Bookanista Thursday: Ten Reasons I Love White Cat by Holly Black

Dear Holly Black: I am a fan. Love, Me

Now without further ado, ten reasons I loved WHITE CAT.

1. World building. Holly Black builds worlds so solid you'd have a hard time knocking them down with an industrial size wrecking ball. No exception in WHITE CAT. When I read her stuff, I take notes. Well, the second time I read it.

2. Flawless writing. Since I started writing, my internal editor pops up so often when I read that it makes it hard for me to concentrate. Not the case here. I read it in two sittings - it would've been one if my (black) dog hadn't interrupted by trying to knock the book out of my hand. Every word/emotion/description was perfectly placed and conveyed.

3. Friendly plotting. I know Holly Black workshops her books with writer-friends, and in my mind, I imagine them sitting in some quirky coffeehouse in the northeast, rubbing their hands together evilly, plotting all the ways they can make readers crazy. Not a stretch for me, I realize, but the twisty turns and painful plot points are so complex they HAVE to be discussed over hot chocolate. Or evil plotting juice. Whatever.

4. Complexity. You have it all in WHITE CAT. Familial relationships, friendships, crime, self-loathing, trickery and deceit - it layers upon itself - so many reasons to be emotionally invested.

5. Characterization. Speaking of emotionally invested, you know you are when you want to step into a story and take over the parentage of a main character. I want to punch Cassel's mother IN THE FACE. REPEATEDLY. I want to wrap my arm around his sister-in-law and lead her to the light. I want to break the "no cat" rule in this house and bring home a .... white cat.

6. Emotion. As Cassel remembers and makes choices about his own destiny, he learns things about himself and his family. Things that aren't easy. You feel it with him. You feel the desperation behind the hoarding of his mother, the need for more and more and more and that it's never quite enough, and that the need for more has insinuated itself into Cassel. You sense the emotion behind the con. Layers. Layers of stuff, layers of motivation. Genius.

7. Cassel. *sigh*

8. Cassel. Now that the swooning is out of the way, he's not just a hot boy. You sense he's built from the ground up. I bet Holly Black has world building notebooks galore. I'd give my left nut to see some of those. Except ... I don't have a left nut. But left arm just didn't seem committed enough.

9. Romance. It feels real. It will rip your heart from your chest. It will. Trust me.

10. MORE. Go to Holly's blog to see the cover for RED GLOVE, and know that BLACK HEART is also on the way.

Those are ten of the reasons I loved WHITE CAT by Holly Black. Have you read it? What did you love?

Here's what the rest of the Bookanistas are up to today:


  1. I can't wait to read this. *looks at your book stash hopefully*

    Or, wait...did you already loan it to me? I'm brain dead right now, remember?

  2. Does White Cat go before or after Red Glove? I wanna make sure I do this in the right order. That cover is amazing!

  3. *dies laughing*
    Ok, I'm good now. The left nut line killed me.

    I actually have a friend who now has a white cat with the same name as in the book.

    I loved this book!

  4. I am right in the middle of this book NOW!!!

  5. Very very much loved this book, for all the same reasons! Not a big fan of the audiobook narrator, though. Will definitely read the next one!

  6. I love Holly Black. You're right about her world building. It takes me away. Thanks, Myra.

  7. Oh, excellent breakdown!! Must read this soon!!

  8. I SO need to read this. I keep hearing awesome things, but this review is so on point it's officially kicked my butt into gear. Well done you!

  9. Spot on review. I loved White Cat for all these reasons, but specifically for the layers upon layers. Man, oh man, I love how Holly Black plots. I can't wait for Red Glove.

    *eyes Bookanistas reading list*
    I mustn't be jealousy of the three (THREE!) reading Paranormalcy now.
    *eyes calendar* only 12 more days...

  10. OMG YES! I LOVE this book. I have my own copy looking at me on my bookshelf right now.

  11. Sounds awesome! I'll have to check it out :)

  12. I love this post! I adore Holly Black!! She is such a wonderful author and so much fun to meet. I love White Cat and I'm looking forward to Red Glove! There is so much awesomeness in her writing. Yes, I said awesomeness. lol

    Jessica- Yes. :)

  13. Awesome book, awesome review. I completely agree with the world building, she does a great job with the little details.

  14. I realize you wrote this over a year ago, but I just wanted to say that I agree 100% with you on this. I was just hassling someone on Twitter, telling them to read White Cat. I'm giving it to my mother for Christmas. I truly love this book.


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