Review: The Ghost and the Goth

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
My rating: 5 of 5 Moons
Genre: YA, Ghost, Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy, Humour
Published: June 29, 2010
Pages: 281
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Library Loan
Format: Hardcover

Goodreads 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?

My Thoughts

Stacey Kade impresses with The Ghost and the Goth, a thriller debut with loads of laughs to spare. This book was overall just a lot of fun for me! It is pretty decent in terms of pages and perfect in my opinion because the book is short and very sweet. Kade introduces Alona Dare, the un-typical cheerleader and newly dead ex-high school student who hasn't quite managed to, ahem, "pass on." Alona is in need of help, and the only place it seems that she can get it from is Will Killian, the resident weirdo/goth kid with a twist. Will sees ghosts...everyone thinks that he has some weird schizophrenia because of the voices he hears and seizures he slips into now and again, but Will hears the undead and they can get pretty annoying. He keeps to himself, taking into account Alona's death but not really caring until she seeks him out...Alona needs help moving on, because you know, death gets drab pretty fast, and Will is the guy for the job. Only, she has a lot of convincing to do, Will isn't 100% certain that he wants to help her.

The book starts with a kick and one of the most exciting scenes being when the reader watches Alona die; I think that with a starting like that, you could wake anyone up. From then on, the Action never slows down and as more interesting information about both Will and Alona is divulged, it becomes apparent that this book is not your typical YA ghost story. The story is told from both Alona and Will's perspective and constantly alternating, perfect because you get to experience both their point of views and the information feels fuller because it isn't limited.
In terms of characters, they really impressed me. I liked that Will was a sweetheart and that Alona is a bit of one too. Their emotions were well-thought out and authentic and I could sympathize with the situations they went through.

I laughed a lot while reading this, The Ghost and the Goth provides a welcomed shot of humour, wit and enough mystery to keep the pages turning. Readers should keep an eye out for Kade, I have a feeling that this author has more brilliance up her sleeve. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel!

5 Full Moons!

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Adventure, Angels & Demons
Published: September 27, 2011
Pages: 417
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Purchase At: TheBookDepository.com or Amazon.com

Goodreads Summary
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Thoughts
WOW. No, really, WOW!!! Is this really happening, did I just read a book that superb? Holy smokes, I think I did.

brb Pictures, Images and Photos

Laini Taylor is extraordinary. My gosh, this woman is a freaking genius! I think I have an official author crush. Her prose is delectable, polished as if some fine jewel made for royalty. Guys, she used words I had no clue the meaning of and occasionally had to look up, just because I had this urge to soak up as much of her brilliance as possible. This book cannot be called YA fiction without some hint of insult because there is no age restriction for a novel this good, everyone should read it. Everything was so perfect.

Why You Could Like This Book

If you love starcrossed lovers, your nose should already be ten feet deep into Daughter of Smoke and Bone's pages; I do not mean that Romeo and Juliet B.S. but real star-crossed lovers made of depth, sacrifice and substance, you have got to meet Akiva and Karou. And Madrigal. How does this work again? I don't really care how crazy I sound at the moment, because this was brilliant. There is wit and beauty in every page, Prague has never looked better to me than in this book. And you know what, I'm going to visit. Maybe a group of friends and I will take a trip and hunt for some devilishly handsome angels for ourselves! For all intensive purposes, Tyler HoechlinMr. Smokin-Hot-Smokey-Pants will play Akiva.

Oh, yes...

I am going to marry that man someday. Not Tyler, Akiva. Akiva would all but be my hero if not for one tiny detail...he effs up pretty majorly. Not that anyone can blame him, what went down was ridiculous, but I feel a little twinge of sadness because his actions ultimately ruined things a little between him and Karou. BUT NO SPOILERS! I will give nothing away, safe to say that this is romance and adventure and history all at its finest. While reading, I kept thinking how mythic the story seemed, as if Laini Taylor's imaginings were real and my reading it was just a recap on the history. She writes with a distinctly poetic flair, and the reader cannot help but tuck a little into themselves, sip a little of their warm drink and hang on for the ride.

The plot isn't anything I would have expected and even if the first few chapters fail to impress you, keep reading. Keep reading because there is more to come that is worth seeing. The whole cast of characters; Brimstone, Kishmish, Zusana, Issa, Twiga, Yasri and even Thiago feel like something out of an epic. Their relationship with Karou proves as even more profound when by 3/4 of the novel Laini Taylor lets lose the mother of all epiphanies and it all comes together. The end is somewhat the beginning of this story, and I mean that in the best way. It could be the beginning of interest if the stunning backdrop and side-story did not capture you before, or it could be the start of a second love if everything mentioned was already enthralling; I believe that I am of the second sort, I was already in love, but learning more of Karou and Akiva made me fall even harder in bliss.

Akiva is the avenging angel, and dayum does he make it look good. But on second thought, maybe I'll marry Tyler too, it never hurts to have options!

What You Should Watch Out For

The insta-love aspect is a very tricky one to manage because there really is more going on than meets the eye. So, my only advice in this case is to forget about it. Forget that there is any insta-love and take it just as love, because at the end of the day that is what it ends up being. On any other occasion I probably would be the one pointing out that people who just meet cannot be in love...but they haven't just met. So there, that is the only tidbit of spoiler I am willing to divulge; Karou and Akiva are meant to be, and I would hate for anyone to pass up on reading about them just because of some wrong misconception of an insta-love troupe being in place.

Other than that? There is graphic violence, deep sensuality and death within these pages, younger readers should be advised to read with extreme caution. I was heavily pleased and Daughter of Smoke and Bone is indeed a new favourite! I'm jumping on the bandwagon and have great plans to purchase the second book as soon as it releases.

4 1/2 Moons!

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