Friday, April 25, 2014

ARC Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook


Summary:  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.

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**I received a copy from Edelwiess in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster**

Initial Thoughts: I have the biggest smile on my face from finishing this book. It was everything I hoped for to see and more! It was fun and adorable and everything just made for a great story. I really am happy to say that I loved this book especially after reading a string of good books but not amazing books that made me dance with happiness like this one did.

The Characters: Jemma was seriously one of the best book characters I've read about. She was a really strong character, very self aware, a bit stubborn, but also understanding as well as a nice person. Ryder is 6'4" and he blushes (which I find adorable, no judging)...not to mention that he is sweet and and cares a lot about everyone. Okay, he can be a bit stubborn too...mainly with Jemma. But the two go way back, as in their moms' stuck them together since they were born and seriously want them to get together. It's a bit ridiculous but funny at the same time how passionate the mothers were. As children, Jemma and Ryder grew up together and would play with each other all the time. It helped that they were neighbors and could hang out all the time. But then middle school came around and things got kind of awkward. Eighth grade happened and things fell apart for them and they have "hated" each other since then because, really, as Jemma's sister Nan says...

"Love, hate. Such a fine line between the two isn't there?"

The Story: Now I'm kind of skipping some of the beginning of the book because if I talked about it, it would spoil some important stuff. So I'll just straight into the good stuff. Jemma's parents, her sister Nan, and Ryder's mom all have to go out of town for something important (this is why I'm not talking about the beginning) so that leaves Jemma home alone.  And since Ryder's dad is out of town for his work, he's alone too. No one is worried about anything except that a hurricane is coming and no one can be in town with Jemma. Ryder goes to Jemma to help with anything and he ends up having to stay with her the whole time. It isn't any fun at all for them though because, they get tornadoes and flooding and trees crashing for days straight all while being stuck together. But it's during this time that they learn more about each other and get closer and realize they never really hated each other, there was just a lot of misunderstanding and "hate" because their moms were so adamant about them being together that they automatically didn't want to be together. 

But the hurricane doesn't last through all the book and so there is much more to the story. Jemma runs into major problems with Ryder, her parents, and friends. There were things I never saw coming and were really shocking. I felt so heartbroken and frustrated because of everything that happened that I just wanted to shout at Jemma for just not saying things right away! Everything worked out in the end though and I loved it. But so much heartache could have been avoided if people would just talk to each other!!

The Romance: Jemma and Ryder are so adorable and sweet. They really did always like each other, there was just a lot of wrong paths along the way until they realized it. I totally love them together and was so happy whenever they were together and falling deeper into their hidden-but-already-established-love! You just have to read the book and see how wonderful these two are.

End Thoughts: Loved it and definitely a favorite! I absolutely adore this book. It was a great book with great characters and story. Anyone could read this and I recommend it to all! 5 stars.


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