Published by Simon & Schuster on 8/5/2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
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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.
Contender for cutest book ever? I think so! Magnolia by Kristi Cook is light and fluffy, and it’s a perfect “boy next door” book. I had so much fun reading it and couldn’t really put it down.
What I liked
- Our main character, Jemma, is snarky and adorable. She’s proud to be Southern, loves her small town, but she’s smart enough to want bigger things for herself. I really liked her!
- Ryder is the quintessential boy next door. He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s nice. But he’s not so nice that he doesn’t deliver some quick lashes with his tongue when the situation calls for it (I mean that both figuratively and literally, teehee).
- I loved loved loved the animosity between Jemma and Ryder, despite their close families and their own history with each other. That they didn’t like each other very much most of the time was the best part about seeing them come together.
- The relationship between the families was so cute and funny. The families have been besties since the Civil War, and have always hoped to connect their lineages with offspring, but it only now worked out timing-wise for this particular generation. The little pushes from both sets of parents were adorable, and the resistance from Jemma and Ryder was even more adorable.
- The depiction of the storm they weathered together was incredibly accurate. I easily envisioned the aftermath and destruction of property through Cook’s words.
- Magnolia is the kind of book you settle down with when you want your happily ever afters!
What I didn’t like
- Uh…nothing. There was nothing I didn’t like!
Magnolia by Kristi Cook is like pre-packaged happiness. Just crack the spine and the happiness and glitter magic of the romance smacks you right in the face. This gif most accurately represents how I felt while reading this book: