Book Review | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schawb
Cassidy Blake #1
Release Date: August 28th 2018 by Scholastic
Genre: Middle Grade > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: Bought
Format: Ebook
Summary:

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, 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 Inspecters 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.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’ve had Victoria’s titles on my TBR for wayyyyy too long and I JUST now read her work. And I get what the hype is. This book sucked me in big time. I ended up doing the audio book and I don’t regret it at all. I may just do the rest of the series in audio!

The concept of this book was so interesting. I had stopped reading it when I first picked it up cause I’m a wimp and it sounded like it was getting scary. But it’s really not. It’s so freakin interesting. Cass can see ghosts, something about almost dying and being saved BY a ghost saved her life. And because of that save her best friend who never leaves her side is well, a ghost. Named Jacob. How that works is beyond me.

Cass’s parents do things that have to do with the paranormal world. I couldn’t figure out if they really COULD see ghosts or if they really did believe in them? Either way their jobs take them to Scotland and I had no idea Scotland was so… haunted. A lot of weird stuff happens there, but a lot of interesting things as well.

It was a peak into historical fiction, going from what was now to what was then and it was so cool to see the author bind the two together. The concept of what Cass is was also fascinating, the theory is ghosts have a ton of reasons of why they stay behind, and the idea of sending them to the other world is also pretty sad.

I absolutely loved the idea that each ghost who was left behind lived in a constant loop of their last moments or why they’re kept here. As a kid I had a ton of questions about ghosts and the afterlife that I would ask my grandfather. I always wondered if they lived in an eternal loop of their lives or a certain part of their lives. To see that on paper in a book was… I don’t know, refreshing? As a kid people tell you your idea’s or theories are silly or don’t make sense. But honestly some of them have stayed with me my whole life.

I wish we got to know a bit more about Jacob as well. Where is he from? How did he get there? How old is he? I’m really hoping we get to know him more in the next book.

I love a book that makes me question my mortality!

Monday Mindful Manifestation

This week’s intention;

I don’t feel not enough as much as I use to, I still feel like I don’t do enough but I myself feel enough for me, anyway. I need to remind myself that everything on my to do list doesn’t have to all be crossed off. That’s what tomorrow is for. Or later. As long as I get as much done today, that is enough.

The kiddo’s toys is taking up lots of space, granted this is her room. Well half and half my office but it’s hard to literally split things like this in half. She does try her best to keep her side tidy when I ask her to, and really what more can you ask of a 2 year old lo. But this room does need some organizing, for sure.

I honestly can’t believe how fast January is already, we’re mid month at this point and I’m super excited for the changes ahead!

What’s something you want to manifest this week?

Friday Finds

Welcome to the first Friday Finds of 2021!

It’s a new year and we all have new goals. I’ve been really into the idea of rebranding and learning more about blogging and doing more with my blog(s) this year. I’m debating on keeping my blog here on wordpress or going self hosted. I don’t want to lose the community aspect of keeping it here but I do want the freedom of ads and changing the template. It would be cheaper to go self hosted than to pay the $300/year wp is asking for in order to do all that stuff. Freakin yiiiikes.

This week I’ll be sharing a few blogging type of resources so if you’re not into that; I’m sorry lol.

Christine at The Uncorked Librarian talks about how to turn your blog into a business and why it’s important to register it as an LLC.

Kayleigh at Kayleigh Zara has a ton of great blogging resources to choose from, like this one; 35 useful resources for bloggers.

Emily at Love, Em talks about how to raise your blogs DA score! I use to be super obsessed with my DA score but I haven’t thought about it in a while lol.

The Social Blog talks about 5 Instagram Planning Apps.

In addition, The Social Blog also has a useful post about 5 must listen to podcasts for bloggers; this is something I want to start in 2021 — listen to more podcasts!

ICYMI I wrote about the 4 blogging apps I swear by; they definitely make things a lot easier!

If you have a blogging source you posted about please feel free to leave it in the comments below!

Rebrand for 2021

If you haven’t noticed I changed the blog name; I’ve been wanting to for about a year now ever since my husband’s sisters stalked my Twitter. I’ve changed the name a few times but I honestly couldn’t think of something to settle into.

I know I wanted to convert this space to the two things that mean the world to me: Disney and words.

I somehow fell back into book blogging and I forgot how much I truly missed it. It always feels like being part of something bigger than yourself. Having all these worlds to fall into and live in for 300 pages at your fingertips. And ironically I’m finding that a subject I’ve always wanted to get into but never did is now something I look for: Historical Fiction. Time travel and paraell universe reads have always been a weakness but I’ve never read an entirely just Historically Fiction book until this year. And I feel like I’ve been missing out!

I know Disneyland still has no plans to re-open any time soon and that my love and my home Disney World IS open. I’m hoping to be able to get there some time this year so I can start posting Disney content; until then I guess it’s just other types of Disney content!

I hope this new name gives me a new start that I’m hoping for and encourages me to stop censoring myself.

Book Review | The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons

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The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons & Vicky Alvear Schecter
Release Date: January 14th 2021 by Serial Box
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Serial Box!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

In Victorian England, a savvy spiritual medium must outsmart the most important client of her career: a scientist determined to expose frauds like her.

But their game of wits has fatal consequences when a vengeful spirit answers their summons. If they cannot put aside their prejudices—and growing passion—and find a way to banish the ghost together, one of them could be its next victim.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I had no idea what this was but if you put “haunting” paired with “Rachel Hawkins” I won’t ask questions, I’ll just read it lol.

I’ve been on a bit of a historical fiction kick so, even better.

The summary pretty much tells you all you need to know about the book and at the 23 page sampler I got there isn’t much to really say beyond that. The murder that happens in the beginning did confuse me a bit; I’d like to know what drove that to happen since it seemed a bit random. Or at least it was a random part to place the opening of a book.

This is part 1 of a 9 part series. I suppose sort of like the Amazon exclusive “Faraway Collection” of fairy tale retellings they did.

Beatrix is a “spiritual medium” and I’m curious to know how something like that came to be so popular in those days. They weren’t a person to be feared or questioned but they were actually searched for. James really need a hobby. “Debunking” other peoples way of living is not his business lol. James, who hurt you?

The sneak peak ends right when things get good; Beatrix starts hearing and seeing things. Even finds proof a ghost might had been warning her. As she pulls up to the manor in question, she suddenly feels a very dark force.

I can’t wait to see what happens while Beatrix is there, sorry B. But that is the driving point of this whole series. And like I said I hope we get more of an insight of what happened in the beginning!

Monday Mindful Manifestation

Welcome to 2021’s first Monday Mindful Manifestation!

I’m actually writing this on Sunday morning and it’s snowing and still really sleepy, but I’ll get to that later this week.

I decided to switch it up a bit. Sometimes I’ll do things I want to manifest for that week and other times I want to try out affirmations. I know they can sort of be the same thing, but just a little more different. More direct, I feel like. It’s only the 11th day of 2021 and although a lot has happened in the world, I feel like I’m failing myself. Weird flex, I know.

This week I want to remind myself that I do have time to do the things I love.

I’m so bad with managing my time and with doing chores before anything and everything else. Which you know, isn’t that bad esp when you have a toddler and a husband. I feel like this place never stays clean somehow. I’m also convinced that straight men don’t care too much about having clean environments. And as someone with OCD, this drives me bat shit crazy.

I’ve been trying to block out time during my day to read and to do other things I want to do; and some days I’m able to and other days I’m not. I really need to be better at that.

So here’s my reminder to myself this week!

How’s your 2021 going so far?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

I don’t know how I feel about this graphic lol. I feel like it’s too… empty?

First Monday of 2021 and I’m not doing a Manifestation post; probably because I have a million “Hello 2021” posts to post lol. If that isn’t throwing things into the universe then I don’t know what is! Besides it’s only the 4th day of 2021 and I’ve already read 3 books (at the time of writing this post), I’d say that’s a pretty awesome start right?!

Books I Read;

I’m so sad I ever put down City of Ghosts, it’s such an interesting read/concept! And it probably just kick started my historical fiction needs. I didn’t find this book creepy at all, just super interesting the whole way through! Jacob was the best part of this book. Wish I knew what the cat was about on the cover.

Maybe it’s my fault I waited seven years to finally finish The Lynburn series and read Unmade. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. However, I am glad I finished it and I can honestly say this was my least fav book of the entire series. The whole time I was wondering wtf was even happening and can Rob just like, idk. Disappear? The whole thing was just WEIRD to me. Like how can a whole city just let this happen? It sort of gave me Bella-in-Breaking-Dawn vibes. If you know what I mean.

I don’t even want to talk about The Prince and the Troll. This series has such captivating covers but this book was just… bad. I was literally confused the whole time waiting for some big huge reveal only to get… even more confused?? I don’t even know honestly.

Books I Plan on Reading;

These are books I’ve already started.

The Archive has been on my TBR FOREVER. I keep passing it up because I love the idea so much and I’m scared I’ll hate it. But after reading City of Ghosts I now see why everyone loves this author’s work. Her writing is hypnotic. No joke.

I’m doing the audio for Among The Beasts & Briars and while it sounds super interesting the narrator isn’t doing it for me. I may just stick with it cause currently it’s convenient but I do eventually want to start reading it myself. Too bad there isn’t a book copy on Scribd.

And one NetGalley book for review. I mean I have 2 so I might read them both but I haven’t started the other one yet. I’ve been staying away from NetGalley until I can get my ratio back up. And since I really have a lot of books to read as it is… I don’t need to go and request a bunch of others I probably won’t get to in time. I’m trying to be more realistic this time around.

What books have you finished or are planning to read next?

#onelittleword 2020

Every year for the last 6 years I’ve done #OneLittleWord; unfortunately the graphic program I used to make my previous ones has decided to just… disappear. I knew the day would come lol. So this year I created my own graphic.

I don’t know how I feel about it. But here it is.

My #OneLittleWord for 2021 is Courage.

Courage; to do the things I’ve recently been aware I’m re-afraid to do. Courage; to convince myself the lies my mind, my anxiety and my OCD tell me are false. Courage; to heal properly, even if getting there will hurt like hell. Courage; to see my friends and family again. Courage; to BE better cause Tums deserves the very best side of me.

The courage to finish writing a book. The courage to really go in on blogging and content creating. The courage to go back to school and finish my final year and get my BA in Communications, how much of a game changer that will be. The courage to stand up for myself, knowing I’m standing alone. The courage to remind myself of who I am because how can my oldest friends know and I sit here and act like I don’t?

I spent 2019 in the dark and I spent 2020 in a hazy fog. I’m finally feeling myself reach the less foggy area’s of the things that have recently happened. But even when I’m in the clear, the fight isn’t over. The fight is never over, it just changes. And that’s fine. My life would be boring if I never had to fight something.

My boundaries and my roots are incredibly important to me, and I will make that loud and clear in 2021. And this time no one is going to stand in my damn way.

Friday Finds

I debated on doing one of these this week; Christmas/New Years week always feels like some really weird in between gray area. I lose sense of time, of what day it is. Even with a strict list of what posts are suppose to go up this week all I can think of is but I really just want to sleep. It’s been cold af here in TX and I’m not living for it. I hate the cold. So much.

There aren’t many links I’ve discovered this week but I am having fun reading everyone’s yearly recap posts and 2021 goals posts! So if you have one please link it below in the comments, I’d love to read yours!

Cnet talks about 6 Useful Amazon Echo Tips You Should Be Using; My dad gifted me my Echo Dot the year before he passed away. And he was so excited for me to have it. We use it for almost everything in this household. I even got an Echo Show for my bedroom and planning to get a Kid’s Echo Dot for the office/Tums playroom!

Fast Company is talking about The 26 Best New Apps of 2020; I’m always on the hunt for a good app to fall in love with — though I really need to organize my ISO’s. But we’ll talk about that part later.

I signed up to be a contributor at ThriveGlobal; It’s been a goal of mine for awhile to publish writing. I just… don’t know what to write about. They have a ton of interesting articles covering a bunch of different subjects.

Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea (interesting blog name for sure) talks about 23 Books by Filipino authors; I’ve been trying to add more Filipino authors as well as learn more about my culture in 2021. There’s a lot I don’t know and there’s a lot of differences when you learn about it from a Philippines versus Western stand point. I want to be able to educate and expose T to as much of her Filipino culture as I can and as someone who’s first gen Filipino American, I worry a lot of the things I was exposed to will be lost since I don’t have those certain roots to the Philippines itself. I try to speak Tagalog and Cebuano to her as much as I can but it’s not enough for her to pick up, I don’t think. Which also worries me.

The downside to the holiday being over? Putting the holiday decor away. Ugh lol.

How was your week? Did you find any cool links around the web?

Things I’m Leaving in 2020

Things I’m Leaving in 2020

2020 has showed us a lot of things about ourselves, our surroundings, our company we keep and about society. There are a lot of things I still carry around with me that I shouldn’t. That I don’t need to. Pain is hard to cope with. Loss is even harder. I’m the type to cling on to the darkness because the light just means what goes up must come down. And you can’t go down if you’re already there.

But I also need to remember; I’m not some broken teenager with a notebook full of secrets. I’m not that girl who constantly wished for someone to notice her and love her just as she is. I’m not searching for someone to fill a void in my life anymore.

Cause I love myself more than anyone could ever love me. Except maybe my mom and my daughter and my cat. I learned that I don’t need some dude to make me feel my worth because I know my worth. And at times I tend to forget. 2020 made the heavy things even heavier, and I’m tired of carrying it all around with me.

I’m not one to actually fully heal from anything. I kind of just store it away and pull it out from time to time. So I’m not entirely sure I’m capable of healing. But hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?

I have a tendency to ask my friends whenever it seems like they’re stuck at a fork in the road: if this was your life one year from today, would you be happy?

My bro has a habit of throwing the same question at me sometimes: but what do YOU want?

Continue reading “Things I’m Leaving in 2020”