So week two of the first annual Reach reread concluded yesterday, with Red Glove, book two in Holly Black’s CURSE WORKERS trilogy.
Red Glove is undoubtedly my favorite of the trilogy.
True, White Cat is a beginning. It is full of small sins and smaller cons, and there’s that moment where everything falls into place, and you wonder how anyone could write something so simply masterful.
But Red Glove is something special. Red Glove is not super exciting. Red Glove is not super complicated, or undyingly emotional. Red Glove is full of tension, and uncertainty, and 2 pots + 13 cups of coffee. (possibly this is a reason for some of that tension, honestly.)
I love this book. I love everything about it. That’s the short version of this post: I love Red Glove.
The longer version is that there’s nothing I’ve read that’s like Red Glove. There’s nothing that matches it for the the rawness of Cassel’s character arc. There isn’t another book with such a twisted set of emotions that still make so much sense to me.
Cassel Sharpe is the one and only book boyfriend for me, and Red Glove is the book that made me fall in love with him. There’s characters out there that I identify with better than I do with Cassel. There are characters that I relate to better. Characters that make me sadder, gladder, and madder than Cassel. But I’ve never felt for someone like I feel for Cassel, especially in this book.
This boy is good.
He also enjoys being bad. He does. Cassel Sharpe is a con artist and a liar–and an idealist at heart. The loyalty of this one wronged kid is contested in all the YA lit I’ve read only by Richard Gansey in The Raven Cycle.
Red Glove is basically made up of pure hurt for Cassel, and somehow he makes it through with flying colors and one of his more brilliant cons pulled off flawlessly.
(Seriously, the long con in Red Glove is amazing. If you’re finished you’ll understand. That wrapup scene kills me every single time.)
This book has all of my favorite snapshot moments. Cassel drunk in the basement, AKA the first time I realized how fantastic he was. Sam and Cassel in the trunk of Sam’s car. Cassel and Sam and Lila celebrating after the job they pull in the apartment building. Cassel and Lila and cherry slushies at the movie theater.
This book is most definitely the reason cherry slushies are a movie theater ritual of mine. I won’t even try to deny it.
Red Glove is pure and simply a people book, and that’s why it’s so important to me.
I love Curse Workers for a lot of things, its genre included, but mostly? Mostly I love it for Red Glove.