For What It's Worth

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

The Ghost and the Goth
After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck as a spirit (DON’T call her a ghost) in the land of the living with no sign of the big, bright light to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser outcast who despises the social elite. He alone can see and hear (turns out he’s been “blessed” with the ability to communicate with the dead), but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.
Alona has never needed anyone for anything, and now she’s supposed to expose her deepest, darkest secrets to this pseudo-goth boy? Right. She’s not telling anyone what really happened the day she died, not even to save her eternal soul. And Will’s not filling out any volunteer forms to help her cross to the other side. He only has a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out on his own and find a place with less spiritual interference. But he has to survive and stay out of the psych ward until then. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and the weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist? (YA)

I had no interest in this book at first. Then two of my most trusted blogger friends gave it a good rating so I decided to give it chance. I’m so glad I did! Definitely a case of don’t judge a book by its cover, although once you read the book you will see how what a perfect fit it is.
The Ghost and the Goth is your typical dead stuck up, shallow, blond, perfect cheerleader girl meets creepy yet cute brooding outcast boy that can see ghosts. So – ok, it’s not that typical but it’s a pretty basic set up and you know from the beginning where it will end up.
When Alona gets hit by a bus one morning but doesn’t “cross over” she finds herself stuck in limbo and hanging out at school every day. Not a bad thing at first. She gets to see everyone cry over her and mourn her loss. By day three she gets a rude awakening. Seems people didn’t like her as much as she thought they did. Her best friend & boyfriend didn’t really hate each other as much they said. In fact they’re playing tonsil hockey right in the cafeteria just mere days after her death.
Will Killian can see ghosts. He walks around with his iPod playing and hood covering his face to try to keep the voices of the ghosts that can’t cross over and their requests out of his head. If they knew he could hear them, they would never leave him alone.
Then he makes the mistake of letting Alona know he can see her.
It works for them though. She becomes his spirit guide and writes down the requests of the deceased and keeps them away from Will and in exchange he can finally get some much needed peace and give her advice on how to finally cross over.
Of course things are never quite that simple and that’s where this book really shines. Alona and Will could not be more different from each other. At first their personalities clash but they find a way to work together. What I love about Kade's writing is that neither Alona or Will lose their core personalities. They both remain true to themselves. This isn’t reduced to “Alona’s a bitch until she becomes a quivering mass beneath hunky goth boy Will who drops his defenses because of his love for her”. Instead they slowly learn to trust each other and work together to form a relationship that’s based on something more than lust. Very rare in YA these day. There’s substance to this stoa plot and a story here – the romance is just a nice addition.
Loved: My favorite thing was Will and Alona – they never changed for each other, instead they grew to respect one another.
Nitpick: During a few of the action scenes Alona & Will were separated and the story was never as good as when they were together.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4. Fun, fast read with engaging smart characters and a plot with substance. More please!

Author's website: 
Follow Stacey Kade on Twitter: @StaceyKade
Buy the book! The Ghost and the Goth
Source: I received this book from Bella (Obsessed) (Thanks Bella!)


  1. Really nice review! The blurb didn't make it sound all that interesting and seemed a bit cliched, but I'm so glad to see that there is substance there! I loved what you said about the characters not changing the the other's personality, but rather coming to respect them as is. I will be adding this to my ever-growing list!

  2. Hurray! It's a lovely book and nobody seems to know how smart and engaging it is. :-) And there are two sequels!!!

  3. I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself if I saw it at the bookstore, the cover is not very eye catching to me but the story sounds good. I might have to get it. =) Thanks for the review!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) I was also rather surprised by how much better than expected it turned out to be ... I thought it would be cute + silly (I mean - there's a dead cheerleader running loose *rolls eyes*), but it had just the right amount of darkness to it ... and I also really liked Will ... and even Alona, which was surprising! :)

  5. I left a comment yesterday and it seemed to disappear in cyberspace! I'm so glad you reviewed this book. I hate to judge by the cover, but I never would've picked this up in a million years! The story sounds good though and I love YA fiction. My local library has it so I'll be picking it up soon.

  6. Bella - I was shocked at how much I liked Alona. I'm don't usually like the stuck up cheerleader but you can't help but loving her and what's most amazing is she doesn't change! You just like her in spite of it.

    Colleen /Cynthia11/Jenny - it's a really cute read. It's up for grabs in one of URC prize packs thanks to Bella!

  7. I've been wanting to read this book, after reading your review, I'll be sure to now =)