This book surprised me. I didn't expect to like it, but it kept getting high marks from review sources I value... so I gave it a chance.
And what do you know? I really enjoyed it!
In this tale of an alternate reality that highly resembles real life, there are curse workers. Curse workers are basically people who can use magic but only to do one thing. For example, Cassel's mother can control people's emotions, his brothers can control memories and even bring about death. Somehow, though his whole family was blessed with the skills to use this magic, Cassel is the one dud. He can't do anything magical, so his mobster family shipped him off to a boarding school where he won't get in their way-- so he thinks.
But there's this white cat who stalks his dreams. And one night this cat causes him to sleepwalk onto the roof of his dorm and come within seconds of plummeting to his death. And somehow he feels a little more awake now, like fuzz has been removed from his head, and he is learning things about himself, and his family, that he never thought possible.
This book is realistic fantasy with action and a little bit of romance. I think a variety of teens will like it, and it's the first in a promising series. I would give this book to fans of the author, Holly Black, or teens who enjoy authors like Melissa Marr, Charles de Lint or any other urban fantasy author.