Book Review: The Ghost and the Goth & Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

Title: The Ghost and the Goth (#1)
Author: Stacey Kade
Details: Hardcover, 281 pgs.
Published: June 29th, 2010 by Hyperion
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Won


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?

This book ended up being excellent!  I really loved the main characters even when they frustrated me.  Alona isn’t very likable at first but you watch her grow a lot through the book and I ended up really liking her.  I LOVED Will!  I also loved that it was alternate perspectives in first person.  It worked perfectly.  I think I liked Will’s narration a bit more though.  The author also did a fantastic job in creating all the other characters.  You see there are ghosts from different time periods and places and so you know that they all speak a little differently.  With the author adding in the different dialects and tones it made it so easy to picture them all.
I loved how things were explained.  The author thought of everything and made what could have been ridiculous into something I found believable.  She backed herself up perfectly.  Those little details are important to me because I really want a story to be at least a little believable.  
This was a fun read with plenty of funny parts, but it had a lot of serious as well.  Some nice lessons are woven in about different things and I thought it was done very well.  I think this book was beyond my expectations in every way and I’m going straight on to the next book, Queen of Dead!

That leads us to book two which I read straight after the first one.  


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 puts a check mark 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.

 This was a fantastic addition to The Ghost and the Goth.  I thought it really took some interesting twists and turns and brought in some unexpected surprises.  It certainly wasn’t the same story as the first with just a few changes, it was really totally different.  I never really knew what was coming until things started happening.  Will and Alona weren’t terribly predictable either, which was good, of course.
I got really angry with Alona at one point because I really thought she’d grown and wouldn’t be as selfish as she was.  And she pulled some very selfish stunts but trust me when I say she learned her lesson!  I also think there’s a bit more to the story that we’ll maybe see in the next book.  Will has to make some big decisions in this one and also learns some stuff about his dad.  I think that Will may have been a bit foolish in some things he did but at the same time I kind of get it. 
These books look like fluff but although they are funny (the first is funnier then the second) at times they get pretty serious as well.  Far more serious then I would have expected.  I think that they were better then I had imagined though and am glad that the author was able to create such a balanced story.  I definitely recommend picking them up, you may just be surprised!

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Disclosure: I received Queen of the Dead free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
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  1. Wonderful reviews, Candace. I always enjoy books that alternate between the male MC’s and female MC’s POVs.

    Side note: I love that you rate books with toadstools! Too cute :)

  2. Great review. You totally made my want to read these book. I’ve added the first book to my wish list already. Keep up the good work. Keep it shiny!

  3. I’ve read both of these books and really liked them. I completely agree with you that they look like fluff from the outside but there is a great story inside. I really liked the emotional note that Queen of the Dead left off on and I can’t wait for the third book. Thanks for great reviews :)

  4. Completely agree! I love how Alona grew and learned, but was still very much the same. When I first saw the cover of TGatG I thought it would be a lot lighter and shallow than it was. The depth was really a pleasant surprise.

  5. I had to skip your review of Queen of the Dead, even though I know you never put spoilers in there, I decided to steer clear of it, as well as it’s synopsis (just in case). I’ve had my eye of The Ghost and the Goth for a while and have heard some good things about it, but still haven’t gotten a chance to grab it. I know I will – your review just backs up my desire to get it – it’s just a matter of time.

    I’m happy to see you’re really loving this series!

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