Author: Katie Crouch
Publication: Poppy (May 3, 2011)
Description: 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.
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.
My Thoughts: I always thought there was something suspicious about Southern debutantes. No one could really be that perfect! Katie Crouch gives a logical explanation in this story. It isn't a pact with the devil (my previous theory) but rather a cash transaction with practitioners of hoodoo.
Alex is a sixteen-year-old who was raised by her mother in a very unconventional lifestyle. She grew up on a communal farm in Mendocino. She has never been to school but is a voracious reader who looks at what she reads through hippie eyes. She is OK with the fact that some pot is grown and used on the farm but she and her mother are more concerned with growing medicinal herbs for charms. After her mother is killed in a car accident, Alex is at a loss. She stays in the commune and deals with her sadness and loss. She even meets a boy named Reggie who seems to be dealing with the same sort of loss. Then things change.
Alex's grandmother finds her and moves her to Savannah where she finds out that she is scheduled to be a debutante and a member of the Magnolia Society. She is befriended by two young ladies who are also making their debuts at the Christmas Ball - Hayes and Madison.There goal is to transform pudgy, dreadlocked Alex into a Magnolia. Once the Magnolias and the Buzzards perform a spell to make Alex forget her crush on her California boyfriend Reggie, she develops a new relationship with Haye's brother Thaddeus. But Thaddeus has been burned before by Magnolias and is distrustful when Alex seems to be getting more and more involved with them.
This happen and Alex has to make some tough choices. I look forward to reading more books about her to find out how her choices work out. This was an interesting story about magic and social status. It was also a great look at a certain society from an outsider's point of view. I think that young adults who like magic and romance would enjoy this story.
"Believe you me," Miss Lee continues, "as her grandmother, I'd like nothing more than to let Alexandria go right on back to California. The girl rides a bicycle, her hair is ugly enough to haunt a nine-room house, and she'd argue with a wall. But you know as well as I do, ladies, that Alexandria Lee doesn't have a choice. We all made our bed decades ago. And now, just like the rest of us, she's got to lie in it."I got this eARC from NetGalley. It is available in hardcover and as an ebook from Amazon. You can even get it as an audiobook.