Book Review: The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Series: The Ghost and the Goth, #1
Publication Date: June 29th 2010 by Hyperion

Summary: 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?

Review Overview:

  • A light, entertaining and refreshing paranormal read
  • Romance and banter lived up to my expectations
  • The other paranormal elements (other ghosts) were interesting but not fully captivating

I admit, I’m guilty: I read this book because I heard of the awesome banter between Alona and Will. I’m a sucker for these love/hate kind of romances and THE GHOST AND THE GOTH did not disappoint.

As far as the high school setting goes, it is very cliché but I didn’t take it to seriously depict a normal high school setting, so it didn’t really bother me that much. Alona is the queen bee, the homecoming queen, the cheerleader – she’s pretty, she’s popular, and now – she’s dead. I absolutely loved the fact that this wasn’t a dark paranormal book. Though Alona and Will clearly do not have perfect lives, Kade still manages to keep the book light with the super funny voices of the main characters.

The alternating view points of the main characters was very refreshing. Maybe it’s just the paranormal books I tend to pick up – but for the most part, my experience with paranormal novels is that they are told from the point of view of the girl. I loved that in this case, it is Will who has the special power and Alona is the supernatural person.

What I really looked forward to while reading THE GHOST AND THE GOTH were the scenes with Will and Alona. I loved their playful banter and they had great chemistry. I think the cover is quite adorable and it perfectly captured the two main characters. Alona came across as chirpy and bright. She did sometimes comes across as a bitch but overall she was a very likeable main character. On the other hand, Will was a bit gloomy but he was so entertaining to read about. The fact that everyone believes that he has schizophrenia made so much sense as he does look like as if he’s always talking to himself.

On the other hand, the fact that I read this book solely for Will and Alona had its drawbacks: I had so many urges to skim the passages to get to the “good parts” A.K.A. when Will and Alona finally kiss. Much to my dismay, this doesn’t happen until the very end of the book but the overall build-up was great.

So while the romance captivated my interest, the actual paranormal aspect of the book did not. I cared about Alona and her past and future, but I couldn’t say the same about the other ghosts. I guess I fell in line with Will’s mentality. Does he really have to help these other ghosts? It was interesting to learn about the other ghosts haunting the high school, and overall they were a nice touch to the book. But that wasn’t the element that pushed me forward to keep reading.

However, I really did love the fact that Alona was a ghost, and I’m very much interested in seeing how Kade develops the romance between Will and Alona in future books. While I hate to be a Debbie Downer, let’s face it: she’s a ghost – how is their relationship supposed to last?

I definitely recommend THE GHOST AND THE GOTH to readers who are looking for a paranormal read that isn’t quite so dark and depressing.


  1. Wheee, I adored the fact that this wasn’t a dark paranormal too! And the way their relationship built up — OMG, I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. (And the ending kiss! *melts*)

    And the answer to your question is somewhat answered in the second book (Queen of the Dead), I think… ;)

  2. It sounds really interesting and I ‘ve heard good things about it. I haven’t picked it yet though, but since you recommend it (even though it is paranormal and not dark) I might pick it up sometime soon! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  3. I think this book became stronger in the latter half. And while the settings are cliche, I think the characters themselves set it apart. I’m glad you liked it.

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