Sunday, 24 August 2014

Magnolia by Kristi Cook: Review

MagnoliaTitle: Magnolia
Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

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. (Goodreads summary.)

This review is going to be quite short because I don't really have that much to comment on about the book. It was such a quick read that it seemed it was over just as I'd begun it. Trust me, that isn't a bad thing, I just couldn't put it down and it was ridiculously easy to get lost in this cute story. I downloaded this one months and months ago now, the cover grabbed my attention and the synopsis sounded interesting so I was keen to give it a go. I was kinda worried that it would just end up being really disappointing, so excited to say that it wasn't.

This is basically the reverse Romeo and Juliet story, which I, rather stupidly, didn't even realise until it's pointed out to you at the very beginning. The chapters are even titled with Act I Scene I and so on, which I really liked. Instead of having two people from warring families falling in love, we have two people from two families that couldn't be closer, who hate each other despite the fact their parents would love nothing more than to see them together.

I seem to be quite the sucker for the characters that seemingly hate each other, but then end up wanting to rip each others clothes off. It's a storyline we all know so well, and we all know that it's rarely ever hate, it's just pent up sexual tension. I thought that worked well in this story, although you do kind of laugh a little at Jemma's complete blindness to Ryder's true feelings.



The synopsis really did make me believe that this story would concentrate a lot more on the violent storm that's coming. I kind of had the impression that the tornado would take up a large majority of the story, but that really isn't the case. I was actually really surprised when the tornado part of the story only really took up about 20% of the book. That disappointed me, if I am honest, because the two being trapped together during the storm was probably my favourite part of the whole book.

I really do have to comment on some aspects of the book that I either really didn't approve of or just freaked me out. The first was a comment that's made in the book about Jemma and Ryder being the first offspring of both families that could end up together, being the first boy and girl born close together. It made me so annoyed and definitely rubbed me the wrong way that it's suggesting the only relationship that can happen would be between a boy and girl. No, just no! I don't even know if that was intentional or not, but I was not a fan and that one comment really got to me.

Guns as gifts...
The other aspect that was just really strange to me was the gun culture in this book. I am sure it's true to the setting, but it still freaked me out. I detest the whole idea of a father gifting a thirteen year old child a gun as a present. They definitely won't be winning any parent of the year awards. Scenes where they'd go shooting together or she talks about her gun like it's her baby made me so uncomfortable. I am so glad I live in a country with decent gun control laws, where guns aren't considered gifts.

I had those two issues with it, but other than that this was a really easy book to read. It's cute, it's fluffy and it's full of cheese. I usually hate cheese, but it just worked in this. It's by no means an incredible, unique story but it's fun and easy to read. I knew what I was getting into when I picked it up and it didn't disappoint me, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this one.


3.5/5 Butterflies

I originally planned to give this 4/5, but I have had a little more time to think about it and think it's more worthy of a 3.5. It was a fun, cheesy, quick read and I got through it in one day, but it isn't an exceptionally unique story. If you're looking for a cutesy contemporary romance then you can't go wrong with this.




*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

23 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really fun, light read. Great review, I know exactly what to expect from this book now!

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    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun and a very easy read.

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  2. I loved Magnolia! I really enjoyed the cute - but then again I am also from the south so much of it really hit home for me.

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  3. WOAAH woah that gun culture that you mentioned here sounds really, really freaky! Being from Australia it's something that is just not on our radar. But yes, I do like the sound of their antagonistic relationship from the start, there would be a lot of chemistry! Lovely review!

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    1. The gun culture just really freaks me out. I think it's just the idea of gifting guns to children, it's just so weird to me.

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  4. This does sound like a cute read, I do love those hate turned to love stories, I'm a sucker for those. Sounds like that part of it really worked so I'm looking forward to that.

    The gun culture thing probably won't bother me since I live in Texas and I used to live in Georgia (there was actually a town in GA, I didn't live there, but it was the law that you HAD to own a gun…how crazy is that???) As far as the comment about them being the first offspring that could be together, maybe they were wanting grandchildren (blood related)? Perhaps that's the explanation for the comment?

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed it overall, I'll be reading this one when I'm in the mood for a cute contemporary. I always like light and fluffy! ~Pam

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    1. Possibly. I don't know for sure, but I didn't like how it came across in the book. The gun culture just seemed so weird to me, I don't see why anyone would think a gun was a good gift for a kid.

      It's very fluffy, haha! :)

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  5. Even though I agree with your issues with the book, I think I'd still be pretty interested in it. I ADORED Romeo and Juliet in school, like seriously, one of my favourites, screw that it's an odd message, so this has hit my radar quite a bit lately and I'm still just as tempted, but now I'm a little more, prepared for some things not being perfect, so that's good :) Great review hunny :D

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    1. I really did enjoy this one, even with my issues with it. It's light, fluffy and a great contemporary romance.

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  6. Phew, for a minute there I was afraid you didn't like this one. I thought it was such a cute story, so glad you read it and liked it. :)

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    1. No, I had a few issues with it but it was exactly what I wanted: a cute, fluffy contemporary.

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  7. I have to agree with you on the gun thing. It kind of scares me the way some people absolutely love their guns. I mean...that'd be like me getting all excited about getting a knife and always talking about it and holding it and polishing it... <-- THAT would make me a psycho, but apparently that's okay if it's a gun?? Mmm. ANYWAY.
    I have to admit this one doesn't really grab my fancy except for the arguing romance. lol I LOVE those! It's a lot more interesting than insta-love too. ;) Insta-hate. YUS.

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    1. I know! THANK YOU! Somebody who understands, it's just so weird to me. And kids with guns... no thank you. I don't get it and I don't like it, I think it's quite disturbing.

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  8. LOL I guess it's all about your experiences in life and where you're from. Guns as gifts. Have seen it often and at all ages. It's very common where I'm from. My baby cousin got her first at like 9 I think. So that wouldn't have even pinged for me. lol

    It does sound like a fun read. I do love those hate to love romances and when they get trapped somehow together. So entertaining.

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    1. Yeah, definitely. Just the idea of giving a nine year old a gun makes me want to vomit. It's like gifting someone with a knife or something. Just seems like a really inappropriate thing to give a child,

      It's a lot of fun, very sweet and fluffy.

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  9. Just to explain about the gun culture, in the American South, especially deeper South, in families like that where children handle guns, they are extremely careful with the guns. They know how to properly handle them and they are not owning them because they plan to kill people. I can understand if it's not what you're used to that it would be uncomfortable, but I just wanted to assure that it's actually not as scary as it sounds. Many people assume gun owners are violent or reckless but that's generally not true, especially when you're talking about people who legally obtain and carry them. Driving a car is more statistically deadly than responsibly handling a gun.

    I'm kind of interested in this one! It sounds like a potentially cute romance!

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    1. I don't see all gun owners as dangerous or reckless. I just find the whole idea of gifting guns to children and teaching children to shoot guns at such a young age is really disturbing. I think that accident at the shooting range should be a lesson in why children have no need to be firing guns.

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  10. I do not even understand how I finished up right here, however I thought this publish was good. I don’t realize who you are but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger for those who aren’t already Cheers!
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  11. Most contemporary romances seem like I'm reading the exact same book over and over again, which is why I steer away from them--most of the time. Every once in a while I'll pick up a quick read and enjoy it. So I understand when you say it was a cute, easy, cheesy read. Thanks for the review!

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    1. It was just light and fun, exactly what I needed.

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  12. Great review, Charnell! I had so much fun reading this book - it's exactly like you said, a really quick, effortless read. I thought the storm section would be longer too (it was my favorite part) but I loved the way the book is broken up into acts. Sometimes this is just the type of fluffy book you need in between heavier ones. :)

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    1. It's definitely a lot of fun, such a quick and easy read. The storm section should have been longer, it was my favourite part of the whole book.

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