City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) Book Review

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab

Publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Middle-Grade Paranormal 

Rating: fivestars-02

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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.

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Plot

“The living may take strength from love and hope, but the dead grow strong on darker things. On pain and anger and regret.” Cassidy, Cass, Blake died once but a ghost named Jacob, who is now her best friend saved her life. So, Cass has one foot in the living world and one foot in the dead world. Ever since her death but not dead experience she can see ghosts and even cross into their world which she calls the veil. When she is beyond the veil she sees what that certain ghosts last moments were like and she can even touch Jacob. But she has to be careful because some ghosts are not so friendly. No one but Jacob knows about her. Not even her parents. Speaking of which, her parents are published authors who write about history (dad) and ghost stories (mom). They get the chance to start a TV show going to the most haunted cities in the world starting in Edinburgh, Scotland. Cass is not sure why she can do what she does but on this trip, she meets Laura, a girl who is just like her. Laura tells Cass about their mission in life, one key point being that some evil ghosts try to steal their life force. In Edinburgh, Cass learns about the Red Raven who is evil and trying to do just what Laura warned her about. Life on the road for this TV show is about to get pretty ghoulish for Cass and Jacob. Secrets, ghosts, and hauntings like never before are about to become Cassidy’s life. I LOVED this middle-grade. It is so fun and the adventure is so wild and funny. Schwab has proven that she can work across multiple genres. 

Characters

FRIENDSHIP! GIRL GUY FRIENDSHIP IS SO IMPORTANT. THERE IS NO ROMANCE JUST ADORABLE FRIENDSHIP. Cass is a young girl with the ‘sight’. She is a bit of a loner due to what happened to her and she struggles with dealing with what happened to her. Jacob is her ghost bestie who can read her mind, gets scared easily, and is so adorable. I loved them both so much because they cared so much for each other. I loved all their little rules of friendship. My favorite thing was when she would think something and he would answer her out loud. The dad is a realist/scholar and doesn’t actually believe in ghosts. The mom is a dreamer and writes the ghost stories and actually believes in them. Lara is a brown skin girl who has similar abilities to Cassidy. 

Writing

First, let me say I adore that miss Schwab put my favorite quote from Peter Pan and ever at the beginning of the novel. The writing was haunting and chilling. Even though this is a middle-grade book Schwab doesn’t let that stop her writing from being just as in-depth as usual. Her world building and character arcs still hold weight to them. There is still a lot of heart to this story. City of Ghosts is filled with stunning prose and thrilling. The voice and tone match that of a teen girl and the writing matches that voice even though she clearly is not your everyday teen. The novel is engaging and a page-turner filled with mystery, humor, and adventure. Lastly, the atmosphere matches the plot of the novel. 

Favorite Quotes
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. 
I know you’re supposed to want to be one of the popular kids, but the truth is, I never have. It just seems like it would be exhausting, trying to keep up with all the rules. Smile, but not too wide. Laugh, but not too loud. Wear the right clothes, play the right sports, care about things, but never care too much. 
Dad says the world is always changing, every second of every day, and so is everything in it, which means that the you you were right now is different from the you you were when you started reading this sentence. 
It was damaged but not ruined, changed but not destroyed. Kind of like me. A little special. A little strange. Not quite alive but definitely not…I mean, can someone really die if they don’t end up dead? Are they really alive if they come back? 
” ‘The Most Haunted Cities in the World,’ that’s the show’s theme.” The world, I think, is a very big place. “I’m more concerned about the most haunted cities part,” says Jacob.
I thought my life was already pretty weird. Apparently, it’s about to get weirder.

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Kathryn Calderon | 23 | Graphic Artist | Artist of many trades | Villains are my soul

7 thoughts on “City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) Book Review

  1. I haven’t read anything by Victoria Schwab (yet), but she seems to be a brilliant writer! From your review, I especially like how this book showed that it’s totally fine to have girl-guy friendships instead of romances every single time. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

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