If someone had told me that once I was able to finish this book's first chapter, I would be indecisive between giving it a 3.5 stars or a 4 star rating, I would probably tell her/him to get a grip! ~by then I was blowing a gasket!~
And the story starts out really good!
"The goat was in the tree again.
I hadn’t even known goats could climb trees."
But then Amy "opens" up her mouth...I mean, her mind to us...
"The only thing that might keep her from getting a Nobel Prize someday was her field of study.
Switzerland didn’t really recognize paranormal research."
Sweden! Not Switzerland!
“What the blue blazes are you doing to that cow?” he said.
“Me?” My voice went stratospheric with outrage. “That calf was violating my Mini Cooper.”
Sorry, my sense of humour is non-existent when it comes to some things. I don't think that certain words should be used lightly _ I know this was supposed to be funny... and if I was younger I probably wouldn't think anything of it _ so yes, you can say that I overreacted with this, and that I have the humour of a troll.
A bad tempered one.
This means that, after such a promising first page, I really lost my patience for this book. There were also some mentions of bra number sizes, and descriptions of hunky guys... which are typical of YA books, but for which I honestly couldn't care less, so my will to read this really deflated.
Therefore why it took me almost two months to finish reading this!
But, you know what, this does get better. A lot better!! And those things that I disliked are never mentioned again!
The characters end up being well developed. I just had to get to know them...
There's a strong sense of family in this story. For once don't expect to read about teens who seem to have sprouted from cabbages, and whose parents are MIA. Sisters, parents, cousins, grandparents _the deceased and the living ones _ they're all here.
One thing I especially liked is how grounded Amy turns out to be! She can't figure out the difference about stalagmites and stalactites for dear life, but she's such a pragmatic young woman... for someone with her family, and for someone who ends up having to deal with ghosts.
Here is one of the story strongest points: She knows what she has to do. She doesn't want to do it, but throughout the story we see her _ one step at a time _ trying to deal with something that has scared her for her entire life.
Her sister Phin _to whom I also had some problems warming up to _ ends up being quite a character.
She's the prototype of the obsessed scientist for whom personal issues seem to be placed in the background... seem being the correct word.
She reminds me of a young blond Temperance Brennan (the one from the tv series, not the one from the books).
The romance is very low key... which is a good thing, since the guy most of the times comes out as an idiot when dealing with Amy. But most importantly I loved the fact that she never comes out with excuses for this kind of behaviour:
(...)because what I wanted to say was Please don’t go back to being an ass because I like you, and I’m not the kind of girl who likes guys who are asses."
Now, if only we could make all YA and New Adult novels follow this reasoning ~sigh~
The last part of the story is a page turner, four stars rating page turner, and I liked it so much that I can't wait to read the second book of the series.
I guess I could give this a 3.5 star due to its rocky start _for me! _but I can't help feeling that the narrative's pacing, the plot, and the way the characters turned out to be, more than redeemed it!
Definitely another author for me to follow! :)
"Spirit and Dust" (#2) apparently features Daisy _another of the Goodnight family members _ as the main character.
I was reading the author's acknowledgements about Texas Gothic, and she mentions the character Abby from the series NCIS (one of the series that I follow... because I love Gibbs and the whole gang!) and I couldn't help thinking that that is how is see Daisy... as a young Abby. I can't wait to read it.
You know what?
There better be some proper libraries up in heaven, because I am never going to make it through my TBR pile during this lifetime.
Buy "Texas Gothic"
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