Remember when I met Stacey Kade? It was a pretty magical day. Anyway, I was withholding writing a review for this until I’d read Queen of the Dead, the follow-up book in the series. Now that I have, behold my review for The Ghost & the Goth! *plays triumphant music*
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 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. 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?
I’m a silly mood. (Can you tell?) But I think it works for this book because it’s a bit silly, a bit wonderful, and a lot of fun.
It took a lot for me to warm up to Alona because she seemed embody everything about high school I didn’t like. Around halfway through the book, she just confounded me. Sometimes she seems smart and makes rather clever observations, and sometimes she’s really slow on the uptake. The two things that ultimately led me to like her in the end was the way in which she died (it’s pretty funny) and how she becomes so protective of Will.
Will was much easier to like. In fact, I liked him from the beginning. The way he grapples with his “power” or extra sense, how he acts around Alona and her legs, his loyalty to his friends – they all led me to root for him. I adored him.
The book switches between Alona and Will’s points of view every few chapters, so you’re able to get inside their minds. Of course, I liked Will’s chapters the most, but Alona had a sharp wit about her that made hers funnier, which made the overall effect very enjoyable.
Really, this book is like a set-up for the rest of the series. You meet the main characters, you’re introduced to the necessary secondary characters who will show up later, there’s a small plot that leads to a larger series arc, and you’re left with more questions than when you started.
Overall, I liked it. It’s light, humorous and introduces you to a it-could-go-there ghost and human relationship, which I haven’t seen very often in Young Adult. Usually the ghost just haunts until an issue or the guilt is worked out, so it was nice to read something different.
Also, I’d recommend The Ghost & the Goth purely so that you can read Queen of the Dead because that is when it gets additively good.
Check back on Thursday when I review Queen of the Dead. Until then, go read The Ghost & the Goth!