Book: Magnolia by Kristi Cook
What a surprise this book was! I was actually expecting it to not be very good but I’ve been buried in fantasy novels lately and was dying for something lighthearted and then this book showed up at the library. I thought that Jemma’s narration was so charming, she was funny, adorable, self-aware, and so relatable. I think I have a soft spot for characters like this, who see themselves as average (see Jessica Darling in Second Helpings). I also have a soft spot for football and southern states so I guess this book was really right up my alley. I really liked that Jemma’s thought process wasn’t “oh wait, I forgot to think about Nan!” it was a much more fluid, like “I was doing all this stuff and still thinking about Nan.” Ryder was a surprisingly excellent love interest, I’m a huge fan of the guy being more invested in the relationship than the girl. There were a few parts of the story that I thought were too over dramatic – the snake bit, the dance stuff and the resulting fallout from the Patrick situation, in fact, I probably could have done without the Patrick altogether; other than adding to the jealousy at the beginning of the novel, I don’t think the rest of it was necessary for the development of the story. The imagery in this book was excellent, it kind of made me want to move to Magnolia Branch except for you know, the snakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Shout out to this review for making me want to read this book in the first place.