Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Texas Gothic

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: July 12, 2011 by Random House Children's
Format: Hardcover, 416 pgs
Source: Gift


Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Mini-Review: A fun read with just the right amount of ghosts, goats, and cowboys. 

My Thoughts: 

Amy is not a believer of magic; in fact, she knows for a fact it exists. Her entire family is made up of witches - not to mention her aunt's dead husband is a ghost - but ever since a run-in with La Llorona as a child, Amy is determined to keep her family's magic separate from the rest of her life. She thinks house-sitting for her aunt won't be a big deal, thinks she can keep her own innate magic at bay. Amy is in denial. 

An English professor of mine passed this on to me because she thought Amy was my kind of character. She was right. I absolutely love how she convinces herself that she has no magic in her and that she has to be the normal one. I love how in denial she is. I love how completely oblivious she is too. It's fantastic. 

I have to say that the characters are what really drive the novel forward. The book takes place in Texas on a ranch, so there isn't anything really spectacular about the location. Magic is a part of life for the Goodnights, and you never question that, especially with the abundance of little spells and trinkets lying around the house, but the characters and their relationships are what stand out in Clement-Moore's novel. 

I also enjoyed the folklore she wove into the book. You have references to La Llorona, who is an old Spanish ghost who drowned her children and now spends eternity drowning children who wander too close to her river (that's not really a spoiler, I just took a folklore class in college and happened to be familiar with the tale before hand). So if you like folklore and ghost stories, I'd suggest taking a look at Texas Gothic for a fairly quick, fun read. 

And don't you love how vibrant the cover is? I particularly love her eyes. Very nice shot.

Visit the author online. 
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository  

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