Friday, March 11, 2011

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

After Alex Lee's mother dies, she's forced to leave her home on a communal farm in California and move in with her wealthy grandmother who lives in Savannah.  Alex's grandmother is the head of the Magnolia League, a debutante society.  Alex is expected to join the League, but debutante societies aren't exactly her thing.  And there's something weird about the Magnolia League.  Even the women who are in their 70s look like young girls.  They're all beautiful and rich and powerful.  The Magnolia League has made a pact with a hoodoo family.  They can have all the money and power and beauty they want, but they can never leave Savannah.

So this was fine.  It is what it is.  Nothing super special, nothing super new.  An enjoyable read if you like this genre and it will be series so you can keep on reading them.  The pacing was a bit slow.  It takes Alex forever to figure out what's going on and for her grandmother and friends to clue her in.  We as the reader know what the deal is in the second chapter, and then we have to put up with Alex not figuring out what's going on until chapter 20.

I found Alex a little annoying.  For all her posturing about being different and not wanting to be a debutante and this wasn't how she was raised, she didn't put up much of a fight.  I know it was supposed to be like she's falling under the Magnolia's influence, but they really didn't have to try very hard.

The relationship between Alex and Thaddeus was weird.  He didn't really seem to like her very much, and the only reason Alex seemed to like Thaddeus was that he was hot.  It certainly wasn't for his amazing conversation skills.  And then, after Thaddeus has Alex promise never to use a love spell on him, at the first bump in their relationship Alex runs out and gets a love spell.  Well.  I don't much like you Alex.  That was a scummy thing to do.  And why do you like Thaddeus so much?  He's a total bore.  She doesn't even think he liked her the way she really was, but only liked her when she changed (which turned out to not be true, but still).

What I did like was that Hayes and Madison, two Magnolias that are Alex's age, actually are looking out for her.  Yes, they hated her clothes and her hair and her everything, but when it came down to it, they did actually have her back.  So it was nice to see the girls that you expect to be nasty and mean and try to bring the new girl down actually turn out to be kind of nice under it all.

There is a supernatural element to this book, obviously, what with the hoodoo magic and the spells and all.  We discover at the end that Alex's mother is not resting in peace, and so Alex decides to stay in Savannah in the hopes of helping her mother.  This is where the first book ends, with Alex deciding not to run away with Thaddeus because she has to save her mom and Hayes finding out that Alex tried to use a love spell on Thaddeus (Thaddeus is Hayes' brother) and she is NOT pleased.  TO BE CONTINUED.

My biggest question:  If we made sure in the book to explain how voodoo and hoodoo are not the same thing at all (voodoo is a religion, hoodoo is a practice of magic.  You can practice hoodoo and be any religion at all), then why is the hoodoo family called a voodoo family on the blurb on the back?  Consistency problems like that bother me.

The Magnolia League will be available May 3rd.

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