I'm catching up this summer on all the buzzy YA books of 2011, this one in particular had been on my list for awhile.
Amy Goodnight comes from a family of witches; but this is less Harry Potter and more like the lady who runs a New Age-y spiritual shop in a tourist town. Think herbs and crystals and a little bit of wacky that might throw a small town into gossip-mode when one of these "witches" walks into the local tavern. Amy really can't stand the witchy label and works pretty hard at bringing normalcy to the Goodnight family. When her mother and aunt take a much needed vacation together, they leave Amy and her college-aged sister Phin in charge of her aunt's family farm. Amy will feed the goats and the dogs and make sure her uncle is all right (her uncle is a ghost).
Rumor in town is that the ghost from an old legend is haunting an archaeological dig on the property of the neighboring farm. Amy, though a believer in ghosts, is highly skeptical and definitely does not want to get involved, especially when she discovers cute guy Ben, who finds her outside in her underwear (a very funny moment), runs the adjacent farm. When dead bodies start accumulating, Amy and her sister find themselves recruited to help solve the ghost crime -- but is a ghost responsible, or something else?
This story has more of a paranormal vibe with enough real life rural Texas to keep it grounded. Texas Gothic is also a romance, and Amy has a lot to deal with internally before she can contribute to a relationship in a meaningful way. She's funny, spunky and stubborn, and the supporting characters are pretty great and add to the story. If the idea of a big, creaky old farmhouse with ghosts lurking about gives you the heebies, this has a bit of that, too.