Cassel is normal
in a family of not
normal. Or is he?
What immediately got me about White Cat by Holly Black was that it was of the teen paranormal novel variety with a MALE narrator! It's a nice departure from the usual girl who needs saving book, because there are definitely no girls in this book who need saving. Cassel Sharpe needs more help than anybody else in this story and I developed such a soft spot for him. (Side note: I listened to this book. It was read by Jesse Eisenberg, star of The Social Network. I think it's half the reason I liked the book so much.)
Cassel is the youngest in a family of curse workers, or people who can do awesome/bad stuff to other people, just by touching them. They can mess around with memories, luck or even kill them. So in Cassel's world, which is just a touch alternative universe from the world WE live in, everyone wears gloves so that they don't get "worked." Cassel, sadly, doesn't have any kind of abilities in this world.
For his own protection, he goes to boarding school. One night he sleep walks out of his dorm and ends up on the roof. The administration at the school decide that he might be a risky insurance liability and ask him to take some time off from school to get checked out by a doctor and for the doctor to verify this type of incident won't happen again. Once Cassel leaves school the story really takes off from there.
I really loved how curse workers were sort of part of a mafia, giving the story a crime family element that had me at the edge of my seat. There's a lot going on in this story. It doesn't get tied up neatly at the end, but that's ok because of course there's a sequel, Red Glove. And I'm totally looking forward to reading it! I'd give this book to most teens, but particularly boys who don't mind a little paranormal in their action.
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