29 July, 2011

Texas Gothic - Review

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publication date: 12 July 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0385736932 | 9780385736930

Category: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Format: Hardcover (Also available in eBook/Kindle format)
Keywords: Ghosts, romance, family

Alethea's Review:

The author and I both attended RT's first Teen Day Convention last April. I listened to Rosemary Clement-Moore read one of the first chapters of Texas Gothic, where Amaryllis "Amy" Goodnight meets her next-door neighbor clad only in her undies (and rain boots) while trying to chase away his cattle, who happen to be humping her Mini-Cooper. If there had been room to roll on the floor, that's where I would have been.

The book just came out a few weeks ago... there were lots of other great books to keep me occupied since April, but Texas Gothic stayed pretty much in the forefront of my mind! When I finally did crack it open, I didn't put it down until I turned the very last page (at about 4 am). That's a true RNSL 5-star rating!

There's nothing like humor, sass, and a Texas twang to really get me hooked on a book. Did I mention the neighbor is a hot cowboy? Ok, he's a little cranky especially where Amy's concerned, but she's no wilting violet (though she has a cousin Violet... still, none of the Goodnight women sound like the wilting kind).

Amy and her gorgeous older sister Phin (short for Delphinium--do you sense a theme?) are smart, fairly responsible young people who are spending the summer taking care of their aunt's farm, which happens to be smack in the middle of Cute Cranky Cowboy's ranch. (Er, not the character's real name. Everyone who's not Amy calls him Ben McCulloch.)

So while they do get into some scrapes of both the realistic and otherworldly varieties, they've both got the brains and guts to get themselves out of trouble. I really enjoyed them. There are some great side characters, too, like the ghost of their late Uncle Burt, Ben's grampa Mac McCulloch, and the students volunteering at a dig site on the ranch. Think Scooby-Gang lite.

Aside from writing a great cast of characters, Clement-Moore does a great job of interspersing magic, science, and history to tell a hell of an entertaining tale. For a ghost story, it wasn't that scary (but then, the last time I really got creeped out by a book was The Shadow of the Wind and that was a few years ago) but the family dynamic, romance, and mystery were spot on. Pour yourself an ice-cold Dr. Pepper and prop your feet up on the porch to enjoy this fun summer read to the fullest. 

Visit the author online at www.rosemaryclementmoore.com and follow @rclementmoore on Twitter.

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