Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: "Magnolia" by Kristi Cook

The Cafferty and Marsden families of Magnolia Branch, Mississippi have been close friends for generations.  So close, that they are practically  family - if they could somehow time their children right to marry them together!  Enter Jemma and Ryder, born six weeks apart.  Their mothers have raised them with the expectation that they will come day be married and live happily ever after.  With all of this pressure and presumptions about their futures - it goes without saying that Jemma and Ryder can't stand one another.  They refuse to be pigeonholed into this future that their parents have dreamed up.  When they are left on their own during the hurricane of the season though, everything shifts between them and maybe it is really a very thin line between love and hate.  And maybe it is just the intensity of the situation and nothing more.

I had a little trouble with this story at the beginning as Jemma came off as kind of an over dramatic diva at first.  It didn't take long to fall into place as an adorable warm and fuzzy kind of story though.  I loved the reverse Romeo and Juliet aspect of it too...  very cute take on the classic tragedy.  I really loved reading something set in the south.  I'm not sure how realistic it really is, but I really enjoyed imagining it - it sort of reminded me of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in a way.   I also liked the secondary story line involving Jemma's college plans and her trying to break out of her parent's idea of what her life should look like and instead follow her own dream.  It is pretty empowering, and I liked that she found support in places she didn't expect.  I will say that the cover doesn't really make much sense to me though.  The girl looks all snooty and the boy looks clueless - not at all like the characters in the book.

This is a fun and easy light read, perfect for those teen readers who love romance with a little charm.

*****
Magnolia
by Kristi Cook
Simon & Schuster, 2014
336 pages
Source:  Purchased New
*****

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