The Curse Workers, Book 1: The White Cat by Holly Black
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories. [summary from Amazon]
I have huge respect for Holly Black. Her first book, Tithe, was one of my favorite books all throughout high school, and it still remains a favorite even now. If there's anyone who can live up to the potential that this gasp-inducing synopsis promises, it's her. Oh, and plus: that cover is easily going to be one of the most incredible ones of 2010. The first time I saw it, I nearly screamed. It's sexy and dark, inviting yet mysterious. Perfect for this story.
The White Cat will be published in hardcover by Margaret K. McElderry on May 4, 2010.