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Author: Katie Crouch
Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

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.


Alex grew up in a commune in California, a life she thought was perfect until her mother dies in a car wreck and she is left alone. Soon she is sent to live with her grandmother in Savannah, Georgia, and finds that she is very out of place. Her grandmother is the head of the Magnolia League, a secret society within Savannah that rules the town. At first Alex thinks it is some type of social club, but soon learns that it is a secret group that relies on the magic of hoodoo, an African American folk magic. With hoodoo the power within the Magnolia League is unlimited: wealth, youth, love. But the price one pays for the power is high. Alex wrestles with the power of the magic and her desires to pursue her own life, but does she have a choice in the matter?

I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel. The use of the supernatural has become so common in YA literature today that many of the books seem to run together and it can be hard to find something new. Ms. Crouch has really provided something refreshing and interesting in her use of the hoodoo magic. I was not aware of this type of magic and found it fascinating. The use of a magic so powerful that those who practice it will not partake speaks volumes about the bad side of using magic to get your needs met. But magic has a seductive side too and those who are in the League cannot seem to see the dark side of using it to craft their lives.

The story grabbed me from the start and I found it hard to put it down. The setting of Savannah was perfect for the story and a place where hoodoo magic had deep roots. Alex is a wonderful character who longs to belong somewhere but has a hard time finding out what she really wants. Unfortunately for her, her grandmother is all too happy to dictate what she should do.

Following Alex's journey of discovery through the maze of hoodoo magic and how it has been woven into the lives of her family kept me on the edge of my seat as she found skeletons in the closet that I was not expecting. There was also plenty of romance and intrigue to be found in the story. I loved this book and cannot wait for the next installment, I can't wait to see how Alex's story turns out.

Rating: An excellent story you will enjoy

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review but did not get any compensation for the review.

About This Blog

I review mostly Young Adult literature, any genre. I also review other fiction, especially horror, science fiction and historical novels. I also have occasional giveaways.