Author: Stacey Kade
Released: June 29, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Author's Website: http://www.staceykade.com/
Alona tragically dies one morning, but for some reason she's stuck here, apparently to take care of unfinished business. But the only person who can see her is Will Killian, a strange boy with few friends, definitely lower on the social ladder than cheerleader Alona. But Will has his own problems - he's always been able to see ghosts, only now they know he sees them and they want his help. Will just wants to have a normal life. Alona can help Will. Will can help Alona. But can they set aside their differences and work together?
Talk about a perfect book. Stacey Kade achieves the perfect blend of humor, emotion, character growth, and romance. The plot flows seamlessly along, and the entire book sounds so natural - organic, almost, not as if someone consciously wrote it. It's like it created itself, it's so perfect. Part of that is the voices of the two characters. I love how alternating chapters are narrated by Will and Alona, how we get to see each one's side of it at each step. Their voices are distinct, and the way they change reflects the changes the characters actually go through.
The characters are amazing, the main part of the book. Will and Alona are different, yes, and they each have their own imperfections, but their interactions are so real. And they develop, individually and together as a couple, slowly and naturally. Their character growth fits exactly into the events, and the events fit with their growth, one influencing the other. The side-product of the book is showing how we're all people, no matter which "group" we belong to - but it's not pushed through the story at all, it's simply an effect of what goes on.
I love seeing their relationship and romance bloom. It's subtle, but when they finally do kiss, it makes perfect sense. That's what I mean by organic - the events and development happens gradually, so that you hardly notice it happening, but when something's different, you accept how it fits, because the little stuff led up to it. That's a real skill in writing!
The pacing of the story is so so amazing. Never a dull moment, something is always happening, and by the time I got to the end of the book, I was turning pages faster and faster, waiting with bated breath to see what was going on. I love how the ending tapers off, after most things are resolved, but I was kept wondering how the romance could be resolved, if the whole point of Will helping Alona was so that she could move on - where does that leave him? And I love the way that's taken care of!
Sometimes I wish I had a rating system for books, just so I could say - this one blows the rating system up, it's so good!!