I’m old enough that I should be ashamed to admit that my favorite book of the week is The Ghost and the Goth, but I obviously have no shame. Teen Queen Alona Dare gets hit by a bus and dies, wearing, to her great mortification, her P.E. uniform. Waking up day after day in the spot where she died, Alona is confused and mad. Self-centered at the best of times, this is not the best time for her, and Alona wants to know why she’s stuck in this place wearing these clothes. And why is her best friend kissing Alona’s boyfriend.
Will Killian (he’s not really a goth – his sweatshirt is navy) makes the mistake of reacting to Alona one day, letting her (and the dozens of other spirits populating the school) know that he can see ghosts. Alona c0-opts Will, using him to help her get out of limbo, but Will has his own problems. His “talent” to see ghosts has led everyone to assume he’s mentally ill and he’s one step away from a mental hospital. His principal is a jerk, his mom is secretly dating his shrink, and the ghosts are getting more demanding.
I love that Alona softens only in degrees, and very small degrees at that. Positive energy is a key to staying viable for ghosts, so making pictures of you fall off the wall to interrupt your cheating boyfriend and former best friend makes you fade fast. You know, if you were inclined to do stuff like that. Watching Alona dig deep to find a sincere compliment she can use to add to the positive energy is great – She finally manages to tell Will his teeth are nice.
I love that she’s tough and he’s fragile - It’s a nice twist on the teen book norm. Go read it. It won’t change your life, but it’s a fun afternoon.