Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Body & Soul (Ghost and the Goth Novels)

Body & Soul - Stacey Kade Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.With Alona trapped in Lily's body and no way to safely separate them in sight, the road ahead for Alona and Will at the end of Queen of the Dead could easily turn out smooth or rocky. And since when has anything ever been easy for this two? I had worries about Body and Soul, but Kade dispelled them and I'm not sure whether to applaud at this fantastic conclusion or cry because it's over. Talking about this book is going to be hard because I love it so much, but here goes something!Easy answers about who they are to each other, what to do about the Lily situation, and where to go from there continue to evade Alona and Will. For both of them, the question remains: now that she is keeping Lily alive, will Alona go to the light, crushing both Lily and her family by doing so, or will she stay? Throughout the book, the question plagues them and I feel their pain. The choice they eventually make isn't easy, but I'm happy with where it leaves them and from the looks of it, they're happy too. Through their fights, their failures, and their fuck-ups, these two are a duo I can see sticking together for a very long time. I think they may be one of my favorite couples in YA.In addition to their struggles, we are introduced to twins Erin and Ed. Erin is dead, Ed is not, and she is haunting him. Two characters that originally come off as rather flat fill out as the novel progresses and their reconciliation at the end of the novel made me tear up so much. One girl cut short from living her life, one boy unsure of what to do now that his sister is dead and haunting him, and a whole lot Alona and Will can teach them. It was funny, seeing Alona help Erin reach realizations and then have the same realizations herself.And speaking of Alona's growth... From book one, Alona has never been a great person. Snobby, a liar both through omission and true-blue lies, and sometimes vicious, she is anything but the girl next door. But she's been slowly growing and changing through the experience of being dead and Will's influence. Seeing her come full circle in Body and Soul as she helps Erin, a girl so much like herself... I can't even describe it. Calling it "fantastic" feels like an insult.There was very little I didn't like, but there were still issues. I love the cliffhangers each chapter ends on and they keep the novel well-paced, but this time around, it was more frustrating than fun. Just when we approach the juiciest part of the chapter--BAM, new chapter. And most of these chapters are about twenty pages long. This constant cycle of frustration and fulfillment was draining. More than a few times, I lost track of whether it was Alona or Will narrating. None of that impeded my ability to enjoy this book too heavily, but I couldn't ignore it either.Alona and Will's story may be over, but I'll be revisiting their world and living through their struggles with them all over again for many years to come. There is a very good reason I love this series, and if you're looking for something fun with a surprising amount of heart to it, this is perfect. Just be ready to hold yourself back from yelling at Alona too much. The girl is a work in progress until the very end and beyond--and that's why I love her.