Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Page Count: 384
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
This book was SO good! I loved every page. I know my review won't be able to convey the awesomeness that is this book, so you'll just have to read it for yourself.
Jemma was smart and fun and easy for me to relate to. I thought she was sort of cool in her own way, and she was really good at whatever she tried her hand at. Ryder was beyond sweet and adorable. He was a total southern gentleman, dreamy and wonderful and almost too good to be true! Of course I absolutely loved him! It was refreshing to see both of them act like normal teenagers, worrying about dating and grades and college. And I loved that they weren't afraid to show how much they cared about their families and friends.
Jemma and Ryder were such likable characters, and they were so good together that I couldn't help but want things to work out for them. Their family history dates back to the Civil War, and their mothers have been planning their wedding since the day they were born. I thought their mothers were hilarious (in a ridiculous sort of way) because of how passionate they were about Jemma and Ryder becoming a couple. Sometime during 8th grade, Jemma and Ryder had a major falling out, and they hadn't been close since. But the families are blind to their turmoil, so they are still continuously thrown together.
Jemma and Ryder must overcome their 'destiny' and find out if what they feel for each other is real and lasting. Do they really want to be together and have a future, or are they are just going along with their parents wishes? To me, it was quite obvious that they cared about each other, but I enjoyed trying to figure out if it was a brotherly/sisterly type of affection or possibly something more.
Overall, Magnolia was a sweet and fun summer read. Along with the wonderful writing and enjoyable story, it also had great secondary characters, loving, caring parents, and a terrific Southern setting. This book really has a lot to offer anyone who loves romantic contemporary YA stories without a lot of unnecessary drama. Magnolia was one of my most anticipated reads so far this year. I had such high hopes for this story, and I'm happy to say that it exceeded my expectations!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars