Sunday, June 20, 2010
So, it's a lazy...and HOT...Father's Day here in NYC and as I lay around in my PJ's in my air conditioned room I pick up Holly Black's newest book (I'd bought it just before my writing deadline and show so it had been set aside) and I read all 310 pages of it today. Took me about 6 hours. I grazzed on snacks and read all day. LOL!
I've never "reviewed" a book on here but...I think it's high time I do! Not that my opinion matters but, I'd like to start looking back at my thoughts of books I've read so...here goes...
Holly Black's "White Cat"
First off let me say that I love the concept for this upcoming series called The Curse Workers. White Cat is the first in the series (I believe book 2 is called Red Glove). It is set in an alternative reality where everyone wears gloves because there are people in the world who have the ability to curse (or bless) you with just a touch of their hand on your skin. It's obviously been outlawed and because of that these families have turned into criminals...more specifically they've become crime families...think "Soprano's" but with powers (hell, it even takes place in Jersey!).
Anyhoo, the story revolves around Cassle...a teenage boy who is the only "legit" member of his family...going to a private prep school in NY and this is all due to the fact that he's the only member of his family w/o the ability to work curses. He seems to be the only one who didn't get the gift.
He is a very torn teenager (more than the norm) because his memory is spotty with concern to the fact that he killed his best friend, Lila, when they were 14.
First off, it was really interesting to have the lead of story be a male. Most YA is female led for the main reason, most of those reading YA novels are girls. As we all know, boys and girls develop differently. For boys, math skills develop first where as girls, well, we develop linguistically first. Reading, writing, etc. So its not suprising that YA readers are primarily girls.
Secondly, this is highly imaginative, well written, by 1/2 way through it you are starting to really "see" the world she's got going on and I think it sets up a GREAT book 2 and 3 and so on. When they come out, I'll buy them cause I am praying Cassle finds a way to fix what his mom has done. I also look forward to seeing how he deals with being in school while dealing with all he's learned about himself and his family.
OH! And I must say...the other characters in this? Daneca, Sam, and Grandpa? LOVE THEM! Such GREAT characters and they're on the "good side" so you can love with without feeling guilty. ;)
Okay then...here are my 3 other things about the book that I'll throw out there.
#1. Though it starts with a bang (Cassel sleep walking out onto the school roof in the middle of the night and almost falling off) it then gets a bit slow while you get to meet the other characters. DON'T LET THIS DETER YOU! Its important to meet these characters you get to know in this section...push through. Once his brother picks him up from school, the investigation pace picks up and is full throttle the rest of the way.
#2. If you are like me, and read a ton of YA, and are an adult, you miiiight figure out the big "reveals" early. *sigh* I blame my father. We used to watch Mystery Theater on PBS when I was a kid and it was a race to who could figure out "who done it". So, alas, I was able to figure out ALL the BIG STUFF 1/4 of the way in. But, I've spoken to others that have read the book and THEY did not so obviously I'm a freak. My point here is this; Even if you are someone who figures stuff out the journey is still worth the reading! I'm a "journey" person. I can know the ending and I still like to read the book because I enjoy the journey of it. So, if you're like me...don't worry if you figure it all out...you'll still have fun with it!
#3. If you're a Disney ending girl/guy...the ending of this book is going to make you a weeee bit pissy. I have no fear that Holly will straighten it out by the end of the third book of the series. But the ending falls withing the same lines as the end of the first Mortel Instrument book, City of Bones, when you wanna scream out in utter emotional pain with choice curse words. Well...Holly and Cassie are friends for a reason folks! That's all I'll say.
I highly recommend this book...as I said before, I think its a brilliant concept! I think the characters are real and loveable or dispicable, depending on who we're talking about. Cassle's brothers are a friggin piece of work! Though, Cassle does screw them over rightly so! My fave is what he does to Barron...oh I laughed SO hard at the line about "Pizza every other Tuesday where we share our feelings"...good stuff!
So, read it...if you've not already...no matter if you are a young adult or an adult who was trained to figure out the twists in Agatha Christie...it's a fun read that made my "day at home in my PJ's" just loverly.
Time for bed...night all!
Tamsin Silver :)