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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Texas Gothic

Texas Gothic - Rosemary Clement-Moore So, hooray for Texas Gothic! This is how you write paranormal YA, although the focus wasn’t so much on the romance as it was on the actual story.First of all, I love the Goodnight girls. Amy could be a cousin to Maggie Quinn, as they’re both snarky, level-headed psychic girl detectives with a knack for uncovering trouble, but she steps out in her own in a big way. I like how Amy keeps her ideas for normality in check with her world of the supernatural; while she’s not fond of being sucked into ghost plots and relying on magic, she does find the trappings of the supernatural cozy. She finds a way to reconcile both of these worlds without having abandoned one for the other and it completely works. Her sister Phin tends to agree more with the supernatural, but her use of SCIENCE! to enhance and better her dealings with hosts and haunted sites made her one of my favorite characters. I loved it every time Phin went off on a technobabble about how her gadgets worked.While Amy falls into the trap of the “Slap-slap-kiss” trope with designated love interest Ben, I did like a lot of their interactions and banter with each other. Ben does come off as unapproachable at first, but as the two interact more, he does really care about Amy and about his ranch. The things that were mysterious about him were mysterious for good reason, not to build up useless tension that doesn’t go anywhere. I liked the fact that they were able to work together and be friendly, instead of just bickering until they finally made out.Also, I loved the UT dig team. The fact that majority of the members, save for the non-anthropology students, are game to let two girls with reputations for being ‘weird’ test out ghost-hunting equipment. They’re a great side cast to the story.The use of how magic works here draws on traditional spells, but works for Clement-Moore’s personal use for the Goodnights. (She notes that none of the spells were real.) There’s very clear rules about how spells are used, but stand out and they don’t feel like they’ve been copied and pasted from an amateur Wiccan site.The setting really works too. The big ranch setting, with the number of historical conflicts make Texas a perfect back-drop for a creepy ghost story and the number of legends that Amy picks up on feel like they’ve been ingrained in the local consciousness for some time. The only thing I didn’t like about the main ghost legend essential to the plot—the Mad Monk of the McCulloch Ranch—never got explained fully. And while I liked the use of families with long-lasting grudges, particularly the McCulloch/Kelly feud, it’s never really used beyond setting up the antagonists. Texas Gothic was the most fun I had reading a book this summer—I had a huge grin on my face the whole time, and I really got into the story. I have nitpicks about the plot, but it didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment. If you haven’t read Rosemary Clement-Moore’s books before, I HIGHLY recommend starting with this.