I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
Let me say first off there is just something about a boy from the south. I don’t mean rednecks, I have nothing against rednecks. I mean a well-mannered boy from the south that calls his mama, says yes ma’am, and most of all has one of those lilting southern accents. Ladies, let me tell you that Ryder from Magnolia has all those qualities and more. When I read Magnolia I spent the whole time wishing I had met a boy like that when I was seventeen.
Magnolia is a story of two teens whose parents want them to be together. Their families have always been friends. Their mothers are best friends and they used to share a crib together. It is for that very reason that they hate each other. That is right, this not a story of star crossed lovers but a story of self-discovery and maybe finding out that their parent’s wishes were right all along.
I loved this book! I could not put this book down. I started reading it one late night and had to stay up all night until I finished this book. Thank goodness it was a Friday night so I did not have to work the next day. The thing I loved most about this book was the chemistry between Ryder and Jemma. I loved that Jemma hates Ryder for something that happened long ago but is unable to keep her eyes off him too. I loved that even though they have problems when something serious happens, they are there for each other. When they get stuck having to ride out a hurricane together is when I think my favorite scenes take place. All I will say is it’s explosive. Magnolia is not just a book about romance it also a book about finding out what makes you happy. That is what I really like about this book because Jemma doesn’t want to follow her parent’s college plans. She wants to go film school at NYU. I loved that she is able to find herself in the end. That even after the storm, literally and figuratively, Jemma is finally able to stop living for others and find her happy.
In the end, I cannot stress enough how much I loved Magnolia. How sweet, funny, romantic, and at times a little sad this book is. There were times I smiled, times I swooned, and times I wanted to shake some sense into Ryder and Jemma. I think that is what I loved most about this book is that it is real contemporary romance about falling in love and growing up. I give Magnolia five stars and I am shouting from the rooftops to anyone who will listen to go read this book!