Posts Categorized: Review

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

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White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)
Holly Black
First published January 1st, 2010

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.


Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.


It’s safe to say that it’s not the cover that attracted me to this book. I was actually quite surprised to see its many great reviews. Yes, I’m a book judger. Oh well. I picked this up as an audiobook and actually liked it a lot.


Some people are born as workers in Cassel’s world. Workers can “work” people with their hands. By touching someone, they can alter their memory, kill, give good luck, bad luck. You name it. Cassel is the only one in his family who is not a worker. He’s been getting these weird dreams that make him sleepwalk in very unfortunate scenarios.


I found the plot of this book very original and quite fun. I loved Cassel, the protagonist. I loved that it was a male lead. They’re so rare but they’re great. No girly angst. Cassel was charismatic and I quite enjoyed the narrative by Jesse Eisenberg. His voice was very fitting for Cassel’s character. The plot twists aren’t too difficult to figure out. But it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. It was still fun to walk through it with Cassel and see him figure it out.


The book isn’t dark. But i think it may be heading that way. Cassel is very innocent in the start, so I think it contributed to the lighter, fun read. By the end, though, we saw glimpses of grimier times with conspiracies and intricate politics.


I’m happy that I gave this one a chance regardless of the dreadful cover. It’s not what I expected at all. I was also told the sequel is just as good. This is one to not pass up if you like paranormal.

4/5 hot espressos


Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Posted by on 09/18/2011 • 2 Comments

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)Kristin Cashore First published October 1st, 2008

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven…

Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon

Posted by on 09/15/2011 • 1 Comment

ThylaKate GordonFirst published April 1st, 2011

My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain.

I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory – not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember.

The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush.

I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat’s story, I might discover my own – and stop it happening again.

After seeing…

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by on 09/14/2011 • 2 Comments

Anna and the French KissStephanie PerkinsFirst published December 2nd, 2010

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

Awwwww *le sigh*. What an adorably romantic…

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Posted by on 09/13/2011 • 3 Comments

Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare BlakeFirst published August 30th, 2011

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like…

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Posted by on 09/12/2011 • 7 Comments

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Veronica Roth First published May 1st, 2011

Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

I don’t know where to begin with this review. It was…

Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Posted by on 09/11/2011 • 6 Comments

Bloodfever (Fever #2)Karen Marie MoningFirst published October 4th, 2007

MacKayla Lane’s ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland’s shores and was plunged into a world of deadly sorcery and ancient secrets.

In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh-a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over both the worlds of the Fae and of Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V’lane, the insatiable Fae who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman, and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae…

Review: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Posted by on 09/10/2011 • 0 Comments

The Tirteenth TaleDiane SetterfieldFirst published September 10th, 2006

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of Gothic strangeness—featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming,…