Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy (May 3, 2011)
Goodreads Description:

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.
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The Magnolia league really stands out to me. There is something about it that makes it feel different from other YA books. It could just be that the subject matter is not something I have read a lot of. I also like that there is quite a bit of humor and some quirky characters. Just a warning to readers or parents that this book is probably not for younger teens. The main character, Alex, was raised on a pot farm and there is some drug use and underage drinking. It is talked about rather flippantly and that might rub some people the wrong way. Personally, I don't have a problem reading about it but others might.

I think that Alex being raised in a commune/pot farm environment is an interesting way to show what a drastic change occurs in her lifestyle once she moves to Georgia to live with her grandmother. She is honest, cares for the environment, and is not materialistic and that has a lot to do with her upbringing which is the opposite of life in Savannah where wealth, power, and good looks are of the utmost importance. She handles the change poorly in my opinion because of her insecurities and ultimately she starts to become almost a different person. I am interested in finding out just how deep those changes in her are in future installments of the series.

There is a sinister undercurrent throughout the book. The Buzzard family may seem friendly at times but underneath they are dangerous. The Magnolias are playing with fire by interacting with them but they are so caught up in the power they just don't see it coming. It is like watching a fly buzzing around a spiderweb. You know that if the fly hangs around too long it is going to get caught and be made into a meal. It seems inevitable that this will happen to the Magnolias at some point but the who, what, where, when, and why remains a mystery at this point.

Although a lot of info is revealed about the Magnolia League there are still a lot of questions left unanswered. This book was a great starting off point for the series with introducing a lot of information and of course the characters, so I am pretty sure there will be more of a focus on conflict in the next book. With the way this book ended it seems only likely that things will get very serious and crucial in the future.

4.5/5

CymLowell
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5 comments:

Jessica said...

Oh wow, I hadn't even heard of this one but it sounds right up my alley! Fabulous review. I'm going to add it to my TBR :).

Laurie said...

This book sounds really, really good to me, also and I had not heard of it before, either! Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful review. I found you through the Small Blogs Big Giveaway blog hop and am now a new follower. and cool! You're almost to 500! CONGRATS. :)
Laurie
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

EnglishRose said...

Nice review and nice site! I'm a new follower from Cym Lowell's book party. Feel free to check me out too! http://cleanromancereviews.blogspot.com

AngelicNytmare said...

I've seen this throughout the bloggy-world, but I was kinda of iffy on whether I wanted to read it, but it sounds like it would be interesting. Thanks for the review.

Jenn said...

Look different, I appreciate the mention about the flippant descriptions of drug use, I can't see myself reading it or letting my children read it simply because there's really in my opinion nothing flippant about drug use. However I enjoyed reading your review.