Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of curse workers--people who can kill you, erase your mind, change your luck, shape your emotions, etc, at will. "Workers" have been known to the world for hundreds of years, but because of their huge, and often dark, powers, being a curse worker is illegal. The Sharpes have been living by their wits and their curses for generations. But Cassel has no curse power of his own, and with his father dead, his mother in prison, and his older brothers trying to achieve their careers, he has nothing to do but go to class.
Oh, and try to come to terms with the fact that three years ago, he murdered his best friend. And he has no idea why.
Equal parts Momento, YA fantasy, and gangster movie, White Cat is enthralling. I read most of it during my lunch hour, and then sat testily at my desk, trying to think up ways to read the rest of it as quickly as possible. (In the end, I snuck it into the bathroom with me to finish. Yes, it was worth it.) Cassel has a quick wit, a slightly-too-smart-mouth, and long experience as a con artist, but even he finds it challenging to navigate the halls of his preppy private school, deal with his claustrophobic, secretive family, and get over his ex-girlfriend...all in addition to a conspiracy that could very easily turn fatal. And astoundingly, the plot doesn't get in the way of Cassel's character development. By the end, not only had the story twisted in on itself in darkly clever ways, but the characters were fully realized, with depths of their own.