Southern Attraction is a
young adult romance book about a girl who loses her parents and is
forced to live with a redneck uncle from Alabama. There she has to
choose between two young men that she likes. Will she choose true love
or a lifestyle that she is accustomed to.
Heather has everything
she ever wanted; money, clothes, friends, popularity and parents that
adored her. Until one terrible day, she loses it all. She is uprooted
from a place she loves to a small town in Alabama with a uncle she
doesn’t know. The small town of Huckleburg was nothing like Manhattan.
Country rednecks owned the town and no one accepted Yankees from New
York. Heather didn’t think things could get worse until a tornado comes
and blast through the small town. Heather has to lose herself to
rediscover what life is all about. She meets two guys that she can’t
decide between who she really wants. Join Heather as she discovers that
there is more to life than money and fame. Will Heather ever fit in
and find true love or will she stay an outsider living in the south.
Being a completely city-girl at heart, I did not know what to expect with Southern Attraction. However, upon completing the novel, I found it to be a light romance that is pretty satisfying.
Kauffman does an excellent job with being able to take dark themes and bring the light out in them. Through death, destruction, and illness - all of which create the horrors that make the novel more realistic - a light-hearted tone still manages to shine through.
Southern Attraction held some strong characters. Heather proves to be really dynamic, and it is interesting to see her grow as a character. She has a strong voice, which is clear even through the novel is not written in the first person - as the majority of YA seems to be. Shawn actually interested me the most as far as the characters go. He had different sides to him, and is a layered person. His character is not written to be some perfect love interest, and I think that makes him the most real character of all.
The novel held absolutely beautiful themes. Working together to get an entire town back on its feet, showing the citizens able to work together to make something amazing happen, even after all the pain and loss that the tornado caused - that is something really amazing, and Southern Attraction does an incredible job of displaying that.
I did think the novel was a bit rushed. Of course, this can be a benefit if you are looking for a light read that will warm the heart. I just felt that certain parts could have gone more in-depth, whether it be the romance or the growth of certain characters. Basically, I thought the characters were well-developed, but it would have been nice to see more of them, which is hardly a bit thing. Also, this is personal preference, but I feel the explanatory epilogue is a little much. Still, it does work nicely to wrap loose ends.
All in all, Southern Attraction is a light but satisfying read, with very powerful themes and strong characters.