Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Received for review from Pinoy Book Tours
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
Magnolia was a very refreshing read. It may seem like another YA contemporary romance, but in a lot of varied ways, it is not. It draws inspiration from Romeo & Juliet minus the stupid emotionally-driven, hormonal teens. Rather than being doomed to love each other, the two characters here are doomed to hate each other. Now doesn’t that sound fantastic?
I’m going to divide this review again to better express my thoughts, and to prevent any unnecessary rambling.
What I Loved.
- Magnolia has a very pristine narrative voice. This was one of the many reasons why I flew through this book. I loved Jemma’s narration plus it felt like I was actually reading a YA novel.
- The setting and the family traditions. It was accurately described even though I haven’t been to the South. I also liked the history between the Cafferty and Marsden families and how they still follow customs from generations back.
- Nobody was annoying (*gasp*). Even Jemma wasn’t that troubling as I anticipated she would be. Maybe because I could relate so well with these characters and their situations.
- The romantic tension. To those of you who’ve already read this, admit it. You were just as eager for any physical touch between Jemma and Ryder. It was wow.
What I Didn’t Quite Love.
- The single-narration format felt lacking to me. There were some scenes in the novel that I would love to see Ryder narrate about. I want to know what’s going on in his head. I want to know his perspective from all of the crazy things that has happened.
- I neeeeeeed a sequel. The ending was a bit abrupt for me. Jemma and Ryder didn’t really get any chance to explore the territory of their buried feelings. I want moreeee.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed Magnolia. I definitely recommend it if you love contemporary or if you’re looking into something more different and refreshing. Also, I want to share Rashika’s review as she did a better job of reviewing this book, and she basically got all my thoughts.
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