Tuesday, April 26, 2011

READING: The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

Publication date: May 3rd, 2011
Published by: Poppy
Source: NetGalley
Genre: YA Paranormal, Mystery, Magic
Rating: 4,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011
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?
I loved, loved The Magnolia League!! It's like Pretty Little Liars, but with witches. Yes, THAT good!
OK, I might not be the most objective person here, because this genre is admittedly my guilty pleasure. Well, not exactly "guilty" because I am more than happy to tell everyone that I love these kinds of books. So, more like my proud pleasure.
Hm. Now that just sounded wrong. 
Anyway, you get my drift.

I like Alex's character. I like her hippie background, her wit and spunk, the fact that she has no manners whatsoever- in contrast with her peers at Savannah who were over the top sophisticated- which made me laugh, and that she didn't give up her old ways and mindset but for very serious and specific reasons, which were more than explained and laid out in the book. It was not like she woke up one day thinking "OK yeah, I am all up for $500 jeans, tea parties and sitting like I've swallowed  a walking cane".
The same goes with the romance, as well. Thaddeus is indeed hot, no question about it. So you have the hottie and the underdog. Do the math, right?
Wrong! I honestly didn't find Thaddeus the "obvious" love interest, since both he and Alex were so well written, that in the beginning they seem completely indifferent to each other. Thaddeus is pretty snobbish, even for my tastes, and Alex, well, she is Alex! With her dreads and her unattractive clothing and behaviour. So, the romance kinda happens gradually and naturally, the way a romance should normally play out. I really appreciate love stories like this, which are unfortunately hard to find nowadays in YA books, since it's all about "By golly you're hot! Let's elope! Please."

As for the story, I am a sucker for all things witch-y and spell-y so I really liked the story in ML. It was more about a particular kind of magic, called Hoodoo, which is Voodoo's evil little sister(or brother), I guess. (scientific explanation at its best, right there!)
I haven't read any book about Hoodoo, so it was a totally new territory to me and one to explore and learn. I liked how Crouch treaded very cautiously around the black magic stuff, neither dooming and condemning it, serving her book's purposes as the main characters in the book all practice Hoodoo in an everyday basis, nor embracing it, showing its dark side and all the negative stuff that can derive from it, at the same time. 
The ending definitely leaves you wanting more, as the story takes an unexpected twist. Will I read book #2? Hell yeah! Undoubtedly, no question about it!

The Magnolia League is an enjoyable, fun, light read but also engrossing and consuming. I assure you, you won't be able to put it down!
'Nough said. Pick it up!

Highly recommended to Sara Shepard and Kate brian fans!
Book #2 in the series is called White Glove War, and it's coming out sometime in 2012 by Poppy.

This book has been given to me by NetGalley, free of charge.
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