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Teen review: White Cat by Holly Black

My name’s Leo. I’m a ninth grader at Pittsburgh Obama Academy 6-12 (Also known as IB High and formerly Schenley). I’m a gender-queer, lesbian, mentally ill writer. I’ll be reviewing books, with occasional graphic novels and music — I mostly read fantasy and horror, and listen to various forms of rock.

White Cat by Holly Black
White Cat by Holly Black

Cassel is an ordinary boarding school student – or at least, that’s what he’s trying to be. Magic, which is illegal, runs in his family, as does the con and a connection with a famous crime family.

His charade falls through when he wakes up on the roof of his dorm building, and is unable to come down without calling for help. Soon, he finds himself on “medical leave” – back with his family.

This is a wonderful book and you should all go out and buy it right now.

Okay, gushing over, now I’m going to be coherent. The prose in this book is very accessible. Cassel’s constant thoughts about how to pull off conning people are kind of fascinating, although I did find his change from hating it to loving it to be a little fast and unsupported.

The real beauty of it, though, is the plot. The significance of the white cat is totally unsuspected, but makes perfect sense – and that’s largely the case for all of the twists in this book. The one real problem is that at the beginning of the story, it’s difficult to like any of the characters if you’re particularly set in them being nice. Things get better in that regard, though.

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