Indiaskye's Reviews > Texas Gothic

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
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Aug 15, 11

bookshelves: ghosts-zombies-etc, young-adult-paranormal, books-read-in-2011
Read from August 12 to 14, 2011

When Amy Goodnight and her older sister Phin agreed to house-sit for their aunt Hyacinth while she is on a trip to China they thought the biggest trouble they could come across was runaway goats. But when workers digging up the foundation for a new bridge on the land of the neighboring McCulloch ranch come across old human bones Amy gets caught up in a ghost hunt despite her wishes. The fact that handsome-but-infuriating Ben McCulloch tries to thwart her at every turn doesn't really help. And when more strange things happen on Ben's land Amy starts to think that maybe the source of it all isn't quite as ghostly as people seem to believe ...

This book and I had our ups and downs. The beginning was great, but then the story just sort of tetered out and got a little boring ... only to get interesting again around the middle, and from then on I just breezed right through it ... :o) ... So, overall, I'm happy to give "Texas Gothic" 4 stars! The writing was really good most of the time, there was lots of humor ... and, well, then there were the characters. And they were great!!!

Amy (Amaryllis) Goodnight comes from a family of "kitchen witches" and psychics ... even though she'd rather forget about that. You see, Amy doesn't hold much with spells and ghosts and such things. Sure, Uncle Burt --- her aunt's deceased husband --- is still around and that's okay, but other than that Amy would rather be normal. She considers herself the voice of reason in her family, the one who is the link between her family and the rest of the world. I really liked her dry humor and sarcastic voice.

Amy's sister Phin (Delphinium) is the Goodnight family's equivalent of a mad scientist. Phin is obsessed with building devices that can measure paranormal activity, and it sometimes feels like she's living in her own world. She's notorious for never answering her phone, and she doesn't even realize when a cute guy is hitting on her (and not in a subtle way). She's also very literal which may be the reason why she sometimes reminded me of Temperance Brennan on the tv show "Bones" .... ;o)

Then there's Ben McCulloch, the guy living on the ranch next to that of Amy and Phin's aunt Hyacinth. Ben is a responsible no-nonsense type who doesn't believe in magic, witches, ghosts, or anything like it. From the first time they meet Ben and Amy manage to rub each other the wrong way. They annoy the hell out of each other, but as we all know opposites do attract, and it's not long before sparks fly between the two of them. But not to worry --- this book doesn't have another case of "insta-love" ... it actually takes Ben and Amy a really long time to own up to their feelings. But then that might have had more to do with both of them being unwilling to be the first one to give in rather than anything else ... ;o)

At first Ben thinks that Amy must be as crazy as her aunt (crazy according to Ben's idea of normal, that is). You can't really blame him for the thought , either, considering that when he first meets Amy she is standing in the frontyard of her aunt's house yelling at a bunch of goats --- in her underwear!!! After that I had a pretty good feeling that I was going to like this book, and I did (for the most part).

The supporting characters --- like Amy and Phin's psychic cousin Daisy and the various students working on archeological dig --- were also well-drawn.

I am not sure if "Texas Gothic" was written as the first book in a series. It certainly works well enough as a stand-alone book, but I have to admit I'd kind of like to see Amy, Phin, Ben and the others again sometime ... ;o)
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Reading Progress

08/12/2011 page 64
16.0%
08/13/2011 page 172
43.0% "Sadly, I am not enjoying this as much as I thought I would. Not sure why - I do like the characters, but the story is just a little uninteresting .. :o/"
08/14/2011 page 270
68.0% "Okay ... so I guess I just hit a snag halfway through because the book is much better now!"

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