Friday, June 18, 2010
published May 4th 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry (first published 2010)
Hardcover, 310 pages
PLACEMENT IN PILE: Reaching New Heights... almost a Top Pick
Summary: 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.
Whoa. This book is mind-bending. It was confusing, and intriguing (as you're trying to figure out this alternate reality and what's happening and what his past really is, etc.) and completely engrossing. I guessed some of the twists, but that didn't make them any less awesome. There were also some that took me by surprise. I can't wait for the next one. This is a dark, crime drama, with romance and magic and suspense and more. Her writing is fabulous and the plot is intense and well thought out. Has anyone else read it? If not, go do it so we can talk about it!