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Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Rebel Belle
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Published on: April 8 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: 352 pages, Hardcover
Provided by: Purchased
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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.

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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.

*smiles winsomely*

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.

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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122 Comments

  1. LOL! I’m a native west coaster raised, at least partially, by transplanted southerners in California so the whole southern thing makes me laugh. I sometimes feel like I have southern cred and then I realize I really don’t! I’ve been looking at this book from the corner of my eye for a while. It’s been tempting me. I may have to make the move to buy it. Great review!

    • Thank you! And I’m sure you have some Southern cred, LOL. There’s a world of difference between being raised by Southerners somewhere not-the-South, and being raised by Northerners in the South. Just like my husband’s parents brought the their idiosyncrasies with them, your parents would have definitely taken the South with them. I hope you do decide to make that move, b/c this book is HI-larious ;)

  2. This looks like a fun read. I’ll have to add it to my TBR pile.

    • Yes, ma’am, it is definitely lots-o-fun! Being a Southerner yourself, I’m sure you’d appreciate it ;)

  3. OOh nice review!! Love Rachel Hawkins’s Hex Hall and spinoff series so I can’t wait to read this one! It’s in the TBR mountain, just gotta make my way to it! Sounds like an awesome read!

    • Thank you :) And this is definitely my favorite of Hawkins book so far! I hope it doesn’t take you too terribly long to get to it (but yes, my TBR pile is also the bane of my existence, LOL).

  4. I swauney that my husband (from NJ) think that I don’t speak English sometimes :)

    • I know! When I came across that in the book, I stopped everything and ran to show him that it was indeed a legitimate expression, LOL.

      • OMG. Too funny. I love southern. It is hilarious to me when my daughter (5) is sounding out how to spell somethings and its not proper English, its how you say it down south. Warsh. Leag (leg) tar (tire)

      • That would be absolutely precious, LOL!!!

  5. Jessica I love this review and the insight into being a “real” Southerner! :P
    Fantastic review!!

  6. You should do a vlog post Jessica, I would love to see you all Southener like ;)
    I’ve seen this book around and the feedback has been positive! I think Harper’s an interesting character and I’ve always wanted to try Rachel Hawkins, so maybe I’ll start with this one. Awesome review Jessica, will add this to my TBR :)

    • Thanks, Amir! You would fall over laughing at me if I went truly deep South for you *snickers* And this is a great place to start, I think. I liked Hawkins’ other books well enough, but IMO this one blew the rest out of the water.

  7. I have to be honest, I had to Google “I suwannee” because didn’t know what it meant. :)
    There are days when I really need something fun and light and this sounds just perfect for those days. I’m getting this book.
    Thank you for another great review.

    • No, thank YOU ;) I totally googled it too after you said that b/c I wanted to see what came up, LOL! Sorry about that—I should have said in the review. And I hope you like it! I can’t wait to hear a non-Southerner’s reaction to it.

  8. W-w-w-what does The Suwanee means?! O_O I’m trying to rummage through my memories if I’ve ever heard of such a thing and I think it’s only hear that I heard of it. Although you have to forgive me, I do live half the world away ;P Hihihi.

    With that said, the majority of the reviews for this book echo the same thing: that it’s a good fluffy read. I wanna read it as soon as I can. Not sure about the love triangle (there is one, though, right?) but I hope it’s something I can tolerate.

    Great review, my dear!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • LOL, Faye! It means, “I swear.” Honestly, if I had half a brain in my head, it would’ve occurred to me that just b/c it makes perfect sense to me, doesn’t mean it will to you. My bad ;) And I suppose that technically there is a triangle, but no lines are ever crossed, and there’s very little angst. It flows in a very natural progression (I think it did anyway, but then again, one of the guys felt much more real to me than the other, so maybe I just didn’t care . . . ). Either way, with you being not a huge fan of angst, it works!

  9. I am with Faye, what does it mean?

    • It means, “I swear,” LOL. Southerners can have very delicate sensibilities when it comes to ladies swearing. To the point that they won’t even say the actual word in a sentence. It doesn’t happen a lot anymore; it’s mostly restricted to grandmothers, etc. ;)

  10. At quick glance, at first I thought that was a rocket ship coming out of the cover! Haha, sometimes I just have to get spec fic off my mind…so I totally understand and am glad you had a good time with this book, sometimes you just need a brain candy read that touches your heart :)

    Okay, I also had to look up what “I suwannee” meant! It’s funny because I’ve had a similar experience being from Canada and moving to the States…I still say some Canuck things sometimes that garner me funny looks in public or an eyeroll from the husband.

    • Rocket ships, daggers . . . it’s all the same, LOL. And “I suwannee” means “I swear.” I know; it’s weird. But my sister-in-law is Canadian and my best friend is half Canadian, so I know ya’ll say plenty of strange things too ;) PS—have you ever heard the expressions, “a memory like an elephant,” or, “an elephant never forgets”?!

  11. You read it! YAY! Yeah, I love the setting of the South and seek out books with it, it’s just entertaining for me. This one was a lot of fun, glad you enjoyed it too!

    • Oh, me too! And yes, I loved it. When it’s done in humor like this clearly is, it’s pure fun (especially when my Grandmother’s name is Maawtha, like one of Harper’s great aunts ;) ).

  12. I had no idea this was UF, despite some issues, we all need brain candy, so I added to my list

    • Woot! And I didn’t know it was UF at first either, LOL. I really need to start paying more attention to blurbs . . . and yes, everyone needs brain candy periodically, and this is excellent for times like those ;)

  13. Your review…brilliant like always and I couldn’t help but smiling about your opening paragraph. I need to hear your accent, like seriously. And it’s not like I don’t have a ton of book to already read…I’m adding this one to my TBR. PS: I was born and raised in northern New Jersey, when I hear myself talk I think I sound like Fran Drescher. *cringe* ;)

    • Shoot! Fran Drescher has absolutely nothing on a for real redneck. Not even kidding. *shudder* I actually don’t have much of an accent anymore. I moved to Charlotte, NC from Nashville, TN when I was in the 4th grade, and the kids made fun of me b/c back then I absolutely had an accent, but over the years I trained it out of myself. I can still pull it off if I want to (and sometimes it will reappear at inopportune moments), but for the most part, if I’m not “I suwannee”-ing, or, “i-be-dad-burn”-ing (that one roughly translates into, “I’ll be damn burned,” but I don’t know why we say that instead of “dang-it” which means about the same thing . . . ), there’s no way to tell where I’m from. And thank goodness for that ;)

      • It’s funny you should say that because I’ve been living in south Florida for 13 years and I worked on shedding my accent back when I lived in NJ. I took a speech class! Ha!!! And then I was so worried I might actually sound like SNOOKI that I made damn sure I spoke like a normal non-Snooki person! LOL!!! Although it comes out when I’m all riled out! But when I travel to Alabama or Mississippi they all think I sound stuffy!! Hey, it’s better than them saying I sound like Fran or Snooki! :)

      • Yeah, I would MUCH rather sound uppity than like some po-dunk hoss from the backwoods. Any day of the week ;)

  14. I am not Southern, but I lived in the south for awhile so I think I could totally dig reading this. Luckily I snagged a copy when she came to town for a signing a few weeks ago! I am on it!

    • Yeah, I remember you telling me about going to the signing . . . I also remember the pizza, so now I’m hungry, LOL.

  15. Great review as always Jessica! This one is going on the TBR for sure :) When I was a kid I had a Southern drawl so thick…plus I couldn’t say the letter “r”…my name was “Twaci” for years. Anyway, no one except the family could understand me so they put me in speech therapy in school. That pretty much killed my drawl, unless I head back where there’s a noticeable accent and then it comes out.

    I still have the sayings though. It drives my boss nuts when I use “fixin’ to” and when I lived in Montana for a while I would get the strangest looks when I would throw out “y’all”.

    • Thanks, Traci! How about when you asked for sweet tea, LOL? I worked at a J. Alexander’s all the way through college, and we’d get people from up north on business trips all the time . . . they’d hear “sweet tea” and (even though it’s kind of self-explanatory), they’d be all, “What’s that?” Used to make me snort ;)

      • I went to college in New Orleans too and you could definitely tell which students were from up north once the temperature started to drop. All us Southerners are pulling out the sweaters and coats and they were running around in shorts…in December!

        That was my mom’s argument when I said I was going to go to Montana too…”But Traci it’s cold there. You don’t like the cold”. I only lasted 4 months LOL!

      • I know! One of my best friends in college was from Massachusetts, and she loves it here, humidity and all! She’s lost her mind! And I prefer cold to heat, but even I don’t think I could handle Montana cold. 4 months is plenty long, LOL.

  16. What a southern snob! LOL Did your hubs read this post? I suwaneee!!!

    Anyway, lovely post, I enjoy the little personal nuggets of info you incorporate on your reviews.

    • I am not, LOL. But you have to admit, the South has a very distinct subculture. And YES! That’s one of the things he made me promise when I started doing this—if I mention him at all, he gets to hear it first. *snickers* And thank you kindly ;)

  17. This sounds awesome! I’m moving it up on my list. :) Thanks for a great review. ;)

  18. This sounds really good! Obviously I know nothing about the South…buuut, I LOVE it when authors pull off a style with perfection. There’s nothing worse than reading a book set in your home-town or whatnot and having it be wrong. >.< Argh. I've read books about Australia and finished them thinking, "Dude, you have NOT been to Oz have you?" And that really effects my opinion of the overall book. Mm..so yeah. This sounds epic!

    • If you read this, you will learn all you could possibly want to know and MORE about the South, LOL. And yes, exactly. I know that the South isn’t a perfect and glorious place, filled with perfect and glorious people, but when I read a book with Southern MC who said “y’all” every-stinkin’-other sentence . . . *rolls eyes* If you’re gonna do it, do it right. This book does it right ;)

  19. Yeehaw! I’m a Texan but I consider that close enough to Southern. And I adore Southern books. So naturally I’m excited over Rebel Belle with its clever heroine and Southern charm. :) Plus, I’m in need of some yummy good brain candy. ;)

    Btw, I like to use expressions that are uniquely Texan/Southern that cause my hubby to say “What does that even mean?” Obviously, he’s not Texan or Southern…but I love him anyway. ;)

    • Can’t get further South than Texas! And if you adore Southern books, then YES, you NEED to read this. It is all things bright, and shiny, and good!

      And I do the same thing to my husband, but with Alabama-isms my dad taught me ;) He just shakes his head at me, LOL.

  20. Haha! Love your Southern dialect there Jessica! ;)

    I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds fabulous. It’s received quite a lot of hype, so I’m SO glad you enjoyed it so much! I’m a huge fan of light, fluffy books, so I’m going to have to check this one out! Plus…you labeled it as a page-turner, and I cannot deny a book like that!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    • Thanks, Zoe ;) There has been some hype, but honestly I paid this book not one lick of attention until a few weeks ago when I finally caught on to it’s Southernness. And even then it was last ditch effort for me (with Hawkins), b/c I was not a fan of the Hex Hall series at all. So I was thrilled to be wrong. And it’s certainly a light and fluffy page-turner, so the next time you’re in the mood for that, I say go for it!

  21. Okay, what if half your family is all from the south, but you’re born in CA? Does that count as being 1/2 Southerner? :D I didn’t realize this was UF, how fun!

    • For sure, and half definitely counts ;) And yes, it is YA UF! I missed that the first few times I heard mention of it too.

  22. OMG, I love that cover. So prime and proper…and deadly. Happy this one worked for you. I gotta say, the whole southern belle thing has me interested.

    • Belles ROCK! And right?! A belle is never without her pearls, and that dagger looks wicked deadly—excellent juxtaposition ;)

  23. I love when you can connect so well with a book and the characters that you get emotionally involved and laugh so hard you cry!! I think I’d enjoy this one Jessica! Great review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • Thanks, Naomi! And me TOO. Laughing so hard I cry is a rare thing, so when it happens, I need to spread it around ;)

  24. Very shallow of me, but the cover would never had gotten me to read the blurb, I’ll admit. It just looks so… vanilla, lol!
    After your review though, I’m definitely putting this one on my list of “for sucky days”, when I need something good ol’fun to get my mood up :D I love the sound of Harper, I’m almost positive she’s gonna be a blast!

    • That is the perfect place for a book like this. In fact, I’m going to make my own list “for sucky days.” Best idea I’ve heard in awhile ;) And yeah, I saw this book around for months before I decided that I wanted to read it. The cover . . . the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of the other Hawkins books that I’d read . . . not much to recommend it. But then Wendy Darling reviewed it over at The Midnight Garden, and my next internet stop was Amazon. True Story :)

  25. I lived my entire life in the south until and my husband would look at me like I was crazy sometimes when I would say certain words to him when we first me. But now we live in Tennessee and most of the people where we live talk the same way. Yay me! I want to read this one and I keep checking to see if my library has ordered it. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

    • I hope your library has it! I think that people will like this book no matter where they’re from, BUT if you are from the South (or acquainted with Southerners), then I think you will absolutely love this book. Hawkins is spot-on in her depictions of people and places, and in her dialogue—the dialogue is incredible. One of the very first things that Harper says that made me snort (yes, snort, LOL) was, “PDA is vile.” So great.

  26. Ummm, YES please! This sounds so amazing! I think I’ll stop what I’m reading now to read this one! Great review, Jessica!

  27. I am on the edge when it comes to this book, but it looks like almost all readers are enjoying it so I should give it a chance.
    Great review, Jessica.

  28. I’m not a Southern Belle but I did spend a lot of summers in Georgia, that counts for something, right?! This sounds like an entertaining read, I wouldn’t have pegged it as an urban fantasy by that girly cover ;)

    • I know! I passed over this book for MONTHS after I heard about it. I figured Hawkins was joining the masses of YA authors riding the romance wave, but NOPE. And yes, summers in Georgia definitely count—Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina are the most Southern of all the Southern states (IMO), so they count double ;)

  29. I was soooo curious about this one. I like the books by Rachel Hawkins so I wanted to try this one as well. I’m so glad you had a great time with it, and you’re right it’s great to see that the author was able to keep the feeling of the South. I don’t really know how it is, but I think it’s like that in Corsica too. The main character sounds great too, I love a good of humor and that we can relate to her easily is perfect. It’s just a little too bad for the bad guy. Thanks for your review Jessica! I’m curious to read it now!

    • My pleasure, Melliane! If you decide to read this, you will come away from it knowing exactly how it is in the South, LOL. If you do, I’ll be interested to hear how it compares to Corsica. And the bad guy wasn’t a huge deal, she could’ve just been a little bit better explained, that’s all ;)

  30. I got to the part where you said you laughed so hard that you cried and I stopped. I am picking up this book immediately and I’m somehow going to sneak it into my reading stack. I’m in the mood for some good southern humor. Oh, and my word that irks my northern born husband is “jon brown it”. LOL. I do love to throw an occasional “bless your heart” at him because he now knows that it holds a tad bit of sarcastic undertones. :)

    • Yay! It’s truly wonderful on the humor front. Wait until you meet the aunts! And oh yes, my husband is well acquainted with the old, “bless your (silly, ridiculous) heart” trick, LOL. But then the more straight forward, “dad-burn your hide,” and, “irks the fire outta me,” make him shake his head too ;)

  31. Everthing American is strange for me . Haha . It cool that the US is so diverse . I’ve not read the hex Hall books and I’m not that interested in it or in her new series . But I’ll give it a try when I need a laugh or 100% fun fun fun

    Lovely review . Jessica

    Btw I’m in South America , Suriname

    • Thank you! And yes, Americans are very strange and diverse, LOL. I don’t blame you for not reading the Hex Hall books (I didn’t like them myself), but I would definitely keep this one on reserve for when you need a laugh—this will more than likely get the job done. And very cool! I love how the internet makes it possible to share thoughts with so many people you’d never have the opportunity to meet otherwise :)

  32. I’m so happy you liked this book and now i can’t wait to get my hands on it and read it too! At first i was a bit skeptical but now i think it would be a good read for me! I actually didn’t know there would be a sequel! i had thought this one was a standalone for whatever reason!
    Great review!
    Lily @ lilysbookblog

    • Thanks, Lily! I think a lot of people (myself included) took one look at the pearls on that cover and/or weren’t crazy about Hawkins’ other series, and automatically wrote this off. It wasn’t until I read Wendy Darling’s review at The Midnight Garden that I gave it a second glance—based on her review, I was almost positive I would like this, so my next stop was Amazon, and here we are, LOL. I’m glad I took the risk, and I’m glad that there’s a sequel ;)

      • Honestly—That’s really what happened! I hadn’t seen Wendy’s review (that’s my next stop) but i think based on what you have to say about this book i’ll probably be making a stop to amazong soon. Sure the cover didn’t thrill me at first but well… they say don’t judge a book by t’s cover, right?

      • Exactly! Though I have to admit to falling prey to that mistake on both sides, LOL. One of the many reasons I love book reviews—you discover gems that you never would have read otherwise ;)

  33. I love it when you can really recognize that someone is so genuine because you know the area so well. I’m not southern (I hope you don’t hold that against me… LOL) but I do think I would love to read the book. Sounds like so much fun!

    • I don’t, LOL! I’m really not a Southern snob, I promise! It’s just that Southerners are so WEIRD that if you haven’t been picking it up from your grandmother, etc. since you were a child, you’re not as fully steeped in the weirdness as the rest of us are. And yes, knowing just how spot-on the portrayals in this book were was half the fun. It’s still funny and quirky enough that anyone would enjoy it, but it you grew up surrounded by it—absolutely hilarious.

  34. I am sure it was intentional, but all I can think of when I see this title is ‘with a rebel yell, he cries MORE MORE MORE, in the midnight hour…..”

    • I love Billy Idol . . . so how embarrassed do you think I am that that never made a dent. I even thought to myself, “what a weird title.” Gah, I’m such a ditz sometimes. *shrugs awkwardly*

  35. I live in Texas and tend to like books based in Texas. As long as it’s somewhat accurate I enjoy that aspect, so I know what you mean :)

    • Exactly! And Hawkins bypasses “somewhat” and hits “OMG these are my people!” in the first couple of chapters ;)

  36. I just put a hold on this one at the library! Villains in YA tend to lack direction, haha. Makes the good ones all the more memorable, I suppose. Anyway, love the sound of the characters and a book that can make me laugh is always a good book! Fun review :)

    • Thanks, Alise! And yay! This book is definitely good for a laugh. I hope you like it ;)

  37. I suwannee, you’ve just stole these southern girls’ hearts with your review! This sounds like a great read, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it — Harper sounds like our kind of character! Wonderful review, Jessica!

    –Michele & Mckenzie

    • Thanks ladies ;) And yes, this is absolutely a book that Southern girls will love! Harper is fabulous!

  38. So if I’m from the North – like so north I’m in Canada lolz – will that book still make sense to me? Like the lingo and stuff that you southern people say that would leave me going huh!? Although I gotta say that I’ve watched a few shows set in the south and I’ve always loved them. Like Hart of Dixie which is in a tiny town in Alabama (you totes have to watch that show!). But anyways, I’ve no idea what “I suwannee” means for instance lol >.< I do love these kinds of entertaining, funny reads though they're the kind of escape I need once in a while since I read a lot of darker books. I do love me some brain candy!!

    • I really think it would. While there are a lot of particularly Southern expressions, most of them don’t require translation (“I suwannee” = “I swear” LOL), and a lot of the humor comes from mannerisms, worldview, etc. And yeah, when I saw all the shows based in the South that you watch on your post the other day, I specifically thought that you would like this (and a certain US Marshal from Kentucky ;) I LOVE Justified!). So I think this would be excellent brain candy for you ;)

  39. Oh I just love the sound of this book, it sounds like it really captures the heart of being a southern belle and it just sounds so incredibly charming! I love the sound of this book. Thank you for your review Jessica!

    • This book captures the South, almost in its entirety—the belles, the little old ladies, the nosy neighbors, the over-protective mothers, ALL of it! I really loved it, and you are very welcome, Jeann!

  40. I had no idea this was UF! I love Rachel Hawkins’s Hex Hall series so I can’t wait to read this one as well (even more so now bc it is UF) the characters sound amazing as does the southern touch.

    A fabulous review Jessica! :-)

    • Thanks, Sharon! And yes, this is UF (even though many of us—myself included—didn’t know it, LOL). I hope you like it :)

  41. I keep seeing this one around, bah I should have grabbed it! Sounds like a really fun read.

  42. I’ve been meaning to come and check out your review since the day you posted it, but RL has been acting up lately, nevertheless, here I’m, and just as I suspected, this is total keeper. I have lived in the south off and on for the past 12 years, so yeah, I know exactly what a southern bell is ;) Not too mention that I have a 12 year-old whom under her Yankee’s father’s protest is on her way to becoming just that…LOL

    • Boo! Sorry it’s been acting up, and I hope it all gets straightened out soon. And yeah, this book is a total keeper, and hooray! for your daughter becoming a belle herself—belles are SO much fun ;)

  43. Awesome review Jessica, thanks! Adding it to my wishlist.

  44. I loved your history lesson of the family heritage *tee hee* I lived in the South for a year when I went to the USA and I could definitely tell the difference between the Northerners and Southerners. (this was a huge culture shock for sure!) This sounds like a great light fun read :)

    Great review as always!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    • Thanks, Chanzie! Culture shock indeed, LOL. And this is the epitome of a great light, fun read—SO much fun :)

      • Ha ha you have no idea! We think living in another country would be easy but it is sooo different! We have the same comparison here though – People From Jozi are not the same as people from PE ;)
        Love your reviews as always!!

      • *blushes*

        Culture shock or no, I still think it’s awesome you did it. My husband spent a year in Taiwan, and a cousin spent a year in Montenegro, but I never had an opportunity to do it myself. I think it would be an amazing experience.

  45. Hmm interesting. It sounds pretty good. I first learned about this book on Saturday at the Houston Teen Book Con, where the author was one of the many in attendance. I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would be into (and I don’t buy hardbacks anymore) but maybe I’ll have to see if the library has an audio copy I could borrow :) Great review. Extra brownie points for throwing in some laughs in there :) My hubby and I are the reverse – he’s the Southerner and I’m the foreigner, so all the Southern culture and funny sayings, man they were a culture shock for sure at first. Now I fit right in :)

    • Yes, we can be a pretty odd bunch, LOL. Glad you’re feeling more comfortable now (we are also a friendly bunch ;) ). Thanks, Julie! And I hope you can get it from the library—it really is a lot of fun.

  46. Oh, WOW, Jessica! The fact that you actually loved a Southern story and it rang true to you is a huge endorsement! And if Harper’s one-liners are crying-of-laughter-worthy, I’m definitely in.
    Excellent review – and I love that you sometimes enjoy bothering your dear hubby… we truly must be kindred spirits :D

    • Thank you, Lexxie! And yes, this book is as Southern as Southern gets. It was remarkable how well Hawkins captured the culture. As for bothering my dear husband . . . *snickers* . . . kindred spirits, indeed :D

  47. I loved her witch series and I’ve been wanting to read this one! I need to get a copy first then fit it in. I’ve heard good things though. I was hoping there is an audiobook for this one.

    BTW-OMG are you listening to Forgotten Sins???? I loooooove that book! I’m buying it as soon as the audio is released. I love killer books :)

    • I think there is an audiobook for this one. And you totally should when you get the chance. Clearly, I loved it ;)

      I’m not listening Forgotten Sins, but Carmel is, and going by her updates, she’s liking it so far. I’ve got it on my wishlist though—sounds freaking awesome :)

  48. What a gorgeous review, Jessica! I have this book on my wishlist already but now I’m absolutely dying to read it! :)))

  49. Oh my gosh, I just found your blog and I am fangirling because your reviews are just brilliant! Stellar review, by the way. I adored this book as well! I’ll be back! ;)

    • Yay! I’m so glad you them (and this one too ;) ). One of my favorite things about doing this is meeting bookmates. I hope I’ll be seeing a lot of you!

  50. Before I forget – I have to give you a little nod for that Jane Austen (P&P) line worked in. Nice!

    Anyway – I’m not a southerner, not really – I was born in NY and we moved to Texas when I was 13. So I don’t count, but I love it here and love all the crazy things southerners do. (though I’ve been told that TX doesn’t count as southern…) and I really enjoy books that embrace that charming craziness/wackiness. I’ll have to add this one to the list too!

    • TX counts, but it’s also kind of like it’s own separate little country. Did you ever watch GCB on ABC? I don’t even think it lasted an entire season before getting cancelled, but it was the funniest tv show I’d ever seen in my LIFE. But yeah, it you like the wackiness of Southerners, I think you’ll really like this too. VERY authentic ;)

  51. I can’t wait to read this one. I really liked this author and her books and I love how funny her stories can be. I’m a huge fan of one liners and I can’t wait to laugh while reading this slightly lighthearted UF.

    Thanks for the great review!

    • Excellent! If you’re already a fan of Hawkins, and you love one-liners, then I really don’t see how you coudn’t like this book ;)

  52. Ah, Jessica, I fell for your winsome smile! I’m so glad you enjoyed this, especially as a lovely southern girl. Wasn’t it FUN? I like Rachel Hawkins’ books so much because I love the fluff. Even though the stories are never really all that complicated (agree on the villain), they’re not dumb or shallow, they’re just always light as air and so entertaining to read.

    And yeah, it is always fun to needle the husband. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • Oh, how I adored this book. It was the perfect book at the perfect time, and I absolutely LOVED it. It was fluff, but it was wonderful fluff, and I am in awe of how well Hawkins captured not only the universally recognized ideas of what it means to be a Southerner, but also the more subtle idiosyncrasies. And those great aunts! Hilarious!

      And yes, I never miss an opportunity to needle the husband ;)

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