MAGNOLIA PARKS: THE LONG WAY HOME
BY JESSA HASTINGS
It’s been nearly a year since everything happened between Magnolia Parks and BJ Ballentine on the steps of the Mandarin Oriental, and it seems like everything since then has changed. Magnolia has a life in New York now, BJ appears to have finally let go and moved on — but when they both wind up back to London and are thrust together once again, they find themselves asking their age-old question? How many loves do you actually get in a lifetime, and most importantly— are they each others?
This book pleasantly surprised me. Is it still a dumpster fire? Yes absolutely. Did I still love it? 100% would reread it. Don’t get me wrong, BJ and Magnolia are still toxic as hell, but in The Long Way Home you get more of their backstory and finally understand why they can’t seem to stay away from each other.
While the first book focused on BJ and Magnolia’s present day tumultuous relationship, this one takes us back to the beginning. We get to see their relationship through the years and all the challenges they faced together. Beyond their friend group they really only had each other to depend on. It was a heartbreaking story from start to finish.
We also get to see them try to work through their pasts and their current predicaments to get back to each other once again. BJ gets therapy and I was actually really impressed with him and his character development. He worked so hard to become a better guy, someone who he believed worthy of Magnolia. That was honestly laughable though because as hard as he worked, Magnolia just kinda seemed to stay right in her toxic mindset. Even going as far as to sometimes bring BJ down in his progress. She definitely could have benefited from therapy herself.
At the end of the book though, I thought the relationship was in a decent place. They have a chance of making a real go of it. While Magnolia might not have made the leaps and bounds I thought BJ did, she did try to be better about communication. That twist though was shocking and I have no idea if Magnolia or the relationship will survive in the next book.