by Holly Black
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The cons get craftier and the stakes rise ever higher in the riveting sequel toWhite Cat.
After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life.
That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends.
Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive….
The smell of Lila’s skin, the way her eyes shine with mischief, the low rasp of her voice. It hurts to think of her, but I can’t stop. It ought to hurt.
After all, hell is supposed to be hot.
Hmmm. Well, I just have to say it-If you, for whatever reason, have to put a book on pause and you come back to it and feel like you are still strongly a part of that book’s world…then you have an excellent book in your hands, folks. I have had a busy few weeks, book wise. Blog tours, catching up on a favorite series for said blog tours, keeping up with ARCs…and now here I am with a little bit of ‘me’ time on my hands. So why not pick up where I left off in this wonderful little story?? It was so much easier than I ever expected and I didn’t once feel like I didn’t know what was going on. It’s such a fun, wonderful, dark story with loads of heart seeped onto every page-you can’t help but to fall in love with Cassel and all his shenanigans.
I jump up and take off toward her, yanking the panty hose down over my face. That slows me down some, because there is no way in hell these things are sheer. I can barely see.
People start yelling. Yeah, because a guy with hose over his head is never the good guy. He is, in fact, the stereotype-maybe even a archetype-of a bad guy.
I can’t say this was better than the first, yet I rated it a solid 5. Why is that??? I think it’s because my enjoyment level skyrocketed after my hiatus from the series. As soon as I began to read from where I’d left off, my mood was instantly uplifted and I felt a sense of peace and contentment. I started to laugh and smile like a deranged loon. Reading about Cassel never gets old and certainly never gets boring. He’s a sweethearted con who only wants to do good…but always ends up doing bad. But he’s getting better! Or, at least, he’s trying to.
I wonder if that’s my future. Bad choices. It certainly feels a lot like my present.
And that’s where we are in this book. Something terrible has happened in the first book. (view spoiler)[ Cassel’s mother worked Lila, the girl he has loved all his life, so that she would fall in love with him. (hide spoiler)] Which means that no matter how tangible, how wonderful, how real it seems…it isn’t. It’s a con. And there lays the dilemma: How can Cassel possibly fight the one good thing he’s wanted his whole life?? It’s right there on a silver platter….All he has to do is reach out and take it. But he can’t. He won’t. And that’s why he is, ultimately, good. It wouldn’t be right and it wouldn’t be fair, but it’s sure hard to fight.
I should stop, but there’s no point in stopping. Because I’m not strong enough-eventually, I won’t stop.
I thought the question was “Will I or won’t I?”
But that’s not the question at all.
Because I will.
It’s just a matter of time. It’s now.
That’s why this book is so so heartbreaking. I love Cassel. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s sarcastic, and he just wants to be accepted for who he is. And I love him for it. He has lived a fucked up life surrounded by fucked up people, yet he tries to stay above it. And, more than that, he would do anything for them. He’d cover up any number of their crimes just because he loves them. Yet, they still try to hold him under their thumb even though he’s 50 times more powerful than they’ll ever be. It tore me to pieces each and every time he would resist (view spoiler)[Lila’s advances and her declarations of love for him (hide spoiler)] because how could that ever really be true?? How could (view spoiler)[anyone truly love him? (hide spoiler)] It broke my heart.
At the window to my room, I catch my reflection in the glass. Shaggy black hair. Sneer. I look like a hungry ghost, glowering at the world I am no longer fit to be part of.
The relationships formed in this book were probably my favorite part-it was so heartwarming to see Cassel embrace his new friendships he began to form at the end of the last book and to begin to trust them enough to accept their help. But, then the writing is a close second favorite thing about this story. Black’s writing leaps off the page and sucks you in so you don’t ever want to stop reading. Simplistic, witty, and sarcastic tones seep off of every page and you can’t help but to smile at how dire the situations are that Cassel gets himself into. I don’t know how he does it, but somehow he is always in trouble and it is always funny, for some reason. I don’t quite know why I find such humor in this dark little series, but I do and I love it.
I sink down to the grass. It’s damp with dew. I feel sick, but self-loathing has become a familiar sickness. I was a monster before. A monster with the excuse that he didn’t know details so he didn’t really have to think about it.
So….There’s much more I can say but it would be very spoilery to do so. Do you know how hard it is to write a review for such a mysterious series without spoiling anything? Well, I’ll tell ya-it’s hard. So I will stop here and let you make your own judgements. Cassel is a wonderful character to follow: flawed, insecure, but somehow cocky, we have quite the enigmatic character. I only hope you can give this wonderfully weird series a chance-it’s excellent.