By: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Copyright Date: July 2011
Number of Pages: 416
Format: YA Fiction
Reason for Reading: Texas. Gothic. It’s like the subtitle was “Izzybella, I wrote this book just for you…”
Okay, first the main character’s name is Amy Goodnight. Goodnight, if you will. It doesn’t get more deliciously gothic-y than that. It’s sunny goth, though, as if Abercrombie and Fitch hooked up with Hot Topic to hang out with those darn kids from Scooby Doo, the ones who always ruin the bad guy’s plans. Texas Gothic is entry level gothic reading for the well-dressed junior set.
The plot is simple enough. Amy Goodnight, the self-appointed adult of the unusual and ethereal Goodnight clan, craves the kind of normalcy a Goodnight will never have. She is spending the summer before she begins college with her older sister, Phinn, tending to her Aunt Hyacinth’s farm, while Auntie H is in China. Between the escape artist goats, the uber-dreamy, mysterious cranky hottie rancher next door, her sister’s highly scientific exploration of paranormal phenomenon, not to mention the ghosts (plural), Amy is not sure she’ll make it through the summer unscathed. It’s all enough to give a girl major heebie-jeebies.
Amy has two main challenges-well, three if you count the mysterious cranky hottie rancher next door-first, find out who the ghostly mad monk is and what he wants, and second, learn how to accept the Goodnight magic running through her own veins and accept the fact that she will never be normal. And for a Goodnight, that’s a very a good thing. It’s a coming of witch-age story with a fun Trixie Belden twist.
Clement-Moore also writes the amusing and frequently witty Prom Dates from Hell series. In that vein, Texas Gothic has plenty of pithy one-liners all coming from her strong, independent sassy female lead character. There’s all the cliche that is part and parcel of a good gothic novel and it works. It would have been nice to have gotten more on the La Llorana ghost story and why Amy remembers it the way she does, but it didn’t detract. This is a solid B-starts off slow, finishes with a bang.