Title: The Ghost and the Goth
Author: Stacey Kade
Genre: YA fiction, Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
FTC Disclosure: I received this book as part of the We Love YA ARC tour and am passing it on to the next person on the list.
Summary (from the back of the book): After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from being 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 her (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 has only a few more weeks until his graduation, when he can strike out on his own and find a place with less spiritual interferences. 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?
Review: I had so much fun reading this book! It is fun, entertaining, and a great read. Even though it is the typical "girl meets boy" story line, it has enough twists to it that the reader cannot predict everything that is going to happen.
I liked that the main characters, Alona and Will, are people everyone can relate to. Alona is the top of social heirarchy (at least in her eyes); she is beautiful, popular, and seemingly nasty and stuck up. But, of course, there are hidden issues, just like in reality. Will is seen as the outside weirdo: he talks to himself, he has been hospitalized, he has accommodations for his education and he doesn't have a lot of friends. In fact, he mostly flies under the radar of the other students. But there is an explanation for his weirdness: he can see and hear dead people. When Alona dies the two of them meet.
I liked the witty banter between Alona and Will; it showed that she isn't the stupid cheerleader that everyone assumed and that he is far more good looking and interesting than students knew. I also liked that Will's mom and he had a great relationship; she supports him and believes in him, which is a nice change from many parent-child relationships in YA literature.
While this book is not "deep and meaningful" and will not be considered a classic or "good lit", I liked it a lot! It's an enjoyable read that got me thinking about death, friendships, and how we perceive each other.