City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab
I don’t know if its the result of having an October birthday where I was always excited for pumpkin carving, Halloween, and ghost stories around a campfire. Or if its just some sort of mysterious intrigue for me but I love ghost stories. Add Victoria Schwab to the mix, and I’m sold! So naturally, when I saw that Schwab had written a book about a girl with a ghost for a best friend who’s parents are ghost hunters, I had to read this as soon as possible. So I set an alarm on my phone for the release of this book, and bought it immediately. And then I proceeded to somehow finish this entire amazing book in one sitting. I honestly couldn’t put it down!
As I said above, this book is about a girl named Cassidy who after a recent accident that should have been the end of her life, suddenly finds that she suddenly has the ability to see and even pass through the veil between the living and the dead, and now has a ghost named Jacob for a best friend. When her parents are given a huge business opportunity to start a show based of of there ghost hunting books, The Inspecters is set to record their first episode in one of the most haunted cities in the world, Edinburgh. The City of Ghosts. Disappointed that they would not be in fact going to their ghost-free vacation home, Cassidy reluctantly packs her bags to head into a city with more ghosts than she has ever come across. With her parents mostly in the dark about her ability, she only has Jacob to turn to when things start getting to be more than she can handle, but Jacob is experiencing his own changes in this haunted city and between the lot of them, even stranger things start happening.
I loved the spooky voice to this book, I actually ended up having some really creepy dreams the night after I read it!!! But not scary enough for me not to love this amazing little book!! Does it blow anyone else’s mind that Victoria Schwab can write pretty much anything?! From Adult, to YA, to Middle Grade, she somehow effortlessly switches between the genres and it just seems so right! I can’t get enough of her writing and I’m now fully immersed in this spooky little world of Cassidy Blake and all of her ghosts. There was also something about the setting, I don’t think that Schwab could have picked a better setting for this story to take place, the dreary weather, and the rich history with how old everything was in Edinburgh there was so much to pull from to get a great ghost story! And I loved it! I feel like sometimes ghost stories are the quickest to read too, because the suspense that comes along with being afraid keeps you turning the pages faster and faster to find out what happens.
The characters in this are fantastic as well. Cassidy’s unique parents and their ghost hunting show have such a distinct personality that I can see so vividly. And of course their daughter would be the one who can actually see the ghosts that they hunt on a regular basis. The little bits here and there where they are looking in the completely wrong direction while Cassidy is following her own intuition provided a little humor to the whole creepy vibe. Jacob was another character that I found I really liked, even though he was a ghost you start to want to find a way to make him alive again because he’s just so darn good to Cas. Their friendship is so sweet and when things start getting weird for Jacob once they get to Edinburgh I was worried it would change him for the worst.
And of course Cassidy, our main character. I liked that she was a loner except for Jacob (but does he really count?). The standoffish part of her personality didn’t bother me like it usually does when you can tell that a character is just trying to be difficult. She actually has a tough time with these ghosts she runs into and it causes her to always have one foot in another dimension which leads to some awkward social tendencies. Like wandering off to see what these strange feelings will lead to instead of joining the rest of the students in her school for lunch. She is actually a LOT braver than I would be, but when your best friend is a ghost, I guess that just comes with the territory. I also related with Cas’s love of photography. The details she had in how she develops her own film and photos, and her old school camera were perfect. I have been a photographer for a long long time, and I’m happy to say that all of the details were extremely accurate and I could relate to them on a personal level. Any girl who loves photography is a girl of my own heart 🙂
I was really happy with this book, and think that its the perfect mix between just creepy enough and just mysterious enough to keep you on the edge no matter your age. It brought some cool historical sites to the pages and mixed with the ghost hunter vibe made for a unique and fun adventure. I loved these characters, they were all so perfectly described and I could see them each vividly in my mind. I was so into this that I literally couldn’t put it down until I devoured every single page. It was not only spooky but fun, as I felt like I was on this adventure with Cassidy as her parents tote her across the world in search of ghosts. If you’re looking for that perfect hauntingly good fall read, look no further! Schwab is a master of writing and I can’t wait to see where this amazing series takes us next!
If You Liked This Book
The relationship between ghost and girl in these two books are so similar its, well, haunting. (see what I did there? haha) But they are enough different that they are both quite enjoyable in their own ways. I think that Wraith would be an excellent follow up read to City of Ghosts if you can handle more spine tingling, give you goosebumps while you read kind of content. Just make sure you don’t read these before bed!
Are you a fan of spooky stories? I have always had a weird pull towards the creepy and ghostly type of tales, not sure if its because my birthday is in October so I find this an exciting time of the year, or if its just because its so unknown and all up to the individual as to what you truly believe.. but for some reason I love anything spooky and scary. What’s you’re favorite ghost story if you have one? Let me know in the comments below!