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18 May 2010


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I just was amused at Boy With Cat. I liked that -- and YES, the premise was amazing. I had heard that there were some potential RaceFail issues with the cover model... hm. And I agree with you - I love HB's books, but often her characters aren't people I can see myself hanging out with. Love those worlds, though.

I never read acknowledgments, if I can help it. And I think they definitely go in the BACK of the book!


Not only Boy With Cat, but Boy With Cat With Strategically Hanging Tail.

I'm kind of relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who loves the worlds and enjoys the books but doesn't connect with the characters. Makes me feel like less of a weirdo.

I love acknowledgements, but I really wish they'd been in the back of the book. Or that I hadn't read them first.


Having not read the book, I can't speak to all the details, but I don't feel like the cover is a big a RaceFail. India is a huge subcontinent with huge phenotype variation among its peoples. The segment you quoted indicates he his father is blond, so it isn't impossible for me to believe he might look like the cover model (it is hard to get an idea of what the cover model looks like beyond hair and skin color). I am of Indian and European descent and have fairly light skin, as do most of my mixed race relatives. While I often can pass for white, I do not necessarily identify as such and yes, people come up to me and assume I speak Greek, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, etc. and some are surprised when I reveal my Indian background.


Yeah, that's why I avoided the term, though I certainly imagined him differently.

Later in the book, he tries to pass off a girl who is described as being extremely pale and blonde as his cousin, and a friend of his objects, due to the difference in their coloring. (Which leads to him riffing a bit on How People Deal With That Sort of Thing.)


Now I have to read this book as there are too many similarities with my own life. I too have blonde cousins who people can't believe share grandparents with my brother and I.

To be clear, I am not suggesting I would have thought the protagonist was mixed race when looking at the cover (I, too, thought "Edward Cullen Wannabe" when I first saw it). I am just saying that it isn't completely unbelievable.

Alyson Greene

I completely agree with not connecting with Holly Black's characters. I want to know what happens in the story, but I wasn't cringing when Cassel was hurt. I also agree that there weren't the twists I'd heard about. As soon as Cassel was in Barron's apartment, I figured it out and was waiting for Cassel to catch up.
Although the cover model could be Indian, I do think this is a racefail cover. The cover does not match how Cassel describes himself.
Great review!

Holly Black

I asked McElderry to move the acknowledgments to the back of the book for the paperback and the sequel. I have no idea why their house style puts them in the front, but I agree that it's distracting.


Oh, thanks for letting us know!

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