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on January 25, 2011
Thank you to Good Golly Miss Holly for running this ACR Tour so I could get a chance to read this fun book!

Genre: Paranormal (UF) YA

Thoughts:

In general when faced with a book about ghosts and the people who can see them I don't go in with high hopes. Ghost books are the easiest of the paranormal genre family to fall into the same over used plots and character steroe types. Which brings to question why I bother reading them? It's simple I'm a huge fan of Meg Cabot's Mediator series, and I secretly hope to find a series that will be just as fun or better then Cabot's. With Ghost and the Goth I can confidently say that Stacey Kade has past my expectations. Maybe even creating a read that I enjoyed just as much, or more, then the Mediator series.

The first bit of this book lulls you into a false sense of "been-there-done-that." It rolls out the stereo typical Queen Bee cheerleader, Alona, who might as well have the character depth of a shallow puddle. You get the weirdo guy, Will, who can see dead people and is so misunderstood by our practical society and headed for the loony bin fast. Everything is shaping up for this read to be another copycat of Mediator. Will's ghostly powers make it so he can see ghosts and make them almost life like around him. Only he can touch them and make the ghosts within a certain range get amped up "ghostly" powers. Sounds like Mediator, but it isn't.

Will is struggling to stay out of the psych ward long enough to get graduated and out of town to somewhere less populated by ghosts. He doesn't want anything to do with them and tries to ignore the ghosts so they won't beg him for help in their limbo state. Until events lead to his discovery and every ghost is out to make him do their bidding, which just might get him locked up. Until Alona comes to the rescue.

The character depth of Alona really blew me away, of course she still had many shallow cheerleader droid moments. Usually authors create the perfect Miss Popular and say that's all folks, but Kade shows us that even the perfect "Elite" have to muck about like the rest of us. Alona's family life comes in to the picture to show us what can drive someone to be the top dog and hide behind the veneer of a Queen Bee. Then Kade tares down Alona's views of the life she had built for herself, showing her that perfection is nothing but a word. In the end I loved Alona her snarky words and go get it attitude made her break away from the pack of stereotypes out there.

Will and Alona's interactions are splendidly priceless. The dialogue is great with Will's exaggerated humor and Alona's sharp wit, and sharper tongue. The development between what each character thinks about each other is an example of fantastic character development, which I have been missing in a lot of YA reads lately. The reader gets the pleasure of jumping back and forth between Will and Alona's points of view, which adds even more fun, drama, and suspense.

Alona and Will are supported by great side characters. From the other ghosts populating the pages, over bearing adults, and even the parents all had great development time in assisting the story along. The "villain" stood out as a person instead of a nameless foe to keep the plot going on.

Speaking of the plot, it was pretty solid. While I won't say this is the most brilliant plot out there, it is solid and supports itself well. The plot twists are really exciting and the clues are released at a nice pace so that the reader doesn't immediately guess it.

Bottom Line: If you've been looking for something to bring back the fun of the Mediator Series, you've got it here. This is a solid ghost story with a fun plot that might just give readers a run for their money. Character stereo types will be broken, and hopefully other readers will find the characters just as much fun as I did. This is one for the shelves, and I've already put the next book on my to purchase pile.

Sexual Content:

This is a pretty clean read, mostly kissing. There are a few innuendos to sex, but nothing over the top naughty.

5/5- Fabulous, a beautiful obsession!
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on June 29, 2010
The Ghost and The Goth was an amazing read: light, funny and somewhat ironic. This book is a page turner and you don't want to miss out on this title!

Alona, Queen of the Elites goes from dead to worst when she discovers, a few days after her death, that her life isn't what she thought it was. She comes to realize her fellow schoolmates didn't really like her, and her former BFF is real quick on making sure her former boyfriend doesn't feel lonely, in a very touchy, feely, public way. It's in this exact moment of Alona's Fall that Will, one of the losers not worth Alona's time, looks at her straight in the eyes and laugh at her misery. His first mistake.

Will is known as a freak because he is acting so weird all the time, but wouldn't you if you heard and saw the dead all day? He has always been trying to hide his abilities, but when you face the most stubborn ghost ever, and she knows you can see her, well you gotta deal with it. So that's how Will and Alona ends up walking a very thin thread, both trying to reach their very different goals, which involves a few awkward situations and a fair share of disputes.

I really loved this first YA novel by Stacey Kade, it's a great story with a good pace, the right amount of humor, everything adding up for success.

The characters are fantastic, you first picture them with those big stereotypes but as the story progress you discover more layers to their personalities, which takes the story to a whole new level. Also, the narration alternates between Alona and Will to give us better access to both characters thoughts and feelings.

I really liked Alona, even thought she's the kind of girl I avoided in high school I came to love her personality and witty comments. She acts all superficial, ok maybe she is, but she's also smart and develops an interest in other people eventually. It was nice to see her grow and I can't wait to see what's waiting for her in the second book.

Like I mentioned before, the book is written in a "light way", but it also touches serious subjects like School Clics, sexual orientation, suicide, mental illnesses and alcoholism. It's all handled perfectly to not weight down the story though, so kudos to Stacey.

I read this book in only a few hours and had a hard time putting it down. I liked the end even though I didn't want it to end lol. I think everything wrapped up nicely and we get hints of what's to come next. No major cliffhanger here.

I strongly recommend to all of you YA fantasy fans out there to get your hands on that book, you won't regret it =)
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on July 10, 2012
I really didn't know what to expect from this book. The title is cute, the cover is cute, the synopsis sounded cute. I had my eye on this book for a very long time, not sure what kept me from getting my hands on it, at any rate I finally was able to read it. I enjoyed the book but it was slow coming for me.

The book really seemed like tow different books for me. The beginning was a little slow and I would put the book down for a while then come back to it. About halfway through, it became a page turner. I think, at the beginning I would have rated it a 3 heart but in the end it became a 4 heart.

The book really wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it would b a funny, cute, light love story. It was funny and cute and light but it also had some mystery. This I was not expecting, this is when it became a page turner for me.

To sum the story up, Will is the high school freak, he sees and hears ghosts, he has 1 friend. Alona was the high school mean girl who had it all in school, popularity, style, and everyone else's' envy. Her home life is a completely different story and ends up being the death of her. She dies, becomes a ghost, and forms an unexpected friendship with Will.

The characters were definitely what gave the book the extra edge for me. I loved the characters. Will is miserable; he only wants to get through high school. He has it hard because of his gift, this marks him as the freak to the students, unruly to the teachers and principle and a basket case to his mom and therapist. The only one who has ever known about his gift was his father who is now dead. I couldn't help it. I fell hard for Will. He was easy to love and easy to feel for. I wanted to hug him and make it all better.

Alone was easy to love and to hate. I hated her because she was selfish, mean, and a real pain. I loved her because she was snippy and oh so funny. I knew she had a heart hiding somewhere behind her meanness. I was really rooting for her throughout the entire book.

The book was a fast and easy read, especially once it got past the basic introductions into the characters lives. I liked the mystery in the story; it was a nice unexpected surprise for me. It was a great light read for an in between some serious stuff books and great for laugh.
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on September 26, 2013
I enjoyed this book, but found little to no merit in it. The characters are typical; the preppy cheerleader who's nasty because she has a rough home-life. The goth who secretly hides a superpower. The friends who stab everyone in the back. It's written pretty well, but I didn't read anything that made it unique in any way. Granted, not all books have to fit into the classification of a literary feat that is never-before-seen! But, it helps to have something, a single fiber that makes a book purely the author's; where a piece of her/his soul was planted inside of the life of her creation. I couldn't find that. I'd be willing to say that the most unique thing about it would be the name "Alona."

The pacing was well, it slowed and picked back up accordingly to each scenario. I thought the ending was incredibly anti-climatic. However, I'll probably read the sequel because the story itself has such potential and I'd love to see it evolve into something bigger than the first turned out to be. I liken this book to an unpolished rock; there's definitely something pretty, it just hasn't been polished enough to see it clearly.
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VINE VOICEon April 19, 2012
Alona Dare is the undisputed queen of her school, possessing the perfect body, the perfect friends, the perfect boyfriend. Her life is the envy of her lesser peers, a carefully crafted image she jealously guards and cultivates with the aplomb of a savvy press agent. But there are cracks in the foundation of Alona's perfect life -- a less-than-perfect home life that reaches a boiling point, leading Alona to an unguarded, fateful moment when she steps in front of a bus and is instantly killed. But death is nothing like Alona expected, as she shortly wakes up still in the land of the living -- not living, exactly, but stuck "in-between," forced to watch life go on sans her sparkling presence. To her everlasting chagrin the only one who can still see her and hear her is Will Killian, a loser -- the type of guy she'd have never associated with when she was alive. But she needs Will and his "knack" for communicating with the dead if she has any hope of moving on from land of in-between. For his part Will would like nothing better than to see Alona disappear for good -- his "gift" has brought him nothing but heartache and stress, and one less unseen voice clamoring for his attention can only be seen as a win. But the more Will and Alona get to know each other the more they begin to realize a spark of what might have been if either had dared to look beyond the superficial. When a particularly malevolent ghost sets its sights on Will's destruction, the Alona and Will are forced to become allies, and in the process discover the sparks of a relationship neither saw coming which proves a force that cannot be denied.

Paranormals of any sort are pretty much completely outside the realm of my reading experience, but after a friend's review I knew I had to check this book out. Fabulously cheesy title and candy-colored cover aside, it sounded like just plain fun. And oh, I'm so glad I stepped outside my norm and tried this, as The Ghost and the Goth is ridiculously entertaining from start to finish. With Alona and Will, Kade has created two of the most memorable characters to populate YA lit that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting on the page. Just when you think you have Alona all figured out -- spoiled, bratty, and privileged -- sure you could never, ever pull for her as a heroine, Kade gradually lays out the truth of Alona's backstory, revealing her heartache and struggles and just how easy it is to judge her, even as we as readers formed our own preconceived notions about Alona because of how she perceived others. And Will -- oh my WORD, where was a Will when I was in high school (never mind, where is the equivalent now? LOL)? He is quite simply one of the most swoon-worthy heroes ever, the struggling social outcast, burdened by a gift (curse?) he never wanted, absolutely sure he has Alona's character nailed until she begins to prove him wrong.

Kade gives us these characters, their hopes, dreams, and fears beautifully realized on the page, and she nails the teenage point-of-view. All of the uncertainty and angst are there, but that never bogs down the narrative because sparks positively fly from the page whenever Will and Alona meet. The novel alternates between chapters in each principle's point-of-view, allowing us to see their transformation and slow-burning romance gain traction, as the most unlikely romantic pair you'd ever hope to meet starts to discover just how much they've come to matter to each other. And if sarcasm and witty banter are your thing, Kade delivers it in spades. The snarky one-liners fly between Alona and Will non-stop, so much so that they began to remind me a bit of my favorite bickering Shakespearean couple, Beatrice and Benedick of Much Ado About Nothing. Yes, I just pulled the Shakespeare card -- I loved this pair that much. :)

This is a breezy, fast read, the perfect candy-coated brand of escapism I found myself craving this week. Kade keeps the action moving at a snappy pace, never losing sight of her story's greatest asset -- the wonderfully snarky back-and-forth between Alona and Will. And I loved how she gradually metes out the secrets of each character's backstory, constantly dropping tantalizing clues, just enough information to keep you flipping pages at a breathless pace. And while the climax is a bit (ahem) over-the-top, the earnestness it provokes in Will and Alona, their heartfelt desire to help each other more than makes up for it. While I could've done without some of the swearing, this is a surprisingly clean novel with an equally surprising romantic sizzle that guarantees I'll be reading its sequels. The Ghost and the Goth is a ridiculously fun, engaging, addictive read -- very, very well done.
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on December 16, 2011
Let's start at the beginning. The cover! This is one of the few covers where I think that the models actually look like the characters in the novel. Most of the time there are covers, gorgeous as they may be, that don't really reflect the characters. I find that this is disappointing. I know that it's hard to find people that look like the magnificent characters that we all love, but I think most of readers wish to see covers that actually look like the storyline, or as close to it as possible.

When you glance at this gorgeous cover you can instantly tell that this is going to be about a fun, flirty, confident girl with blonde hair, which Alona does actually have, and a boy that likes to wear dark clothes and likes to keep to himself, which Will is. You also get the feeling that Alona is dead. That could just be me, but when I see glowing people, I usually visualize an angelic choir, ya know universal symbol of those gone towards the bright light - it must be the stereotypical glowing halos. I also get the feeling that Will wants nothing to do with the girl since he's looking away and leaning away from her even though she seems to capture him, with, her, um... legs. Get your mind out of the gutter! Look at the pretty cover! Her legs are tented over his! I'm not making this up! I also adore the outfits that they're wearing! They go along with the story line! Talk about magnificent.

Now on to the really good stuff: the story inside the gorgeous cover. From reading the back cover, which has little blurbs from the characters perspectives and in their tone I was expecting a self-centered Alona and a Will that just wanted to get through life without making too many waves. Can I abuse the caps lock for a moment? SUCCESS! The characters were true to the voices that were assigned to them even before the story was started ( referring to the back covers) and that made this all the more enjoyable. A lot of times there are tones on the covers of novels, which are trying to highlight the story, and then the characters fall out of character or develop and don't continue on the same pathway that was originally made for them. So if you like characters that are true to themselves throughout the novel, you're in for a treat!

I'll admit that Alona mildly annoyed me in the beginning. It was her attitude, but soon into the book I learned to love her snark. It's the snark that makes her, and you can see that it's her shield against her hard life, well, afterlife. Of course it's none other than Will "Kill" who comes to her rescue...kinda. They help each other out in the book and we see that Will isn't really the dark character that we thought he was. For instance, instead of blasting heavy metal, as found in the goth stereotype, he listens to classical music. (Can you hear my heart fluttering?)

Throughout the novel Will and Alona get closer and so if you like the "forbidden" romance, or the whole unrequited love thing then this is also right up your alley. I'm not a guy, but I felt for Will after a few scenes! Not only are things with Alona in the love department throwing him for a loop, the whole evil spirit isn't helping either!

The whole story is also set on a bit of a mystery, what the heck is attacking Will, who is it? What's going on? Evil demon cloud thingy what??? His principal is ALWAYS on his case and his mom just doesn't seem to get it. I really felt sorry for him, because on top of his hard life he's got Alona needing his help, tantalizing him and he doesn't even get a breather. If you like the tortured boy then you'll love The Ghost and the Goth!

Bottom Line: The Ghost and the Goth is for anyone who likes a subtle, forbidden romance. Snarky, funny main character lovers would adore this and anyone who has a thing for light mystery. We're not talking Sherlock Holmes, but this is just as good. Anyone who likes a bit of a tear jerker would like this as well, since Alona's background, and Will's for that fact, made me frown and almost tear up. A great read and if you liked this be sure to check out the sequel "Queen of the Dead" and be sure to look for the third installment: "Body & Soul!"
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on July 7, 2013
I generally hate reading any book that mentions homosexual relationships (total turn off), not what I would call romantic. However, if you can get past the author trying to be P.C. in that it's o.k. for someone to force a kiss on you that you don't want, the book was pretty well written (flowed nicely). I also had a problem with her relationship with her parents. I was in a similar situation as a teen (feeling closer to father before he cheated on my mother) and a mother becoming an alcoholic when he left, but always being there for me. I never wanted to have a relationship with him and his concubine together. I came to learn what real love is, not a feeling, but action.
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on November 29, 2011
Seriously, who would ever think that breezy writing could feel so refreshing. The Ghost and the Goth was a breeze, literally. It could be one of those romantic comedy movies taken place in high school and the cover backs up that statement as much as anything else. I enjoyed reading this book even though it didn't have much depth that captures a readers attention. But thats not so much of a problem. Sometimes I'd read those books with a lighter plot like this rather than the complicated ones that requires too much thinking and predicting.

The book was very vibrant, lively with a gleaming radiance. It was written in Will and Alona's perspective, which I found confusing at times, especially for someone who is used to reading books in one perspective. The characters were distinctly different and its hard to hate either Will or Alona, even though Alona was one of those perky, shallow, popular kids who bully harmless kids for sport.

The story progressed rather quickly, during which a freaky ghost comes in and the usual disagreements between the characters are inputted. The Ghost and the Goth is one of the most smooth books I've ever read. It was funny, uplifting with the most hilarious and somewhat shallow characters that you can't help but have a love-hate relationship with. The biggest highlight = The popular girl and the goth? Really?! A definite page-turner that is guaranteed to keep you occupied for a day.
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on June 2, 2011
Alright, I admit. I didn't really expect to like The Ghost and the Goth. It looked sort of...shallow. And it was only until recently that I was in the mood for something "light" and fun. Plus, I had a copy of the sequel, thanks to the publisher and NetGalley. And I can offically say I'm such an idiot for judging a book by its cover. I always do this and I always regret it.

The Ghost and the Goth is legitimately good. The storyline is genuinely very interesting with ghosts and mystery and romance. All the various elements of the story really worked together to keep my attention (I nearly read it in one sitting). I've read Meg Cabot's Mediator series a thousand times, so I have very high standards when it comes to books with ghosts and mediums and what not, and I thought Stacey Kade did a fantastic job of taking mediums and ghosts and spinning it her own way.

As for the characters, I really thought I would hate Alona - typical popular cheerleader - and I think we were supposed to be annoyed with her at first, but I actually felt bad for her and then I really started to like her. Oh, and Will! I loved him. I felt really sorry for him - he had such a terrible and hard life. I can't even imagine being able to see ghosts and having everyone think I'm crazy.

Overall - check out The Ghost and the Goth. It's cute, it's fun, and you'll still be thinking about it the next day. It's a fabulous paranormal story that (despite the obvious ghost-ness, duh) easily felt like a contemporary.
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on August 27, 2013
One of those books that is not too serious that it stresses you out, but thrilling enough to keep you on the edge of your toes.

Adorable. Sweet. Awesome.

Ya'll! You know my obsession with ghost stories. I was hooked from line one.

I'm really sad I didn't pick this up sooner. I need this refreshing read after the heavier stuff I was reading. Something light and fluffy.

Wasn't much too complain about! It's just an all around great book.

Seriously. Even my mom loves it.
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