Rebel Belle By Rachel Hawkins Book Review


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 serious weird.  She becomes a Paladin, one of the 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 fate could very well destroy the Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from best seller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

This book was amazing! I thought it was going to be very cheesy because of the cover, but I was happily surprised.  While I adored this book and found it very entertaining, I honestly don’t even know which genre I would place it in:  it reads like a contemporary, it is very action packed, and contains fantasy elements.  I was reading the acknowledgements in the book, and Rachel Hawkins described it as Legally Blonde meets the Terminator, and I can’t think of a more perfect way to put it!

Rebel Belle has an extremely unique premise.  Harper Price arrives at homecoming with best friend, Bee, and both of their boyfriends. Harper has to appear perfect for what she thinks will be the perfect night, and thus when she discovers that she forgot to apply lip gloss she immediately absconds to the girls bathroom.  When in the bathroom, the janitor comes in with a huge gash across his stomach and locks himself with Harper in the bathroom.  To make things even weirder the janitor kisses Harper, and then when her history teacher storms into the bathroom holding a sword, Harper is suddenly able to expertly fight and then kill him. Harper comes to discover that the janitor transferred his powers of being a Paladin onto her, and now it is her duty to willingly lay down her life for a certain charge.  But when she discovers that David Stark, her nemesis is the person she is forced to protect, her life gets even more complicated than it already is.

At first Harper is the classic girl who wants to do everything.  She is SGA president, head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and has the perfect boyfriend.  Originally I didn’t like Harper because it was annoying that she thought she could balance out everything in her life also with becoming a Paladin, but she grew on me and I learned to appreciate her dedication.  Not only is Harper perserverant but she is so hilarious!  I had so much fun reading from her perspective; for example, right after she discovers her powers she states that she has the lamest origin story because while other superheroes have amazing stories of how they got their powers, she was just kissed by a janitor.  Another thing I found really entertaining about Harper was that she was the queen of bad excuses.  In one instance she threw a pen at another girl’s head, and when the teacher saw her, she said that she put too much lotion on her hand and then she was writing really fast and the pen flew out of her hand and hit the other girl!

When we met Ryan I liked him, but I loved David.  Ryan is the cliche nice guy, but nice is all he is, I didn’t think there was much depth or uniqueness to his character.  Therefore, when we met David, who screams originality, I loved him.  David is snarky, quirky, and he appears to hate Harper! It was hilarious reading Harper and David’s banter; they even try to use the words that each of them once beat the other with in a spelling bee as much as possible just to annoy the other person.  Despite Harper and David’s attempts to ignore the sparks flying between them, they continue to grow closer and closer, and their hatred for one another slowly begins shattering.

Not only was the relationship between Harper and David presented well, but Rachel Hawkin’s portrayal of friendship was crafted beautifully.  In most paranormal type books, the person in a group of friends who is exposed to the paranormalcy about 90% of the time leaves behind his or her friends, but this is not the case in Rebel Belle.  Even though Harper did become a Paladin, she refuses to give up her friendship with Bee.  Like all friends, Bee and Harper did fight, but this was realistic and it reinforced their friendship in the end because even though Harper’s life takes her on a series of peaks and valleys, Bee rides along with her the entire way.

Lastly, the ending was INSANE! After I finished the book I was like “NO THIS CAN’T BE A STAND ALONE BOOK, I NEED MORE THAN THIS”, and so I was relieved when I saw that this is just the first in a new series.  I will be anxiously waiting for the next book to come out because I am so interested to see how the cliffhanger is going to play out in the next book and how certain situations are going to cause friendships to be either rekindled or broken.

Overall I really enjoyed this book! If you are looking for a light hearted, action packed read this is perfect for you!  After reading The Impossible Knife of Memory, I needed a light and fluffy read and Rebel Belle was perfect for that.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a thought provoking book with deep messages and symbolism, then this is probably not the book for you.  But, nevertheless I found it really entertaining and would recommend it to anyone who asked me!



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