Thursday, June 2, 2011
The Ghost and the Goth/Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade
“The Ghost and the Goth” and “Queen of the Dead” are two books in a series by Stacey Kade. I’ll try to keep this spoiler free for those of you who haven’t read “The Ghost and the Goth” yet. The story follows a teen girl named Alona Dare. Alona has it all. She’s intelligent, beautiful and a master of manipulation. Her life is a game of chess and she’s the queen. (Although she would NEVER relate her life to something as dorky as chess. Ew!) Unfortunately, that life is cut short by a freak accident and now she’s left hanging around in this in between zone - among the living, but without being alive anymore. She has some unfinished business, but she can’t figure out what or how to finish it so she can move on to that mega mall and closets full of shoes in the sky. She’s walking around campus, seeing how people are reacting to her death, when she stumbles across Will, the boy who likes to wear dark clothing and hangs out with a girl with safety pins in her face. Will laughs at her...because he can SEE her. Will is a ghost talker. The poor guy is haunted by ghosts all day long and is seen by his mom and people around him as mentally ill. Alona decides that Will is just the guy to help her and she is a girl who is used to getting her way. She won’t take “no” for an answer and maybe Will isn’t exactly as anti-Alona as he seemed back when she was alive. Will though has some problems of his own including a weird cloud of a ghost that is haunting him and the fact that his psychologist wants to lock him up in a padded room. This unlikely duo pairs together to solve both of their problems and ends up forming a fun and sassy friendship. The question is can they both make their problems go away without killing each other (again!) first?
When I sit down to review, I try to take a look each book from three different perspectives. I think about three general types of readers that might be interested in my reviews.
1. Someone like me - This is a reader who obviously likes young adult literature, but prefers things oriented to older teens or that are not contemporary (since fantasy I think crosses the age barrier the easiest).
2. Someone like my friend Estelle or my husband - They are both very intellectual readers and while they appreciate some YA literature, they are both a lot more particular than I am about what they’ll read. For example, Estelle has a lot of trouble with the “whiny teen” voice.
3. My younger sisters - They aren’t big readers. They both like books that grab your attention quickly and don’t let go. They don’t have the patience for books that lack that addictive quality.
Where do I put “Queen of the Dead”? Well, I don’t think Estelle would read it, but I could totally see my sisters and I discussing it over a cup of coffee at Starbucks (or what I call a sugar with a tiny bit of coffee.. hah). It’s a fun, light read with an addictive quality that I think would really appeal to its teen audience. It’s also a fun read for a young adult fiction fanatic, like myself, who wants something light in between intense fantasy or romance books.
“The Ghost and the Goth” and “Queen of the Dead” may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re fun reads that can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. It’s the perfect read for a summer outing to the beach. This series has a more contemporary feel to me than other paranormal romances, making it appealing to readers who usually shy away from fantasy/paranormal romance. The witty repartee between Will and Alona is really cute and sassy. Alona isn’t the most likable character in the world, but you come to care for her as she learns how to be a nice person (or deal with the consequences, but I won’t spoil it!). Will is just a troubled teen who walks this fine line in his life. He knows he isn’t crazy, but he also can’t exactly blame people for not believing him either. He really can’t be himself with anyone, until Alona comes along. He has a refreshing vulnerability and isn’t the stereotype he appears to be at first. He really develops, especially in “Queen of the Dead” into this sweet guy who just wants to not be alone in the world anymore. So for a fun, sassy quick read, check out this series. I’m excited to find out what happens to our duo in the next one!
I was provided with an ARC of “Queen of the Dead” by the publisher. It is published by Hyperion and was released on this past Tuesday (May 31).