Friday, September 29, 2023

Book Review: Magnolia Parks by Jessa Hastings

Pages: 448
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: August 8, 2023
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, “How many loves do you get in a lifetime?” She is a beautiful, affluent, self-involved, and mildly neurotic London socialite. He is Britain’s most photographed bad boy who broke her heart. Magnolia Parks and BJ Ballentine are meant to be, and everyone knows it. She dates other people to keep him at bay; he sleeps with other girls to get back at her for it. But at the end of every sad endeavor to get over one another, it’s still each other they crawl back to. But now their dysfunction is catching up with them, pulling at their seams and fraying the world they’ve built; a world where neither has ever let the other go completely. As the cracks start to show and secrets begin to surface, Magnolia and BJ are finally forced to face the formidable question they’ve been avoiding all their How many loves do you really get in a lifetime?"



Magnolia is a socialite living in London. She rubs elbows with the affluent and lives a privileged life. She grew up close with BJ Ballantine as well as his family, so naturally as they got older, they started to date. They have always had insane chemistry, but not the healthiest relationship. BJ cheated on her and since then they have played a game of an on-and-off relationship. Magnolia dates other people to keep BJ from being too close to her and BJ gets mad and sleeps around. But they keep gravitating towards each other - forever in each other's orbit - despite all the drama. When the going gets tough, Magnolia leans on BJ even if he breaks her heart daily, because, despite his flaws, he is always there for her. But everyone can't help but wonder will they actually make it real and date each other this time or will forever play games? Magnolia Parks by Jessa Hastings is a fun romance that is the perfect escape, especially for fans of Gossip Girl.

I loved the old Gossip Girl, so that is why this book is right up my alley. The privilege, the petty problems, the drama, the fashion--
Magnolia Parks is the perfect way to spend the afternoon, especially with a cocktail in hand. This book begs for that kind of scenario, so that's how I went into this. It's not the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, it's a fun romance and that is exactly what I needed. Magnolia is a superficial heroine who has daddy issues and clearly needs a therapist. The feminist in me wanted to shake her and yell for her to get over BJ! Move on to someone you deserve! Stop playing games! But the reader in me who was purely here for entertainment value wanted more drama with dreamy BJ.

So, BJ. He's a jerk. I actually think Magnolia can do a lot better, but he is super charming and seems to be there when Magnolia needs him. Even when Magnolia dates a British celebrity, she still finds herself in the same orbit as BJ. Their relationship is very Chuck and Blair (from Gossip Girl), but a bit more toxic in my opinion. BJ has more issues than the New York Times. He is troubled--tragically flawed in every way; however, their chemistry was through the roof in
Magnolia Parks and it was no doubt a fun ride. My only issue was the fact that the on-again-off-again antics got repetitive at times.

So, if you are looking for a dreamy escape filled with high fashion, late nights, and crazy antics reminiscent of Gossip Girl, look no further. Just don't go into this expecting a healthy relationship with a mature twenty-year-old. This ain't that. Ultimately, I will be continuing with the series, especially when I need a read to transport me to a world where high fashion is key and precarious romantic entanglements are a part of everyday life.

So, are you a fan of the
Magnolia Parks series? It seems everyone has read it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. I have actually never heard of this! But I love the sound of it. I think the back-and-forth, on-and-off again stuff would get to me a little, but the overall setting sounds fantastic!

    1. It's all over BookTok and was originally self-published! Dutton just picked it up and gave it a good edit. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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