Jul 252011
 

The Magnolia LeagueWhen a book keeps me reading well into the night, I know that it is a good book, and this is exactly what The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch did. 

Alexandria Lee (Alex) grew up on a California communal farm, and she loved everything about it. Life was great for the California teenager until one day, when her world turned upside down.

After a whirlwind couple of months Alex finds herself living in an ancient Savannah mansion with a grandmother she had never known, and the surroundings are a complete contrast to what she had grown up in.

In Savannah, Alex has to adhere to strict society rules and debutante traditions, a life which she finds both comical and unrealistic. She has a difficult time adjusting to her new home and lifestyle, and the longing for her relaxing southern California life makes it even harder for her to fit in.

Before Alex knows it, she is entangled in mystical family traditions, and she discovers family secrets that has a reach she could never have imagined.

The Magnolia League is a book that will keep you reading, it is filled with southern ambiance, teenage troubles and a dose of mystique. Attempting to become the perfect southern belle takes much more than etiquette lessons and diets, and Alex turns to hoodoo traditions for some extra help.

Crouch successfully pulls the reader into Alex’ dramatic life, and through her descriptive writing style, the magic of Savannah comes to life in a way that was unexpected. The development of Alex’ character also takes surprise turns throughout the story, but I felt that the ending was a bit rushed and superficial which is  one of the reasons why I only give the Magnolia League four out of five stars.

While the appearance of hoodoo in the storyline did not cause me to loose interest in the book itself, as natural herbs and the use thereof do fit well into the story and the setting, the extent to which hoodoo is used in the Magnolia League was a bit disappointing to me. It simply seems to be too much of a good thing, and it takes away the connection to reality and thereby moves the story into a different more paranormal genre.

While the Magnolia League is categorized as a young adult book, I personally think it reads closely to the adult book category, touching on themes that are more suitable for teenagers 16 and up.

The Magnolia League is the first in a series by Katie Crouch, and the second book White Glove War is set to be released in 2012. This is a sequel I will be looking forward to, and it will definitely be on my to-read list.

Story Time Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Story Time Stars  * * * * 
Title: The Magnolia League
Author: Katie Crouch
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Poppy (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316078492
ISBN-13: 978-0316078498
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch for the purpose of writing a book review. Any opinions in this review have not been influenced in any way, and they are entirely my own. Versions of this children’s book review may have been posted on other websites or in printed publications.

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