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(Magnolia Branch #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  7,353 ratings  ·  912 reviews
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arri ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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Kristi Cook It's just a stand-alone! However, someday soon I might write a digital-only, novella-length sequel. UPDATED: There *is* a sequel novella out now, call…moreIt's just a stand-alone! However, someday soon I might write a digital-only, novella-length sequel. UPDATED: There *is* a sequel novella out now, called MISCHIEF & MAGNOLIAS! Available digital or paperback from Amazon. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,353 ratings  ·  912 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
"We’ve hated each other since forever.”

“Love, hate,” she says with a smile. “Such a fine line between the two, isn’t there?”
Help. I have a Mississippi-sized grin on my face and it's not going away.

I wanted a sweet, wildly romantic, happily-ever-after romance, and I got it all. The characters can be infuriating sometimes, but they're teenagers, and I can absolutely relate to them. There were moments in the book when I wanted to slap Jemma and tell her "You have to tell him what he did wrong!
Aj the Ravenous Reader
That was really cute! After all the depressing and gloomy reads, I thought I deserved something light and romantic and Magnolia had been the perfect choice. It was like a Romeo and Juliet spinoff set in contemporary Magnolia, Mississippi (love the setting and the southern romance) and instead of the feuding families, it’s our hero and heroine who are at war with each other mainly because they wanted to rebel against their families’ wish to unit them (wishfully in marriage).

I really enjoyed the w
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.75 stars!

 photo magnoliacorrectcollage.png

Magnolia is about Jemma Cafferty, a teenage girl who lives in Mississippi. Her family has always been best friends with the Marsden's next door, leading back to the War. You know, The Civil War. The two families are constantly pressuring Jemma and Ryder Marsden to get married and unite the families once and for all, the only problem being Jemma and Ryder can't stand each other.

When Jemma's parents go out of town for a family emergency, Jemma is left at home alone when a storm
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Golden by Jessi Kirby, Shakespeare appreciators, lovers of everything swoon
actual rating: 4.5

I've made it no secret that my favorite trope of all time is when characters who dislike each other, or have minor issues with one another, are stuck together in a fixed location due to harsh weather or a natural disaster. I've searched time and time again for a contemporary romance wherein the main characters are trapped together during a natural disaster, and when I discovered Magnolia, it felt like I had won the jackpot; the two main characters of Magnolia hate each other,
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I was completely prepared to hate this book. I mean, I normally dislike contemporary novels and I forced myself to think that this was no exception. Yippee! I was bloody wrong!

Me at 1%

Please, please be good, book!

Me at 25%

Me at 100%

This book was absolutely cute and adorable. I was over the moon when I realized that I was actually enjoying this book. Ah, happiness!

The Story

Two families want to unite in marriage; the Caffertys' and the Marsdens'. And their perfect opportunity lies on Jemma Ca
Liz* Fashionably Late


I love YA. I do. So, this is not like I hate the genre and yet complain about it. I love it.

Jemma and Ryder are both beautiful and rich. They've known each other for ever so you could think it's meant to be, right? Or at least, that's what their parents say. The premise of the book is somehow refreshing: Romeo and Juliet, in reverse? I'm in! These two can't stand each other! Or that's what I though at first but Jemma has this tendency to fight, cry and gravitate around Ryder
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Magnolia was exactly what I needed: light, fun and undeniably cute. I saw this one on Edelweiss ages ago, but I quickly looked past it because I wasn’t so sure about it at first. But then the reviews started rolling in and I was absolutely certain that I needed this book in my life. And I was right. I totally did because this book rocked my socks off.

Magnolia has been described as a reverse Romeo and Juliet story. The families are basically stuck together wit
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magnolia was so damn adorable and so sweet! I just really recommend this if you want a cute, fluffy YA contemporary romance. Bonus if you really like couples who start out hating each other.
Susan's Reviews
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tornadoes, hurricanes, poisonous water snakes and a Romeo and Juliet romance - in reverse - this is what MAGNOLIA has to offer you.
Jemma and Ryder's parents are lifelong friends and neighbours and have been scheming to start a romance between their two offspring from their birth. But neither Jemma nor Ryder want to give their parents the satisfaction of caving in to those schemes.

They also loathe the sight of each other: or do they?

Kristi Cook turned a few tropes on their heads in this really
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, romance
It feels like I should have liked this book better than I did. I had a little trepidation when I realized that Cook was going for a reverse Romeo and Juliet. I mean, that has so many ways it can screw up, right? But that turned out not to be an issue, I don't think. It's subtle enough that it's really no more than a vague idea with little real penetration. Which, come to think of it, is kind of a pattern in the book.

Take Jemma. The idea is solid: a strong Southern girl who likes being pretty and
Melannie :)

Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

When I first heard about Magnolia, I was sold. Tornados? SURVIVING one? Love/hate relationships? What else could I want? Nothing. This book lived up to every single one of my expectations and then some. Okay, I was lying. I wanted more. SO MUCH MORE. This book was just not long enough and I was heartbroken when it came to an end.

This story is kind of like Romeo and Juliet in reverse, where the families are "like this" and the kids hate each
Magnolia was one of those read in one sitting sort of books. I was in the mood for something light, funny and being a huge fan of antagonistic characters I knew I would end up loving Magnolia.

Ryder and Jemma have grown up together with a huge amount of pressure and expectation on them. As their families have been close friends for the last few generations, they all expected some romantic relationship to develop between the Marsden/ Cafferty families. So everyone especially Ryder’s and Jemma’s mu
Sophia Sardothien
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
A sweet cute contemporary, overall quite entertaining. I definitely like it but I did not love it enough to give it four stars
There’s a lot of things that annoyed me with this book.

It's overly dramatic, highly predictable, barely any character development, no romantic growth (helloooo insta-love), filled with plot convenience and cliches, flat characters...

Yet my biggest problem with this novel is that I read it and felt absolutely nothing while doing so. This may not be Kristi Cook's first novel (I checked), but it does read like one.

One of my biggest pet peeves--and something I think truly separates a good writer
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
“Love, hate. Such a fine line between the two, isn’t there?”

☆2 stars is just me being generous; I would have actually rated this a 1. I get that this is a YA book but boy did it not meet up to my expectations.☆

Childish. Silly. Unrealistic. And boring.

Yep, these are the describers I would use to describe this book. The whole whole premise of this book sets up a Romeo and Juliet type of vibe, only two families aren’t feuding with each other (/they are besties who are planning out Jemma and Ryd
I'm so disappointed that I ended up feeling really meh about a book that's gotten so much love from friends and trusted sources. Magnolia is a perfectly fine book and a really quick read, but sadly I never connected with it. Nothing about it was particularly memorable to me. It was very romance-heavy, which isn't really a bad thing in itself, the characters were rather bland and on occasion the plot felt a bit disjointed.

Read the rest on The Random Transliterator.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Official Summary:

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the
2.5 stars

Release Date: August, 5th

Arc kindly provided by Simon & Schuster

Be careful what you wish, people use to say...

A little more than a week ago, I read the most glowing review of this book an author could wish for. lol
In the follow up of that experience _ the review _, I was ready to buy this book wherever I could get it! Really! The review was that good!

But, to my despair, I found out that this story was only available as an arc, since the book is only going to be released in Au
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Magnolia is a delightfully light, quick summer romance. Cook attempts to set up a reverse Romeo & Juliet situation in Magnolia as her romantic leads, Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marden, absolutely detest one another while their families--old, Southern-style households determined to uphold decades-long traditions--are eager to see them together, if only to finally witness their families joined together by more than friendship. But Jemma and Ryder are determined to keep those dreams
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This was a cute and light book.
The story follows Jemma and Ryder. Their families are really close, but they can't stand each other. During a huge storm they are stuck together.
I really liked that Jemma wanted to go to film school and make films. I love, when the main character can do something artistic.
The characters and relationship weren't the best and they could've been better developed, but it was overall really cute.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do love a book set in the south. Jemma was a bit more dramatic than I remember, but I did love her and Ryder together.

I can't wait for the novella-sequel-thingy next month.
Angela Maria Hart
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Magnolia" by Kristi Cook is a book for anyone who loves YA romance. Jemma and Ryder have been next door neighbors for years; their families are best friends and have been for generations. According to family legend, back during the Civil War, Jemma’s ancestor and Ryder’s ancestor saved one another and have been friends ever since. The two families get along very well and so Jemma and Ryder were always thought to be the ones that were going to unify the family trees. While their families are pus ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, romance


Sometimes you just need to escape reality and engross yourself in something completely light and fluffy, and Magnolia fits that bill perfectly. It is satisfying and adorable, and everything - from the romance to the characters to the setting - is virtually perfect.

Ever since the Civil War, the Cafferty and Marsden families have been as tight as tight can be. So when a baby girl and a baby boy are born at almost the exact same time, the families see their chance to finally unite themselves by
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rating - 2.5 stars.

A cute book I started reading during an interminable wait at the clinic. So, yeah, it's good to pass time with.

My main issue was that the characters were a little too perfect...or maybe I was just jealous. But the story is good, has nice pacing and no one is horrible in a tropey way, so it was all good.

I like Ryder and Jemma, but didn't really feel attached to them for some reason. I did get Jemma's worry about her sister, which I thought was great, in the sense that we have
Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)
It was a cute and fluffy read.
I love the totally reversed Romeo and Juliet drama of the two families.


*ARC Kindly provided by Simon Pulse thru Edelweiss*

Book lover
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought it was going to be cute, funny and fluffy southern romance. Well, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Cute? Not really. Funny? No. Not funny at all. Fluffy? No. It was actually a lot more serious than I thought. And that includes some unnecessary drama.

Magnolia is about teenage girl, Jemma, who basically hates a guy her mother wants her to be with. Ryder is this perfect human being, who did something in the past that hurt Jemma, and after that they stopped being friends. And that’s where
Stuti Rai
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it

After splurging on other readers' reviews, I have ultimately come to the realization that nah, I won't be able to review this book coherently ever.

Basically, when I think about this story, all I can conjure up are words along the line of "more why no more? please please so fantastic i need moarmoarmoar amour"- so can you see where I'm coming from?

There are a lot more intricacies and cleverness about Magnolia that one needs to consider and appreciate and hell yeah, I'm that person but this isn
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Awww. I loved this. This is why I love YA contemporary.

Love-hate-relationship? Check. With the boy next door? Check. Him being the football star, her a cheerleader? Check. Some drama, jealousy, grief, and family issues? Check. A huge misunderstanding between her and him years ago? CHECK.

So, you see this is also THE clichéd and typical YA novel. But before you don't even consider reading this because you've read this kind of novel hundreds of times before, let me tell you: This novel is differe
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New York Times bestselling YA author Kristi Cook is a transplanted southern gal who lives in New York City with her husband and two kids. Her YA debut, HAVEN, was released in Feb. 2011 by Simon Pulse. The last two volumes in the Winterhaven series, MIRAGE and ETERNAL, followed in 2012 and 2013. Her first contemporary, southern-set YA, MAGNOLIA, was released in 2014. She's currently working on a co ...more

Other books in the series

Magnolia Branch (2 books)
  • Mischief & Magnolias (Magnolia Branch, #2)

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62 likes · 9 comments
“You can take the girl out of Mississippi but you can't take the Mississippi out of the girl.” 7 likes
“I'll tell you about Ryder. He's the star quarter back of our Division 1A state championship football team. Top student in our class, he doesn't even have to work for it. He plays the piano like some kind of freaking prodigy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he composed sonatas or something in his spare time.

Oh, and did I mention that he's gorgeous? Of course he is. Six foot four, two hundred ten pounds of swoon-worthy good looks. Spiky dark hair, chocolate brown eyes, and full-on dimples.”
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