The Ghost and the Goth (Ghost and the Goth Series #1)by Stacey Kade
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
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?
The sneering heroine of Kade's debut novel, the aptly named Alona, rules her high school's social scene with an iron fist. Alona has secrets, but before readers can discover them, she gets killed ("God, buses are so ugly when you see them that close up"). While Alona is learning to cope with the fact that a ghost can't be the center of attention (and that her friends aren't as genuine as she believed them to be), her narration alternates with that of one of her former classmates, Will, a social outcast fighting a diagnosis of mental illness. Will, in fact, can see and speak with the dead, who overwhelm him with their demands to take care of last requests. Alona is part of the clamoring crowd at first, and by the time she learns to work with Will, it might be too late for him to avoid the mental hospital and make it to graduation. Bumpy initially, the story becomes steadily more engrossing as Kade finds her feet stylistically and her characters' voices and identities develop.—PW
"God, buses are so ugly when you see them that close up," observes snobby cheerleader Alona Dare just before a school bus runs her over outside of gym class. After returning to her high school as a ghost, she begins to discover its pettiness and discovers that only outcast Will Killian can see her. Fans of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (2009) will enjoy the humorous banter and romantic tension as the two teens make a pact to aid one another in this amusing debut told in alternating voices. While Alona helps Will deal with the pack of spirits who constantly beg him for a final wish, the unscrupulous psychiatrist who wants to lock up him up, the principal who wants to see him fail before graduation and the black cloud that has started following him, Will, in return, teaches Alona how to be kinder and resist disappearing into nothingness. In the process, they realize each other's mysteries, the keys to solving them and their attractive qualities. Kade makes this unlikely scenario feel real.—Kirkus
Alona Dare has it all-a cute boyfriend, elite social status, and a three-year reign as homecoming queen-until she is killed by a school bus. Now she is stuck (with several other ghosts) in some sort of middle ground, and her only apparent hope for moving into the afterlife is social outcast and goth Will Killian. Will needs to tune out the ghosts so his shrink doesn't lock him up for good, but Alona's beauty and persistence make her hard to ignore. Factor in a strange love triangle, a dangerous spirit determined to hurt Will, and an angry, belligerent principal, and it's obvious that Will needs some serious help just to survive, much less graduate. With plenty of humor, this quirky debut will appeal to both genders. The characters are fully dimensional and appealing in spite of their hang-ups, and the sexual tension and alternating narrators are reminiscent of Maggie Stievater's Shiver (2009). Despite a few implausible plot devices, the story succeeds as an exploration of high-school culture and the benefits of sacrificing yourself for another.—Booklist
Meet the Author
Stacey Kade (www.staceykade.com) is an award-winning corporate copywriter and successful adult sci-fi romance writer (as Stacey Klemstein). She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and three retired racing greyhounds. The Ghost and the Goth is her first YA novel.
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