The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

68238088Lynn: I am slow in blogging about The Ghost and the Goth (Hyperion 2010) but there is still time to grab it, kick back and enjoy it over the holiday break.  The teens in our book club have been talking about this one since last summer.  They were handing it off to each other – always a good sign – and one day I saw it in the return bin before anyone else did and carried it off to read.  It was summer, this looked like the perfect beach book but after just a few chapters I was completely hooked.

Alona Dare, beautiful cheerleader and mean girl, meets an untimely end on the first page.  What a way to go!  Like hello – run over by a bus full of band geeks!  Somehow she is still here on this plane  – unfinished business anyone?  Alona is shocked to discover that no one really mourns her.  Then she realizes that one living soul can see her but that person turns out to be Will Killian, “the biggest weirdo loser of all time.”  Will can indeed see ghosts but he is just trying to ignore them, finish high school and move to the wilderness where people won’t think he is crazy.  The ghosts  that populate the high school realize that Will can see them and they besiege him with requests to carry messages and help them set things right so they can move on.  Alona and Will have to team up to help each other and the story of their unlikely partnership is told in alternating chapters.

Kade has a lot of fun here with high school politics and teen speak.  Here is Alona on the school secretary who is named Mrs. Piaget.

“Cranky old Mrs. Piaget – she was, like forty and totally hated me for looking like I do; I mean, hello, a little moisturizer wouldn’t kill her…”

The dialog sparkles, the whole set-up is fun and some  intriguing plot elements add tension.  The voices are great, especially Alona’s, and the characters grow nicely as the story races along.  Can Alona figure out what she has to do to move on and can Will graduate with out being hospitalized for insanity?  The teens are “dead” right on this fun book!

I’ve read that there may be more adventures coming and this time I’ll read it before I hand it off to the teens!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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