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young adult book reviews & more

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia LeagueAfter the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Alex is forced to leave her home on a commune in northern California to move in with her grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. Alex knows that she doesn’t belong there; her dreadlocks and ratty clothing make her stand out horribly in her grandmother’s exquisite mansion. And so, Alex immediately starts making plans for escape. She refuses to take part in the Magnolia League, Savannah’s elite debutante society, but what she doesn’t know is that she might not have a choice in the matter. And the longer she is forced to stay, the more that the Magnolia League seems to grow on her—after all, every member seems to be young, wealthy, and beautiful. It’s almost unnatural, and it won’t be long before Alex discovers the Magnolia League’s sinister connection to a family that practices hoodoo. But if Alex gives into this new way of life, what will be the cost?

I wanted to read The Magnolia League because I am fascinated by hoodoo, but I was disappointed by this novel on many accounts. I found it rather difficult to get into the story because I could not relate to Alex in the least; it wasn’t just her style and appearance that disgruntled me, but her attitudes about her former life on the commune and her current life in a southern mansion as well. I couldn’t understand many of her motives and opinions, especially her reluctance to let go of her boyfriend from the commune even though he never treated her well and seriously mixed opinions about the younger members of the Magnolia League. On a more positive note, I was intrigued by the connection between The Magnolia League and the Buzzard family, which practices hoodoo. It was interesting to learn how the alliance formed and evolved over time. I wish there was more of an emphasis on this as well as some of the later secrets about this alliance revealed toward the end of the book, because this was not only much better executed but also much more interesting than Alex’s personal issues. I am unsure as to whether I will pick up a sequel to this novel, because although I am interested in the subject matter, the story was not particularly well written or executed.

The Magnolia League may still be enjoyed by fans of Ruined by Paula Morris and Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall.

Rating: 3.0

Review copy from publisher Little, Brown

1 munch(es) :

Mepis said...

We received a copy of this too over at http://www.hippiesbeautyandbooksohmy.com/2011/06/welcome-everyone.html. I'm excited to see another bookworm! I'll be interested in reading this now but am a bit worried after reading your review. Character involvement and identity is a big thing with me in novels.

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