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Texas Forever

Forever Young Adult Presents: A Review of Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas Forever

BOOK REPORT for Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Cover Story: Blinkworthy
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Straight Up With A Side Of Words
Bonus Factors: Texas Forever, Magic, Mystery
Relationship Status: Dude Ranch Crush

Cover Story: Blinkworthy

I dare you to look at this cover and not blink, because WOMAN. THERE IS HAIR IN YR EYE. That CANNOT be comfortable. At least she's a redhead like Amy, the main character. But I have a feeling that sexy expression isn't quite the face Amy makes when confronted with a ghost.

The Deal:

Amy and her sister Phin are spending the summer in small town, TX, farm-sitting for their aunt, which means tending goats, taking care of the garden and chillaxing with the ghost of their Uncle Burt. Yep, this isn't your ordinary farm, and Amy and Phin don't come from your ordinary family. They're witches! But while Phin is eager to explore her magic, Amy is all about keeping it under wraps. She's sick and tired of the weird looks and cold shoulders she gets from Muggles, and she's determined to have a totally normal, magic-free summer on the farm. Unfortunately, the ghost of the Mad Monk won't let her. A town legend, the creepy specter appears to her one night and won't leave her alone until she solves the mystery of a pair of skeletons found on the nearby McCulloch ranch. Complicating matters further is Ben McCulloch, the grandson of the ranch's owner, who is determined to quash the ghost rumor (it's not so good for business) and who also happens to be super smokin' hot.

BFF Charm: Yay

Even though I think magic is totally rad, I completely get why Amy wants a normal life. She cares too much about her relatives, especially Phin, to see them stigmatized as weirdos (or worse) for believing in the power of spells and potions. It's obvious that Amy has always been the responsible, grounded one in the family, and her exasperation at her sister in particular was both hilarious and understandable. She's a strong, brave, charmingly imperfect character, and while she does need a little nudging (or, ok, smack in the head) in the boy department, I would be proud to call her a friend. Plus then maybe she'd share some of her aunt's magical shampoo with me so I could have gorgeous hair AND deep thoughts in the shower. Seriously, that shizz is like Herbal Essence, minus the embarrassing orgasm part.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

I do love me an old-fashioned, horse-riding Texas boy! Ben McCulloch is one tall drink of water, and his initial distrust and downright dislike for Amy just makes the chemistry between them hotter. Not only is he handsome, he's also chivalrous and mature and totally dropped out of college just to help his aging grandfather manage the ranch. How sweet is that?!!! He's a good guy, and even though I lost patience with him and Amy on multiple occasions for not just GETTING TOGETHER ALREADY, I admit that the wait itself was fun. (Torturous, but fun.) Also, their first encounter takes meetcute to a completely new and amazing and HYSTERICAL level.

Talky Talk: Straight Up With A Side Of Words

Clement-Moore seems to vacillate between painting a picture and shoving you right into the action. I prefer the latter, although I enjoyed the realism of her small town Texas world. Most of the dialogue felt authentic, except for Phin's scholarly affectation, which was a little much sometimes. Overall, I believe that the plot would have been more compelling if the book had lost a few words here and there. Given the subject material, I should have raced through it, but I found myself slowly plodding through certain sections, not so much savoring as wondering when the eff we could get back to the ghosts and mystery-solving!

Bonus Factor: Texas Forever

Attention, YA Authors: if you set a book in Texas, I will automatically be predisposed to like it. That is, if you actually know Texas, which Rosemary Clement-Moore clearly does. From references to the University of Texas (hook 'em) to Spanish slang to old dance halls, this book was packed with Texas love and renewed the pride in my home state that I'd recently lost thanks to Rick Perry's presidential bid.

Bonus Factor: Magic

I love the magic in this book, because it's less wizard hats and wands and more like soaps that help you relax and contraptions that find the residue of ghosts. It's practical, and because of that, it's completely plausible. I was also entertained by the situations that arose when the magical world and regular world collided, because AAAAWKARD.

Bonus Factor: Mystery

I was happy to see this milk carton factor appear in the plot of the book, although I wish it had developed more quickly. Still, I'm always a fan of redheads solving mysteries!

Casting Call:

Jane Levy as Amy

Cute, spunky redhead? Duh.

Matt Lauria as Ben

And... double duh.

Relationship Status: Dude Ranch Crush

Even though I'm a city gal, I still love to escape to the hill country from time to time so I can ride horses, rock on the porch at sunset and drink Lone Star around the campfire. With its rustic charm, this book caught my interest, especially when it started spinning yarns about ghosts. True to its Texas roots, it was real laid back, so nothing actually happened between us, but I still got a hoot out of our time together.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).