City of Ghosts
Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, 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 Inspectres 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 Details

TitleCity of Ghosts
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 28th, 2018
PublisherScholastic
ISBN-139781338111033
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Paranormal

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City of Ghosts Review

  • 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.
  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    so um, how am I expected to focus on life and a career and establishing a stable life for myself when Victoria Schwab keeps churning out new books every year??and on top of it: Stranger Things meets Ghost Hunters??
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
  • 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! :)
  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    If my life were as aesthetic as Victoria's covers, I would have had an editorial in VOGUE years ago.
  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    Schwab, I still love you... (even though I’m now afraid to go to Scotland)I can’t even say that no one is more disappointed than I am because I don’t feel very disappointed?this is a Really Fun and also Really Creepy book that I liked reading. it has a cool main character and my favorite soft ghost boy. and I’m really excited to see how dark the rest of the series gets. but... IT WAS SO SHORT. I get it’s MG and I’m used to YA but the plot was just so underdeveloped and all the important events h Schwab, I still love you... (even though I’m now afraid to go to Scotland)I can’t even say that no one is more disappointed than I am because I don’t feel very disappointed?this is a Really Fun and also Really Creepy book that I liked reading. it has a cool main character and my favorite soft ghost boy. and I’m really excited to see how dark the rest of the series gets. but... IT WAS SO SHORT. I get it’s MG and I’m used to YA but the plot was just so underdeveloped and all the important events happened too quickly and just [sigh] WHYanyways it looks like I’m forever destined to be disappointed by anticipated books by my favorite authors I Hate Everything// buddy read with banshee #1 and banshee #2
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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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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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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  • 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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  • 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
  • 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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  • 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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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    UK COVER YOU HAD BETTER COME THROUGH!😍🤩😍🤩😍🤩
  • 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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  • ☆ Mira ✷
    January 1, 1970
    Mira do something other than obsess about unreleased Schwab books —> SCHWAB BOOKS THAT ARE OFFICIALLY IN THE WILD BUT NOT IN THIS HOUSE challenge
  • 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.
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    On the 28th of August, GR will be a City of Ghosts because everyone will be busy reading this!
  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Scholastic for sending a review copy 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.” We follow the adventures of Cassidy Blake and her best friend Jacob who happens to be a ghost. What new adventure will Cass venture on this time? And will it be different than all the others?I got approved for City of Ghosts two days ago and I still Thank you Edelweiss and Scholastic for sending a review copy 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.” We follow the adventures of Cassidy Blake and her best friend Jacob who happens to be a ghost. What new adventure will Cass venture on this time? And will it be different than all the others?I got approved for City of Ghosts two days ago and I still can't believe it. This book was such a spooky and fun read! If you love middle grade then this book will probably be pretty enjoyable. I've always loved middle grade books, and finding out that this book is middle grade and spooky made me love it even more.I felt like the story was unique. I haven't gotten around to reading many books about ghosts and I'm really glad that I got to read this one. What I loved was that Cassidy is such a Harry Potter fan. The amount of HP references made me want to read the books all over again. Loved Cass and Jacob's friendship. Loved their friendship rules and just everything about them. The atmosphere that the author created in this book was superb. The places and encounters that Cassidy went through made me feel the spooky vibes (not to mention that the weather right now is pretty windy where I am) “Stories have power," she says. "So long as you believe them.” The story was fast paced and fun to read. Would definitely recommend this book even if it is different than Victoria Schwab's other works. I have a feeling readers are really going to enjoy this. I've already ordered A Darker Shade of Magic, and I also have a copy of This Savage Song to get back home to. Really enjoyed her writing and I'm looking forward to reading all her other works.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Victoria Schwab is really great and so is this book.
  • may ❀
    January 1, 1970
    I literally identify as Victoria Schwab Trash Fan™ like, that's not even a joke. You can check my passport.
  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t read middle grade...well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve read a few and while I have liked them, I wasn’t losing my mind for them. Of course that changed when I got my hands on City of Ghosts.I love love loved Cassidy and Jacob. Cassidy is a smart girl and maybe she’s not the most careful person, but her inquisitiveness was relatable. Jacob is interesting. I would have liked to know more about him and what happened. I loved their relationship and how they were twisted up together. Cassid I don’t read middle grade...well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve read a few and while I have liked them, I wasn’t losing my mind for them. Of course that changed when I got my hands on City of Ghosts.I love love loved Cassidy and Jacob. Cassidy is a smart girl and maybe she’s not the most careful person, but her inquisitiveness was relatable. Jacob is interesting. I would have liked to know more about him and what happened. I loved their relationship and how they were twisted up together. Cassidy’s parents are well meaning and passionate and the family dynamic was fun.Plot wise it was engaging. I was captivated with the situation and the imagery of Scotland. And the creepy factor was just perfect. There are a few interesting reveals and though the build up was mild, the story doesn’t let go from page one.Overall, it was everything I could have wanted for a MG story. I would happily read more of these characters, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a series.**Huge thanks to Scholastic for giving away arcs at YallWest**
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  • sreeja
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE: 23/1/2018ANDDD we have a cover idk im actually kindof liking it it looks creepy. Also am i just blind or does that thing beside the girl look like a goose?? :0020/1/2018so apparently this book is stranger things + ghostbusters + v.e schwab can this get any better?? :')
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Schwab and her covers never disappoint.
  • julianna ➹
    January 1, 1970
    Surprisingly enough, I loved this one? I didn't enjoy Schwab's other series, ADSOM and I think it's because this is MG & the ADSOM series was adult. Previously, I didn't enjoy ADSOM as much as I predicted because of hard-to-read and slow it was, but Schwab's work was so much more fast-paced and easy to read in this one. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of the monster in the closet. I couldn't go to sleep until my dad came in, threw open the closet door, and showed me it was empty. Cr Surprisingly enough, I loved this one? I didn't enjoy Schwab's other series, ADSOM and I think it's because this is MG & the ADSOM series was adult. Previously, I didn't enjoy ADSOM as much as I predicted because of hard-to-read and slow it was, but Schwab's work was so much more fast-paced and easy to read in this one. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of the monster in the closet. I couldn't go to sleep until my dad came in, threw open the closet door, and showed me it was empty. 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. ⟶ so what is this about? Cass, our main character, is an In-Betweener who can go into the Veil (In-Between) and see ghosts that are trapped there. She can do this because of an accident where she almost died from drowning. However, a ghost saved her— Jacob, her best friend, and now she "has a foot in both worlds of the living and dead." Her parents are a "ghost-hunting" team who get a new documentary about ghosts and they head to Edinburgh, Scotland, which has a lot more specters/ghosts than her previous home in America. ⟶ pros I absolutely loved the relationship between Jacob and Cass. Cass has only had Jacob as a friend since she was young, and they've made up "rules" for their friendship that include things like "never leaving each other behind." Jacob can read Cass' mind, which I thought was a cool (albeit intrusive) aspect of their relationship. Since he can read her mind, she doesn't need to speak out loud and therefore communicate through thoughts. Jacob doesn't acknowledge the thought. He just rolls onto his stomach and starts reading whatever comic I left open on the bed. He spends a few seconds trying to will the page to turn before I reach over and do it for him.Something I noticed was how everyone in Scotland was so much more casual about specters or ghosts than in America. For example, people sometimes just casually talk about their dead friends as if they're still there with them. I'm not sure if people actually do act like this in the real Scotland, though? Regardless, I love settings outside of America, and it was interesting to see this contrast & how it added to the story.I really loved all of our friendly ghost characters. They were so sweet and I'd totally want to meet Mr. Weathershire irl!! ⟶ cons While I love that this wasn't set in America, it was kind of annoying when our main character was transitioning to being in Scotland and her reactions to the different vocabulary there. Cass scoffed at how Scotland called "fries" "chips" and the "elevator" the "lift." That's such a Classic American Take which was sooo frustrating to see. Different regions have different words and that doesn't mean their vocabulary is inferior to ours.I look up, confused. "These aren't chips.""Sure they are," says Mom with a devious grin, and I realize this is yet another one of those things that got lost in translation."Um, no," I insist. "These are fries. Chips come in a bag." I'm also disappointed that the cat didn't play more of a role in the story tbh? Like Mel, I wish that the cat in the cover was replaced with Jacob. But it's also not just the cover that was slightly misleading— in the author's note at the beginning, where Schwab lists some of the components of this story, she lists the cat before Jacob. And the cat was only mentioned about five times in this story, while Jacob is prevalent the whole story?Besides this, I feel that Schwab added too many unnecessary Harry Potter references. Harry Potter was mentioned at least four times, and it wasn't even a passing line for each. It was about a paragraph each time it was mentioned. It felt like Schwab was trying to be relatable but honestly it felt way too in-your-face and it's not as if Harry Potter or JK Rowling (an abuser-supporting author) need any promotion? ⟶ all in all This was really an entertaining read! Now that I've seen more of Schwab's work, I want to check out her young adult titles such as This Savage Song and The Archived. Hopefully they'll be more readable and well-paced than ADSOM.I'm really glad I picked this one up at BookCon!Trigger and content warnings for ableist language, context of burning to death, mention of drowning, mention of freezing to death, kidnapping/abduction, and death (mainly children).// buddy read with this specter and this other specter
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  • Sally ☾
    January 1, 1970
    "There's a difference between wanting to stay and being too afraid to let go." Oh my lord, this book was a bucket of fun.City of Ghost was honestly such a spooky and mysterious read. I had actual chills while reading it, but it was so much fun exploring Scotland and learning parts of it’s history, especially all its wonderfully scary ghost stories.I loved the story and the characters and all the photography metaphors. I loved Cassie's parents and the whole idea of their TV show, and I especia "There's a difference between wanting to stay and being too afraid to let go." Oh my lord, this book was a bucket of fun.City of Ghost was honestly such a spooky and mysterious read. I had actual chills while reading it, but it was so much fun exploring Scotland and learning parts of it’s history, especially all its wonderfully scary ghost stories.I loved the story and the characters and all the photography metaphors. I loved Cassie's parents and the whole idea of their TV show, and I especially loved all of the Harry Potter references.I really want to visit Edinburgh now.Cassidy and Jacob’s friendship may be the most purest and sweetest thing in the entire world.Cassidy is such a sweet and curious character. She makes some dumb decisions, but it’s all because of her absolutely selfless nature.But okay, can someone please tell me how Schwab always manages to write some of the best cinnamon roll characters??I have honestly fallen in love with all the males she writes and Jacob is no different.I am so dang curious about him.While I cannot say it’s my favorite book of hers (my love for Kell Maresh is endless), it was really such a unique and lovely story filled with adventure and friendship.I cannot wait for book two! "I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure." 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cori Reed
    January 1, 1970
    YAAAAAASThis book was SO GOOD. I really don't have anything at all negative to say at all. Victoria Schwab just keeps getting better and better.
  • rin (lorenzo)
    January 1, 1970
    the cover and the pitch are there, sounds fun 👀👀👀~~~i will read anything written by this woman creepy middle grade novel pfft sigh me tf up
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Yayee! Just found out a copy of this is on its way to me as I type! Squeeeeeee - I CANNOT wait to read this one!!!! Weekend. Made.
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