Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

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.

Romeo and Juliet backwards in Mississippi. That was my first thought when I read the description of this book. Jemma and Ryders mothers have been planning their marriage literally since they were born. The idea was intriguing and rather funny so I have the book a try. 

The book is obviously a contemporary romance with some pretty interesting aspects thrown in. I like that the book was broken up in to Acts (because Jemma wants to go to film school). Act one was where we're introduced to Jemma and Ryder, their friends, their family, and we learn why Jemma hates Ryder. Act 2 is their experience during a hurricane where they've been left to fend for themselves for various reasons. Act 3 is the aftermath, certain "things" happened during the storm and now Jemma and Ryder have to deal with them. I love the over all moral of living life to the fullest and living it for yourself, not your family. It was well played although a bit predictable, but hey, what are you going to do.

Now... I hate to say this but I couldn't stand Jemma. She was so frustrating and just about impossible to like. She spend four years angry with Ryder and he has no idea why, then she gets even angrier at him, because he doesn't know what he did to upset her. It's just not okay. I'm typically the first person so get behind a character that others don't like because we have to remember that these are teens and they don't always communicate the way adults want them to. However, it's been my experience that teen are just itching to scream at you and tell you what you did to piss them off. I just couldn't get behind Jemma and her immaturity. I can't understand not wanting to say anything as an 8th grader, but when he distinctly asked her again why she hated him (they're not seniors) all she can do is get mad that he doesn't remember. The poor guy isn't a mind reader. As you can tell from this ramble, I wasn't a happy camper. I hate when people don't communicate as it is, this was just ridiculous. 

If Jemma hadn't been such a pain in my but I probably would have given this book a 4, but alas I leave you with a 3.5.


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