Thursday, August 2, 2012
Body & Soul by Stacey Kade
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Source: Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
The final book in The Ghost and the Goth Trilogy!
I’ve been trapped in the body of Lily “Ally” Turner for a month now. Talk about a fashion crisis on an epic scale. What worries me more, though, is sometimes I catch Will looking at me like he thinks I’m Lily...or that he wishes I were. Without the good looks of my former self, I don’t know who I am, or if who that is is good enough. I need out of this mess. Now.
Will and I have been looking for a solution, one that would separate me from Lily without killing her. But it’s not going well. Then, when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, we run into Misty, my former best friend and boyfriend-stealer extraordinaire, who claims she’s being haunted...by me. Seriously?
I’m determined to get to the bottom of who’s pretending to be the spirit of Alona Dare (while I’m pretending to be someone else) and then get the heck out of this body. Or die trying...
I’ll admit it. It’s really weird to look at Alona but see Lily. I do know the difference, though, contrary to what Alona might be saying. And Alona is more than a pretty face to me, not that she would believe that.
Our one lead for some help in this messed up situation might be a page torn from the yellow pages-—the “Psychics” section-—I found in my dad’s stuff. One of the “fakes” seems a bit more real-—and odd-—than the others. Before I can investigate further, though, Alona is off and chasing a ghost that’s probably nothing more than a figment of Misty’s guilty imagination. Now Lily’s family is freaking out because she didn’t come home, my mom is ordering me to stay out of it, and something is definitely wrong with the person formerly known as Lily “Ally” Turner... (courtesy of Goodreads)
One of the saddest things in life is to see a good book series end (perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean.) I fell in love with Will and Alona in The Ghost and The Goth and have enjoyed seeing their adventures continue. Body and Soul brings the series to a satisfying end.
Despite having a strong plot, I looked at Body and Soul much more as a character driven novel. Will comes into his own in this book. His "talent" has secluded him from his peers and, even worse, the knowledge of what that ability did to his father makes him feel even more alone. He thought the Order might be a place where he belonged, but disagreed with their ghostly philosophy. With her forceful personality, Alona provides a clear path. But Will is finally ready break free. And doing that means rebelling from Alona's guidance. Will's task in this book is to figure out not only who he is, but who Alona is and how to come to a happy medium where he and Alona can be together but with separate identities. It's even harder to understand your girlfriend when she's inhabiting the body of your former best friend/love.
Alona has grown from someone who vaguely irritated me into a character I truly care about. Alona starts out the novel whining about Lily's appearance and how disappointed she is by being "ugly." It's easy to criticize Alona for being insensitive. But it's understandable. If you've been pretty all your life and society has primarily noticed you for your looks, it's natural to be troubled by suddenly looking average. The way the world looks at you significantly influences how you look at yourself. Alona starts out a shallow and vain person. She'll always be somewhat shallow and vain, but in this book she learns to let other people into her life. She has a new family who loves her. They take care of her instead of her having to take care of an alcoholic mother. Will goes from being someone she has to take care of to someone who can stand equally at her side.
There's no better way of gaining perspective than losing what you don't adequately appreciate. Another ghost named Erin threatens Alona/Lily. I love how one character or one plot element can highlight so much. Erin gives both Will and Alona an idea of how much worse it would be if things weren't status quo. And their fears are put to the test...can they prevent Erin from destroying everything they've accomplished and each other?
I love how this book ended. It brought everything to a nice conclusion, but left a sliver open for possible spin-offs or follow-up books. How I'd love to see this series continue in some fashion! Overall, Body and Soul is a solid book. The Ghost and The Goth, the first book is my favorite in the series simply because it was a breath of fresh air in the paranormal romance world. Body and Soul is probably the substantive best - writing and character development - of the three books, but can't quite reach the magic of the first in the series. Still, I'm very happy with it and highly recommend any and all to read The Ghost and the Goth series.