Texas Gothic

Texas Gothic

4.3 49
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

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Amy Goodnight knows that the world isn't as simple as it seems. She also understands that "normal" doesn't mix with magic, and she's worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect her family, who are all practicing witches, but to protect any hope of ever having a normal life herself.
   Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas


Amy Goodnight knows that the world isn't as simple as it seems. She also understands that "normal" doesn't mix with magic, and she's worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect her family, who are all practicing witches, but to protect any hope of ever having a normal life herself.
   Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas should be exactly that: good old ordinary, uneventful hard work. Only, Amy and her sister, Phin, aren't alone. There's someone else in the house with them—and it's not the living, breathing, amazingly hot cowboy from the ranch next door.
   It's a ghost, and it's more powerful than the Goodnights and all their protective spells combined. It wants something from Amy, and none of her carefully built defenses can hold it back.
   This is the summer when the wall between Amy's worlds is going to come crashing down.

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

Praise for Texas Gothic:

[Star] "You can't get much more Nancy Drew. . . . This engaging mystery has plenty of both paranormal and romance, spiced with loving families and satisfyingly packed with self-sufficient, competent girls."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

[Star] "Teens looking for a rollicking adventure filled with paranormal events, dastardly evildoers, and laugh-out-loud moments as Amy and Ben argue and snipe their way to love will adore this book."—School Library Journal, Starred

"The author mixes suspense, humor, and lots of local flavor. . . . The enjoyable sum is a lively teen ghost story with sex appeal."—The Horn Book

"A deeply affectionate rendering of Texas landscapes and legends combines with an appealing cast of well-developed characters to give texture to this well-plotted mystery; truly scary moments are balanced by the humorous bumbles of the awkwardly developing romance between Amy and Ben, as well as Phin's sublime cluelessness about the way her eccentricities appear to other people."—The Bulletin

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2011:
"This engaging mystery has plenty of both paranormal and romance, spiced with loving families and satisfyingly packed with self-sufficient, competent girls."

Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 2011:
"It’s hard to picture a successful merging of Texas ranching culture with psychic ghost-hunting and witchcraft, but that’s what Clement-Moore has achieved in this novel laced with great characters, a healthy dose of humor, and a nod to popular culture...Teens looking for a rollicking adventure filled with paranormal events, dastardly evildoers, and laugh-out-loud moments as Amy and Ben argue and snipe their way to love will adore this book."

Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Ghosts agitate Amaryllis (Amy) Goodnight, a teenage witch, who struggles with earthly and supernatural responsibilities while dutifully tending goats, dogs, and herbs at her Aunt Hyacinth's Texas ranch during the summer while her aunt travels in Asia. Although she resists her innate magical and extrasensory gifts, Amy respects her maternal family's legacy, accepting she has powers to see spirits. She affectionately tolerates her older sister Delphinium (Phin) who invents scientific devices to document paranormal activity. After an explosive encounter with Ben McCulloch, whose family owns land next to the Goodnight property, Amy is upset when she encounters him with a University of Texas archaeology team excavating centuries-old skeletons at a nearby site. Amy and Phin participate in the dig, socializing with the students and meeting antagonistic locals, including ranch employees and law enforcement officials, many of whom dislike the archaeologists' work. Romance and mystery swirl together as Amy seeks Ben's help to learn more about the ghostly Mad Monk who haunts the area, find a lost gold mine, and figure out who, whether human or ghost, has attacked people, slashed her car's tires, and forced her into a cave coated with bat guano. Plot developments and imagery convincingly convey the spooky atmosphere and Amy's peril as she unravels facts about the area's history which give substance to surreal incidents and malicious culprits emerge. Readers vicariously feel the intense heat, animosity, despair, and fear characters experience. Humorous, intelligent dialogue establishes authentic, appealing characterizations. Amy and Phin are bold, capable, and resourceful protagonists. Themes of hope, resilience, and reconciliation resonate throughout the story. Read with Saundra Mitchell's Shadowed Summer (2009) and Barbara Haworth-Attard's Haunted (2009). Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—It's hard to picture a successful merging of Texas ranching culture with psychic ghost-hunting and witchcraft, but that's what Clement-Moore has achieved in this novel laced with great characters, a healthy dose of humor, and a nod to popular culture. When 18-year-old Amy Goodnight agrees to house-sit while her aunt takes a much-needed vacation, she has no idea that her first encounter with neighbor Ben McCulloch will be while she's engaged in chasing down a herd of goats and dressed in nothing but her underwear. This inauspicious beginning sets the stage for a budding romance between the most rational member of a witching family and the cranky young scion of a large cattle spread. But it's difficult to build a positive relationship when peculiar relatives, a mysterious ghost, and a construction zone filled with old bones are added to the mix. Teens looking for a rollicking adventure filled with paranormal events, dastardly evildoers, and laugh-out-loud moments as Amy and Ben argue and snipe their way to love will adore this book.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews

A pragmatic heroine must confront her magical side to save the day, find the ghost, win the boy and corral the goats.

You can't get much more Nancy Drew than intrepid Texan heroines uncovering a mystery involving ranchers, Spanish ghosts, vandalized archaeological digs and lumps of gold. The summer after high school, Amy Goodnight is taking care of Aunt Hyacinth's herb farm. Unlike the rest of the Goodnights—witches or psychics all—Amy intends to succeed in the mundane world. She protects her family of eccentrics, making sure that outsiders see Amy's sister Phin as a whiz with physics and chemistry, rather than a genius with the potions and spells of preternatural science. Meanwhile, Amy spars with cranky young rancher Ben, whose land entirely surrounds Aunt Hyacinth's tiny farm. Amy first meets Ben while she's chasing escaped goats and wearing nothing but cherry-spotted undies and rubber boots: an introduction worthy of the best contemporary adult romance. Before their heated arguments can turn to something more, Amy and Ben had better solve the mystery of The Mad Monk of McCulloch Ranch, who's been conking people over the head. As if that weren't complicated enough, Amydoessee a ghost; is he the Mad Monk?

This engaging mystery has plenty of both paranormal and romance, spiced with loving families and satisfyingly packed with self-sufficient, competent girls.(Paranormal mystery. 12-15)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.93(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The goat was in the tree again.

I hadn’t even known goats could climb trees. I had been livestock-sitting for three days before I’d figured out how the darned things kept getting out of their pen. Then one day I’d glanced out an upstairs window and seen Taco and Gordita, the ringleaders of the herd, trip-trip-tripping onto one of the low branches extending over the fence that separated their enclosure from the yard around Aunt Hyacinth’s century-old farmhouse.

“Don’t even think about it,” I told Gordita now, facing her across that same fence. I’d just bathed four dogs and then shoveled out the barn. I stank like dirty wet fur and donkey crap, and I was not in the mood to be trifled with.

She stared back at me with a placid, long-lashed eye and bleated, “Mba-a-a-a-a.” Which must translate as “You’re not the boss of me,” because she certainly didn’t trouble herself to get out of the tree.

“Suit yourself,” I said. As long as she was still technically in—or above—her pen, I didn’t have much of an argument. When dealing with nanny goats, you pick your battles.

I suppose Aunt Hyacinth could be forgiven for trusting me to figure out the finer points of goat management for myself. And “for myself” was no exaggeration. Except when my sister, Phin, and I had run into town to get groceries, we hadn’t seen a soul all week. Well, besides Uncle Burt. But you didn’t so much see Aunt Hyacinth’s late husband as sense his presence now and then.

This was Aunt Hyacinth’s first vacation in ten years. The herb farm and the line of organic bath products she produced here had finally reached a point where she could take time off. And she was going to be gone for a month, halfway around the world on a cruise through the Orient, so she’d had a lot of instructions to cover. Even after she’d given Phin and me an exhaustive briefing on the care and feeding of the flora and fauna, even while my mom had waited in the luggage-stuffed van to take her to the airport in San Antonio, Aunt Hy had stood on the porch, hands on her hips, lips pursed in concentration.

“I’m sure I’m forgetting something,” she’d said, scanning the yard for some reminder. Then she laughed and patted my cheek. “Oh, why am I worried? You’re a Goodnight. And if any of us can handle a crisis, Amy, it’s you.”

That was too true. I was the designated grown-up in a family that operated in a different reality than the rest of the world. But if the worst I had to deal with was a herd of goat Houdinis, I’d call myself lucky.

I gathered my dog-washing supplies and trudged toward the limestone ranch house that was the heart of Aunt Hyacinth’s Hill Country homestead. It was a respectable size for an herb farm, though small by ranching standards. Small enough, in fact, to be dwarfed by the surrounding land. To reach the place, you had to take a gravel road through someone else’s pasture to the Goodnight Farm gate, where a second fence of barbed wire and cedar posts surrounded Aunt Hyacinth’s acreage. We often saw our neighbors’ cows grazing through it. I guess the grass really was always greener. A packed dirt road led finally to the sturdy board fence that enclosed the house and yard with its adjoining livestock pens. Sometimes it felt like living inside a giant nesting doll. Ranching life was pretty much all about fences and gates.

The dogs had kept a respectful distance from the goats’ enclosure, but they bounded to join me on my way to the house. Sadie nipped at the heels of my rubber boots while Lila wove figure eights between my legs. Bear, no fool, had already headed for the shade to escape the afternoon sun.

“Get off!” I pushed the girls away from my filthy jeans. “I just washed you, you stupid mutts.”

They dashed to join Bear on the side porch. I clomped up the steps, my arms full of dirty towels, and hooked the screen door with a finger. The dogs tumbled into the mudroom after me, then tried to worm into the house while I toed off my boots.

“Not until you’re dry. Stay!” I managed to block them all except Pumpkin, a very appropriately named Pomeranian, who had asthma and got to come inside whenever he wanted. Which was pretty much all the time.

I closed the door and sighed—a mistake, because the deep breath told me just how much I stank.

Hot shower in T minus five, four, three . . .

The light over the sink in the kitchen went out. Not a crisis, since it was four in the afternoon. However, the soft hum of the air conditioner cut out at the same instant, which would be a problem very shortly. A big problem, because the only reason I’d agreed to spend my summer on Goodnight Farm—the last carefree summer of my life, before I started college and things that Really Count in Life—was that I knew it had civilized conveniences like climate control, wireless Internet, and satellite TV.

“Phin!” I shouted. I’d lived with my sister for seventeen years, not counting the last one, which she’d spent in the freshman dorm at the University of Texas. I knew exactly who was to blame for the power outage.

No answer, but that didn’t mean anything. Once Phin was immersed in one of her experiments, Godzilla could stroll over from the Gulf of Mexico and she wouldn’t notice unless his radioactive breath threw off her data.

Phin’s experiments were the reason I was currently covered in dog hair, straw dust, and donkey dung. She had eagerly agreed to house-sit because she wanted to do some kind of botanical research for her summer independent study, and, well . . . where better to do that than an herb farm? But while the Goodnight family might be eccentric by other people’s standards, no one was crazy enough to leave Phin solely in charge of Aunt Hyacinth’s livelihood. She couldn’t always be trusted to feed herself while she was working on a project, let alone the menagerie outside.

I peeled off my filthy socks and headed through the kitchen and living room to the back of the house, where Phin had commandeered Aunt Hyacinth’s workroom as her own. The door was closed, and I gave a cursory knock before I went in, only to stumble on the threshold between the bright afternoon and the startling darkness of the usually sunny space.

Without thinking, I flipped the light switch, but of course nothing happened. All I could see was a glow from Phin’s laptop and, strangely, from under the slate-topped table in the center of the room.

“Hey!” Phin’s voice was muffled, and a moment later her head popped up from behind the Rube Goldberg–type contraption on the table. Her strawberry-blond hair was coming loose from her ponytail, possibly because she was wearing what appeared to be a miner’s headlamp. “I’m doing an experiment.”

“I know.” I shaded my eyes from the light. “The fuse just blew.”

“Did it?” She checked some wires, punched something up on her laptop, then flipped a few switches on the power strip in front of her. “Oh. Good thing I’m at a stopping spot.”

“Well, thank heaven for that,” I said, but my tone was wasted on her. Irony was always wasted on Phin.

Aunt Hyacinth’s workroom was normally a bright, airy space, part sunroom, part apothecary. Just then, however, it was dark and stuffy, with heavy curtains covering the wall of windows and the glass door that led to the attached greenhouse.

On the huge worktable, Phin had set up her laptop and a bewildering rig that included a camera with some kind of complicated lens apparatus, a light box (which I suppose explained why the room was blacked out as if she were expecting the Luftwaffe), and enough electrical wiring to make me very nervous.

It wasn’t that Phin wasn’t brilliant. The only thing that might have kept her from getting a Nobel Prize someday was her field of study. Switzerland didn’t really recognize paranormal research. Neither did most of the world, but that never stopped a Goodnight. Except me, I suppose.

In the dim light, I could see something like electrode leads connected to the leaves of an unidentifiable potted plant. It said a lot about my sister that this was not the strangest thing I’d ever seen her do.

Meet the Author

ROSEMARY CLEMENT-MOORE is the author of Prom Dates from Hell, Hell Week, Highway to Hell, Brimstone, The Splendor Falls, Texas Gothic, and Spirit and Dust. She grew up on a ranch in south Texas and now lives and writes in Arlington, Texas. You can visit her at ReadRosemary.com or follow her on Twitter @rclementmoore.

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Texas Gothic 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Unwasted_Words More than 1 year ago
Texas Gothic is filled with charming quirkiness, and great writing. What's there not to like with a cute cranky cowboy, tree climbing Houdini goats, Go Go Gadget Gidget girl, rump scratching cows, and a love story like a prize fight. Amy Goodnight is an island of normal in a sea of crazy. As the self appointed Gatekeeper, Amy straddles the line between magic and mundane constantly providing damage control for her above average family. The Goodnight's are witches, each with a different affinity, and to the dismay of Amy, none of them are shy about their abilities. Amy's PR talents are about to be tested. She and her sister Phin are looking after their Aunt Hy's farm for the summer. Everyone in the small Texas town has an opinion about the crazy Goodnights and it doesn't help that the sleepy town has seemingly awaken with paranormal activity since the girls arrival. There's quite a lot of chatter about a rogue ghost on the loose knocking people out, skeletal remains are popping up at the perpetually cranky yet hunky neighbor's ranch, and a spirit is personally haunting Amy. Amy is going to have to except who and what she is, find some balance between her two worlds, and along with her friends, they are going to have figure out what's really going on with the pestering poltergeist to save her Goodnight name and possibly her life. Clement-Moore doesn't write hardcore paranormal, she writes normal with a certain slant of the unusual. Rosemary's strength is her witty writing style, and wonderfully rich characters, which hits a definite high in Texas Gothic. In most books the main character is the author's focus in development and spotlight. Here the supporting cast doesn't get left behind but blossomed. I loved all the players in this book. They were interesting and distinctive like her work. Fans of Hex Hall and Paranormalcy will like the snarky quirky prose. There's nothing negative I can say. Lots of laughs. Great characters, good story line, a romantic love story, and perfect prose that pulls you in. If you need a literary vacation then pick up a copy of Texas Gothic and get completely entrench by the writing.
LaurelMS More than 1 year ago
TEXAS GOTHIC has so much going for it! First: A very fun, interesting main character in Amy Goodnight. She is a witch, despite her best efforts not to be, and has assumed the role of family ambassador to normal society. She self-identifies as the responsible one and does her best to smooth the way for her more eccentric mother, sister, aunts, cousins, basically everyone in the Goodnight clan. Unfortunately for her, they're all perfectly happy with their identities and talents. Amy and her sister Phin are watching their Aunt Hyacinth's small Texas ranch for the summer while Aunt Hyacinth travels to China. Amy inadvertently undertakes a quest to lay a persistent ghost to rest at the same time as ghost rumors from the neighboring McCulloch ranch slow down progress on the efforts to build a bridge that will ease the task of herding their cattle. Ben McCulloch doesn't like Amy because she's a Goodnight, but Amy can't avoid Ben and investigate her ghost problem since all clues point to a connection with McCulloch land. Specifically, the mass burial they uncover during work on the bridge. This book reads YA and tricks you into thinking it's light fare because it's so fun. Amy's colloquialisms are thick and witty, very Texan, and her dual perception of her family as the real deal vs. the walking freak show that everyone else sees are both funny and poignant. The mystery unfolds in a kitchy throwback to Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew (with a soupcon of those meddling kids from Scooby Doo) but it completely works. The tension grows as the ghost gets more aggressive with Amy and someone, ghost or human, physically attacks a ranch hand or two who've gotten too close to whatever Amy isn't supposed to find. But Amy's voice is very smart and there are little Easter Eggs for the more sophisticated reader: literary and scientific references that demonstrate how smart the MC is although the story is approachable for any YA reader. I just love that. In short, this definitely qualifies as a beach read but it has more going for it than just that. You'll probably find yourself reading it again.or hoping for another installment.
HeatheR-FlyleafReview More than 1 year ago
So, growing up I loved reading any and all things vampire, witch and ghost (with a sprinkling of werewolf for good measure.) Today, not much has changed and it would be safe to say that I will always compare any paranormal books I read to some of those old favorites. My go-to authors regarding “witchy” type books will always be Anne Rice (The Witching Hour) and Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic.) These two ladies have the whole “family of witches” thing down pat in my humble opinion. So when I read the blurb earlier this year regarding Texas Gothic, I knew this book would be right up my alley. Like Rice and Hoffman’s works, Texas Gothic includes eccentric relatives and cool family dynamics, which I loved. The relationship between Amy and Phin is fun to read and it’s nice to see two sisters close in age getting along in spite of all their differences. I liked Amy’s character and really sympathized with her struggle for normalcy in a decidedly abnormal family. I appreciated her desire to strike a balance in her life and enjoyed seeing her grow and develop, eventually accepting and embracing her inner witch by story’s end. I also really liked the bookish Phin and all her cool experiments and gadgets. I do wish however that I could have gotten to know more of the Goodnight clan. I enjoyed the inclusion of Cousin Daisy and would have liked to have learned more about Amy and Phin’s mom as well their Aunt Hyacinth. As for the mystery that unfurls in the book, I really liked all the interesting facts about Texas history that the author included. However, I thought the mystery itself was a little elementary. I was hoping with a title like Texas Gothic (emphasis on the word Gothic) the story would have been a little more The Turn of The Screw and a little less The Secret of The Old Clock. That aside, I enjoyed the plot well enough,and I think Clement-Moore's witty dialogue and interesting characters make up for my other issues. There is some romance between Amy and the hot, yet somewhat jerk-ish, neighbor Ben. I liked the back and forth between them, and thought there was some pretty decent chemistry, but the romance didn't sweep me off my feet. In fact there were a few occasions when I preferred the character of Mark, the anthropology student interested in Phin, more than Ben. So, to sum up my review of Texas Gothic: Clement-Moore delivers cool, quirky characters; humorous, witty dialogue; and a decent mystery and love story. I plan to check out more works by this author, including her work The Splendor Falls
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This was a refreshing and wonderful read about a young woman who reluctantly embraces her familiy roots and becomes involved in a ghost hunt. Of course it does not help that the neighbor is extremely cute and anoying at the same time, nor does it help that there is ages of bad blood between the families. But Amy Goodnight is a great character and the dialog in the whole book is believeable and very easy to get into. The setting is in Texas and after a few pages, you really feel like you are right there in the Hill Country. What I like is all the supernatural things going on, and how there really is a mystery that they are really helping to solve. The ending is nice and does tie up a few loose ends, but I would love to see more of Amy and the gang in another book. They are just to much fun to see go away with one book.
FuzzyCoffeeBooks More than 1 year ago
I knew I was going to love this book. I love southern gothic superstitions and stories, the ones that are passed down over generations. And, well, it's set in Texas. What I liked: 1) Phin - Amy's sister Delphinium was my absolute favorite character. She reminded me of...Bones (Brennan from Bones). Everything is about science to Phin, she's brilliantly book smart, but hopeless when it comes to social norms. She had me cracking up. 2) The setting - I'm a little bias, since I live here and all. But Miz Clement-Moore has described it kind of perfectly. 3) Historical accuracy - so it's a ghost and magic story, right? But that doesn't mean that that we can't have some historical accuracy. 3) Amy's desire to not participate in the family crazies. 4) The ghost story! Southern gothic at its finest! 5) I wasn't sure I expected humor, but it's great. It sneaks up on you and makes you laugh out loud. 6) Hot cowboys. 7) Hot cowboys. 8) Hot cowboys. What I didn't like: 1) I love Big 12 football, but the only time I'm gonna root for the Longhorns is when they are playing the Sooners....meh. Go Oklahoma State Cowboys! Ha ha, so that's not really a dislike, I just wanted to say Go Pokes! Overall thoughts: This is a cleverly and well written story. The characters are all developed really well, the plot is substantial and complete, and the setting is full of southern Texas charm. I absolutely loved it. It has found a new home on my 're-read' shelf! And can someone please tell me where I can get some of Aunt Hy's cool soap and shampoo and stuff?
ashlynrae More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored reading Texas Gothic! It had the right amount of everything. The plot wasn't too scary, it wasn't too slow, and it didn't move too fast either. I thought Rosemary Clement-Moore developed her characters very well in the book. Reading about Amy, Ben, Phin, and the "gang" was really enjoyable! The dialogue was great. I loved the whole idea of ghosts, magic, and where it all takes place. Its different from other ghost and paranormal stories, so anyone who wants something different will like reading Texas Gothic. I also liked how Clement-Moore described the ghost scenes. I actually liked reading them! They were so vivid and clear, I could picture the scenes in my head. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the cover. The story and the cover go really well together, and I think the red lipstick really compliments the model's eyes! So if you want something fresh and new, don't hesitate to go read Texas Gothic! Rosemary Clement-Moore does not disappoint! Twitter: @teenagereader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rosemary Clement-Moore is a talented and gifted writer. Amy Goodnight is a great female protagonist; she's realistic and quirky in a way that combines to make her a very strong female lead. Ben is a great character as well. The story is well-written and it's hard to put the book down. I love all of Rosemary Clement-Moore's books, but this one is my favorite!
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Would like to but have to go. Srry tlk at hunger games tonight?
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Any retard stupid enough to harp on thhis go f*** your self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it twice in two months
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry college rp shut down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey babe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heyy. I havent heard from u in awhile - memory
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, and i do not usally like paranormal stuff like ghosts...But this book changed my mind. The author did a fantastic job of develiping the charrectors... a annoying but hot cowboy neighbor, sciency sister( Phin reminded me of Sheldon from the big bang thery and Bones from bones) a crazy cousin a main charrector who is trying to make her famaliy seem normal and i just love hove the author put the dogs in the book! The setting of the book was geinus! Because ranches are cool but at night they can be spoky. The idea of bodies being discovered was another great idea by the author in my opinion. I loved the amount of detail the author used when the ghost made a apearance. The only thing i did not like is that this book is not apart of a series. You will love this book!
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Lawral More than 1 year ago
There are two things that Clement-Moore does fantabulously: community and swoony guys. The ranch town in which Amy and Phin are spending their summer is great. It's not the setting, really, that's great; it's the people in it. They make this small town believable. There's the crazy grandad, the close-minded town folk, the local pothead, the nerdy college students, the local "royal" family, and the brooding son of those royals. We don't get to know all of these characters well; this is not a crowded book. And yet, these are not stock characters. Altogether, they are the town. They give the town a feel and a history. They make it a place. The town bar and the community picnics are just where they hang out. And then there's the guy. Le sigh. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I have a weakness for rugged folk who wear cowboy hats unironically. But even if that's not your thing, this guy is sooo great. Ben McCulloch, literally the guy next door, is so swoony and angsty and responsible and gentlemanly. I fell for him, and hard, long before Amy figured out why Ben made her feel both frustrated and fluttery at the same time. Mark, one of those nerdy college students, isn't so bad either. His sweet and awkward flirting with Phin is so cute! The best part about both of them, though, is that they are both completely devoid of cheese. There is no heavy-handed romance talk or gazing into one another's eyes. So the guys and the cast of characters are what made Texas Gothic great for me. Amy and Phin's relationship, the complicated ghost story, the small town rumors and legends, and the ranching drama were all added perks for me. These aspects of the story were just as strong as the ones I loved, and they might be what makes this a great book for you. Book source: Philly Free Library