I hate that I love this. I hate that the adrenaline pumping through the roots of my body is filling me with giddy glee. I'm not a good person."

This book was full of charmsSee what I did there?

Charm ⁂1 : I do love me some liar

Beware of Cassel Sharpe, professional liar and Master of the game of make-believe. You're going to love him.

"Being a con artist means thinking
...more
Emily May
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it


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
Tatiana
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Emily May
Shelves: 2011, urban-fantasy
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
C.G. Drews
THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST AND MOST UNDERRATED BOOK I HAVE EVER EVER READ. I feel like my new life goal is going to be shouting about this book from the rooftops. IT IS THAT GOOD. It's mind-numbingly good. lt has some of the best plot twists and character development and...
description

It's Supernatural meets the mafia. It is. You don't need me to say anymore. THAT ALONE SHOULD SELL YOU.
description

Crime...ohhhh my gosh I love crime. (Yes that sounds bad. But I love crime in books. We good? Okay. We're good.) It's like
...more
Roshani Chokshi
Why did I just now read this...

WHY.

Imagine this scenario:

Cassel and Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows--if you did not know that, please imagine my eyeballs bulging out of my head) sit at a cafe and ponder schemey things. Cassel looks up, notices there's a girl running toward them. Kaz frowns. Then the girl runs past, grinning really widely, waving frantically, considering whether she should speak and then deciding against it, all while wearing a shirt that says: I LOVE YOU BYE. Kaz peers at his empty c
...more
Laura Herondale
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Helena FC
4.5*

*Spoiler free review*

I went into this book expecting to like it, because the premise sounded awesome, but I was wary, since it’s not exactly a book I see all around goodreads. But this blew my expectations out of the park. I loved this book, like, a lot. To the point where I can’t even form coherent sentences to explain why I loved this book so much. But I can’t read the next book in this trilogy until after I finish my review, so here I am trying (and probably failing) to string together a
...more
Kristalia
Final rating: 2/5 stars

description

“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
...more
Navessa
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ by: Maythavee
*4.5 Stars*

Lie until even you believe it-that's the real secret of lying. The only way to have absolutely no tells.
Too bad I'm not quite there yet.


When I try to think of a word that reminds me of this book, the most forthcoming is just this: Weird. This book was all kinds of weird. But, when I take the time to really delve deeper and actually peel back the layers of this intricate story-line, I begin to 'see' so many more words pop into my mind: Haunting, clever, mesmerizing, addicting...sweet
...more
Janina
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
Giselle
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jessica Olson
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Oh my god. It was so good. So so good.
Cassel is a character I'll never forget.
The whole book was perfect. And I finally broke my reading slump! I feel so good right now.
And the end was absolutely amazing. Love it.
I need the 2nd book.
Ceilidh
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Alice Cai
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star, dnf
2* dnf: idk because I skipped ahead, but around 18% I think

Lame and boring. I thought the main character was going to be schemey and smart, but no he's just a stupid kid. Cassel sucks.
Emma
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, ya, fantasy
Absolutely loved it! I’ve read a few Holly Black novels recently and love her take on the fae world. This novel was not about the fae but a whole new magical setting. The first third was pretty good and then it really took off. An original world of magic and workers, where everyone wears gloves so their skin never touches, a family of con artists. Casserole was a really believable character. Really looking forward to the rest of the series. Recommended.
jade
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
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
Lia
I expected to like this book the same way you like to watch baking shows or cat videos on Youtube. That said, I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

White Cat was absolutely mind-blowing. 5 stars was the only possible way I could rate it because honestly?, I have nothing to complain about (which I know, is so unlike me, but here we are). It took me literally five hours to finish the book, because it was completely impossible for me to put it down. Everything about it was exactly as I wante
...more
♥Rachel♥
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
Jo
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Catie
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cara
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cara by: Tori
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
Heather
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
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
Lucy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandi
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, male-lead
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
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
The Captain
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! This young adult novel caught me eye because it is written by Holly Black and has a cat on the cover (and in the title!).

I have only previously read two books by Holly Black: 1) the coldest girl in coldtown and 2) zombies vs. unicorns. The coldest girl in coldtown is a young adult vampire book. The zombie book is an anthology of short stories that argues about whether zombies or unicorns are better. I loved both of them and had been meaning to pick up another of her books f
...more
Margaret Stohl
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I study this book. Every sentence in it is perfect.
Laura
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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20,313 followers
Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in ...more
More about Holly Black

Other books in the series

Curse Workers (3 books)
  • Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)
  • Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3)

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“Clever as the Devil and twice as pretty.” 934 likes
“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.” 858 likes
More quotes…