Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

“When her free-spirited mother dies in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is forced to leave her West Coast home and move in with a wealthy grandmother she's never known in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League-Savannah's long-standing debutante society. But white gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she's used to. 
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.”
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch was filled with despair, darkness, with a hint of mystery all undernearth the sweltering Georgia sun.
The book’s female protagnist, Alexandria or Alex Lee, is a free-spirit just like her now dead mother. Alex is a a hippie with a little bit more to love (her nickname is Pudge) with dreadlocks, hand-me-down clothes, and smokes pot courtesy of the place she lives/works in at the communal farm. She doesn’t realize that there is a whole world around the communal farm, since the communal farm is all she had for her whole life. Her mom grows special herbs and tonics, so there never was a need to go to the doctor since her mother made special medicines to cure everything. No one knows how/why, however there was always mischeif in her mother’s eyes when everyone seemed to ponder. 
When her mother dies, Alex’s world goes all out of proportion. Her family at the communal farm gives her up when her family lawyer says that he’ll rat on them for selling weed.   
Then, Alex’s so-called grandmother takes her in at the ripe age of 16. Her boyfriend cheats on her and no one at the communal farm gives a crap of how she and her mother impacted the farm. Alex moves to Savannah and she discovers a otherworly world called The Magnolia League. The Magnolia League is filled with the most prominent members of Georgia’s upclass society. Alex is horrified at the thought of superiority and buying designer clothes. She would much rather pay money to Greenpeace and to help third world countries.
Two of the members daughters, Hayes and Madison, become Alex’s help in helping her survive the Georgia heat (and I don’t mean the weather). They show her the ropes, invite her to exclusive events, and help her fix her look. They alsohelp clue Alex in on the Magnolia League’s secrets. The Magnolia League are not only gossipers, but they have a little help from the Buzzard family--another league so to speak that practices hoodoo magic. The magic they practice is very interesting; everything that the Buzzards do is very earth oriented--brewing up herbs, potions, and having their very special greenhouse--sort of like their mother’s. 
The Buzzards and the Magnolias speak only buisness due to Alex’s grandmother’s butting and incompetence. The Buzzards are the ones who make the Magnolias richer, younger, skinnier, and gain power as an elitist society. There is a catch to Buzzards brewing up fame and fortune, since they act as genies in a way--they grant wishes for Magnolias $$$. Alex questions why they do it and in many ways Alex seems to be attracted by this new power that she gets to experience. She enjoys the many perks of being a part of this society--but it depends who your’e asking.
In the end, Alex is at crossroads. She is questioned by an outsider of the Magnolia League, who tells her to leave for good reason. Alex’s boyfriend also asks her to leave--and she does have an item that lets her do so and unbreak the wrath of the Magnolia League. What will Alex do?
This book was amazing. I loved how it was not your stereotypical witch hat and broomstick sort of magic. The hoodoo proved a Southern take to witchcraftery. The world Crouch created was so lush, whimisical, and intruiguing that I could not put the book down. I enjoyed Alex on a whole, and her ups and downs proved that she was still a teenager. The reason of why I give this book 4 stars is, because it was a bit confusing sometimes. You can tell that Crouch really took the time to immensely understand the art of hoodoo and the whole history. Great story and plot--I reccommend this book if your ever in a book rut.
I also want to add that this book was like the Balefire series (by Cate Tiernan) and the Gossip Girl series (by Cecily von Ziesgar) rolled into one (no pun intended; you know weed...nevermind LOL!) AWESOMESAUCE!
SCRATCH THAT! 41/2 out of 5 stars!

P.S I really think the Buzzards are genies! I don't know if it's either the ability to grant 'wishes' only for others or the haint blue color that pops into my mind... 



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