Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Release Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Children
Author Information: Website / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Available Formats:
Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
My Shelf: Want to Buy
Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

The Ghost and the Goth is all kinds of cute and adorable. I was grinning like a total fool when I read the last page, and I fell completely in love with this book. The story itself is light and cute, the characters are fun and witty, and I loved the relationship between Will and Alona.

To be honest, I am very surprised at how much I loved this book. Based on the cover and synopsis, I expected this book to not be plot-heavy or emotionally intense (which it was not), but the characters really threw me for a loop. I expected Alona to be the stereotypical teenage cheerleader, and I was imagining her as something like a ditzier Regina George from Mean Girls. However, she proved to be an interesting character, and I really liked her. The girl is smart, almost wickedly so, and I just loved how devious she got, especially when it came to manipulating Will. (You have got to respect a woman who can own a man verbally.) There is a lot more to her than meets the eye, and learning more about her and what makes her the way she is was interesting and added excellent depth to her character. And then there is Will. Oh, how I adored Will. Again, as was the case with Alona, I was pretty judgmental early on, and I was expecting him to be a super emo/depressing sort of character. Thankfully, I was proven wrong again! He is snarky, slightly brooding, and hates his ‘gift,’ but there is a lot to him. I could not help but adore him! He was the perfect male lead, in my opinion.

 Kade portrays both Alona and Will really well. Their individual voices stood out really well, even with their viewpoints being switched every chapter or so. In fact, there were a few times I forgot this story was written by a woman because Will’s voice was so believable! (I was going to say manly, but I do not think that explains things well, and I am not too sure if that would be an insult to the author or not. You, sir ma’am, have a very manly way of writing/speaking. What does that even mean?) Getting back to the point, I loved Alona and Will’s characters and voice, and I especially loved their growing relationship as they learned more about one another. The dialogue between the two of them had me laughing at random moments, and I could not help but get invested in their slow-but-steadily progressing relationship.  

Something else I liked a lot was Kade’s take on ghosts and Will’s ghost whisperer abilities. I think Kade did a good job describing and explaining Will’s ability. It was interesting to learn about, and I think it added to the story really well. I do not want to say too much about it for the sake of not giving any spoilers, but just know that his ability is pretty awesome and it provided some interesting moments between him and Alona! 

Overall, this was a great, light read, and I enjoyed it greatly. There is no complex plot or anything, but there is enough intrigue with murders, high school drama, and rogue, malevolent ghosts to keep things plenty interesting. Add to that the great characters, awesome dialogue, and some rather hilarious moments, and we have a book you should not miss out on! I cannot wait for the next dose of Will and Alona in the second book, Queen of the Dead. I am eager to see what becomes of their relationship, and I’m sure some more hilarity will ensue!
 A Great Escape!

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