Mar 3, 2016

Review--Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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.

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

So I broke my rule for starting Rachel Hawkin’s Rebel Belle trilogy, I said I would binge the trilogy when the last book came out and then I heard she would be coming to St. Louis this month and that plan went out the window! Rebel Belle is the start of a new trilogy that’s just as fun and action packed as her Hex Hall series! Harper is kind of like Sophie in some ways and I think that was part of the fun with this new series.

Unlike the Hex Hall series this one’s not so paranormal like. Sure, we get introduced to Oracles and Paladins, but I’m getting ahead of myself there! Harper is your typical Miss Popular kind of girl. She gets good grades, she does a lot of extracurricular activities, she has a perfect boyfriend and a circle of great friends. She has it all! Then on the night of homecoming, she witnesses a murder between the janitor and one of her teachers. When the dying janitor “kisses” her, something happens and Harper suddenly has amazing abilities. 

Her life changes completely after that moment. While waiting around for her “Giles” to turn up and start explaining things to her, she learns that despite all her amazing abilities, she can’t hurt the one who antagonizes her most, David. David is her arch-rival in all things. They’ve been at it since they were kids and when there’s moment when she really wants to slap him across the face, she finds she can’t.

Soon her “Giles” makes an appearance, and it’s the last person she expected it to be, David’s Aunt Saylor. A somewhat stubborn old woman who was never really on Harper’s nice list. But when Saylor explains what’s going on, Harper realizes she has to protect David at all costs, even putting her life on the line. She’s his protector among other things.

A lot of the book dealt with Harper trying to learn about her new abilities and harnessing them. She’s constantly trying to juggle her Paladin duties with school, all her extracurricular activities, her friends, boyfriend, and family…it becomes a little too much for her. She starts to withdraw from her boyfriend, and you can pretty much see where this is going. But despite that I really liked the hate to feelings relationship Harper and David had. It was enjoyable. Yet I feel like we never really learned what ignite the animosity between them. They just pretty much hated each other since day one. And that lack of moment in history bugged me. I wanted to see a reason for the hate, not just seeing the hate itself. But really, it’s such a tiny thing it hardly matters in the grand scheme of things.

The pacing to this one was perhaps a little slow, but maybe because it’s a book one thing. There’s a lot to know about what Harper is now and all the history behind that as well. And I liked how we got just enough details about all that history and not have it bombard us with facts and dates and all that kind of stuff. It’s a simple history lesson in a way. The character development through this pacing was nice as well. Though again, I am missing that moment. Harper and David still don’t really get along all that well, but once things were explained and they are forced to be together due to forces beyond their control, a friendship is formed, of sorts. But again, there didn’t seem to be that moment, or click when they started looking at one another in a different way. It was just sort of seamlessly happening before our eyes. Sure a little thing or two might have happened, but I felt like there should’ve been more depth to this budding relationship. But this could totally be because I read too much and have been spoiled by other reads! ;)

The end to this one was quite shocking! A lot happened and then we’re left with an ending that kind of leaves you wondering what will happen next. Not cliffhanger territory exactly, but more the calm before another storm! Thankfully I have book 2 at the ready so there’s no waiting involved! But what I say after finishing that one will be something totally different!

Rachel Hawkins brings us a brand new story that’s as exciting and lovable as her previous one, but in a less magical way. There’s still the usual snark which I was especially glad to see again! If you haven’t read Rachel’s books yet, I highly recommend them! They are fun, quirky reads that are sure to bring a smile to your face!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

In anticipation of the coming release of Lady Renegades, Penguin Teen is having a series giveaway!! Open to US only. The contest won't officially start until Monday.

Praise for Rebel Belle and Miss Mayhem:

"Harper is as quippy as you please, with a sass born of a sharp surprising as it is delicious."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, STARRED REVIEW 

"If Buffy the Vampire Slayer were Southern instead of SoCal, raised on good manners, Cotillion and sweet tea–she would be Harper Price." Justine 

"Hawkins strikes a pleasing balance between humor and drama, giving the 'chosen one' narrative a welcome dusting of irony and a glowing Southern setting." Publishers Weekly 

"This series–about an Alabama belle who is suddenly gifted with supernatural powers–has everything you could want from the genre and more: heart, smarts, scares, swoons and best of all, LAUGHS." – Kirkus Reviews


  1. I've heard really amazing things about this book! I really have to get to it - it seems so amazing plus your review it fantastic - I'm a fan of shocking endings! Thanks for your review :)

  2. Glad to hear you liked this one. I haven't read Hex Hall yet, but it's always intrigued me neverheless. I hope you get to read the next book soon.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  3. The Hex Hall surprised me with how good they were but I still haven't read Rebel Belle even though it's been out for ages. I don't always like shocking endings so maybe I'll have book 2 on hand before I pick this up. Fantastic review, Jessica!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

  4. I have this one on my to-read list. I haven't read anything by Hawkins before, but I'm really wanting to. I have Hex Hall on my to-read list as well. Looks like I have an author to get to. Great review!

  5. Wow! I haven't even considered reading this book -at all- but the fact that you liked it makes me think maybe I should reconsider... The cover definitely deterred me. It does worry me that it's a little slow but it sounds pretty awesome overall! Thanks for sharing :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  6. I am so glad you read this book. I loved it so much! I agree with it being a little slower than her other series. I really loved how funny this book was, and how Harper just could not let go of her "southern belle" ways lol.
    Great review! Cant wait to see what you think of the next book.
    Old follower

  7. This one IS interesting :D I'm glad book two was out, I love when the endings are like omg I need the next one NOWWWW and it's already out ;)


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