It’s a good to be a cat lady in Holly Black’s novel White Cat.
Review by: Kelley Crawford
Summary: On the surface, Cassel Sharpe’s life at boarding school looks like it is under control. He’s the school’s bookie, his grades are where they need to be, and he’s away from his tumultuous family and all of their involvement with curse working. In his sleeping life, however, he’s not faring so well. His sleepwalking leads him to rooftops and within range of death’s open arms. He’s dreaming about a talking white cat, and the memories of the girl he killed—Lila—are creeping further into his waking life. His sleepwalking gets him suspended from school, so Cassel has to return home to a drinking grandfather, an absent mother who’s in jail, and two older brothers who are doing dirty work around town. Pretty soon the brothers start involving Cassel in their plans, but they have an edge over him. They are memory curse workers, so they can wipe his memories whenever it benefits them. The more Cassel falls into their plot, the more he dreams about that talking white cat, who eventually tells him that she is Lila—the girl he loved and supposedly killed. She’s a dream curse worker and the only one that can help save Cassel from his brothers and all of his nightmares.
Review: Right from the start Black’s novel catches the reader. Her dialogue is realistic, her descriptions are unique and interesting, and the plot continues to thicken throughout the entire novel. This is one of those books where the fantasy world of curse workers and human transformations isn’t questioned because the story and the writing are sewn together so tightly.
Bottom Line: It’s safe to say that White Cat is the cat’s meow.
Audience: If you liked Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block or Going Bovine by Libba Bray, then you will fall into the world of Holly Black’s White Cat and never look back.