Book Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My review:

“Looking back, none of this would have happened if I’d brought lip gloss the night of the Homecoming Dance.”

I had to force myself to keep reading during the first few chapters. I did not like Harper and I did not like her narration. The way I read her voice in my head was so annoying, but perhaps I only have myself to blame for that.

Plot-wise, everything seemed cheesy and it wasn’t working for me. Popular girl, cute boyfriend, cliquey friends, prom… ew. But I persevered, and luckily, the second half of this novel was very good. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that good, but it was a beacon of light compared to the chapters that came before it. I am almost certain that Harper’s voice was less “prom queen” and more average-girl-turned-badass by the end of it. And I approved.

If I had to describe this book in one sentence, I’d say that it’s like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that takes place at a prom. It could easily be a Disney/Family Channel movie, at least, that’s how I imagined it in my head. That may also be what annoyed me so much about the first half of the book. It lacked grit.

★★★ (3.5 stars) because I am very excited to see where this story is headed. Hopefully the next book is nothing like the first half of this novel though.

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