Friday, August 31, 2012

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade -- YA Review

 The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade -- YA Review

Image from Goodreads

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? 
-- Blurb from Goodreads

Details: Hyperion Book CH, Released 2010, Ebook, 281 pages
Genre: YA
Source: Library
Links: Goodreads and Amazon

Stars? 4/5

In one sentence? Kade made me like - and cheer for - the girl everybody hated in high school.

Review: I didn’t expect to like Alona but I did. She’s the cheerleader, prom queen, the girl everybody wanted to be. As I was reading I kept thinking of the song “Girl Next Door” by Saving Jane with lyrics like:
She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sitting in the stands
She gets the top bunk I'm sleeping on the floor
She's Miss America and I'm just the girl next door
And my favorite line: ‘Everybody loves her but I just wanna hit her’

As Alona navigates the afterlife with help, and not so much help, from Will, a guy she wouldn’t so much speak to when she was among the living, we learn that she’s got problems just like the rest of us. Alona is interesting and complex, she’s a survivor. She says what she thinks even though she lacks tact and doesn’t know how to be nice. Her storyline gave her a chance to grow and lead her to places, and choices, she hadn’t expected.

Will was a guy I liked. I saw him struggle with his own issues including his ability to see ghosts and 'the thing his father did'. While teaching Alona about the afterlife he also has things to learn from her and his own journey to take.

I thought the book was nicely paced, there were mysteries and questions that spanned the entire book, keeping my attention and making me want to keep going. Though Kade tied up the story nicely there were still interesting places to go and I’m looking forward to the next book.

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