Published by Simon & Schuster on August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Natural Disaster, YA
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.
What I Thought…
• This book was written for me. I kind of feel that the author was reading my mind a bit when she wrote Magnolia. Cook combined two of my favorite things: romance and natural disasters.
• Jemma and Ryder’s families have been trying to get them together since forever. Their families have been long time (like civil war long) friends and have been waiting for the perfectly timed boy and girl to officially tie them together. Jemma and Ryder want nothing to do with this. I thought their feud would be a bit different, but I have no complaints about what it was about. Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that trip us up.
• While I think it’s a little weird for Jemma’s parents and Ryder’s parents to both be gone when they know that a hurricane is approaching, other than Ryder’s mom their reasons for being gone make sense.
• The hurricane wasn’t a super large part of the book (mostly the middle third or so) but I loved every minute of it. I thought it was well written and intense and I couldn’t put it down.
• Magnolia is so much more than just the romance and the hurricane. Things happen. Jemma has to deal with changes, changes she can’t control. She is also dealing with what is expected of her and what she wants for herself.
• Despite the fact that Jemma and I are nothing alike she was easy to like and relate to. I loved watching her argue with Ryder and also open up to him.
Overall I LOVED Magnolia and would recommend it to just about anyone!