Book Talk


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 345
Keywords: paranormal, high school, popularity
Format Read: library book
Goodreads | Book Depository

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.
Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I really steer clear of paranormal stuff. Namely, the whole vampire/werewolf craze. So I knew this was coming out, and the knife automatically made me think it was something along those lines (though now as I’m thinking about it, I have NO IDEA why). And you’ll also know I don’t read a book’s summary before I dive right in. But I heard so so many good things about this one, I knew I was going to end up reading it.

Turns out, I loved it. I had only a few problems that I moved past pretty quickly, which I’ll talk about toward the end of this review.

The dialogue was so fresh and witty and funny — Harper was such a real teen, and I found myself laughing at a lot of her narration and responses to other people’s questions and statements. There was a point in the book when she first learns about her powers when she’s thinking to herself, “Seriously? I got superpowers and I can’t even fly or be invisible?” Okay, so that’s not a direct quote, but the whole passage was so funny when she was trying to figure out exactly what she could and couldn’t do.

I also loved the set in general. It was set at a traditional-type school (that’s what we call them here, they’re private but not associated with any religion, so they’re like preparatory schools) in the South, and there were mansions and stuck-up families and dresses and a Cotillion, which the whole story sort of was based around. It’s a coming-out party, which is old-fashioned, but the South is still about them. At least in some areas. There was so much detail and care taken to make sure the world was established and so the reader had a very clear idea of what the neighborhood looks like and who the people in it were.

What I was (only a little) sad about was the relationship level. I feel like Harper doesn’t have enough reason in the beginning to hate David as much as she does. I mean, once he does this mean thing, then it makes more sense, but before that I cannot understand her hatred, especially when her friends and other people start talking about their past school days. I also really liked Ryan, and I was confused at his relationship with Harper. They’ve been dating for forever, but at the very start of the book, all of the sudden, they start having problems. I just wanted it to be a little more gradual to be believable.

But all in all, I was so hooked with this one and could not get enough. I loved the plot — the ideas, thankfully, were more original than vampire or werewolf — and ended up being so interesting and so funny that I just couldn’t put the book down. And, I discovered once I got to the end, there will (or better be, otherwise I’m raising hell) be a second one, so I can’t wait!

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