‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab is a gripping, scary and wonderful read!
Synopsis: Cassidy Blake is an in-betweener, meaning she can see ghosts and cross to their side. Jacob is her best friend who happens to be the reason she is the way she is; he saved her from drowning, oh, and he’s also a ghost. When Cass’ parents get the go ahead to shoot a TV show in Edinburgh, Scotland, Cass experiences many emotions, mostly dread because cities mean ghosts and Edinburgh is old, which means many ghosts. After encountering a particularly powerful spirit, Cass and Jacob begin to wonder if it was the best idea in agreeing to go.
I loved Cass! She’s curious, she’s not afraid to do the right thing and her loyalty levels are to admire. Does she break the rules? Of course! What 12 yo doesn’t?! Is she a good role model? YES! I was rooting for her from the first page and I’m genuinely excited to see where her and Jacob’s story takes them. Speaking of Jacob, I did at one point, wonder if he was the real deal in the friendship department. He keeps a lot of secrets from Cass and it doesn’t scream ‘good intentions’ at first. However, he does come clean and my heart bled a little for his reasonings. I love their friendship. It’s quirky, it’s true and it’s pure. Not at all a traditional haunting.
I loved that Cassidy’s parents were also into the paranormal. I think it made her death experience easier to bear. I also love that her parents are divided on what Jacob is. This wasn’t my first Middle Grade book but I was surprised with how mature the writing was. I’ve read Schwab’s other books and can definitely tell the difficulty level between them and this but it wasn’t at all dumbed down. I really appreciated that. I also lived for the weather descriptions of Edinburgh and the different names for the same things, e.g. American: fries – English: chips. I found that hilarious as well as Cassidy’s reactions to them.
Basically, I loved this book. I mean, I’m sure my review is obvious to that point but I just thought I would clarify. It’s fun, there’s a major twist that was eluded to but that still threw me to the floor. There is plenty of friendship, of secrets uncovered and discovering your purpose. It’s a beautifully written book and I feel privileged to have read it early.
“As we step out into the gray day, a fine mist fills the street, turning people to shadows. Gulls screech by. Somewhere in the distance, a church bell rings. ‘So this is Scotland,’ I think”
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