Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

by Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Rate: 4 Stars! 


In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

This book came as a fun surprise. I haven't read Kristi's other series yet, but I have heard good things about it from some non-blogging friends who have. But the whole concept of this book had me intrigued. I knew it was going to be different than most YA contemporary books out there. I was so interested in this book that Patri and I contacted Kristi and invited her to join our FFBC and the rest is history. 

There is just something about this book that grabbed my attention from the very beginning. Maybe it had to do with the fact I love history, and the initial few pages was recounting the history between the two families. Maybe it was the way the author immediately sets up the the small town Mississippi feel. As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, I love reading about small towns and the way Kristi builds the setting you feel as you are almost there. 

Now on to the characters. There were many aspects to Jemma's personality that were not only enjoyable, but also very relateable. First off, I liked the fact that she was was trying hard to fight to become the person she wanted to be, and not exactly follow the footsteps her parents had set out for her. And I say not exactly, because somethings her parents want her are not so bad. And that comes in the beautiful form of Ryder. Okay Ryder is seriously a dream boat! Honestly the only thing wrong about Ryder is that he made a juvenile mistake when they were younger and he needs to man up and own it. But when the storm hits, man oh man does Ryder step up. Sometimes with or without a shirt. 

If you are looking for a fun summer read. Or even a fun faced paced contemporary any time of the year, Magnolia is definitely the one for you. 

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Follow the FFBC Magnolia Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

That’s the official version–here are some other fun facts:

~ As an undergrad, I majored in History and minored in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, I was a member of Phi Mu sorority, and I was a Dixie Darling. And yep, Brett Favre was our quarterback at the time!

~ I studied American History in grad school at Columbia University. I *love* history, especially the Civil War era (U.S.) and Regency- and Edwardian-era British history.

~ My all-time favorite book *and* movie is GONE WITH THE WIND. My favorite literary characters are Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Darcy. I kind of want to add Peeta Mellark to that list!

~Weirdly enough (or maybe not so weirdly?) I’m also a big fan of STAR TREK (the original series). I never can remember if I’m supposed to call myself a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker,” though!


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