Aug 6, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Title: Magnolia
Author: Kristi Cooke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 384
Pages: 8.5.2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: ARC from ALA

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

You know that moment when you finish a book and all you want to do is push it all over your friends because it’s just so good? That was my experience with MAGNOLIA.  This is such a fun, refreshing book that caught me at the moment where all I wanted was something light and funny to entertain me, and Kristi Cook provided that and more.

MAGNOLIA is a twist on Romeo and Juliet. But instead of families that are mortal enemies with a pair of star-cross’d teenagers, we get the Cafferty’s and Marsden’s—families that have been united by friendship for years and have been waiting for the blessed day when they would have two kids roughly the same age that could marry and formally unite the families.

Unfortunately Jemma and Ryder don’t really like each other. At all. That premise would have been enough to hook me, but Cook lays a subtle backstory that adds a little extra depth. There is a legit reason why Jemma and Ryder are so at odds, and it all comes exploding to the surface in the midst of a massive storm where they’re stranded together.

This book is definitely what some would call a “palate cleanser”. And it is. But it’s also just a fantastic anytime book. Anytime you want romance? MAGNOLIA. Anytime you want entertainment? MAGNOLIA. Anytime you want comedy? MAGNOLIA.

Just trust me. MAGNOLIA all the way. 


  1. Maybe I need to pick this up, since I'm super involved in vampires and alchemists (listening to Book of Life, reading the Bloodlines series) and could probably use something light and romantic.

    Also, I'm intrigued as to why they don't like one another, and glad to know the author gives reasoning behind it, Sounds like a great read!

  2. “palate cleanser” ha! That is a great way to describe some books. I could really go for a light/fun read. I love the title. Does it take place in present time because it sounds like the parents try to set up an arranged marriage by the synopsis, "unite their two clans by marriage."

    1. It is present time. It's not an arranged marriage, but their mother's are constantly playing match makers. :)

  3. Ooh, I do like when the characters don't like each other. There's just something about the sparks that ignite when they butt up against each other. This sounds so adorable!

  4. I really loved this book too! It was completely enjoyable.


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