Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Title: The Ghost and the Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Pages: 281 pages (hardback)
How I Got the Book: Bought it at a used bookstore

The Ghost

It's not my fault that I was born with it all--good look, silky blond hair, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing. My life isn't perfect, though, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks--could there be a worse fate? As it turns out, yes--I'm starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. To top it off, the only person who can see or hear me is Will Killian, TOTAL loser boy, and he refuses to help!

I need to get control of my afterlife, and fast, before I'm dead AND gone for good. If I can get Will to talk to me, I might have a chance. But that means trusting him with my secrets... and I don't trust anyone, living or dead.
The Goth

My mom thinks I'm crazy. My shrink wants to lock me up. Basically, my life sucks. And that was before the homecoming queen started haunting me. Alona Dare was a pain when she was alive; dead, she's even worse.

Yeah, I can see, hear, and touch ghosts. With just a few weeks of school left, all I want to do is graduate and get out of here, find some place with less spiritual interference. But with a dead cheerleader who won't leave me alone, and a violent new ghost who wants me dead... I'm screwed.

Alona and I might be able to help each other... if we can stop hating each other long enough to try.

Yeah, right.


Alona Dare just died by--of all the ways to go!--being run over by a bus full of band geeks. Instead of moving on to whatever afterlife there is, she's stuck floating around as a ghost in her thin white gym T-shirt and tiny red shorts. The only one who can help her is Will Killian, the weirdo who wears a lot of dark colors (but he will deny it if you try to call him Goth). Will has been able to talk to ghosts since he was young and the last thing he wants is for Alona, yet another ghost, to start bugging him to help her out. They both need help from each other for one reason or another, but they need to learn how to get along before they can get anything done.

I have not had a fun time lately. I'm seriously considering putting away the novel I wrote until the anti-vampire sentiment dies down, another round of bad moods are setting in after a few weeks of good moods, I've read two very bad books within two weeks of one another (but that's one-hundred percent my fault and I accept that, along with the headaches that resulted), and more has been going on that made things not fun. The Ghost and the Goth made everything better for just a little while and made me laugh. This was exactly what I needed right now.

Oh, Alona. She needs a swift kick in the pants sometimes for her attitude, but I love her. Her personality was likable yet flawed and her situation was very sympathetic. My main problem with the book was when Alona's attitude went too far, like when she called her best friend a slut, a word that I hate seeing characters use for any reason, and how she reacted to finding out something about another character. (But imagine my horror when I read it out loud to myself and discovered my voice fit the preppy voice I had in mind for Alona incredibly well.) I love Will too and managed to sympathize with him a little more than Alona. I can't imagine how tough it would be to be able to see ghosts like he could and be considered schizophrenic. Also, his shrink is an ass. That is all.

When I discovered the book was written in both their points of view, my scepticism acted up. In many cases, it doesn't work out when an author tries to write a book in two points of view, especially when the two narrators are of opposite genders. I was worried that would be the case here, but it wasn't! Alona and Will have very distinctive narrative voices. Will even sounds like a guy during his narrative segments instead of a girl! The book flew by like that thanks to the characters' very readable voices. I hardly even realized how much I had read until I stopped! The meat of the story happens over two or three days, but Alona and Will's connection feels real despite happening so quickly.

The Ghost and the Goth isn't trying to be particularly deep, just entertaining. Instead of Alona and Will's struggles with their past selves, present problems, and future plans with boatloads of angst, it's all light-hearted. Breaks from angst are appreciated. I know that next time I'm in an awful mood or need a quick literary pick-me-up, this book will be in mind and in reach. Its sequel The Queen of the Dead is on my list and I hope to read it soon. Need something funny and ghostly? Give this book a try.

4 stars!

What am I reading next?: Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson