City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)
Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1) Details

TitleCity of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 28th, 2018
PublisherScholastic
ISBN-139781338111033
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Paranormal, Young Adult

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1) Review

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this! I mean... going into it, I knew it'd be something I'd end up enjoying. I'm kind of bias when it comes to Victoria Schwab. OKAY A WHOLE LOT BIAS. I can't help it though! She's a HECKA talented author. From the epic world building, to the luscious writing style, enticing characters, & unique stories! There's a reason I fall for her books so easily.
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  • Victoria Schwab
    January 1, 1970
    A girl who almost drowned.The ghost boy who pulled her back.A very haunted city.I am really proud of this book. I hope you guys enjoy it.ETA: OH MY GHOST, we're up for a Goodreads Choice Award!!!
  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Don't get me wrong—I loved this book, but how come ghost books are always about ghosts from the 1800’s or something? Why aren’t there stories about ghosts from 2015 who scream “DEEZ NUTS!” at 3 in the morning and scare the ever loving shit out of you? This is very relevant to my interests.
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  • Emma Giordano
    January 1, 1970
    This was a super cute and fun read! I would absolutely recommend to paranormal lovers.CW: drowningI have read fantastic young adult and adult fiction works from Victoria Schwab and I have to say, she’s done it again with this new excursion in her writing! Her vivid story telling translates well to middle grade. It retains the same whimsicality and darkness of her other novels (I particularly feel City of Ghosts is perfect for Victoria Schwab fans who are missing The Archived!!) I saw someone c This was a super cute and fun read! I would absolutely recommend to paranormal lovers.CW: drowningI have read fantastic young adult and adult fiction works from Victoria Schwab and I have to say, she’s done it again with this new excursion in her writing! Her vivid story telling translates well to middle grade. It retains the same whimsicality and darkness of her other novels (I particularly feel City of Ghosts is perfect for Victoria Schwab fans who are missing The Archived!!) I saw someone compare this novel to “Strangers Things meets Ghost Hunters” and I 100% agree with this sentiment. The overall atmosphere of this book is immaculate and I’m so excited to read future installments in this series.My one main critique of City of Ghosts is that it felt fairly simplistic. The characters, though undeniably loveable, are not extraordinarily fleshed out. The plot is straightforward. I did not find myself shocked by plot twists, concerned for the character’s well-beings, etc. It was a great story. Easy to read, entertaining, and engaging. But it did not blow me away and I desired more from the story.I would definitely recommend City of Ghosts and will be anxiously awaiting book two!I received a free copy of this book from Scholastic at Book Expo 2018. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    Yup. Loved this. Doesn’t matter what genre or age demographic Victoria writes for, her stories are always so amazing. They speak to something deep within my soul.
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review. “People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere.” City of Ghosts is a middle grade novel that has such a perfect spooky atmosphere, and it’s set around scary places in Scotland. Like, sounds perfect, true? And, as always, Victoria’s writing is so very beautiful and lyrical. I think this will be such a fun fall read for so many re ARC provided by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review. “People think that ghosts only come out at night, or on Halloween, when the world is dark and the walls are thin. But the truth is, ghosts are everywhere.” City of Ghosts is a middle grade novel that has such a perfect spooky atmosphere, and it’s set around scary places in Scotland. Like, sounds perfect, true? And, as always, Victoria’s writing is so very beautiful and lyrical. I think this will be such a fun fall read for so many readers. Also, this is my 100th book read in 2018! *throws confetti everywhere* Cassidy Blake isn’t the most popular girl in her school, but she has the only friend that she needs; a ghost named Jacob that saved her from death. And after Jacob saved her that frightening day, they have been connected. Jacob lives in the realm of the living with Cassidy, but Cassidy now can open and enter the veil, and see the ghosts that are stuck within it. Even though she is always drawn to walk in-between the worlds, she has always managed to stay safe. That is, until her parents, who are ghost hunters, by the way, get a once in a lifetime opportunity to film a show about the most haunted spots in Scotland. And while in Scotland, Cassidy meets a ghost that is more evil than any of the others she’s ever encountered before. “Once there was a woman, a beauty with fair skin and black hair, and a little boy who loved to wander.” Trigger and content warnings for death, especially the death of children, murder, loss of a child, and abduction.I truly did enjoy this book immensely. In fact, it might be my favorite Victoria Schwab book to date. But, a few things kept me from rating it higher. The biggest being the Harry Potter references. At first, I was so happy, and then they became so abundant and so forced. Also, you can really tell that Victoria is banking on her previous fans buying this, because yeah, twenty and thirty year olds are going to love nods to Harry Potter, but a new and actual middle grade audience? Probably not so much. And even me, a Gryffindor who fits that demographic, thought the Harry Potter references were too much. The only other annoying thing, is that this cover really doesn’t make sense. Like, Cassidy does have a cat named Grim, but they aren’t brought up very much, and when they are it is in their carrier. Like, looking at this book cover you’ll get major Mr.Kindly from Nevernight vibes, but that’s totally not the case in the slightest. And I obviously know that authors have no control over their covers, but I wish the cat was replaced with Jacob. “Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?” But overall, I really do think people are going to enjoy this one. Again, Victoria truly is a very talented writer and her prose always really works with me. The atmosphere in this book is completely teleportive, and it was such a fast and enjoyable read. I loved seeing these scary places though the eyes of Cassidy, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Buddy read with May at Forever and Everly & Julianna at Paper Blots! ❤
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    ETA: Queen Schwab has now joined the small, elite group of authors who has hit bestsellers lists in Adult, YA, and Children's releases, and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. 💖 As someone who loves ghost stories, stories set in Scotland, middle grade horror, and Victoria Schwab, City of Ghosts is like some sort of literary perfect storm for me. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, to the point at which, when I received the eARC approval notification, I literally st ETA: Queen Schwab has now joined the small, elite group of authors who has hit bestsellers lists in Adult, YA, and Children's releases, and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. 💖 As someone who loves ghost stories, stories set in Scotland, middle grade horror, and Victoria Schwab, City of Ghosts is like some sort of literary perfect storm for me. It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, to the point at which, when I received the eARC approval notification, I literally stopped everything I was doing to start reading this. All I can say is that it did not disappoint. Some people call it intuition, others second sight. That tickle at the edge of your senses, telling you there’s something more. Cassidy is able to see ghosts, and to travel beyond the Veil, thanks to an accident that left her somewhere in between the living and the dead. Despite the bizarre nature of her everyday life, Cassidy is such a level-headed, calm child, and I loved that about her character. Even as a kid, I could never relate to MG protagonists who were particularly reactive or prone to outburst, because that wasn’t my personality, and I would have lived for a main character to see myself in like Cassidy. She has this “old soul” quality to her that’s so charming and sweet. Crossing the Veil is like opening the closet door. Of course, the difference is, monsters aren’t real. The closet was always empty. The Veil… not so much. I absolutely adored the world Victoria created here, and thought the Veil itself was a delightful touch. I loved the idea of this semi-tangible thing that Cassidy could cast aside to enter the world of spirits, and you can tell that the entire dynamic of the Veil is one that Victoria has thought out in complexity, from the consistent rules it has. I was delighted to see that, even in a children’s story, Victoria cut no corners. The living may take strength from love and hope, but the dead grow strong on darker things. On pain and anger and regret. While I do consider City of Ghosts spooky enough to be considered horror, I think it’s going to be important for readers to keep in mind that this book is middle grade horror—it’s written for children, not adults. I’m seeing a lot of negative reviews from long-time Schwab readers who feel that it isn’t scary enough or is too predictable, and obviously everyone has the entire right to their own opinion, but to offer another perspective: as someone who is a long-time middle grade horror fan, I feel that this story absolutely excels at accomplishing its goals. That said, it is on the lighter end of the MG horror spectrum, so if you’re looking to hand a copy of this to a kid in your life, I’d say it’s suitable as long as they aren’t terribly easily frightened. But we both know Jacob’s not a normal ghost, just like I’m not a normal girl. Not anymore. There was an accident. A bike. A frozen river. The last thing I want to touch on is Cassidy’s best friend, Jacob—a little ghost boy who saved her life, and in the process, became tangled up in her everyday world. He stays in her home with her, and her parents have more or less accepted his presence, even. He’s supportive and protective, an absolute delight of a character. He’s a perfect best friend to Cassidy, and he’s so precious that I just wanted to squeeze and protect him. I wish I could slip my hand into his. Give him some of my warmth. But all I can do is promise that I won’t let him freeze. That I’ll never leave him behind. Where you go, I go. Of course, this book is by Victoria Schwab, and I don’t know if the woman is altogether comfortable with writing a story without any sadness. Without spoiling anything, there’s a conversation that occurs at the end of City of Ghosts that has me simultaneously eager and incredibly nervous to continue the series, because, well… let’s just say that it feels like some very uncomfortable foreshadowing, and I don’t think even the kiddos are safe in Victoria’s worlds. If we were in a comic book, this would be our origin story. Some people get a spider bite, or a vat of acid. We got a river. Honestly, City of Ghosts was literally a flawless read for me. It held all of the charms and whimsy that I love so much in MG horror, with the added bonus of Victoria Schwab’s gorgeous storytelling and characters. I am so happy that I pre-ordered a finished copy of this ages ago, because I know I will reread it time and time again, and I cannot wait for the announcement of the second book!All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Scholastic for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    “Stories have power," she says. "So long as you believe them.”If my life were as aesthetic as Victoria's covers, I would have had an editorial in VOGUE years ago. BUT - and that's the only criticism I have - how is the cat on the cover not a main character? Honestly, though, for some weird reason, I thought this was a story about a girl that can see ghosts (true) and her best friend, a ghost cat (totally not true). Turns out her best friend IS a ghost, but a human one. Well, post-human. You know “Stories have power," she says. "So long as you believe them.”If my life were as aesthetic as Victoria's covers, I would have had an editorial in VOGUE years ago. BUT - and that's the only criticism I have - how is the cat on the cover not a main character? Honestly, though, for some weird reason, I thought this was a story about a girl that can see ghosts (true) and her best friend, a ghost cat (totally not true). Turns out her best friend IS a ghost, but a human one. Well, post-human. You know what I mean. Not sure where this misconception came from, but I definitely would have liked that version, too.Overall I enjoyed this book a lot. Since it is a middle-grade novel and tuned for a younger audience than ADSOM and Vicious it comes without saying that it is less suspenseful and intricate than her YA or adult novels. I loved seeing how the level of writing and plotting changes when the target audience is another. I have read so many of Schwab's novels, but never a middle-grade one and it's amazing how the author adjusts her writing but still keeps her voice.I would have been fairly spooked if I had read this book as an 8-year-old kid if I'm being honest. It was a fun, slightly creepy and superbly nuanced novel for kids and teenagers. It talks about friendship, trust and death in a child-friendly way without giving kids the feeling that you don't trust them they couldn't stomach such heavy topics. Oh, and if you are a Potterhead, this is a perfect book for you, too.I rate this book with 4 stars because I was not as involved in the story, and did not get as warm with the main character as I would have liked it to be. Nevertheless, I can highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a good ghost story or two.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    January 1, 1970
    (2.5) Well this was a disappointment but I suppose it's partly my fault.I didn't realize this was a Middle Grade book which isn't my cup of tea. Schwab's forte is her writing in my opinion and unfortunately a MG book doesn't show it AT ALL. This was a quick read and a little girl seeing ghosts wasn't uninteresting but I wouldn't recommend it unless you are 12 or under, or usually love MG.
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    Good, but you and I both know Victoria Schwab could have done so, so much better.I'll attempt to film a video review (my first one!) later this week. Wish me luck! :)
  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    Me, in a crowd of Schwab fans: so am I like not allowed here anymore or whatI mean, this isn’t a bad 3-star, and I didn’t HATE it. It’s so atmospheric and creepy, in Schwab fashion of course, and I did enjoy it. I think one of Schwab’s best writing talents is her ability to create fantastically strange and mysterious concepts, and that’s clearly evident in this book. It’s about a girl named Cass who can pass between the worlds of the living and the dead, and can see ghosts. This happened after s Me, in a crowd of Schwab fans: so am I like not allowed here anymore or whatI mean, this isn’t a bad 3-star, and I didn’t HATE it. It’s so atmospheric and creepy, in Schwab fashion of course, and I did enjoy it. I think one of Schwab’s best writing talents is her ability to create fantastically strange and mysterious concepts, and that’s clearly evident in this book. It’s about a girl named Cass who can pass between the worlds of the living and the dead, and can see ghosts. This happened after she almost drowned, which is when her dead best friend Jacob showed up as well.When I first read the blurb, I was in love with the concept of the story. A girl who can see ghosts? Traveling to a city full of them? With a ghost best friend? Then meets another person who can see ghosts? HELL YEAH.Cass and Jacob were interesting characters to read about, and I loved their friendship dynamic. I found Jacob the most intriguing (he’s a GHOST. he’s DEAD) and I’m sad that we didn’t get to know more of him in the book. I didn’t feel super connected to Cass or Jacob, but I liked them enough. The villain though, the Raven in Red—I loved her SO much. She steals the souls of children for herself and that’s like 100% My Thing™. We got the perfect amount of backstory from her and I adored it.I also LOVED that this was set in Edinburgh; if I’m correct, each book in the series takes place in a different city, which I think is super cool. I loved getting to know different places around the city and it definitely added to the atmosphere of the book.But god, the most disappointing thing about City of Ghosts was the lack of good plot development. I’m just… so worked up over this for no reason??? Like COME ON. Of all things, I’m so surprised it was THIS that disappointed me.I can’t say much without spoiling but it’s just like. the main conflict was kind of introduced in the beginning? And then it got smothered by other things. The issue is that there are kind of two plots here (the Raven in Red one is specifically for this book, while the “figuring out what this whole ghost thing is” plot is an overarching one for the whole series) and the plot for the whole series just… took over.Basically, the first 2/3 of the story were filled with 1) exploring the city, 2) trying to figure out the full scope of Cass’s abilities (and responsibilities), and 3) buildup. It was relevant to the series as a whole, but it wasn’t relevant to the specific book, and it ended up bothering me a lot, because there was just no focus on the specific book’s plot.Usually, if a plot isn’t good, I’m pretty much fine with it, as long as I like the characters and their development was good. And while I like how Cass and Jacob turned out at the end of the book, and the villain, I was really disappointed by how little we got to know a side character named Lara.Lara is an Indian girl who can also move between the worlds of the living and dead, and I really thought we’d see more of her. In reality, she showed up briefly in the first third, came back in the last third, and disappeared. The blurb says that after Cass meets Lara, she starts to question what she can truly do, and it seems like Lara is basically just a plot device. WHICH IS ANNOYING.Also Lara is pretty much the diverse rep for this whole book so. :) :)))Overall, City of Ghosts is an atmospheric, creepy book that will definitely keep you engaged with its fast pace and intriguing characters, but the lack of proper plot development is something that really bothered me and kept me from enjoying it more.I really do think that this is a “it’s me, not you” scenario, so I’m really confident that other people will like it more! It’s got that dark vibe that all Schwab books have, though fortunately, there is no heartbreak. (Besides mine, of course, for having to feel this disappointment.):: rep :: Indian side character:: content warnings :: death (mostly of children), abduction (mostly of children)// buddy read with banshee #1 and banshee #2Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! This did not affect my opinion in any way.
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  • Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4.5 stars
  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    that's it, its official, schwab is an actual queen that can literally write ANYTHING - this book felt like a mix of vicious and the archived series but with a middle grade tone and i am so here for it- i love my soft precious ghost son 😭😭- i love cassidy as a main character, her voice is so strong but she fits her age and is the middle grade queen we all stan- THIS ALSO FELT LIKE LOCKWOOD AND CO. TO ME LIKE GHOSTING HUNTING KIDS, YES I NEED MORE- dont be deceived by the target audience, this boo that's it, its official, schwab is an actual queen that can literally write ANYTHING - this book felt like a mix of vicious and the archived series but with a middle grade tone and i am so here for it- i love my soft precious ghost son 😭😭- i love cassidy as a main character, her voice is so strong but she fits her age and is the middle grade queen we all stan- THIS ALSO FELT LIKE LOCKWOOD AND CO. TO ME LIKE GHOSTING HUNTING KIDS, YES I NEED MORE- dont be deceived by the target audience, this book reached some creepy heights (to me, an actual Baby™) and i couldnt read it in the dark wow this is sad- im literally in love with victoria schwab's writing, shes writes so magical and seamless, i just dont know how its possible- MORE FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS PLEASE I LOVE LARA- despite how much i loved the book, i did find the plot to be underdeveloped in the technical sense that its more of an introduction than anything- i feel like the coming books will be much stronger bc they have this background to build off from, and so the hopes are high - but really its a fun, easy, quick read about creepy ghosts - i can't wait to see more of the adventures cassidy and her family go on AND LIKE I NEED JACOB'S BACKSTORY ASAP - i just really love that little boy, he needs protecting guys i CANNOT WAIT to see what else she has in store for us bc i know its going to be amazing and its gonna hurt
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  • Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
    January 1, 1970
    The results are in:------------------------------------------Okay guys, let's duke it out. Does this cover look more like:A: the start of an anime theme-song sequence B: the cover for the sophomore album of a semi-popular alt rock band C: the girl from 'The Ring' has an adventure
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Well that was cute 😊🎃Happy Reading!! Mel 🖤🐺🐾
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    As a huge fan of Schwab, I was so so excited to read this! I know she debuted with MG so this must be a bit of a "going back to the roots" for her too! And it was very very Schwabish. Dead boy ghost friends and Gryffindor girls who plunge into trouble and quirky parents and sinister dark forces beyond the living realm that want to devour cHILDREN. You know! Good stuff! I did expect it to freak me out as much as Coraline did, though I actually felt this was tamer. But still the same sort of vibe! As a huge fan of Schwab, I was so so excited to read this! I know she debuted with MG so this must be a bit of a "going back to the roots" for her too! And it was very very Schwabish. Dead boy ghost friends and Gryffindor girls who plunge into trouble and quirky parents and sinister dark forces beyond the living realm that want to devour cHILDREN. You know! Good stuff! I did expect it to freak me out as much as Coraline did, though I actually felt this was tamer. But still the same sort of vibe! And obviously it's MG and I'm an adult reader so I'm super aware I wasn't going to fall head-over-heels with this like I did for This Savage Song or A Darker Shade of Magic. And that's ok! I enjoyed it for being cute and slightly sinister and absolutely full of dead things. I mean best friends are hard to get, ok, so full applause to Cassidy for scoring a dead BFF. You do what you must.It's a pretty straight forward plot with easy to devour writing. It was easy to get into Cass' view and admire her! She seems pretty lonely and isolated (despite Jacob, our dear ghost best friend) because her parents have a pretty weird job (studying paranormal activity) and Cass is still shaken from having nearly died last year. Jacob saved her. Now they're attached and she can walk through the Veil to see dead people. Mostly she just takes photos of them...but when her parents end up going to Edinburgh to visit some famous haunted sites + film their new show...Cass' adventures in the Veil get WAY darker.I do so so love how MG focuses so wholly on friendship. Jacob and Cass are great! They snark and share comics and make fun of each other...and they have a lot of Friendship Rules which are adorable. There's also a secondary girl who comes in who fully had the potential to be a snipey nasty girl/girl relationship...BUT IT DIDN'T. I love love that! I love how Schwab writes clever and intelligent girls who team up!My only quibble is that Cass wasn't actively interested in her own adventure. She found ghosts/the Veil/haunted houses unappealing. And like, YEAH they are! But like she has this cool ability and she seemed to not want or care about it. So I felt the story pushed her along and she was often an unwilling participant. Also the cat on the cover is like in 3% of the book. (And possibly I felt Cass read more like a 9 year old? But I might be out of touch with MG soooo yep.)Overall?! I liked it a lot! It was stuffed with the haunting and the mysterious, all wrapped up with sweet friendships and clever complex girls and the stunning details and aesthetics of Edinburgh!
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  • Alana • thebookishchick
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an e-Arc via Edelweiss.I'm still in disbelief that I got approved for this. The shriek I let out when I saw the words "approved" on Edelweiss was enough to make my husband come running into the room to see what happened. It's not everyday you get to read one of your most anticipated reads for the rest of 2018 before it comes out, so I am eternally grateful to Scholastic Press for the opportunity. As a child/teenager, I LIVED for the TV show Gho Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an e-Arc via Edelweiss.I'm still in disbelief that I got approved for this. The shriek I let out when I saw the words "approved" on Edelweiss was enough to make my husband come running into the room to see what happened. It's not everyday you get to read one of your most anticipated reads for the rest of 2018 before it comes out, so I am eternally grateful to Scholastic Press for the opportunity. As a child/teenager, I LIVED for the TV show Ghosthunters. I used to stay up all night in my room scared out of my mind watching it, so when I read the synopsis of this I knew I needed to read it.City of Ghosts is a super fun, spooky, and atmospheric read that follows Cassidy Blake, a young girl who can enter "the veil" and see the ghosts within. How is that possible, you ask? Technically Cassidy drowned, but her best friend Jacob (who happens to be a ghost) saved her, and now walks the living realm with her. Together they can enter "the veil", but it typically comes with the cost of Cassidy having trouble pulling herself out so Jacob, her trusty sidekick, is always there to help her out. Cassidy and Jacob's friendship is so incredibly adorable and I am living for it.Cassidy's parents just so happen to be a well-known author duo who have written a book series that's like a mash-up of history and ghost stories. When her parents are presented with an opportunity to host a TV show that takes viewers on a tour of the scariest cities in the world, Cassidy and her family pack up and head to their first destination, Scotland. I think Schwab really nailed the creepy and atmospheric vibe the second the Blake family touched down in Scotland. I love me some atmospheric vibes.As the family begins touring some of the most haunted sites, Cassidy begins to feel that the pull on the veil is stronger than ever and the ghosts in Scotland are much more sinister than Cassidy has ever encountered. Especially one in particular, who abducts children, the Red Raven. With the help of a newly found friend Cassidy finds out that there is a reason she can see ghosts, and a job she must do. She needs to help send the ghosts permanently beyond the veil, off to whatever lies beyond it. And so beings the Cassidy's adventure of trying to defeat the Red Raven and save her life.I totally have to admit that this book was CREEPY. This is the type of book that probably would have haunted my dreams as a child. The Red Raven is something straight out of a kid's nightmare. I really enjoyed the action-packed goodness of Cassidy and Jacob running through the living realm and the veil in a race against time to try and beat the Red Raven, I can't even tell you how fast I was flipping through the pages. Plus, this includes super creepy graveyard parts, and what horror fan doesn't love a good graveyard scare?!Some very minor issues I had with this include how underdeveloped the plot felt at times. I understand that technically this is a MG novel but certain parts just felt so rushed when they didn't need to be. Also, the Harry Potter references were a bit much. I never thought I would type those words. The first couple references were super adorable and I was hyped to see it, but then it just became a little too redundant for me. Favorite Quotes "Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure. " ""Stories have power," she says. "So long as you believe them."" "So we pile into the cab, two parents, one kid, a ghost, and a ticked-off cat, and we head for the airport." All in all, I really loved this, it was such a fun story. I loved Jacob and Cassidy's friendship. I loved the setting, the creepiness, the action, it was all a blast. I mean, I read this in one sitting and I can't even remember the last time I read a book this fast. I'm not sure if this will appeal to all of Schwab's readers since it is MG but I enjoyed this SO much more than her Monsters of Verity duology, and I cannot wait to see what city we get to explore next!Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This was so much fun! I can’t wait to see what kind of shenanigans Cassidy and Jacob get up to next.
  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Schwab and her covers never disappoint.
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionBR with L“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”🌟 Imagine reading a children book, one of those simplistic ones with many rhymes and pictures to your son/ daughter/ younger sibling. Your child may love it and you will have zero feelings toward it. You may even think that it was very short and had more potential! But you dismiss these thoughts as you are not the target reader xD🌟 OK, OK. This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionBR with L“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”🌟 Imagine reading a children book, one of those simplistic ones with many rhymes and pictures to your son/ daughter/ younger sibling. Your child may love it and you will have zero feelings toward it. You may even think that it was very short and had more potential! But you dismiss these thoughts as you are not the target reader xD🌟 OK, OK. I may have exaggerated a lot here but what I am trying to say is that this is a Middle Grade book and we should approach it as one. I don’t deny that I wish it was bigger, with more action and creepier. But that’s just how MG books are. I think someone who reads a lot of MG will be able to judge it better than most of us. Let’s be honest, we all know V.E. Schwab and how she is a great writer and always comes up with awesome twists and ideas. I think if this was an adult book, she would have done an outstanding job.🌟 I saw some negative reviews (all from adult readers) which actually made me go into this with lower expectations. And I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would.🌟 Story wise, the idea was great -as usual- and the story got interesting more and more (it was really good from the ghost hunters part and after that). But I felt the ending was a bit rushed and it could have been a bit slower.🌟 The writing felt MG to me (and that’s how it should be, Duh!) And tbh, that fascinated me, Victoria can write MG, YA and adults book and change the voice and settings accordingly! There were many HP references that warmed my heart but I am not sure if MG readers would feel the same about it.🌟 Summary: I like the characters and their development, I like almost everything about this. If you are an adult reading this don’t expect it to be the next A darker shade of magic because it is not and nor it is supposed to be so.As a MG book, I give it 4 stars.As an adult reader, I give it 3 stars.🌟 Prescription: For MG readers and adults who enjoy the MG genre. Otherwise, I recommend going into this objectively or skipping it altogether!
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  • Ashley Nuckles
    January 1, 1970
    This was not at all what I thought it was going to be (in a good way)! It was equal parts cute middle grade, creepy ghost stories, and fun adventure tale all in one! This is why Schwab is one of my FAVVVSSS
  • Kayla Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    Despite me being annoyed by all the Harry Potter references (they were everywhere!!), this was a solid middle grade book.Nothing special and it felt a little rushed, but it had a nice idea, great writing style and characters with a lot of potential. I'm looking forward to seeing how Schwab is going to continue this story!
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  • Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    January 1, 1970
    “My life is- Air in starving lungs. A hand grabbing mine. A light in the dark. The pebbles beneath me on the frozen bank, and water dripping from my hair, and Jacob saying, “I’ve got you.” Story ⭐⭐⭐⭐Cassidy was dead once. Well, nearly. But someone, something saved her. A ghost, named Jacob. Now he’s her best friend and he’s always by her side.When her parents start a new documentary, Cassidy goes on a new adventure to Schottland. Even though I absolutely adore Victoria Schwab, her writing styl “My life is- Air in starving lungs. A hand grabbing mine. A light in the dark. The pebbles beneath me on the frozen bank, and water dripping from my hair, and Jacob saying, “I’ve got you.” Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Cassidy was dead once. Well, nearly. But someone, something saved her. A ghost, named Jacob. Now he’s her best friend and he’s always by her side.When her parents start a new documentary, Cassidy goes on a new adventure to Schottland. Even though I absolutely adore Victoria Schwab, her writing style and the whole ghost story, I had some problems with the whole pacing in this book. In the beginning and in the middle it was pretty slow, it was a little bit like an introduction. And then when we had the last 30 % it was like a freakin roller coaster. There was so much action, emotions and I couldn’t stop reading. So, all in all I’m really happy I’ve read this story and can’t wait to read the next books in this series. Character ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Cassidy, the main character is a really interesting girl with a fascinating talent. She can step through the veil and see ghosts and their death, their story. She’s a really smart, shy and brave girl. She’s curious and wants to hear the story of a ghost before she takes a picture of him. Jacob, her best friend and a ghost is really a little mystery. We don’t know how he died and why, the only thing we know is that he saved Cassidy’s life and is now bond with her. And he’s not only bond, he’s also extremely loyal to her friendship. He really loves her like a best friend and would do anything for her. I’m absolutely in love with Jacob and Cassidy, their like partners in crime you want to team up with and go on a ghost hunt. There was another girl, Lara, with special skills like Cassidy. She was really cool, brave and a lot more mature than Cassidy.World ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️When you die, you go to heaven or hell. Or you’re being trapped in the Veil, the inbetween. Sometimes you move between the worlds, you were dead, at least on the bridge of death, but you were saved. Like Cassidy who was saved by Jacob. He pulled her out of the freezing river. But there are bad ghosts in the Veil, ghost that want what Cassidy and Lara have - a live. Victoria Schwab is a Master of world building and has a fascinating brilliant writing style. When you start to read a book by Victoria Schwab it takes time to get into the story, but when you’re in, when you’re really in, then it’s over. You’ll love Victoria Schwab even more.Relationships ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️The most pure and innocent relationship is the one between Jacob and Cassidy. Their friendship is so full of love and loyalty and they have tons of rules for their friendship. They were the cutest. Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Victoria Schwab you brilliant woman. No one can write like you, no one can create worlds like you,No one can make us feel magic and emotions and so much more. Can’t wait for the next book in this series. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    Well, I'm a huge fan of Edinburgh & Schwab, so this was obviously a great setup. The story felt like a fun middle grade read with just the right amount of creepy, but it might not appeal to fans who mostly read her adult books. I genuinely love middle grade, though, and thought this was a really solid, well-rounded story with a creative premise!Cassidy's a Ravenclaw who died while drowning but was brought back by Jacob, a ghost who's now her best friend. She's a sort of "in-betweener" now wh Well, I'm a huge fan of Edinburgh & Schwab, so this was obviously a great setup. The story felt like a fun middle grade read with just the right amount of creepy, but it might not appeal to fans who mostly read her adult books. I genuinely love middle grade, though, and thought this was a really solid, well-rounded story with a creative premise!Cassidy's a Ravenclaw who died while drowning but was brought back by Jacob, a ghost who's now her best friend. She's a sort of "in-betweener" now who can free spirits trapped in the Veil. The book description's really good and I don't want to spoil any other points, so I'll just leave it there.Otherwise, it was a pretty quick read that I finished in one sitting (mostly because it was just so engaging). Schwab is an amazing storyteller and this book really shows how broad her range is!Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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  • ☆ Mira ✷
    January 1, 1970
    My existence tends to be a cycle of being let down by people, my own motivations, life in general, et cetera, but you know what will never let me down? Victoria Schwab!! The good sis has GONE AND DONE IT AGAIN with City of Ghosts. It's a page-turning story (seriously, I read it in the span of 3 hours) about Cassidy Blake, an iconic 12-year-old girl who can cross the Veil, the curtain between our reality and its overlaid landscape of ghosts. Her parents, fittingly, co-write about paranormal activ My existence tends to be a cycle of being let down by people, my own motivations, life in general, et cetera, but you know what will never let me down? Victoria Schwab!! The good sis has GONE AND DONE IT AGAIN with City of Ghosts. It's a page-turning story (seriously, I read it in the span of 3 hours) about Cassidy Blake, an iconic 12-year-old girl who can cross the Veil, the curtain between our reality and its overlaid landscape of ghosts. Her parents, fittingly, co-write about paranormal activity, and have just landed a TV deal for a show ("The Inspecters", ha ha) about their work. They all visit Scotland for filming, and spooky ghost drama ensues. It's the most ghost story-ish ghost story I have ever read. I know that makes no sense, but what I mean is, it's full of ghosts from start to finish. A ghost saving Cassidy's life and becoming her sidekick trusty BFF. Ghosts haunting Cassidy's school. Ghosts haunting all of Scotland. A ghost leading a ghost army to, like, turn Cassidy into a ghost. It's amazing :')My main takeaway is that I need to read more middle grade. YA is great, but I forgot how much I love the MG spirit of dragging adults in a good-natured way. Although Cassidy has a great relationship with her parents, there's a hilarious undercurrent of condescension in which Cassidy knows they don't have the first clue about real ghosts. Oh, and the Harry Potter references are brilliant. It defined my childhood etc etc etc, but let's be real, it's old news at this point. Harry Potter is your favorite book series and main personality trait? Oh ho ho how original and fascinating. Since a lot of reviews mentioned such references, I was lowkey worried that I'd find them... uninspired, but NOPE. I actually grinned out loud. It wasn't amazing, though. I'm left with this vague hollow feeling of wanting more. More complexity, more character development, more intense drama... And I'm completely aware that this is due to the fact that since it's a Schwab book, I naturally expected it to fuck me over, feed me to the dragons, and drop me into hell. But City of Ghosts being middle grade, it's probably because Victoria had the decency to not inflict that on her young, innocent audience. And that's understandable; think of the children! Plus, we have Vengeful coming out 2 days after I hit the "save" button on this review, and we all know THAT is set to mess me up for life.All things considered, I'd say this was a 3.5-star read. So why am I giving it 5 stars? Because in addition to my intense desire to hype the shit out of anything remotely related to Schwab, THIS BOOK BROKE MY 2-MONTH READING SLUMP AND I ACTUALLY WANT TO READ AGAIN. I can hit my 2018 Goodreads reading goal after all. Amazing. <3
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  • emi
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all can thank me, I sold my soul so we can get more Victoria Schwab books in 2018.Anyways, I have a vague sense that I read this book somewhere before. Perhaps in another book by Schwab. *Cough* The Archived *cough*. But there's no Mackenzie and Wesley and it wasn't as good, which is a shame.Also it's probably a three star book, but my future children's first words are probably gonna be "Victoria Schwab" so I added a bonus star just for that.
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    UK COVER YOU HAD BETTER COME THROUGH!😍🤩😍🤩😍🤩
  • Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    "Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure." City of Ghosts is a middle-grade paranormal book about a girl who had a near death experience and now she can see ghosts. Cassidy is dreaming about her ghost-free summer vacation on the beach, until her parents – who happen to be sort of ghost hunting team -, announce that they got a new TV show about haunted places, so the girl has to go with them to Edinbur "Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure." City of Ghosts is a middle-grade paranormal book about a girl who had a near death experience and now she can see ghosts. Cassidy is dreaming about her ghost-free summer vacation on the beach, until her parents – who happen to be sort of ghost hunting team -, announce that they got a new TV show about haunted places, so the girl has to go with them to Edinburgh, Scotland, pointed as one of the most haunted cities in the world. At least she gets to take her best friend, Jacob, with her – although he is not exactly alive.This is my second Victoria Schwab, which btw is weird because I actually own a bunch of her books. I had only read A Darker Shade of Magic before this one, but now I can breathe a sigh of relief and be even more optimistic that I’ll continue to enjoy her stuff. I met Victoria last year and she’s a sweetie, so obviously I really want to like what she writes. So far so good.I don’t usually read middle-grade, so I’m really glad I enjoyed this one. It was an easy and quick read, and it had precisely the paranormal vibes I’ve been in the mood for. It’s a very simple book, so it won’t mindblow you or anything, but I found it quite enjoyable and it doesn’t take much out of you to read it. I have to say that this is more atmospheric than actually spooky, but I’m fine with that. "Stories have power,” she says. “So long as you belive them." I really liked the characters. Cassidy is a chill girl, she’s brave, and she is very attached to her friend. As mentioned in the book, she is a total Gryffindor (yep, Cass loves Harry Potter), goes right into danger, and doesn’t back down just because something is scary. I particularly liked that she is actually a thoughtful and empathetic kid. She really considers other people’s feelings, which is nice taking into account that she is just 10 (or 11, can’t be sure). My 10-year-old self would not have been so chill haha.I loved her friendship with Jacob. He’s a ghost that looks around her age, and he saved her life. It’s really cute how close they are. He’s funny, loves superheroes, and is very protective of her – he can also read her mind. It was particularly endeering for me that, since Jacob can’t touch things, she opens comic books on her bed and flips pages so he can read them. "Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?" Cassidy’s parents were kind of crazy, but in a fun way. Her mom is that type of person that hears a ghost story and goes like “yay murder, mayhem!”, and her father was more fascinated by the history aspects. Cass would often indulge them in their ghost-related endeavors, even though she knew they weren’t the actual “ghost-whisperers” in the family.The setting of Edinburgh was really something. I’ve never been there, so I can’t say if it was well represented, but considering Schwab spends a lot of her time in that city, she probably knew what she was doing. The history interwoven in that place felt like the perfect background for a paranormal story – do you know anything actually creepier than history? haha Isn’t that why horror movies love to stamp that “based on real facts” sentence to make the audience go “ohhh”. City of Ghosts was a good Halloween read, and I do intend to keep reading this Cassidy Blake series. This reminded me a lot of The Mediator by Meg Cabot and I loved those books. Of course, I’ll also continue reading other things by Victoria Schwab, and the next one will be Vicious.Blog Review | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    finished this on day 2 of booktubeathon and forgot to mark it! love love loved it. A perfect read for the fall/halloween time and definitely a new middle grade favorite.
  • Leore
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. You could clearly tell by the writing in this book that Schwab is aiming for a younger audience than with her other books, so maybe I’m just the wrong demographic for this but the story just felt really.. simple?The writing seemed basic to me and the plot didn’t hold much interest. I did like the characters though, even if they didn’t really stand out. This book could’ve been longer in my opinion and then it wouldn’t have felt so mediocre, but I’m still excited to read more Schwab in 2.5 stars. You could clearly tell by the writing in this book that Schwab is aiming for a younger audience than with her other books, so maybe I’m just the wrong demographic for this but the story just felt really.. simple?The writing seemed basic to me and the plot didn’t hold much interest. I did like the characters though, even if they didn’t really stand out. This book could’ve been longer in my opinion and then it wouldn’t have felt so mediocre, but I’m still excited to read more Schwab in the future. Whether I’ll pick up the sequel when it comes out, I don’t think so.
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