During my 24-hour readathon with Sarah last month, I binge read the Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab. I decided I wanted to dedicate a whole post to the series to tell you how I felt about them.
City of Ghosts
One Sentence Synopsis: After an experience with death, Cassidy can move in and out of the Veil with her best friend and they have an adventure in Edinburgh because of that ability.
How I felt: The more I read this book, the more I loved it. It gave me all the same vibes that R. L. Stine’s Fear Street books used to give me when I was in middle school. I devoured this trio of books as quickly as I possibly could. I always enjoy Schwab’s writing so I’m not surprised I liked the way this was written – even though it is much more casual than her works for older readers.
I really enjoyed the friendship between Cassidy and Jacob. I like the way they interact and tease each other. I felt super connected to their characters and invested in their friendship. With the addition of Grim [Cass’s cat] I fell completely in love. I’m always partial to black cats.
One of the critiques I had read prior to picking this up was the confusion of words conversation that Cass has when she goes to Scotland [i.e., chips v. fries v. crisps, lift v. elevator, etc.] being unrealistic/weird – which I whole-heartedly disagree with. My husband and I have these conversations ALL the time playfully arguing whose word is correct or over the pronunciation of words, so for me, her interaction with this felt so relatable.
Favorite Quotation: “Every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.” [Cass] & “When I saved you from the river, you saved me from something, too.” [Jacob]
Tunnel of Bones
One Sentence Synopsis: Now in Paris, Cassidy and Jacob attract the ire of a poltergeist and have to figure out how to stop him before he destroys the city.
How I felt: This series seems to get better with each book for me. I absolutely adore the friendship between Cass and Jacob – my favorite thing being their pact to stay together no matter what. The story in Paris felt more sad than scary [at least in relation to the ghost who they’re working to help cross]. This book brought more of Jacob’s backstory into play and the mirroring between him and the poltergeist made for a complex and interesting storyline.
Like with book one, I adore the way Schwab blended the history of Paris in to the book. The way Schwab wove in the history made for an exciting read rather than dulling down the story. As a historian by training, I truly adore when authors bring in the history of a city into their world-building (if they’re writing in the world we live in) – giving their work connection to the real world and almost making it like the book could be happening in this world.
At the end of the book, we’re introduced to what I believed would be the next specter we’d encounter in book three. (Which, I later learned is correct.) I like the cliff-hanger-esque ending to this one because it made me eager to pick up the next one as soon as I could.
Favorite quotation: “It’s important to take care of the past… to revisit it, to study and learn. Understanding the past helps us move through the present and discover the future.” [Cass’s Dad]
Bridge of Souls
One Sentence Synopsis: Now in New Orleans, Cass draws the attention of something worse than a ghost or poltergeist and the bonds of friendship are tested.
How I felt: Clearly, this one wrapped its arms around my heart – I loved it so much. It’s precisely the kind of book I would have devoured in middle school – heck, I devoured it as an adult. I read through this in two days [and only because I had to go to bed so I could go to work on the second day].
Jacob and Cass’s friendship only gets better in this book and with Lara it’s super sweet. I love their dynamic and how close they get – how loyal they are. My heart almost broke with some of the scenes in this book and I definitely teared up a bit. The way they fight for each other just melts my heart.
I didn’t mind the pop culture references – mainly because they’re references that I would have made at that age, but I can understand why they would annoy others. [They’d been very well established through books one and two, so it just felt consistent to me.]
I adored this book and am very sad that this is where she’s leaving it for now.
Favorite quotation: [comes from Cass’s dad again] “Nothing can predict your future, Cassidy, because futures aren’t predictable. They’re full of mysteries and chances, and the only person who can decide what happens in them is you.” <– I really needed this at the time I read it.
Thoughts on series as a whole:
I already kind of mentioned this, but these books are precisely what I would have checked out of the library over and over when I was in middle school. Even as an adult, I enjoyed them. Like always, Schwab made me feel like I was watching a movie while reading – and no matter if I’m reading her YA, Middle Grade, or Adult, she never fails to disappoint me. I absolutely love her writing [and her as a person!] They are a very quick and fun read and I recommend picking them up if you have the chance.
Until next time,
*All photos are my own.