Sunday, July 25, 2010

Literary Feast Discussion: White Cat (p.242-310)

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1)

All right, girls and boys! We've reached the end of our latest Literary Feast: White Cat, by the lovely Holly Black.

I think feelings were generally positive about this one, from both Shel and myself. Let us know if you felt the same way or, even better, if you completely disagree! There's nothing we love more than hashing out different opinions. ;)

Last section, here we come!

Shel: I really wish Cassel had told his grandfather what was going on. He seems like the one decent member of the family. Aside from being a killer, of course.

Monica: Pshaw. He only killed a few people. Seriously, what an awful curse-power to have. That is a power I understand the mob wanting to recruit. Some of these other things, not so much. (Only Barron would think, “I have this brother who can turn things into other things. Let’s have him turn people into alarm clocks and coffee mugs, and then smash the heck out of them! It’s so mobtastic!”)

Shel: You know, mob nonwithstanding, considering how few curse workers there are, this society really has some trust issues. It seems that for most people living their normal lives, their chances of getting cursed would be minimal. Yet they're all glove-wearing, charm carrying paranoid. Are curses the future swine flu?

Monica: I wonder what will happen when curse powers mutate, and suddenly someone can curse someone else by breathing on them. Society will crumble.

Shel: And then we'd be dealing with a dystopian story and the mob would control EVERYTHING!

Monica: Kind of in reference to the grandfather, is it just me, or does Lila’s father seem fairly sensible and normal too? The only real Big Bads in this book are the twenty-somethings – the mob bosses themselves aren’t all that freaky.

Shel: I imagine he's got to be freaky at some level to make it to the top. Maybe that will come out in future books. That or it's that they're old school bad, when they'd save the dark deeds for the back room.

Monica: I did want Lila’s dad to ham it up more when his heart “turned to stone,” and bounce off a few walls or whatever, but I am consoling myself with the amusing knowledge that his Magic Gem of Life turned out to be glass. Honestly, if I ever needed proof that the Brothers Awful were truly dumb, it was the way they bought into the fraud. ;)

Shel: I like that, The Brothers Awful. But as for your actual point, do you think there's a real no-killy-kill gem off somewhere in the wings?

Monica: Maaaaaaybe? I'm finding it hard to focus on *anything* this close to the end of the book, because of the way Cassel’s stupid mother ruins EVERYTHING!! Also, what a smack in the face of an ending. First I was all, “Blech. I loathe Lila. I would way rather he didn’t end up with her. But whatever…” and then it was like, “What? She’s being influenced by a curse and actually probably still hates him way deep down and now everything is ruined forever?!” Can you imagine what this is doing to that poor boy’s sense of self?

Shel: This is what I am saying. Cassel needs a new family STAT.

Monica: Hopefully he'll get a chance in... the Curse Workers Book Two?

Okay, friends! We're done with this Feast -- and a yummy one it was, at that! Shout out some suggestions if you've got ideas for what we should read next; otherwise, we'll pick out of Shel's massive To Be Read pile, and get back to you shortly.

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