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I Belong


Review: Black Heart by Holly Black

Title: Black Heart

Author: Holly Black

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Series: Curse Workers (Book 3)

Publication Date: April 3, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 296 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442403462 (Margaret K McElderry)

ISBN-13: 978-1442403468 (Margaret K McElderry)

Reviewed by: Michelle

Synopsis:

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

Quick & Dirty: The perfect ending to a wonderful series with a very surprising twist.

Opening Sentence: My brother Barron sits next to me, sucking the last dregs of milk tea slush noisily through a wide yellow straw.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Holly Black is one of my favorite authors. She knows how to write stories really, really well. Take for example the Curse Workers series. It’s a series of stories that has action, parnormal elements, and a romantic love story that has me clutching my heart. Black Heart was filled with heart-warming moments, unexpected twists, endless teenage angst, and just plain awesome. This was really the perfect ending to a wonderful trilogy.

Cassel Sharpe has discovered many things about himself, his family, and his past in the last few books, but nothing as much as he has in Black Heart. Cassel is now involved with the Feds, helping them to get out of his own troubles, and he has dragged his brother along with him. Well, blackmailed is a better word. Aside from that, Cassel has his heart to deal with, working through the ups and downs with Lila. Cassel’s life is a collection of momentous events, all of which do not play in his favor. Many different people in the Curse Workers storyline view Cassel’s ability as a transformation worker in different ways. Everyone wants to use him for their own gain, and unfortunately Cassel is stuck in the middle.

Cassel has grown throughout the three books. He struggles to between what are the right things to do; not only for him, for his family, but also for his friends. He has to think of others before he even thinks about himself. With all of the powerful enemies that Cassel has collected, it is fun to watch him outsmart them all.

What I love about Black Heart is that the supporting characters play important roles. Sam has always been and always be Sam’s best friend, wingman, co-conspirator. Daneca is newer to the group, but has done her fair share to earn a trustworthy friendship. She is a little mysterious, and there are things that Cassel doesn’t approve of, but in the end, she is a great friend. Barron and Cassel have a lot of history together. Yes, they are brothers, but there’s this dark cloud that glooms over their relationship. He manipulated Cassel, Cassel blackmailed Barron. You know, that type of stuff. And then there’s Lila. Lila, to me, has represented the natural progression of life. Her life began as something innocent, and has turned into something corrupt. But Lila keeps moving and has made the best of every situation.

Black Heart’s plot picks up quickly, and doesn’t slow down. Black created this unique world with a fantastic culture that I can’t get enough of. I know that the Curse Workers series is a trilogy, but I only wish there was more. I loved how Black resolved all of the threads, and I really enjoyed the surprise at the end. I felt that Black Heart was a great conclusion to the series. A must read for everyone.

Notable Scene:

She’s gone.

The door swings shut behind me as I cross the empty room. Everything feels like it has slowed down, the edges a little dim. The awfulness of it, the loss of her, hits me in the gut. Gone. Gone and there’s nothing I can do about it.

My eyes are drawn to the window, where light’s streaming in, casting an odd shadow. There on the sill, resting against one of the panes of glass, is a single envelope.

My name is written on it in her handwriting. I wonder how long it’s been sitting there. I imagine her loading all her stuff into boxes and carrying it down the stairs, Zacharov himself helping her, like all the other dads did. With two goons, guns tucked into their waistbands, helping him.

The thought should make me smile, but it doesn’t. I sink to the floor, the paper clutched to my chest. I rest my head on the bare wood. Somewhere in the distance I hear a bell ring.

I’ve got no reason to get up, so I don’t.

The Curse Workers Trilogy:

1. White Cat

2. Red Glove

3. Black Heart

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Black Heart. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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