Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Ghost and the Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Release Date: July 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Publisher’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
OUAR’s Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
Year/Setting: Present day, Decatur
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate (Science Fiction/Fantasy)
Stacey's Website/Blog: www.staceykade.com
The tag line on this author’s website is …"Like your High School, only weirder," and I have to say that really sums it up for Ms. Kade’s absolutely wonderful books that young adults will completely enjoy. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a television show ‘pop up’ on the CW based on this new series of books.
Alona Dare is one of those absolutely perfect girls. Not only is she the poster child for Miss Popular, but she is also a co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and the Homecoming Queen. Like most "perfect" people though, no one really knows who Alona really is, nor do they understand the troubles that she goes through at home and the secrets that she has to hide under the constant smile that she pins on her face.
One day, Alona’s smile is wiped away…literally, when she skips class to call her mother and steps in front of a school bus full of band geeks. Like the popular movie, Heathers, Alona’s funeral is jam-packed with mourners of every size, shape, and form. She certainly didn’t want to die, but is also a little thankful that she went out "on top" and didn’t have the time to ruin her "perfect" existence.
What she absolutely can’t stand, however, is the fact that there’s been no bright light and she seems to be "stuck" on the Earth, trying desperately to figure out how the heck to move on. And while she’s stuck on Earth, she can hear her "supposed" friends talking about her after death. Boy…does she find out what they really thought of her; even her absolute best friend is sitting on a bench kissing Alona’s boyfriend only a few short days after she was lowered into the ground. She can scream, yell, try to punch these backstabbers with all of her might, but she can’t connect. The only person who seems to hear her is a person she never even knew existed while she was alive…a young man by the name of Will Killian.
Will has his own problems. You see, he can hear and see the dead who are CONSTANTLY asking him to do them favors so they can move on. Now Will’s mom and psychiatrist (who is a backstabber of the very worst kind) have told this boy that he’s a schizoid, and everybody in school thinks he’s a black-clothed, gothic, nut bag. However, when Alona Dare gets a hold of him, they make the most unlikely pair. He helps her, while she protects him from the hordes of ghosts who are begging for his help. He’s not schizoid…he’s simply sick and tired of dealing with the dead.
The story is absolutely fun and offers some very deep feelings from a couple of kids who the world simply doesn’t understand. I, for one, am extremely excited to see what happens to Will when he heads to college. Advice for young adults? Pick this one up and "get hooked" on Alona and Will. You’ll be just as happy about them as you were about Edward and Bella (although Bella still belonged with the wolf!)
Until next time,
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