Sunday, February 26, 2012

Texas Gothic

Clement-Moore, Rosemary. 2011. TEXAS GOTHIC. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385736930 [Suggested Grade Levels 8-12]

Amy doesn’t expect much trouble when she agrees to house-sit at her aunt’s herbal farm for the summer, just herding some goats that periodically escape from their pen. Of course, the Goodnight Farm and its line of beauty and health care products aren’t exactly normal. Amy understands, “No matter what the label said, you could never assume anything only worked like magic.” Growing up in a family that practices magic, Amy is comfortable with household charms and friendly ghosts even as she tries to live a non-magical life. However when a powerful spirit crosses the farm’s protective spell to threaten Amy, she must embrace her own supernatural gifts to uncover the truth behind a local mystery.

Clement-Moore creates a modern gothic tale, complete with ghostly warnings, star-crossed lovers, and a long-hidden mystery. Amy’s older sister Phin enthusiastically drags her along to investigate rumors of a haunting on the neighboring ranch and they join a dig conducted by the UT physical anthropology department which leads to some dangerous situations sure to keep pages turning. Phin’s eccentric personality provides the perfect foil to Amy’s more cautious nature and readers will enjoy their banter. Sparks fly when Amy meets the brooding cowboy next door and their relationship adds another dimension to this engaging read. Teens looking for a good ghost story with a hint of romance will love this tale.

Compare this novel with Edgar Allan Poe’s works for a modern twist on gothic tales. This book would also make a nice addition to a supernatural collection.

Other gothic themed books for teens:
Clement-Moore, Rosemary. THE SPLENDOR FALLS. ISBN 9780385736909
Garcia, Kami. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. ISBN 9780316042673
Morris, Paula. RUINED. ISBN 9780545042154

By Kimberly C. Kinnaird

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