Title: The Ghost and the Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Series: The Ghost and the Goth, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 4.5 / 5
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?
-- As seen on Goodreads
I absolutely loved The Ghost and the Goth! This book has been on my must read list for a couple of years and I never got around to getting a copy. I am so thankful I finally got my hands on it, and that I loved it every bit as much as I was expecting to. Ok, prepare for lots of fangirling.
The story begins with Alona Dare sneaking out of school. She is the high school princess, right at the top of the popularity food chain. Unfortunately things take a turn for the worst for our heroine, when she’s hit by a bus. And dies. While she begins to settle into her after life as a ghost, one of her biggest fears is losing her popularity and fading into obscurity. Being invisible to the general school population isn’t all it’s cracked up to be: she finds out her friends move on a little too quickly for her liking, amongst other things. In the middle of her devastation, she realises Will Killian, the “biggest weirdo-loser of all time” can see her. Even in death she’s an attention seeker, and does her best to haunt Will until he has no choice but to listen to her. Will can see, touch, hear and speak to the dead. There is no off switch to the endless chattering, but he does his best to ignore them. Acting like a regular person is virtually impossible, and we find out he’s been seeing a psychologist who is convinced he needs to be locked up in a padded room. Add Alona to the mix, and things begin to get worse.
I don’t think The Ghost and the Goth is going to be life-changing for anyone, but from an entertainment perspective – and the ability to help me out of a reading slump – it’s next to perfect! I will admit that I didn’t click with Alona at the start. It took a couple of chapters to begin seeing there is much more to her character than first appearances. She takes the superficial, popular bitchy girl to the nth degree, but we can see signs right from the prologue that this is just a mask. Will, on the other hand, I liked from the start. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the dialogue and banter between Will and Alona. It’s so entertaining to read, and these moments when Will and Alona are together helped me connect with both characters completely. I had the biggest grin on my face when I was reading, I loved it!
The story is told in the first person, with alternating chapters from both Will and Alona’s POV’s. They both have distinctive voices, which I absolutely loved. I was able to distinguish between both narratives without having to glance at the name at the beginning of the chapter. This is such a huge positive for me, as I’ve read so many split POV’s where the narrators sound essentially the same. It’s such a treat to read a story where this is handled so well.
Another huge plus: no insta-love! I swear a choir of angels sing whenever I find a book without insta-love. The romantic aspect of the book, while it happens quickly, was realistic. Both characters started out very distant and unwilling to connect with the other based on their preconceived ideas and things that happened in the past. When these barriers were slowly taken down, the way things progressed was believably portrayed and I loved seeing the story unfolding from both perspectives.
Yet, another positive: the ending was wrapped up nicely, with a few hooks to get you interested in considering continuing on with the series. I definitely will be continuing, but I love that it gives me the option. I don’t feel forced to continue on, or cheated out of an ending.
While I’ll try to get as many people as possible to give this book a shot, I think The Ghost and the Goth is excellent for character driven readers. I’m very character focused, and it’s no secret that the one thing I keep mentioning in my reviews is whether I connected with the characters or not. I’m reluctant to give the book a 5, even though I think it deserves it, hence my 4.5 rating. As it’s a trilogy, and this is only the first book, I’m giving some room for the series to grow, and I do think the next book will get better. Can’t wait to start Queen of the Dead!