My go-to genre is YA. Especially if it is Paranormal or Fantasy.
I'm going to start this off by saying thanks a million trillion for the option of half stars in ratings. I'm going to have to go back and re-rate every single book I've read. I just hope I don't get too greedy and start wanting 1/4 stars or something crazy like that.
So, White Cat by Holly Black. This is the first book I've read by this author so I cannot compare it to previous work. I can say that it was at least different from a lot of what I've read lately. The story follows Cassel, a 17 year old from a family of mobbed up "curse workers". In the book, curse workers are people who have magical abilities in certain areas such as death, luck, memory, etc. Everyone in Cassel's family is a curse worker except Cassel, although he does follow the con-man (or woman) family tradition. Following a series of events Cassel starts to believe his family is keeping some pretty big secrets from him and sets out to find the truth.
This book has been on my to-read shelve forever and, although I'm glad I finally got around to reading it, I wasn't wowed by it or anything. It was a quick, enjoyable read and Cassel was certainly a fine main character. I don't tend to read a lot of books with a male main character and I thoroughly enjoyed Cassel's "voice". His family was secretive, complex and of dubious moral character (but what do you expect from a mob family?). I had no trouble believing anyone's behaviour (and motivations) especially since the flashbacks gave an excellent starting point for their present day interactions with eachother. I also enjoyed Cassel's schoolmates...they provided a lot of the humour throughout the book.
I did enjoy the world these characters inhabit. It was close enough to our own world that no massive information dumps were needed but still included magical elements of which I am always a fan. I'm definitely intrigued as to where the story will go as the series continues.
I think I would have been more likely to give White Cat four (or more) stars if I hadn't been able to see most of the plot twists coming a mile away. There was maybe one thing near the end that surprised me but that was about it. Like I said above, I liked it but just wasn't wowed. I will be adding the next in the series to my list of books to-read but it will not be flying to the top.