Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Sweet Magnolias Series,
Book 9
Publisher: Harlequin Mira Publishing
Date published: July 31st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1359-5
Contemporary Romance
E-book ARC 5
Reviewed by Dawn (love2read28@gmail.com)

Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley

Bullying has come into Serenity and the town will never be the same again. For Misty, she was just trying to get done with high school and go onto to an Ivy League College. All that crashes down on her when a bully sets their sights on her. From then on, as she tries to deal with the growing fears, isolation, shame of this, her family is falling apart; her parents are on the verge of divorcing and trying to solve this is slowly breaking her spirit. But her school English teacher, Laura Reed and Doctor J. C. Fullerton find a way to help Misty and her parents deal with the bullying and bring some measure of comfort to the traumatized girl. But these two adults are dealing with their own memories of being tormented by bullies when they were growing up. Soon they bring the town together along with the Sweet Magnolias and the Senior Magnolias to show that bullying will not be tolerated in Serenity.
Sherryl Woods has a way with words. She draws you in, delivers such heart pounding stories and captures your heart by Chapter two. She is a master at giving her stories depth, intensity and humor when needed to lighten things up. Ms. Woods delivers a reminder of today’s day and age, where every kid seems to have some form of technology to be on the internet or to text the latest gossip. This is an author who shows the traumatizing way bullying affects not just a child but their families and their community. The reader is drawn into this small town as they try to deal with this issue even as people take sides on the issue. The author deals with this in a fair manner, showing the ramifications of it on people and society, letting the reader make their own opinions on the subject even as they are drawn into the sub-plot of Laura and J. C.’s startling romance as well as meeting old friends in the series as well.
CATCHING FIREFLIES is a wonderful, character driven story that shows the reader how devastating bullying can be, the consequences if found out for the bully and their cohorts and more all within the pages of her latest installment in the Sweet Magnolias Series. I have always found Ms. Woods writing to be phenomenal and CATCHING FIREFLIES is no exception. The scenes with the Sweet Magnolias was fun, especially with the younger members of this group showing friendship and support to Laura and letting her know they are behind her. Ms. Woods has an amazing ability to write about a serious issue facing children everywhere today in a way that isn’t preachy or overdone. This is an author who is a master storyteller and I cannot wait to see what the next Sweet Magnolias book will be about. If you are looking for a series that delivers love & laughter and finding that friends will always be there for you, no matter what…then I highly recommend the entire Sweet Magnolias series. I recommend reading the series from the beginning to get the full sweet magnolia effect, though each book is able to read as a stand-alone.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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