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Rebel Belle Paperback – March 3, 2015
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“Fun with a twist of supernatural and Southern charm.” —VOYA
“The romance, coming-of-age aspects, and a well-drawn heroine with a crackling wit will lure in readers.” —Booklist
About the Author
- Publisher : Speak; Reprint edition (March 3, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0147514355
- ISBN-13 : 978-0147514356
- Reading age : 12 years and up
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.95 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #666,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Harper is the epitome of a Southern Belle. She’s smart, beautiful, elegant, outgoing, popular, loves all things pink and cute, and has the perfect boyfriend. So, it’s no surprise that she is about to be crowned Homecoming Queen. While she is in the ladies room preparing to gloss her perfect lips, chaos ensues. The school janitor locks himself in the bathroom with her. Okay… I almost freaked out with Harper. I was thinking that he was about to rape the poor girl or something. He’s bleeding from a wound on his stomach and it’s pretty obvious he’s about to die. As Harper tries to make a run for help, he stops her and starts mumbling about protecting someone and – here’s the kicker – kisses her. I know, ewww right? Well, it’s not a kiss per se. He’s breathing something seriously cold into her mouth. In comes the history teacher. He obviously is the person who did this to Mr. Hall. After a few words exchanged between the two, Harper gets all superheroish on him, and he’s dead. The only thing left to do is find out what is happening to her. Of course, she’s like any other sane person, she thinks that it’s all a dream and that when she gets to school on Monday, all will be well. Wrong.
The other side of this coin is David Stark, Harper’s foe since grade school. Of course he’s the person she’s to protect. Paladins, prophecies, oracles – seems cool to me. But, there wasn’t much going down here to make it be really kick-butt. The whole Southern Belle turned Paladin thing is very distinct. I loved the humor, the gowns, the banter between Harper and David. It’s a fun read that you can easily get into on a rainy or snowy day. I loved the fact that Harper, being this poised young lady, can curse like a sailor. I think that was key here, because had she been so perfect, it may not have worked for me.
I kind of like Harper’s boyfriend Ryan. He was a true Southern gentleman when warranted. Of course, he’s also a teen boy and he gets jealous like the rest of them when another guy is pissing on what’s his. Harper is an overachiever. So, you can only imagine how this has affected her. But, she is a strong young lady and makes do with what she has. Super powers aside, she really is a great character. I love all that she stands for, and this is girl power at it’s finest. I think this book will definitely appeal to the younger crowd because of the school setting. There’s magic, a little mayhem, frilly dresses, high school drama, mythology, and the perfect amount of humor to make this book, what I call, brain candy. Very fun. Recommended.
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
Top reviews from other countries
I bought the book fully expecting a nice chick-lit book a la gossip girl. But I was really wrong - again I could have read the back of the book or the goodreads summary but hey, I’ll never ever learn.
As someone who despises most supernatural stories, this book started off as a challenge for me. Harper Price is the main character - a Southern beauty queen-ish girl who is suddenly given the responsibility to protect David Stark. She’s his Paladin, an ancient protector who has supernatural powers.
Obviously, Harper can’t stand David - though for unexplainable reasons, they ALWAYS interact with each other. Harper is worried that this new “job” will ruin her relationship with her flat-charactered boyfriend Ryan and her friendship with her best friend. Instead of trusting people, and showing them that she has superpowers, she decides to hide everything from everyone (because that’s always a good idea?).
Rachel Hawkins, the author, knows how to write, which makes this book a pleasant read. It’s difficult enough to keep a reader interested while at the same time keeping a good, and quick, flow in the story. This is a skill - one that Rachel has managed to master. Action scenes are followed by conversations and there is enough diversity in this book to please any YA reader.
Harper is not an unpleasant main character, but she didn’t really do much for me. She makes a journey from average high school pretty girl to kickass protector of the most important person on earth. I would expect some major personality changes to accompany this transformation, but there really weren’t. She has some doubts about accepting her role, but she knows that David will die if she doesn’t help him, so it’s not a real surprise that she casts those doubts aside pretty soon.
David Stark is the cliché quiet guy who turns out to be pretty damn charming. Does he really change? No. But we do get to see more and more from him as the book progresses.
The real disappointment in this story comes from Ryan and his role in the story. He’s described as the perfect boyfriend - handsome, sporty, popular… Everything a teenage girl dreams of. BUT when he’s in scenes in the book, he just falls completely flat for me. He was boring, uninteresting and really, does he have nothing to say about anything at all? Ryan was also doomed from the being to end up in a love triangle with his complete opposite David.
Is that love triangle necessary? Not really, but teenage girls these days apparently love to read about a girl who has two guys drooling away after her (I don’t know why there are so many of these books anyway). Is the flat boyfriend and love story a reason to not read this book? No. There is enough action to please an anti-romance reader and the Paladin thing is original enough to keep a reader interested.
Overall, Rebel Belle is a good YA read and one of the more original ones I’ve read so far. It would have been totally perfect if some characters were less flat and just more… like teenagers.
One of my favourite things beside Harpers brilliance, is the chemistry and sparks between herself and David. I was literally melting from either the sexual tension or cuteness every time I read them. The ending I would also like to add was a stroke of brilliance and I couldn't stop laughing at the sheer irony of the whole situation, which also is why I'm desperate for the second book!!
I enjoyed the setting (very different to my home town) and there was lots of girlie bits to enjoy too.
A nice read that's perfect for girls who enjoy reading about other girls kicking butt!