By Crystal Olague || Staff Writer

For today’s book, I wanted to talk about a teen drama, Magnolia Parks by Jessica Hastings. The main reason why I was drawn to this book was because one of my favorite book YouTubers raved about it and described it as Gossip Girl set in London. As someone who loved Gossip Girl, I was extremely intrigued to see if this book could live up to the hype and to see if it was as good as the original show. Just like Gossip Girl, the book follows the lives of a group of extremely wealthy friends who are out of high school and live as if the world revolves around them, which in this case, it essentially does. The main story is focused on the love life of two characters, Magnolia and BJ. They are two of the richest and most influential people in London, and everyone is curious about what happened between the two of them and why they broke up. 

Magnolia is the IT girl and everyone either wants to be friends with her or be her. It helps being in her good graces, seeing as she would do anything for those close to her, but once they get on her bad side, there’s no telling what she will do. BJ is the bad pretty boy who can make any girl fall at his feet with just one look and knows it. He would do anything for one person and one person only, Magnolia. These two were made for each other, and when they finally got together, everyone thought it was fate, or so they thought. This book starts after the breakup, but we are unaware of why they broke up. Throughout the book, we learn what kind of relationship the two have and how they are unable to leave each other alone no matter how hard they try or who stands in their way. 

` This book is the definition of a toxic relationship, where two people can’t let go of their past with each other and will do anything to keep them in their lives. Magnolia uses other people as props to make BJ jealous and will indirectly prevent him from getting with other girls because she wants to be with him but won’t actually do it. Because of what happened in the past that caused them to break up, Magnolia has now denied her heart to BJ and is too scared to trust him again with it. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but Magnolia allows certain things to occur between them and pulls BJ away from people because she gets jealous. The two of them, along with everyone else in the world, know how much they love each other and that they are “destined” to be together, but Magnolia denies it as a way to protect herself. 

Though their love life is the main plot of this book, we witness other major issues such as love triangles, familial betrayal, loss, deceit, drug abuse, and more. I loved reading this book, mainly because I am a sucker for drama, and this book was drama-packed. I wanted to live in this world and experience what it felt like to be friends with these people. One thing, though, is that I wish we got more context to who they were as children outside of their love lives, just so that we can understand each character better. On that same note, there were multiple characters that were difficult to keep track of because there wasn’t much background provided other than their relationship to Magnolia and BJ.

This book is a series so hopefully in the next books they explain some more, and I did happen to just buy the next book in the series, so stay tuned for that book review. All in all, I rate this book four and a half stars out of five. See you guys next week in Crystal’s Corner.

Junior Crystal Olague is a Staff Writer. Her email is