Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

I read this one awhile back and really enjoyed it!
Magnolia by Kristi CookMagnolia
by Kristi Cook 
August 5, 2014
336 pages

Goodreads 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.


A refreshingly cute read. I could see the signs of this being a Romeo and Juliet story in reverse. The love-hate relationship was excellent and while a big change was expected of the relationship between our two leads, it didn't feel forced at all. The gradual lead up to it was perfect. Enough tension and thought was there for me to feel content with how things moved along.

Jemma and Ryder have hated each other since they were young. She has always been very outspoken about her dislike for Ryder. However, with Ryder, I didn't feel any hate from him. If anything, I felt his hesitance every time he approached Jemma. They used to be great friends when they were kids but for some reason unknown to Ryder, Jemma began hating him. I really appreciate Cook for not leaving us hanging for too long. Fairly soon we discover why they had a fall out.
Ryder said some untrue things about Jemma to his friends and as fate would have it, she overheard. It's a very common mistake and Ryder does end up making it up to her so I was happy with the way that worked out.

The characters in this book really stood out for me. Some of the events that occurred in the book were a little heavy but I thought each character's reaction to said events were very appropriate. Jemma's annoyance at her mom trying to play matchmaker, her anxiety
over her sister's cancer, her lack of devastation to Patrick's death and her guilt over kissing Ryder before she broke it off with Patrick were all understandable. Ryder was even easier to read with the way he acted. I especially loved how the two of them didn't let other people dictate their lives. They knew what they wanted and they fought for it. They're good together!

Not a big issue but the coincidence at the end with Jemma and Ryder
both heading to New York City for school felt a little too convenient for me. I also easily figured out why he didn't say anything to her before she found out and confronted him. On a side note, I really loved the excuse her friends came up with to cover for her when she snuck out to see him. So adorable to see your friends have your back ;)

With love-hate relationships in stories, I definitely enjoy the wait for the animosity between the leads to turn into something more. Magnolia is a contemporary romance done well in that way. I savoured every moment and all the feels that came with Jemma and Ryder's story.

4 Cats


  1. I read this book a long time ago as well, but I didn't get around to writing a review. I remember enjoying it, though. ;)

    1. I'm the opposite! I wrote up a review but didn't post it until now :D

  2. I have this book. I picked it up after seeing some reviews for it. I hope I like it too!

  3. Wooow, I love it! Enjoy the weekend honey!

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  4. Thanks, I love these kinds of easy, sweet reads. It's on my list!

  5. I really liked this one too! Great for this time of year!

    1. Definitely! Cute and light, makes me want to reread it now ;)

  6. Haven't we had parents trying to fix us up when we were young? This book reminds me of those fond and sometimes funny memories. Great review! hugs...

    1. I have two sisters so between the three of us, it would've been hard for my parents to do that but I totally get what you mean! Would've been funny ;)

  7. I've heard some really good things about this one, with the hate to love and slight Romeo & Juliet but done the opposite way. And I'm glad you really enjoyed it too!
    I'll have to keep it in mind for the summer reading list!

    1. The story was pretty interesting so I hope you'll enjoy it too :D

  8. I have this!! And I've been wanting to read it. I had to restraint myself from highlighting the spoilers especially the one of why Jemma hated Ryder. I hope to get to it this year.


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