Saturday, 30 August 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook


Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: 5th August 2014
Pages: 336

Synopsis (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.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Magnolia was a quick and easy read, it was light, fluffy and highly entertaining; the perfect book for me at this time, the friends to more trope is one I am always pulled towards, especially when it’s a reverse adaptation of Romeo & Juliet.

The Cafferty and Marsden families are well known in Magnolia Branch and have hopes of uniting the families by marriage much to their same aged children, Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden’s annoyance because their relationship isn’t at all friendly because of an incident that happened in the eighth grade, prior to this they were the best of friends.

I loved the characters despite the many infuriating moments, mainly from Jemma and her reluctance to tell Ryder what he had done wrong but when they become trapped together during the storm there were a number of reveals I quite enjoyed reading about. The parents and their expectations academically and romantically with their children were convincing and the hurricane emergency was written with believable yet scary detail, the side story of Jemma’s sister and of Patrick was heart-breaking but also written with believability.

The small town setting of Magnolia Branch Mississippi was written perfectly, I loved the southern atmosphere, history and mannerisms. I enjoyed the interesting twist on the Romeo & Juliet classic, it was done extremely well. Kristi Cook has written a page turner, with witty banter, tense moments and a great storyline I was captivated by this story.

Overall, Magnolia is a book I would highly recommend; with an enjoyable cast of characters, a sweet reluctant romance and some scary hurricane moments, it was a truly fabulous read.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review Magnolia.

Kristi CookAbout the author: 

YA author Kristi Cook is a transplanted southern gal who lives in New York City with her husband and two kids. Her YA debut, HAVEN, was released in Feb. 2011 by Simon Pulse.


  1. "a quick and easy read, it was light, fluffy and highly entertaining; the perfect book for me.." You've sold me. Great review!

  2. This sounds delightful and I adore the friends to lovers trope!


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