As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

August 3, 2015

MAGNOLIA by Kristi Cook, 2014

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! 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. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Emma - College Student

MAGNOLIA is one of the cutest books I have read in a long time! I do not read too many contempories, normally just enough to counter balance the darker fantasies and dystopians. It was a very quick read; once I got to about 20% of the way through, I could not put it down. I stayed up until 4 a.m. just to finish it, it was so good. Another fun thing about this book is that it takes place in the South, which I find so charming and filled with warm feelings, and it was incredibly amusing reading the accents in my head.

While the overall plot was pretty predictable, it did have some twists and turns that still made it interesting. The characters were dynamic, romance was adorable, and the bonds that were formed were enviable.  The story was basically the antithesis of Romeo and Juliet, so instead of feuding families and star-crossed lovers, it was star-crossed families and children who could not stand each other. Even though this book is definitely what I would call a “fluff book,” it still had serious undertones and dealt with genuine issues that can arise in life.

Magnolia is a wonderfully heart-warming book that I recommend no matter what genre you normally read. If you like books that leave a smile on your face, read this book!

Market: Young Adult
Language: Moderate
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: None
Mature Themes: death, hurricane, tumors

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