Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Published: 12 July 2011
Other info: Clement-Moore has also written The Splendour Falls, and the Maggie Quinn series.
Summary : Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbour cowboy is in her face.
Review: Amaryllis Goodnight, aka Amy, comes from a family of witches. She grew up surrounded by potions, spells and her uncle's friendly ghost, and despite it all being harmless, Amy just wants to get to college without getting too involved in the family business. Then she and her sister Phin look after Aunt Hyacinth's ranch, where Amy is visited by a ghost with a message. The neighbours, the McCullochs, have land encompassing a grave. And when it's discovered, it seems that there may just be ghosts that are disturbed, and aren't happy. Amy, Phin, many locals, and Ben McCulloch(the love interest of the book), investigate what's going on, and discover that there's a bit more to Texas than *insert texas stereotypes*.
I wouldn't say the cover is particularly amazing. It doesn't give much away, but the way the eye is bright green creates an interesting focal point. And the tagline doesn't give much away but makes you want to know why.
The start is funny, and a good hook to pull you in. By chapter five, we've met a ghost. Soon after we come across the grave, and the pace continues at a steady speed throughout.
The plot is different to what I normally get with books dealing with magic. It's a more modern take on it, with a protagonist that's easy to like and relate to.
Character comes acrossin the writing a lot. We really get the feeling of Amy being generally fed up of trying to be normal in a family that is anything but. We also get a good sense of her relationships with other characters, like her sisters, the excavation team and love interest Ben.
Ben, I never really liked, even when Amy warmed to him. His personality just seemed too annoying to like. But he was a somewhat important part, and this kind of worked with his function in the story.
I can't really see a sequel being written, because I can't see where the story would come from, but I would like to see more of the Goodnights, in particular Phin and Daisy. Maybe they'll get their own books one day.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a different look at witches and ghosts to what we're used to.