{Blog Tour} Magnolia by Kristi Cook: Review + Favorite Quote + Giveaway!

July 30, 2014 Blog Tour, Book, Giveaway, Joint Review 10 ★★★★½

{Blog Tour} Magnolia by Kristi Cook: Review + Favorite Quote + Giveaway!Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Simon and Schuster on August 5th, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

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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Marianne’s Thoughts:

You know why I loved Pride & Prejudice? Because Darcy & Elizabeth hated each other at first. (Well, Elizabeth hated him… Darcy is debatable).

My all-time favorite trope is seeing two characters that dislike each other so much, slowly fall in love.

This book is a reverse Romeo and Juliet. Two families that love each other and basically do everything together, and two children who would rather be with anyone else in the world than each other. Ryder & Jemma are two kids who live in the south whose families have conspired all their lives to bring them together. Now there’s a storm heading towards Magnolia, and being in confined, dark spaces may surface some feelings that they don’t really want out.

Help, I’m smiling and I can’t stop

Okay let’s begin by what I loved:

Firstly, the setting. This book is set in Magnolia Branch, Mississippi. This means southern accents, and farms, and big dogs, and shotguns, and churches. I loved the southern feel of this story. It was so refreshing from typical, bland, ambiguous settings in most books out there.

Jemma & Ryder definitely held their own as protagonists. Jemma is this all around awesome girl. She’s not this delicate southern flower, but a really kickass girl who can shoot guns as well as photographs. She’s smart, a cheerleader, and a self-proclaimed good girl. However she wants to break free of the expectations of her family. So she has little rebellions here and there. Basically she just wants to be able to choose her own life.

It’s not that I don’t want to live out my days here. It’s just that I want the opportunity to…I don’t know…spread my wings and fly a bit before I come back home to roost, you know? If I end up back in Magnolia Branch, I want it to be because I’ve chosen to be here.

Ryder is a southern gentleman. He’s sweet, caring, and charming. I never thought he was being a “stupid boy”. He is definitely the guy you’d love to take home to your parents. Ryder is a dream. I have a huge crush on him.

This book isn’t only about the romance, but it features strong female friendships (and absolutely NO slut shaming! YAY), while also building a believable high school atmosphere (cheerleading, football games, and *gasp* even real classes), and it deals with grief and loss as well.

I think the biggest part of this book, other than the romance, was the storm. The storm was actually a very big part of this book and I loved seeing its effects. I loved that Ryder & Jemma had to ride it out alone because of some very… unfortunate circumstances. Imagine being locked up in a very small confined storm shelter with an incredibly attractive guy who you might love/hate.

They finally had all the time in the world to talk and man, that was some pretty good talking. 😉

“I hear his breath catch. Slowly, his hand moves over mine, his fingertips brushing my knuckles until his entire hand covers mine.”

I could keep gushing about how this book was all kinds of awesome. My only issue with this book is the fact that I wanted MORE. (and that Jemma was a bit naïve at first but I forgave her because she was awesome). But, if you’re still reading my review and not rushing to buy the book, then we have a problem.

Favorite Quote:

“You know those tragic stories where two kids from feuding families fall in love? Okay, flip that inside out and turn it on it’s head and you’ve got our story: Ryder’s and mine.”

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Follow the FFBC Magnolia Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.


As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
That’s the official version–here are some other fun facts:
~ As an undergrad, I majored in History and minored in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, I was a member of Phi Mu sorority, and I was a Dixie Darling. And yep, Brett Favre was our quarterback at the time!
~ I studied American History in grad school at Columbia University. I *love* history, especially the Civil War era (U.S.) and Regency- and Edwardian-era British history.
~ My all-time favorite book *and* movie is GONE WITH THE WIND. My favorite literary characters are Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Darcy. I kind of want to add Peeta Mellark to that list!
~Weirdly enough (or maybe not so weirdly?) I’m also a big fan of STAR TREK (the original series). I never can remember if I’m supposed to call myself a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker,” though!
PRIZE: Win (1) $25 gift card to an online bookstore of choice (Amazon or BN) plus an entire paperback set of the Winterhaven series (Haven, Mirage, and Eternal) [INT]

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • Oooh, the storm being a big part of the book actually adds something a little difference, and yay for strong female relationships. That sounds great!

  • Loved the gifs in this review! 😀 When I saw the cover I wasn’t that interested, but the synopsis sure caught my attention. This sounds like the perfect indulgent romance to read, but not without some Southern spice (on Jemma’s part). Being caught in a tight space with a boy that one might not like during a storm reminds me of that one scene in Huntley Fitzpatrick’s ‘What I Thought Was True’. 😉 Sounds ideal!

    • I haven’t read What I Thought Was True, but I really want to since I enjoyed her other contemporary novel. Thanks for the rec!

  • Stephanie

    Since that has happened to me a couple of times, and it in no way worked out… I’d have to say no lol

  • I’m so excited now to read this! Ahhhhh. It’s been on my TBR since I saw the cover. I don’t know.. there’s something about it. And I have a feeling that no one will annoy me. HAHA. Awesome review, Marianne! And even though I don’t win anything I will still try my luck at the rafflecopter 😀

  • Awe everyone has such good things to say about this book but i have to admit that I just never thought about it all that much but now reading your review i’m like “why didnt i pay this book more attention?” It looks so cute! I love how it’s like romeo & juliet in reverse! Okay, i’m adding this one to my TBR pile.

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