Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
Release Date:  May 3, 2011
Publisher:  Poppy

After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?  As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city. - Goodreads.com

I was very surprised by this book, as I wasn't sure what to expect when I went into it.  The basic story idea was interesting, and although it wasn't terribly unique, the author brought something new to it.  I've read books before where the story takes place within a secret society of some sort, but the idea of mixing a group of Georgia ladies with a family that practices hoodoo was completely new for me.  The author gave what was, to me, a very believable reason why these two groups would end up working together.

The author did a good job with characterization for Alex.  I have to admit she was one of the most intriguing heroines I've read in a while.  What an earthly little thing.  I wasn't sure I would like her at first because I don't typically see a heroine with dreadlocks and who doesn't bother to shave, but I really loved this girl.  She was real, she was honest.  What you see is what you get.  I loved her spunk and the fact that she wasn't willing to change for anyone.  Until she changed....

Once she gets fully enmeshed in the goings on in Savannah, Georgia, she does end up changing a little of her personality and physical traits, but that was sort of the point.  She has to learn from mistakes to grow.

I loved the romance in this story.  At first, I wasn't sure it was believable for a guy like him to like a girl like her, until I took it into account that he's used to these overly painted, overly primped girls who have burned him in the past.  So he wants someone real, which Alex is.

I was completely shocked by the ending, as I wasn't expecting a sort of cliffhanger into a sequel but I am looking forward to reading it.  I can't wait to find out if Alex ruined her chances with "him," and what she does to turn the situation around.  The book had just enough suspense to really keep me hanging and interested.  The author's pacing was great and I found this to be a very fast and engrossing read.

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