Krys's Reviews > White Cat

White Cat by Holly Black
Rate this book
Clear rating


This is my first time reading Holly Black… well, her young adult books anyway. I picked up White Cat yesterday and read it in two quick sittings. It was really absorbing.

The premise is pretty good. In the world Black creates magic was outlawed with prohibition years back and is now controlled by the mafia. In the hands of skilled con-artists Curse Working can be a real asset to the job. Cassel comes from such a family. He is the only one who is not able to work curses and, as a result, feels he has to make up by being a great con-artist without it. With his Father dead, his mother in jail for Emotion working, his brothers in their own sordid games and his Grandfather a skilled former Death Worker for one of the biggest Mafia don in the country Cassel has a lot of ground to cover.

Cassel has one great secret though. Three years ago Cassel killed the girl he was in love with, but he doesn’t remember how. Riddled with guilt he tries to adapt to a “normal” life. But normal is relative when your dreams are haunted by the girl you killed. One night finds him on the roof of his school with dreams of a white cat chasing his heels. When the incident lands Cassel suspended he begins to analyze what his dreams mean and why he can’t remember Lila’s murder.

I like reading Holly Black. I really like her style. The prose is very simple but she knows how to create so much with just a few well-chosen words. It’s very sensual when it needs to be too… her description I mean. She masters adjectives and profound imagery with as little syllables as possible. I like it. She is almost leaving out things intentionally to let your imagination fill in the blanks. Very refreshing. It’s nice to have an author who lets the audience fill in the world.

Besides that, I really liked the world. Illegal Magic? Brilliant. Simple, and brilliant. The rest of the world fleshes itself out around this idea. I also love whenever YA authors use male protagonists in their books, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like. The lion’s share of main characters are largely female. I doesn’t change a lot, but the dynamic feels skewed in a way that I like.

Overall 4.5 out of 5. I very much want to read the next one.

-review courtesy of
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read White Cat.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 1, 2009 – Shelved
December 6, 2009 – Shelved as: young-adult
December 6, 2009 – Shelved as: medium-length-book
February 9, 2010 – Shelved as: own
June 1, 2010 – Started Reading
June 1, 2010 –
page 43
June 1, 2010 – Shelved as: con-artists-thieves
June 1, 2010 – Shelved as: witches-wizards-magic-themed
June 1, 2010 –
page 88
June 2, 2010 –
page 103
June 2, 2010 – Shelved as: urban-dark-fantasy-paranormal
June 2, 2010 –
page 155
June 2, 2010 – Shelved as: first-person-narrative
June 2, 2010 –
page 222
June 2, 2010 –
page 310
June 2, 2010 – Shelved as: read-in-2010
June 2, 2010 – Finished Reading
October 6, 2010 – Shelved as: series-i-love
November 9, 2012 – Shelved as: series
March 21, 2014 – Shelved as: autographed
February 3, 2015 – Shelved as: handsell-bb

No comments have been added yet.