January 25, 2011

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

The Ghost and the GothThe Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Genre: Paranormal (UF) YA
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?

Thank you to Good Golly Miss Holly for running this ACR Tour so I could get a chance to read this fun book!

In general when faced with a book about ghosts and the people who can see them I don’t go in with high hopes. Ghost books are the easiest of the paranormal genre family to fall into the same over used plots and character stereo types. Which brings to question why I bother reading them? It’s simple I’m a huge fan of Meg Cabot’s Mediator series, and I secretly hope to find a series that will be just as fun or better then Cabot’s. With Ghost and the Goth I can confidently say that Stacey Kade has past my expectations. Maybe even creating a read that I enjoyed just as much, or more, then the Mediator series.

The first bit of this book lulls you into a false sense of “been-there-done-that.” It rolls out the stereo typical Queen Bee cheerleader, Alona, who might as well have the character depth of a shallow puddle. You get the weirdo guy, Will, who can see dead people and is so misunderstood by our practical society and headed for the loony bin fast. Everything is shaping up for this read to be another copycat of Mediator. Will’s ghostly powers make it so he can see ghosts and make them almost life like around him. Only he can touch them and make the ghosts within a certain range get amped up “ghostly” powers. Sounds like Mediator, but it isn’t.

Will is struggling to stay out of the psych ward long enough to get graduated and out of town to somewhere less populated by ghosts. He doesn’t want anything to do with them and tries to ignore the ghosts so they won’t beg him for help in their limbo state. Until events lead to his discovery and every ghost is out to make him do their bidding, which just might get him locked up. Until Alona comes to the rescue.

The character depth of Alona really blew me away, of course she still had many shallow cheerleader droid moments. Usually authors create the perfect Miss Popular and say that’s all folks, but Kade shows us that even the perfect “Elite” have to muck about like the rest of us. Alona’s family life comes in to the picture to show us what can drive someone to be the top dog and hide behind the veneer of a Queen Bee. Then Kade tares down Alona’s views of the life she had built for herself, showing her that perfection is nothing but a word. In the end I loved Alona her snarky words and go get it attitude made her break away from the pack of stereotypes out there.

Will and Alona’s interactions are splendidly priceless. The dialogue is great with Will’s exaggerated humor and Alona’s sharp wit, and sharper tongue. The development between what each character thinks about each other is an example of fantastic character development, which I have been missing in a lot of YA reads lately. The reader gets the pleasure of jumping back and forth between Will and Alona’s points of view, which adds even more fun, drama, and suspense.

Alona and Will are supported by great side characters. From the other ghosts populating the pages, over bearing adults, and even the parents all had great development time in assisting the story along. The “villain” stood out as a person instead of a nameless foe to keep the plot going on.

Speaking of the plot, it was pretty solid. While I won’t say this is the most brilliant plot out there, it is solid and supports itself well. The plot twists are really exciting and the clues are released at a nice pace so that the reader doesn’t immediately guess it.

Bottom Line: If you’ve been looking for something to bring back the fun of the Mediator Series, you’ve got it here. This is a solid ghost story with a fun plot that might just give readers a run for their money. Character stereo types will be broken, and hopefully other readers will find the characters just as much fun as I did. This is one for the shelves, and I’ve already put the next book on my to purchase pile.

Sexual Content:
This is a pretty clean read, mostly kissing. There are a few innuendos to sex, but nothing over the top naughty.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!

Add it:
Amazon: The Ghost and the Goth
goodreads: The Ghost and the Goth

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