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's magic, 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; expect sequels. (Supernatural thriller. 12 & up)