Published: July 2010, Hyperion
Pages: 281 pages, paperback
Series?: Yes, the second title ‘Queen of the Dead’ is due out next summer
Acquired: Sent as part of a book tour via Good Golly Miss Holly
Summary (from Goodreads): After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High.
Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist?
My review: So, The Ghost and the Goth had the potential to be a terribly clichéd YA novel with little to no originality. Queen Bee Alona Dare is hit by a school bus and promptly shuffles off her mortal coil. The only hitch is that she’s stuck on Earth, unable to move on into the big, bright light that she’s hoping will appear any second. To make things even more frustrating, the only guy who can see her is loser/Goth type, Will Killian, who she spent her years on Earth avoiding like the plague. Ironic.
While The Ghost and Goth’s premise isn’t exactly ground-breaking, this is a fun novel that avoids the majority of the clichéd traps it could easily have fallen into. I genuinely enjoyed this book and devoured it over a few short train journeys. It’s not difficult reading at all. It’s fun, fluffy but does have a little bit of edge.
Alona turns out to be so much more than your average High School Princess but not a la Regina George. In fact, I found her much more relatable than your run of the mill ‘perfect’ YA protagonist and her problems and flaws are what makes her seem alive – though she is, of course, dead in the novel.
The Ghost and the Goth chugs along at an easy pace but I did find things dragged slightly towards the end of the book so cutting down a couple of the chapters as the book drew to a close would have improved things I think. The ending was a little bit clichéd for me, I’m afraid but then that’s probably because I’m not a fan of every tiny loose end being tied up with a nice old bow.
Saying that, The Ghost and the Goth is a fun, solid debut and I'll be checking out the second installment, Queen of the Dead, when it's released next summer.
First line: ‘It was easy enough to sneak out of school.’
Total: 13/20 (C)