City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
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.
Ghost story: Check. Middle Grade Cuteness: Check. Schwab as author: Check.
This is a gorgeous story, and I am glad Victoria has decided to do Middle Grade because it is deliciously her flavour but with a cuter side in it (it doesn’t stop having this particular darkness in the stories and dealing with death and bad stuff).
Meet Cass, who had a near death experience and now can see ghosts. Meet Jacob who is a ghost and her best friend. And then get moved to Edinburgh and meet a very dangerous ghost.
Cass has a lot of learning to do and also a lot of adapting. One of my favourite things was the way Cass struggled with the difference between British and American English. It rang true for me as I had that same issue and it was very confusing to have to change the image of a word to a different one (I still sometimes say pants instead of trousers) and yes, I know some people found this annoying but when you are coming from one place and this is suddenly thrown into you, it is confusing. And also, don’t forget Cass is young, she will notice things in a different way.
And of course, I have been to Edinburgh a few times, so it was delightful to see Cass trekking through it and remembering being there, it just made the visualising of the story that much more real and tangible.