Book Review: The Magnolia League

The Magnolia League
Published By: Poppy 
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Received from Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult

The Magnolia League intrigued me because of the setting and description. As a native Georgian, I am drawn to books set in my home state. I have also always been fascinated with the mystery and allure of Savannah. This book not only has a setting I love, but also has a paranormal plot. It was the perfect mixture to provide me with reading bliss. However, even though I ended up really enjoying this one, I couldn't give it five stars because of a few issues I had with the book.

For starters, I was about 40% done with the book on my Kindle before I really became vested in the story and characters. The beginning irked me and there were a few moments I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish reading this one. However, I am glad I stuck with it and was rewarded for my efforts. The beginning felt like I was wading through a swamp - getting sucked down into pointless prose. From the middle on though the pace picks up and I was riveted.

Second, I had a hard time connecting with Alex Lee, the main character. She got on my nerves at times with all of her political agenda. It seemed like the author was trying to hard to make her into a hippie free thinker. I realize that was kind of the point, but I think it was overdone. There were moments I wanted to reach through my Kindle and shake Alex. She eventually did grow on me, but just be prepared that it could take some time. In the end, Alex was still never my favorite character, but there were enough other characters that I did like that it honestly didn't matter to me.

Now that I have gotten the negative aspects out of the way I just need to say wow. This is one of the most interesting uses of old tales that I have seen in awhile. I grew up hearing stories about the hoodoo in Savannah and the Buzzard family. As an older teen, I loved seeing hoodoo mentioned in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I found it refreshing to see some of those same concepts come alive in a Young Adult novel. For the readers who are unaware of what hoodoo is and how it differs from voodoo, Katie Crouch does an excellent job of explaining the nuances of the practice.She also did a nice job of blending the Gullah culture into the Savannah aristocracy aspects.

The Magnolia League is one of those elitist groups that has more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet. Katie Crouch reveals some of those skeletons a bone at a time - I was on the edge of my seat trying to predict where the story would lead me next. Of course since it's a series she left me hanging and crying for more. The southern and paranormal aspects in this book mix and blend to create a striking Southern Gothic.

One Last Gripe: I wanted to know more about the relationship between Sam and Louisa - hopefully there will be more involving this in the future books

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The setting and cultures

First Sentence: And under these conditions, protected by these spells, the women in this League shall serve the Buzzards well. - Signed by the Founding Members of the Magnolia League, May 12, 1957

Favorite Character: Hayes

Least Favorite Character: Alex

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?

As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.


  1. Great review! I've got this sitting on my TBR pile and now I'm even more excited to read it.

  2. @Mundie Moms - I think you'll like it since we have similar reading tastes!


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