Book Review Club ~ September 2011

Summer is starting to fade, and suddenly, it’s September, back-to-school, and the beginning of the autum season.  That means apples, fall color, pumpkins, and cool breezes!  Most of that is still a little ways off here in Texas, but today marks the Sept. installment of Barrie Summy’s Book Review Club!   This month I’m reviewing Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore, a YA (light) paranormal set in Texas.

Amy Goodnight (I’m rather partial to this character name) and her sister Phin, UT Austin college freshman and sophomore respectively, are house-sitting for their Aunt Hyacinth on her Texas Hill Country herb farm over the summer.  And there is something a little special about the Goodnights…  They’re witches, each of them having an ‘affinity,’ or special gift.  Phin’s gift is with gadgets; cousin Daisy’s gift is clairevoyance, and Amy’s…  Amy’s is circumventing any magical run-in’s with the outside world.  Dodging questions, crafting explanations, and trying to make the Goodnights seem normal.  Or so she thinks…

When a long-dead body is dug up during some construction on a neighboring property, Phin can’t resist heading over with a few gadgets of her own invention.  Amy feels compelled to tag along, just in case Phin starts spouting off magical theories.  But she’s quick to discover that Phin’s not the one she needs to worry about.  She is.  She’s already clashed with the neighbor, not to mention given him an eyeful–he’s taken to calling her Underwear Girl, and suddenly strange things are happening to her.  A ghost is asking for her help and causing all sorts of mischief on the neighboring ranch, and she’s bound (as in magically bound) to help him, even when things start getting dangerous…

I’m not usually one for paranormals.  I like them on an individual basis, usually the less paranormal the better.  That was the case with this one….a little witchery, a little ghost…and plenty of normal.  I admit, the ‘Texas’ in Texas Gothic drew me.  I haven’t read a whole lot of books with a Texas setting, and I like to see other authors’ perspective.  This one didn’t disappoint.  The story line was well-crafted and, despite its ghostly theme, even plausible.  And the main character was perfectly cast.  She spent the whole book caught between a desire to distance herself from all the witchy Goodnight shenanigans and a compulsion to join in the fray.  She handled all her responsibilities with graceful aplomb.  She also gave as good as she got in every single conversational exchange.  Very impressive.  I hope there’s a sequel planned, because I’d like to see a little more of the Goodnights!  I was also very fond of a certain cowboy…just sayin’.

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Posted in book review club, Uncategorized on 09/07/2011 08:00 am


  1. I’ve been wanting to check this one out. And the main character’s name is Goodnight? How cool is that?

  2. It is fun to find a book with your name…and your state. :) Thanks for reviewing!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Very true, Barrie! And it’s always my pleasure! Thank you for hosting!

  3. So, if you’re a Goodnight, what’s your special power? 😉

    Sounds like a good book. Nice to know paranormal YA is moving away from the Twilight influence.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      What is my special power…I’ll need to give that some thought. And I agree: YA could stand to freshen up a bit.

  4. I’ve been wanting to read this author, I may just have to start with this book. Thanks for a great review!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Beth, thanks for visiting! I’ve also read her novel The Splendor Falls. I liked this one better.

  5. Green Girl in Wisconsin

    I even like the TITLE. Color me intrigued!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I liked the title too…and there was a little story about it in the acknowledgements. I forgot to mention it in my review. The author started writing this book with her dad, if I remember right, and one of the only things she kept in the rewrite was the title.

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