Thursday, July 7, 2011

REVIEW: The Magnolia League

Title: The Magnolia League
Author: Katie Crouch
Series: The Magnolia League
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Poppy
Format: Paperback
# of pages: 229
Source: NetGalley
When her free-spirited mother dies in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is forced to leave her West Coast home and move in with a wealthy grandmother she's never known in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League-Savannah's long-standing debutante society. But white gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she's used to.

Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League's intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in their seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty and power...but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she discovers secrets-some deadly-hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer. (credit:
This book has been on my to-be-reviewed pile for a bit, and I finally had time to sit down and write the review.  That isn't to say that book wasn't engaging.  In fact, it was the exact opposite.  I could hardly stop reading!  I just had to know what was going to happen next!

The Magnolia League is told mostly through Alex's is point of view, though there are a few chapters with third person narration.  Through the third person point of view, you gain some background on the mysterious Magnolia League.  But it is through Alex that we really start to learn what the Magnolia League is all about.

Alex, at first, does not want anything to do with the Magnolia League.  But her grandmother is adamant about it, and Hayes and Madison become her new friends.  They are MGs, or Magnolia Girls, and are there to help Alex become a proper MG.  Slowly, Alex changes a little through their influence, but still all wants to do is go back to California, to the commune she lived on and to the boyfriend she believes is waiting for her.  She finally decides to runaway, back to California, where she finds that her boyfriend wasn't really her boyfriend and that the commune has changed drastically.

So, she returns to Savannah, to her grandmother and Hayes and Madison, who have become her friends.  And not soon after, she is introduced to the side of the Magnolia League that they've kept hidden from her: the hoodoo side.  This is what helps the Magnolia League be the Magnolia League.  All the members are able to maintain wealth and beauty through spells they get from the Buzzards, a family of hoodoo practitioners that the first Magnolia League members made a deal with. This element of hoodoo is what made the story, in my opinion.  It gave it mystery and excitement, and was the root of many secrets.  Many of which were only touched upon in this book.

The Buzzards are quite a mystery to me to.  Doc Buzzard is the patriarch, and the one who made the original deal with the Magnolia League.  But Sam Buzzard, Doc's son, is the one who handles the Magnolia League's requests for spells, these days.  (All requests must be approved by the president of the Magnolia League, Dorothy Lee, Alex's grandmother.)  Sina, described as "the practitioner with the most natural talent," is the one the Magnolia League goes to when they need a spell that won't be approved.  Though they only appear a few times throughout the story, they are a big part of it and I have unanswered questions about them.  Questions such as: what was Sam Buzzard's relationship with Alex's mom?  And also, what is Sina Buzzard really up to with the deal she has made with Alex?

The characters were very well developed, with rich backrounds and their own personalities, especially Alex.  She wasn't the perfect heroine.  She was real, with flaws and unique traits, and she made mistakes.  The setting was great too!  I have always wanted to visit Savannah, and the descriptions of the city helped bring it to life for me.  Overall, this book was well written, and I can't wait until the next book comes out! I have so many questions that need to be answered!

Plot - ★★★★★
Characters - ★★★★★
Ending - ★★★★
Overall - ★★★★1/2
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