This week starts what is pretty much going to be the most exciting YA book release week that I can remember. We’ll have City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, the next book in Michael Grant’s Gone series, Plague, Where She Went, the follow-up to one of the best YA books I’ve ever read, Gayle Forman’s If I Stay…and many more. To start off the week of epicness, we’re talking about Holly Black’s Red Glove, the stunning second installment of her Curse Workers series.
Kate: The thing about Red Glove that made me so happy was that it was such a great addition to White Cat. So often second books have been abandoning the plot and characters from their first installments, and Red Glove just made me love Cassel more because it made him better. It grew the plot and all of the characters.
Caitlin: I liked that it was so action-packed. There was not a single dull moment in the book. I remember at one point, when Cassel was talking about school, I was thinking that there was no way all of THIS could be happening and there still be classes in the world. I couldn’t put the book the down for a second. There was too much I needed to know.
Kate: Well, I’ll say that was one thing I preferred in White Cat. I almost wish Red Glove had happened over summer break or something. Because no way does someone get to miss that much class. Ha.
Christine: At the beginning of the book, I was thrown. This wasn’t the Cassel I had loved in White Cat for the first couple of pages. But he came through and I agree with Kate. It was a great addition to White Cat.
Caitlin: I don’t even remember the first few pages. Too much happened!
Christine: I clearly wrote ‘WHHHHHHAAAAAA????’ in my notes after reading the first paragraph. It threw me.
Kate: 1) It is adorable that you took notes and 2) I was thrown in a good way.
Caitlin: Oh! I just remembered the first few pages! He’s with his mom. I hate his mom. I probably blocked that out on purpose. I wish the funeral in this book had been hers.
Christine: I think everyone hates his mom. It’s justified.
Kate: I love this book because family is so complicated. it’s hard to turn your back on them, even when they richly deserve it. Because you know, like Cassel does, that as much trouble as they are getting into with you (and getting you into) they’d be so much worse off on their own.
Caitlin: That’s another fantastic thing about this book. The family dynamic. It really shines through in the conversations Cassel has with his Grandfather, who was such an interesting character. I loved how he clearly wished he could’ve done better for his grandsons, but also clearly, didn’t know how to.
Christine: Who we only saw once, which I think is a crime. He needs to be around more in the next book. He’s the only stable family member Cassel has.
Kate: Right. And to me, that highlights how wonderful Cassel is. He clearly had no real role models except his grandfather, who, let’s face it, was still a hitman. And yet, he makes good choices. Or, at any rate, the best choices he can make.
Christine: Cassel’s strong. He is a strong character. He can somehow bring about a good thing from a mess. No, he may not always do it legally, but he’s doing his best. And that’s partly why I love him.
Caitlin: Awww, I love his affinity for breaking the law. I don’t know why but I think it’s cute.
Kate: It’s why I REALLY love him. Red Glove cemented Cassel as my favorite YA lead in a currently published series. Which, lemme say, was a mountain for him to climb with some of the great series out right now.
Caitlin: That is a high mountain. I don’t think I can go that far.
Christine: Didn’t I pick Cassel as the best male character last year? I think he might be a leading candidate for this year.
Kate: He’s so real, too. He’s such a boy. He’s one of the most authentic boy voices out there right now.
Christine: He is! Which is amazing since a girl writes him. Holly Black is one of the few authors I can trust to write a guy to actually be a guy.
The plot. We must talk about the plot. It was intricate (thus the notes). I didn’t guess the end. And I always guess the end.
Caitlin: Holly Black is pretty amazing. And so….intelligent. You can really tell with the writing of all of her books, that she’s thought everything through and makes it all come to a conclusion in a complicated yet perfect way.
Kate: The ending was superb, and so smart. There were enough clues so when it happened you thought OF COURSE. But not so many that the whole time you read you thought well, obviously it will be this.
Christine: Right. It made perfect sense after it happened.
Caitlin: Yes, all of her books are like this. I really admire that quality that she puts into her books.
Kate: It’s so hard to talk about the plot without spoiling it. And the plot is one of the best parts of the ride that is this book. So instead, I want to talk about how great the supporting cast is. Whether it’s Sam, who you want to cuddle, or Danica, who you kind of want to shake, or Lila, who had the most heartbreaking plot maybe of all in this book, every character makes you FEEL something.
Caitlin: I do so love Sam. He’s so sweet and normal. It’s nice to have a voice of normalcy in the middle of all the lies and tricks and cons. He’s kind of the voice of the reader.
Christine: I love Sam, too. And Lila’s story is like a sad heartbreak song. I can’t wait for the next book! I really hope Sam is in the next book. And Cassel’s grandfather.
Caitlin: I want Cassel and Lila to work out! Despite…you know…everything.
Kate: I just want more Cassel. And I hope to God he doesn’t get his heart broken, because then mine’s gonna be broken too. Do we know what the third book is going to be called? Isn’t it Black Heart?
Christine: Doesn’t give you a cozy feeling.
Caitlin: The first book had a white cat on the cover, the second a red glove…I fear for the third cover.
Kate: I fear for the third book. And yet, I don’t. Because Holly Black has written two amazing books that really connect, and I can’t help but trust that Black Heart is going to blow me (even further) away.
Caitlin: I feel the same. And, I trust her because she’s gotten two impossible love interests together before. I feel good about things.
Christine: I’m going to have to trust you, Caitlin, since I haven’t read her other series. So, here’s to trusting in Holly Black and Black Heart.
Kate: It’s unanimous, then. We loved Red Glove and need Black Heart pretty much OMG RIGHT NOW.