Texas Gothic is the second YA book from Rosemary Clement-Moore. It was published by Corgi (Random House) on 7th July and the book is 406 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Sisters Amy and Phin (short for Amaryllis and Delphinium) have been stuck with the task of looking after their Aunt Hyacinth’s ranch for the summer. Even though they are not too impressed with looking after the goats and dogs, the sisters think that their summer could be spent in worse ways. Phin thinks it is the perfect time to mess around with her (paranormal) experiments while Amy doesn’t want anything to do with the paranormal at all. In fact, she wishes she could get as far away from paranormal as possible. Unfortunately for Amy, her whole family are magical in one way or another…apart from Amy.
The summer spent at Aunt Hyacinth’s ranch is going to be one they never forget, especially if a certain ghost has anything to do with it!
What I thought
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rosemary Clement-Moore’s first book, The Splendour Falls, but after hearing about this book, I decided to give this author another shot and I am very, very glad that I did now.
Amy (Amaryllis) was a great female main character and one I enjoyed reading about immensely. She is the more outgoing of the two sisters and the one who seems to be the more responsible, at least that is what everyone else thinks anyway. That is quickly dismissed a little bit though when she is chasing things around outside in her underwear. The beginning of the book showed that Amy is a great many different things and being shown this early on was a wonderful thing for me. Amy was also outspoken, strong and confident for the most part but sensitive and caring when she needed to be. She also let down her guard at times, even when she really didn’t want to, and showed that she wasn’t invincible and that there was a lot that did worry and scare her.
Ben was a seriously HOT cowboy. He had a lovely mix of arrogance and cockiness but it was also clear that there was a lot more to him than meets the eye. I did like both sides of his character though and I think that Clement-Moore did a great job of adding in lots of different traits that many people will find attractive. One of the greatest things about him though was that he was able to give Amy a serious run for her money when it came to come backs and insults. Because of this, the banter between the two characters was funny and entertaining at the same time and I could feel the chemistry between them from the very beginning. Speaking of chemistry, there is one scene in particular that is especially steamy and I LOVED it!
Due to the situation, there are quite a lot of secondary characters. I thought I was going to get so confused as more and more started being introduced but this wasn’t the case. Each secondary character has a very distinct and unique voice that it would have been extremely difficult to mix them all up. The characters that come along with the archaeological dig were really fun and interesting and really reminded me of something out of something like Scooby Doo. Although they all have a job to do, they are more than interested in the paranormal things going on and are very much up for some kind of adventure and I loved this about them.
This book has a fantastic mix of magic, ghosts, legends of a small town and is about the people who either do or don’t believe in any or all of these things. I loved that the author was able to fuse together all of these things and take real aspects of history and slam them right into the middle of the story. I usually love any book that uses history in some form or another and Texas Gothic was no exception. I also really enjoyed the whole deal with the ghosts and finding out what was really going on with that, whether or not it was legend or whether it was an actual ghost doing particular things. Because of this, there was a lot of mystery in this book as well as lots of other great things.
With a name like Texas Gothic, I should have expected it to be creepy. However, I didn’t and when I was reading this at 2am, I was getting a little creeped out. Ok, more than a little. Every single little noise outside was scaring me and as there were no flatmates around either, everything seemed to be amplified. There was no way that I was expecting for this book to scare me as much as it did and I love Ms Clement-Moore for doing that to me! I love any book that is able to shock me and give me the unexpected and that is definitely what she did.
Texas Gothic is a great book that has a lot to offer for everyone! Highly recommended.