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Alex is the first in decades to question the ...
Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League's intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in their seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty and power...but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she discovers secrets-some deadly-hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer.
New York Times bestselling author Katie Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this enchanting and mysterious story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.
A Southern take on the ever-popular supernatural thriller.
Sixteen-year-old Alex Lee, who has been raised on a communal farm in California, loses her mother to a car accident and is sent to Savannah, Ga., to live with a wealthy grandmother she's never meant. Hippie, über-socially-conscious Alex is told that, by birthright, she belongs to an exclusive social club, The Magnolia League, comprised of rich, beautiful and fashionable women. Two other girls in the League are given—and actually begin to make progress on—the herculean task of transforming Alex into a true Magnolia before the upcoming debutante ball. The slow pace of the novel's first half may cause readers to lose interest, but those who persevere will discover the answer to some building questions. For starters: How do the women in the league become and stay so perfect, and why don't any of them leave Savannah? And who is the hauntingly beautiful Sina, the only person who seems to scare the Magnolias? Once she begins to understand the darker side of the League'smagic, Alex agrees to flee Savannah with her boyfriend Thaddeus while she still can. She makes a run for it, but her grandmother might have one more trick up her sleeve guaranteed to make Alex stay.
Though it probably won't win any converts, this one will please current fans of the genre; expectsequels.(Supernatural thriller.12 & up)
You know what I hate? Sweet tea. Actually, I wouldn’t call it tea; I’d say it’s more of a syrup. Ninety-eight percent sugar, with a little water thrown in so you don’t totally shrivel up and die in this torturous heat. It makes you fat just to pick up a glass, and then leaves your teeth rotten after one sip. Leave it to the crazy citizens of Georgia to flip out over a drink like that.
Other things that aren’t so great? Georgia summers. Georgia boys. My grandmother’s rules. My entire new freakin’ life in Georgia.
I know, I know. I have a bad attitude right now. Reggie would say I’m being a buzzkill. And if I had a buzz to kill, he’d be right. So, please, don’t hate me—I mean, really, this sour, bitter Alex is a new thing. Back in California, I was always a hey-the-grass-is-green-right-here kind of girl. But I’m not in California. As you might have guessed from this pity party of mine, I’m in Georgia. Savannah, Georgia, to be exact.
I’ve been here for two weeks, living in my grandmother’s pre–Civil War, twenty-three-room mansion on Forsyth Park. She’s tiny, but the ceilings and doorways seem designed for giants. As for practicality… well, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a gallery, a ballroom, and a carriage house—all for one lady. And the decor? It could be truly rad, but she’s pretty much gone with the doily look. Think Southern fussiness meets the Addams Family. I’ve seen funeral parlors cozier than this place.
According to my grandmother and her lawyer, I’m doomed to call Gaston Street home until I’m eighteen. I’m sixteen now, so I guess that means I’m here for two more years. I’m pretty sure that’s longer than a stiff jail sentence for dealing weed.
I’m Alex. That’s what everyone but my grandmother calls me, so that’s my real name. But I can’t seem to get her to remember that.
“Alexaaaaandria! Are you up here?”
I am up here. Yup. I’m sitting on the railing of the upstairs porch, trying to get a little pot out of this pipe. It was the last present my boyfriend, Reggie, gave me, and I’m hoping that somehow it’ll make it feel like he’s here.
I hear her heels clicking around the rooms. I haven’t seen her in any shoes other than heels. Always in a designer outfit, always in heels. Don’t be fooled, though. My grandmother is a ninja with brass knuckles, dressed for a tea party.
“I’m out here,” I call.
The footsteps slow for a moment as she homes in on her target. Then the pace quickens as she comes in for the kill.
Here she is: my grandmother, Mrs. Dorothy Lawson (first dead husband) Lee (second dead husband, and my mom’s dad). By the way, Mr. Lee, I’ve just been informed, descended from the famous Confederate general. Not exactly a direct descendant, but a cousin’s cousin or something. It’s kind of crazy, because that’s my last name too.
She just goes by Miss Lee now. Doesn’t want me to call her Grandma, because it “ages” her. That’s cool with me. And truthfully, she does look pretty young to be a grandmother. Her dark, shiny hair (no gray in sight) is tied back, with some perfectly placed tendrils escaping around her oval face. There are a few laugh lines (not that I ever see her laugh) around her dark green eyes, but other than that, her face is pretty much as smooth as mine. She is what Big Jon would call “doll pretty”—meaning she looks so delicate that it seems you might break her if you shook her hand too hard.
“Alexandria, it smells like a skunk daaaiiied up here.” She has one of those Southern accents that manages, despite the region’s reputation for hospitality, to be completely disapproving and unfriendly all the time.
“It’s the herb,” I say.
“It’s pot. I’m smoking pot.”
My grandmother puts one hand on her hip and points a surprisingly young-looking finger at me with the other. All available body parts seem to drip with jewels.
“Are you trying to per-tuuuuhhb me, Alexandria?”
“Well, if you’re goin’ to smoke, at least smoke tobacco. I’ve got stock in Philip Morris, which means, since you are the sole heir to my estate, you do too. Anyway. Pahhh-lease dress. Your Magnolia sisters will be here this afternoon. I’ve arranged for two girls from your debutante class to come over shortly after my meeting.”
“I am dressed.”
“Alexandria, you are wearin’ rags.”
“I’m wearing shorts. And this is vintage. Look: the Grateful Dead, Greek Theatre, 1985. Arguably the Dead’s sickest show ever. This shirt’s probably worth, like, fifty bucks.”
“Miss Lee, what they see is what they get.”
My grandmother narrows her eyes. When she does that, they look black. It’s a very frightening effect, as if the pupils have taken over.
“All right,” she says. “If that’s how you’d like to play this.”
“Oh, you’ll see eventually, Alexandria. I’ll call you when they’re here.”
Her footsteps click down the hall and, as if by magic, suddenly disappear.
Excerpted from The Magnolia League by Crouch, Katie Copyright © 2011 by Crouch, Katie. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted May 9, 2011
I was very surprised by this book, as I wasn't sure what to expect when I went into it. The basic story idea was interesting, and although it wasn't terribly unique, the author brought something new to it. I've read books before where the story takes place within a secret society of some sort, but the idea of mixing a group of Georgia ladies with a family that practices hoodoo was completely new for me. The author gave what was, to me, a very believable reason why these two groups would end up working together.
The author did a good job with characterization for Alex. I have to admit she was one of the most intriguing heroines I've read in a while. What an earthly little thing. I wasn't sure I would like her at first because I don't typically see a heroine with dreadlocks and who doesn't bother to shave, but I really loved this girl. She was real, she was honest. What you see is what you get. I loved her spunk and the fact that she wasn't willing to change for anyone. Until she changed....
Once she gets fully enmeshed in the goings on in Savannah, Georgia, she does end up changing a little of her personality and physical traits, but that was sort of the point. She has to learn from mistakes to grow.
I loved the romance in this story. At first, I wasn't sure it was believable for a guy like him to like a girl like her, until I took it into account that he's used to these overly painted, overly primped girls who have burned him in the past. So he wants someone real, which Alex is.
I was completely shocked by the ending, as I wasn't expecting a sort of cliffhanger into a sequel but I am looking forward to reading it. I can't wait to find out if Alex ruined her chances with "him," and what she does to turn the situation around. The book had just enough suspense to really keep me hanging and interested. The author's pacing was great and I found this to be a very fast and engrossing read.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2011
The Magnolia League is Savannah's long-standing debutante society, and Alexandria (Alex) Lee is an unwilling member. After her mother's death, Alex is moved from California to Savannah to live with her grandmother Dorothy, who also happens to be the president of the Magnolia League. Alex's mother, a one-time member of the league, left Savannah to live on a commune. When Alex arrives she is totally out of place. She's pudgy, has dreadlocks and likes to smoke pot. She is everything the Magnolia League is not.
Her grandmother enlists the help of Hayes and Madison, two girls Alex's age and future members of the League, to turn her granddaughter into the debutante she is meant to be. The League goes against everything Alex believes in, and she questions everything about them, but soon she finds herself being sucked in to their seductive world of beauty, wealth and status.
Alex discovers a link between the Magnolia's and the Buzzard family - a family that practices hoodoo magic, and soon she finds herself choosing between her freedom or the Magnolia League. Once you're in, you're in for life.
I was completely sucked into this novel. I read it in a day. The writing is fresh, light and clips along nicely. The novel never seemed to drag, and it seemed that with every chapter a new piece of information was revealed. The ending definitely leaves the reader wanting more, and it's obvious there will be future books focusing on the Magnolia League. Katie Crouch gives us a book that is part "Mean Girls" and part "The Craft" (both movies that I love) with equal parts comedy, coming of age, magic and mystery. I'll be looking forward to the next installment.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2013
I absolutely LOVED this book and its sequel! It is well written, along the same level as Twilight, which is important for this mom in her 30's . This kept me so entertained that I read it in one weekend with a toddler! Great reading for a younger generation as it was easy to get swept up in the romance of the South and the excitement of the characters! I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter to this saga! This is at the top of my gift giving list this year and for the next few!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2013
*Cranks his bike and looks at Batman.* Res 6. Lets get outta here. *Raises my feet off the ground and cranks the throttle. The bike slowly gains speed and is soon going jusy as fast as Wonder Woman. I look up and wave.* Slow-poke, huh? *Cranks the throttle even harder and begins going faster that Wonder Woman.*Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2013
You cant post at a es thats not even out. Res 8 BRUCY AND GRIFTY!!! Dude i know what grifty is gonna call me...not in the approprate space. Not. Even. Remotly.) Hey! Sped up and was gaining. Finaly got past him. Stated just a few feet ahead.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2012
Posted June 14, 2012
If you're an adult who enjoys reading some YA fiction now and then, I have to say that while this book was entertaining, it is definately more for a teen than adult. The premise is interesting and unique, as is the main character, the writing isnt bad..but there were some parts where conversation didnt flow well, some holes in the plot and an ending that didnt quite seem to fit. I think the author could have developed this story a little more and made it richer. Not sure if i would continue reading the series or not...but if you just want a quick and different read, give it a shot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2012
This book is amazing. Katie Crouch has done an awesome job with this book. You should SO read it! And if you not up for buying it, go check it out at your library. You wont be sorry you did!
Posted January 28, 2012
Posted October 29, 2011
The Magnolia League wasn't one of my favorite reads but it sure was entertaining. Alex who was raised into a care free lifestyle is now shoved into a world of manners and etiquette. She struggles fitting in with everyone in Savannah and an even harder time socially. Especially since she's attending school for the first time at age 16. To make things even harder on Alex, she finds herself being part of a society, the Magnolia League. Alex has been hearing about how greedy and self fish the Magnolias are and even believed it herself. But when she digs deeper into the Magnolias, she finds these ladies are hiding much more under all that greed and power.
Not only was it an enjoyable fantasy, but the plot was pretty interesting consisting of hoodoo and magic. I liked how the history of the Magnolias and the hoodoo were weaved in and not just chunks of writing. The writing was very simple and easy. Everything was very straight forward, but I was looking for that build up. The stories that were shared about Alex and her mother had to be one of my favorite parts because of how it showed how much they cared for each other.
The idea of this society and the rules were very amusing. Instead of the "mean girl" posies, the Magnolias were started with the girl's grandmothers and continues throughout the family. Alex, who is now stepping into the society, is not like the other MGs. (Magnolia Girls) She starts the book off being spontaneous and outgoing. The deeper I get into the book the more Alex starts shifting into the typical MG that her grandmother wants her to be. She starts caring too much about her appearance and how her boyfriend, Thaddeus, truly feels about her. I know that's the usual thing, but I thought she'd be different and try to change things for the Magnolias. Maybe it was intentional that she starts going down that road and later on develops in the next books.
The Magnolia League caught my attention by the gorgeous cover. To make things better it was a light easy read. I am curious about what will happen in the next book after a big cliff hanger. Plus I really want to read more about Alex and the person she'll become.
Posted July 20, 2011
Posted July 13, 2011
It was a great book and i finished it within hours of starting it but it leads you to think it will end differently than it does. I think the story is good but the ending sucks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 26, 2011
Posted May 26, 2011
What really got me about this book was the plot. I fell into with ease and enjoyed the trickery that The Magonlia League does. I have to admit that the plot twist is amazing! I would have never thought it be what it be, but I like it a lot.
The main character Alex is like no other. She doesn't fit into the crowd and doesn't do what everyone else does. She follows her own beat. When she first came to Savannah, Georgia, she completely changed their world. I loved that she was so unique and different. It made for a great storyline.
The characters on the other hands were rough and out there. The things the girls did, where, WOAH! I was shocked by some of the things they did and how they did it. I like that the plot had a great twist with the characters. At first you thought since they were minor characters they don't play a big role, but boy did they ever! I knew something was up. The hoodoo, magic stuff was cool. I like the whole idea of it. I am glad to read something that is new in a book.
The ending with the cliffhanger was awesome! I absolutely adored the way is all turn out in the in! I can only wish to know what happens next. This is a really fun book to read that will leave you hanging by all the plot twist!
Posted May 19, 2011
I bought this book in a whim, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure to be wildly popular... very good. An original heroine, intruiging plot, and page-turning writing. I couldn't believe it when it was the end! Hoping for a sequel. I highly reccomend this book. For fans of: pretty little liars, etc. Note: readers must be willing to accept pudgy, dreadlocked, pot smoking main character. Ha!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 5, 2011
thi book wa amazing it kept me turning the page alway wanting to know wht would happen next. its the perfect balance between normal struggles in life coming of age ramance and magic. this book is totally worth reading!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 20, 2011
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Posted June 10, 2011
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Posted July 1, 2011
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Posted November 4, 2011
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