Always Magnolia is an emotional ride worth taking

I love how Rebecca Rathe’s Always Magnolia was set up in terms of story, and the different ways it was told.

First, it starts way in the past where Noli is leaving behind her best friends: Matty, Dare, and Ryan. This gives a taste of their deep bonds, and the fact that it’s always been the four of them together, and they always planned for that to be the case. Then there is a brief flash of what I take to be the present, when Noli is much older and has a daughter, and it’s clear her situation has gone far downhill over the years. Finally, it goes back to the past and steadily plays forward in time, showing their lives apart as they grew up after Noli had to leave to live with her aunt and uncle. The best part here is that the chapters are interspersed with letters and e-mails between the three boys and Noli, a touch that I loved throughout the course of the book.

I don’t even know where to start with my thoughts on Always Magnolia. It was so heartbreaking and difficult but also so heartfelt and enrapturing. I honestly didn’t ever want to stop reading this book because it had me so firmly in its grip, and it’s a book that took me by surprise. The characters were so fantastic and so real, and I loved that each of them had chapters from their points of view because I think having each of their thoughts and views was essential to this book. Noli’s story from when she leaves the three guys behind is absolutely devastating, but in their own different ways her absence also affects them in a truly crushing way. Particularly Matty who very much takes it the hardest and holds it against her the most.

Always Magnolia was an emotional ride and I loved every minute of it. The story was top notch, hard at times especially because of the subject matter, so make sure to check the triggers before diving in, but I do highly recommend it! It’s also a reverse harem, or why choose, which I seem to be all about these days, and it was very well done. If you like these kinds of books, and you like your stories with all kinds of emotions, you’ll definitely love this book, so run to get it!


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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