City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my third book written by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read (which I’m trying to slowly remedy) and I absolutely loved it. It made me want to visit Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s the first middle-grade novel that I have read in a long time, but since I have enjoyed everything she has written so far, I was happy to add this to my read list.
The story is about a girl, Cass, who had a near-death experience and now sees ghosts, namely her best friend Jacob who is a ghost. And her parents also happen to be writers of the paranormal (though they do not see ghosts). So, when they get an opportunity to travel to Scotland for a documentary, they do. And her adventure begins.
The plot moves along quite fast, and it is a very easy read (I read it in less than 24 hours which is big since I have a baby). And there are questions that aren’t answered in this book that I hope will be answered in later books. I’m looking forward to the next one.
There is no profanity in the book. And there are no sexually explicit scenes, in fact, there really isn’t any romance at all which I found refreshing and appropriate for the target audience. There is violence, namely ways that people die. Cass is able to enter the veil and see ghosts playing out their deaths over and over again on a loop. It’s not explicit, but it definitely was sad.
If you want a good mystery wrapped up in a beautifully descriptive city, with a little spooky thrown in, then I would highly recommend this book.
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this sequel to The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I’m going to try to do this spoiler free, but it’s important to read the first book before this one. The two plots are very connected.
Speaking of plot, this book was really well paced for me. I enjoy a pretty fast-paced read. While the first book really explored the Narrows and the Archive, this one was more about how much being a Keeper affected Mckenzie’s life. The last book was over the summer, and this one was during the school year. So, we have a new cast of characters that she meets as she starts at her new school.
Like the last book, this one also has a mystery to solve, and Mac has to learn, again, to believe in herself and out-strategize the enemy. There are some triggers to self-harm to be noted. There is also an almost assault as well.
There isn’t any profanity in the book that I can recall. There is some sexual content with kissing and touching, like the face, hair or arms, nothing graphic. Also, there is violence in this book, lots of fighting and attacks. There is mention of blood, cuts, and the aforementioned cutting, but nothing completely graphic or detailed.
Overall, it’s a great series. I really like the world that was created and the characters. I would have liked to see more of the Archive characters play a role, but I understood that this was a focus more on the Outer world. Another recommend!
Each month seems to be going by so quickly! On to my September favorites!
Book of the Month
This was my first book written by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read, and I absolutely loved. I wrote a review here. I’ve already read two more books by this author. Reviews coming soon!
I think I, unfortunately, passed on my allergies and sinus issues to my son. These Boogie Wipes
really came in handy this month!
Beauty and Fashion
On a whim, I found these Garnier Fructis hair masks at Target and decided to try them. I used it once a week and loved the avocado mask for the frizziness due to the humid weather here in Texas. I just got the papaya mask to try next. I can really tell a difference after using it, even into the next day (I don’t wash my hair every day so a product that lasts two days or more is worth talking about!).
I watched this movie the day after I posted my August Favorites. And I would have changed it if I could. I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s about a community, books, and World War II on a little island between England and France in the English channel. I loved all of the characters, but Amelia was my favorite. The book is definitely on my Want to Read list now. Five stars.
What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?
All disclaimers have now moved to my About Me page.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was my first V.E. Schwab book, and I really enjoyed her writing. This particular story is about a girl named Mackenzie who inherits this job from her grandfather as a Keeper. Apparently, when someone dies, a record of them is created in the Archive in the form of a body that looks like what they did before they died. Sometimes these records, or Histories, “wake up” and get lost in the space between the Archive and the Outer (the real world) called the Narrows. So, it’s up to the Keepers to get them back to the Archive. But something is going wrong and a lot of the Histories are mysteriously waking up. So, it’s up to Mackenzie to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.
There are a few triggers. Of course, the story is about people dying, and it opens with Mac’s family moving into a renovated hotel to an apartment complex after her brother dies. It also addresses grief and loss.
The plot is fast moving, and the world is built pretty well. There were definite twists and reveals that I enjoyed. I wasn’t ever sure just where the author would take the story. The chapters are short and the writing enabled it to keep a fast pace.
I really enjoyed Mac’s transformation throughout the book. She goes from an isolated loner to learning how to trust herself and others. Also, her grief transformation is good as well.
There wasn’t any profanity, which was a nice change from the other recent YA novels that I’ve read. I’m not sure if this is normal for her, but it was nice to see.
There are violent components, mentions of blood and several fight scenes in the book since the Histories don’t always go back to the Archive willingly.
There is romance in the book, but it’s mostly kissing. There is a scene with touching, but touch is a theme in the book. Keepers can see the thoughts and memories of a person they touch unless it is a History which gives off nothing but silence.
I’ve already picked up the second book in this series, and I’m excited to get back into the world. I highly recommend this book.