Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Genre: Paranormal > Ghosts
Rating: 5 Stars
Amy Goodnight knows that the world isn't as simple as it seems—she grew up surrounded by household spells and benevolent ghosts. But she also understands that "normal" doesn't mix with magic, and she's worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect any hope of ever having a normal life.
Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas should be exactly that. Good old ordinary, uneventful hard work. Only, Amy and her sister, Phin, aren't alone. There's someone in the house with them—and it's not the living, breathing, amazingly hot cowboy from the ranch next door.
It's a ghost, and it's more powerful than the Goodnights and all their protective spells combined. It wants something from Amy, and none of her carefully built defenses can hold it back.
This is the summer when the wall between Amy's worlds is going to come crashing down.
--Summary from Goodreads
After putting off this book for years I finally picked it up and, upon finishing it, was a bit shocked to find how many of my lists I had already mentally added it to: It made my top 5 favorite books in the last 3 years, favorite heroine, most crushable guy, favorite “couple”, wishlist (though this one has been fixed already), etc. It was one of the easiest 5 stars I’ve given and I can’t wait to read it again!
The first thing that I loved about this book was the second chapter. Oh my, chapter two, how many ways can I love thee? This is the chapter that must be read by everyone because it is so hilarious and perfect and one of the best hooks for a book that I’ve ever seen! I won’t spoil it for you but I will say that our heroine meets her cowboy in this chapter in a very… awkward way.
Speaking of our leading lady…
"I was the designated grown up in a family that operated in different reality than the rest of the world.”
I just LOVED Amy! She is the snarky, reluctant heroine who has been trying to protect her unusual family from the world’s disdain yet separate herself from their crazyness as well. She has an interesting relationship with her older sister Phin that was fun to watch. Amy would back her up on her “science” but also continually inform her on correct social etiquette and what not to say in public. We also get to meet her younger cousin who is a medium (a talent which Phin has no respect for oddly enough). Amy is decidedly not impressed with the hot cowboy neighbor Ben (though I certainly was), especially when he stuck his foot firmly in his mouth by insulting her aunt to her face (okay, maybe he was a bit of an idiot there, but still totally dreamy).
“Focus, Amy. Just because he looked great in the saddle did not mean he wasn't an axe murderer.”
To say that I adored watching the interaction between Amy and Ben would be an understatement. This was my favorite type of character relationship to a T. It wasn’t uncommon for me to have a smile plastered on my face while reading a scene where they were both insulting each other, working together, looking at the other like they were crazy, randomly making out…. In short, all of their scenes. What was refreshing though was that, despite all that I might have implied above, there was hardly any romance between them and what there was was slow going and believable to their characters.
“How about this?" I said, because now it was the principle of the thing. "I'm sorry, jackass.”
I don’t really read books with ghosts in them but Christina had been pushing this book for years and the author was going to be at the North Texas Teen Book Festival so I knew that I had to read it before then. I don’t know why I was worried. Yes, there were creepy ghosts but everything was looked at in a very scientific way (at least from her sister’s perspective) that everything felt natural and believable, like it was a realistic contemporary/mystery instead of a paranormal book. Or maybe I’m the only one who thinks of it like that…
Whether you’re into ghosts or not I highly suggest giving this book a try. It’s a complete story in itself (though it has a companion novel), it has an amazing cast of characters, it’s fun and a bit spooky with a great plot, but most of all it’s just an awesome read!