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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: The Ghost & the Goth by Stacey Kade


Release Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Genre: Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 281

Blurb (from staceykade.com)

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?

The Quickie Review

Meet Alona Dare, beautiful, popular, likes to make peoples lives miserable, however her seemingly perfect life has come to an abrupt end, she’s now the newest member of the ghost (or ‘spirit’ as she likes to be called) universe. Now meet Will Killian, a brooding loner who is outwardly hostile to Alona Dare and her cronies but secretly lusts after the unattainable Alona, oh and Will can see the dead, including its newest member Alona, you can bet with these two fun and hilarity ensures. The Ghost & the Goth is an extremely funny and entertaining read with engaging, well developed characters. It’s a great light hearted and easy read with a dash of seriousness for good measure, perfect for summer.

The Full Blown Review

All Will wants to do is graduate from high school and get as far away as possible from his town and his incompetent psychiatrist to somewhere which has a low population (low population = not many dead people to annoy him). Will’s managed to hide his special ability from the ghosts very well over the years however one stupid mistake has left the ghosts knowing he can see and hear them and now they won’t leave him alone which is very distracting and can be dangerous for poor Will. Fortunately or unfortunately for Will (depending on your view) he smirked at the disappearing ghost of Alona Dare, newly deceased fellow student, who from that very facial expression could tell Will saw her, Alona Dare GHOST, when no one else can. With Will being the only person able to interact with Alona she’s understandably possessive over him, so by uttering the words ‘he’s mine’ to the other ghosts bugging poor Will she inadvertently volunteers to be his spirit guide which ties herself to Will so if anyone wants anything from Will they have to go through Alona. The only problem is Will’s life is quite complicated so in order for Will to help Alona they are going to have to deal with Will’s psychiatrist Dr.Miller, who wants to lock him up in an institution, a huge black cloud (nicknamed Gloomy Gus by Alona) which keeps on attacking Will for reasons unknown and Principal Robert “Sonny” Brewster who has it in for Will in a big way. Will’s not the only one with issues though there’s also the small problem of Alona disappearing into thin air however this issue can be solved simply by Alona being “nice” as Will puts it in order for her to stop disappearing as “positive equals energy”, however nice is not a word many associate with Alona Dare. Will Alona and Will be able to help each other work out their issues before it’s too late for both of them, well you’ll need to read the book to find out!

From just reading the blurb alone I was sure this was going to be a fun read so when The Ghost & the Goth finally arrived on my doorstep I was really excited to get into it and I am pleased to report I was not disappointed, Ms.Kade has written a book that is not only very funny but also a really engaging read with characters that were realistic even though they have some extraordinary abilities.

The Ghost & the Goth alternates between Alona and Will, two characters who were very different yet Stacey wrote them both so well. I particularly enjoyed reading about their growing unlikely friendship with all the hilarious witty banter that was said between the two, both characters had some great one liners. There was also some great chemistry between these two and so much tension, I really wanted Alona and Will to end up together even though Alona is a ghost and Will is still, well alive, but its only semantics people, things can be worked out!

Alona was my favourite character by far even though she was a huge bitch - which surprised me - I mean in real life I wouldn’t go near her with a barge pole. I’ve found that sometimes when I read a book with a bitchy character they are often only one dimensional with no other qualities apart from their bitchiness (there is no substance) however Stacey Kade has crafted Alona into a multifaceted character, she’s not just this one dimensional bitchy character she’s smart (as Will soon discovers) and her life is not all that perfect, she puts on a front - which I’m sure many people can sympathize with - as a coping mechanism for all the stuff that’s not going right in her life (or was not going right in her life). Don’t get me wrong though she was a real bitch, especially at the start, I was certain that I would not warm to her at all but very slowly (and I’ll note subconsciously) I was warming to her and towards the end I really did like her, not love but like, most probably because she mellowed a bit, dare I say I think she even warmed towards Will. Alona was a person who told it like she saw it and was very blunt, I guess you could say she lacked the finesse of tact, which many people don’t like but she just thought she was telling people the truth.

On the flip side we have Will, adorable, cute Will, who at first seemed to be Alona’s complete opposite, he was caring and actually nice however it soon becomes apparent that both have issues that they are hiding from people, their lives are not all rosy. Whilst Will may be a bit of a social outcast, which is kind of understandable with the poor boy seeing ghosts everywhere, he had a friend in Joonie he even stayed with her after she went a tad nutty (her nuttiness will be explained in the book, I don’t want to give too much away), which I found very endearing. I also have to mention Will and his iPod nano Marcy, yes he named his iPod, how cool is that, genius! I’m so impressed that I’ve been inspired to name my iTouch, now I just have to come up with a name, hmmm decisions, decisions….

Secondary characters were also well developed and a lot of fun primarily because of the way Will and Alona reacted to them especially the dialogue between Will’s principal, Mr.Brewster, a hideous man who actually called Will a bad seed, and Will’s psychiatrist Dr.Miller, who was writing a novel based on Will without his consent.

The Ghost & the Goth is such a fun read and leaves open the possibility for a sequel which I’ll definitely be reading!

Rating 3.5 out of 5

There’s Another Book?!?

Stacey has said that The Ghost and the Goth is the first book in a planned trilogy with the second book in the trilogy called Queen of the Dead (don’t you just love the name?) which will be released on June 7, 2011. Here’s the description –

After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare–former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead–finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this, ugh, “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.

Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello?! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.

Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately signs her name in the “clearly not” column. But Will is, ahem, willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.

Packed with romance, lovable characters, and a killer cliffhanger, Queen of the Dead is the out-of-this-world sequel to The Ghost and the Goth.

I love that we’re going to be introduced to another seer, one that’s a female, bring on the love triangle, because its pretty obvious Alona has a thing for Will and Will definitely has a thing for Alona, me thinks Alona’s going to be jealous with this new lady seer, can you say love triangle.

Oh and here is the super awesome cover Stacey just released for Queen of the Dead, enjoy!


Here are some interesting facts about the cover Stacey mentioned on her blog –

* "The models for Will and Alona (both of whom I LOVE) are the same as on the first cover. The photos for both covers were shot at the same time. And I believe there are photos for the third cover from that shoot as well. Yea! I think these models are perfect as Will and Alona and I’m thrilled to have the consistency of them on all three books!"

* "Will is a busboy in the second book; hence, his apron. In the earliest draft of the book, we spent much more time in the diner. But as I was revising, I cut out most of the diner-based material, and then–yikes–learned the cover was going to be set as a diner. But, with that in mind, a perfect opportunity for a new diner scene in the book came up, and it all worked out beautifully."

* "I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but the gym uniform Alona is wearing is based on my high school’s required gym uniform. So I just love that they put her on the cover in that outfit–it looks so familiar (and right) to me because of my own high school experience!"

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About Me

Romy @ Lost.in.Stories
Greetings fellow blog readers, welcome to my blog and thank you for stopping by. Now you may be wondering who is lost.in.stories? Well lost.in.stories is also known as Romy, a 23 year old graduate student from Australia who loves to read. I read (maybe devour would be a more appropriate word) largely young adult novels, with a particular love of fantasy and paranormal novels, however I am also a sucker for a good romance.
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