Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Published on: April 8 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
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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 was born and raised in the South. My husband was too, but he’s not a real Southerner—his father is from San Francisco, and his mother is from Michigan. They moved to Georgia from up north a few years before the hubs was born, bringin’ their Northern and West Coast ways with them.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Northern or West Coast ways; they just aren’t Southern.
Still aren’t b/c even after 30+ years of living in the South, there are still times when I’ll say or do something, and my husband will be completely bewildered. Or bothered. For example, he particularly dislikes it when I say, “I suwannee.” But I do say it. Regularly. Perhaps even more often than I usually would b/c sometimes it’s fun to bother your husband.
The point is that it is a truth universally acknowledged that your family has to have lived in the South for several generations before you are really and truly Southern, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Hawkins is really and truly Southern, b/c Rebel Belle captures that essential Southern-ness better than anything I have read in a long, long time.
It was positively delightful.
I laughed so hard and so often that I was grateful to be reading in the privacy of my own home, AND I read all of it in one sitting. It was that good. Once, I even laughed so hard that I cried. My husband thought I was having a fit. Maybe I was . . .
But if I was, I couldn’t help it.
With Harper tossing out one-liners left and right, and her crazy great aunts being . . . well, crazy great aunts (and also the source of the longest and loudest laughter), I don’t see how I could possibly be blamed for the perceived hysteria that this book induced.
So stop looking at me like I’ve lost my mind, m’kay?
And this book has more to offer than just humor. Harper is a character that is easy to connect with whether you’re from the South or not. I’m sure that many of you know someone that deals with grief by making herself too busy to think (or you may even be that kind of person yourself), and that is exactly what Harper is struggling with. She’s the Head Cheerleader, the President of Future Business Leaders of America and the Student Council, Captain of the Debate team, etc.
So the last thing she needs is to have superhero-like abilities unceremoniously thrust upon her and the accompanying biological imperative to protect her archnemesis David Stark (a HIPSTER *gasp of horror*).
Unfortunately for Harper, that is precisely what happens . . .
There weren’t many problems with this book, and the problems I did have weren’t huge. The Big Bad was a little flat; I didn’t understand her or her motivations. She just kind of showed up, this megalomaniac, narcissistic teenager, wrecking havoc wherever she went. And aside from David, who can’t really be considered a secondary, and Harper’s best friend Bee, the other secondaries were also a little bit underdeveloped. Based on the ending, however, I’m hopeful that we’ll learn more about them in the future.
But overall Rebel Belle is sheer perfection for what it is—yummy good brain candy. There are still real problems and obstacles to face, but you don’t become bogged down with trials and tribulations. Harper is a clever girl, capable of thinking on her feet, and if those feet happen to be wearing a pair of fantastic heels—what of it? I highly recommend this book to anyone in need of something lighter and fluffier than the standard Urban Fantasy, YA or otherwise, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment brings.