White Cat by Holly Black

The basics

Title: White Cat


Series: Curse Workers #1

- White Cat (2010)
- Red Glove (2011)
- Black Heart (2012)

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Goodreads Summary:

Cassel is cursed. Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn't a magic worker.

Cassel's family are one of the big five crime families in America. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His granddad has been driven to drink, his mother is in prison and his brothers detest him as the only one of their family who can't do magic.

But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel's family and he's about to inherit it. It's terrfying and that's the truth.

Read a full summary of White Cat by Holly Black below. If you can’t remember what happened in White Cat and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in White Cat?

  • Cassel is sleepwalking and ends up on the roof of his school. He’s caught by the dean, woken up, and sent back to his curse worker family. It’s basically a gang thing.
  • Cassel’s family intend to do away with Mr Zacharov, who is the head of another crime family.
  • Cassel thought he had killed Lila Zacharov, the head guy’s daughter.
  • His brother has been hiding Cassel’s powers from him. As a result, Cassel can’t remember much about the event but he remembers standing over Lila’s body.
  • Philip, Cassel’s brother, picks him up from school and takes him to their grandfather. One night, Cassel overhears his brothers and grandfather talking about him.
  • Cassel forges a doctor’s note so he can go back to school.
  • Cassel breaks into Barron’s house and after searching, he finds video footage of himself on a roof. There’s a white cat there. Cassel also finds Barron’s notebook, in which Barron has written about “L” being there.
  • Cassel finds a cage in Barron’s room which smells of cats. Cassel realises that Lila has been a white cat this whole time. He realises his brothers must have something to do with this, and figures they were probably working with Lila’s cousin, Anton, who wanted to inherit the business from Zacharov.
  • Cassel heads to a local shelter where he thinks Lila is. He’s not allowed to adopt though as he’s under 18. He goes to Sam and Daneca for help and they get Lila out of there.
  • The guys’ grandfather is drugged. Cassel and his brothers meet Anton at a restaurant. They want to go over the plan to off Zacharov.
  • Cassel realises that Barron has been blocking his memories and that Cassel can’t remember Cassel learns that he’s a transformation worker, and he’s the one who turned Lila into a cat.
  • A memory charm on Cassel’s leg blocks Barron’s powers so he doesn’t forget any of this meeting.
  • Cassel turns Lila back into a human and together they head to Atlantic City. Lila is reunited with her father.
  • The three of them plot to go ahead with the assassination attempt but do it as a fake out. Cassel asks Sam and Daneca for their help again.
  • Barron and Anton pick Cassel up to take him to Zacharov. Their grandfather starts to suspect something and doesn’t want Cassel to join in with the plot. Cassel heads to the bathroom and pretends to assassinate Zacharov.
  • Lila appears and pretends to shoot Cassel. Anton quickly realises this is all fake.
  • Barron, in a twist, defends Cassel. He has been losing his own memories as well, and Cassel, realising this, forged some parts of Barron’s diary to make it seem as though Barron has been on Cassel and Zacharov’s side all along.
  • Anton escapes and tries to kill Cassel. Their grandfather uses his death curse on Anton.
  • Zacharov tells Cassel he won’t harm his brothers if Cassel works for him.
  • Lila declares her love for Cassel, and it turns out it’s because Cassel’s mother got involved with her emotion powers. Great.

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