Monday, 28 April 2014

Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: 8th April 2014
Source: Bought
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description: 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.

I often find that there are different types of books. There are books that capture your whole attention. These are the books that are soul crushingly beautiful and put you through a maelstrom of emotions. On the other hand there are certain books that are wholly entertaining. These are the stories you read to have a good time and they often leave you with a huge smile on your face. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins falls into the second category. It is a wholly entertaining read that is infused with guaranteed fun. It isn’t one of those books that are full of mindless fun and forgettable the moment you close the last page. There’s plenty of action, prophecies and oracles to contend with. If that wasn’t enough, it also has witty dialogue, fun banter, kissing and a fierce protagonist all set in the South.  Its got all the ingredients that will make you fall in love with Harper and co.

Rebel Belle is about Harper Price. Harper is many things. She is a cheerleader, president of the SGA and Homecoming Queen. She is also a top student. Strange events lead Harper into becoming a Paladin (a protector/guardian). Now she is in charge of protecting David Stark, her nemesis and a boy she doesn’t particularly like. Harper is one of my favourite characters. She’s a go-getter that is ambitious, smart, funny, nice and loyal.  She believes in being nice to others and following traditions. I love how much she’s devoted to her community and family. Harper grows up quite a bit in this book. She has to make a choice and she makes the choices that are right for her. She isn’t quick to jump into situations, she actually thinks things through and I loved that about her. The thing about Harper is that she does not fit the mean/bitch stereotype and it was such a refreshing portrayal of a girl who is a cheerleader and a homecoming queen. I personally found it cool because I have known girls like her high school, girls who are popular but also genuinely nice people.  There need to be more protagonists like her.

Hawkins has a great funny and witty voice in all of her books and you can see it here again in Rebel Belle. There are plenty of one-liners that will make you smile. I love the setting of the South and all of the quirks that go with it such as apology cakes, cotillion and manners.  Like all Hawkins books there is such a sweet romance in this book. The book deals with owe relationship fading and one that is just beginning to develop. Hawkins shows how a relationship can fizzle out and how people can grow apart in a very realistic way. I also love the love/hate relationship between Harper and David. David is a journalist and pushes all of Harper’s buttons. The banter was so funny and over time slowly begin to become friends and something more. Hawkins once described their relationship as similar to Blair and Dan from gossip girl and I think that a very accurate description. So many fireworks.  The Paladin plot really kicks off towards the end of the book and I’m really looking forward to seeing what lies in store because it’s sure to be awkward.

Rebel Belle is nothing but an entertaining book. There is fun to be had.

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