Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kearsten's Book Club: White Cat by Holly Black

Last night, Kearsten's Book Club met to discuss Holly Black's magic-con-men-caper novel, White Cat. Cassel's grown up in a family of con men, and learned from an early age how to spot and manipulate marks for gain.  However, unlike the rest of his family, Cassel has no ability for 'curse work', an illegal type of magic that can manipulate emotions, memories, luck, and even the human body. An outsider in a family of outsiders, seventeen-year-old Cassel has distanced himself from that criminal world, full of magic-wielding gangsters, and is just trying to coast through an elite boarding school when he begins sleepwalking himself into very dangerous situations.

As this story is full of awesome twists, I'll have to limit revealing everything we talked about, but it ran from admiration for Holly Black's writing (she does a wonderful job building a world with clear and logical rules, yet does so without that annoying info dump many other authors rely on), Cassel's incredibly messed up family/upbringing, to a great discussion of whether a person would remain his/herself if that person's memories were stripped away.

Reaction to White Cat was mixed - while a couple of us LOVED this one (Cassel joins the ranks of Kearsten's fictional boyfriends), others found it too slow to get started.

If you like snarky male protagonists like Cassel, dig on Holly Black's writing, or just like smart, awesome characters, try some of these Book Club suggested titles:

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.
Valiant by Holly Black.
Hero by Perry Moore.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
Gone by Michael Grant.

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