Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins Review (Spoiler Alert)

2/5 Stars
Details of the book:
Hardcover, 345 pages
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Synopsis: 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.

If you like Hexed by Michelle Krys I would definitely recommend this book to you. The storyline and characters are almost exactly the same with a few exceptions. I heard so many great things about this book that probably made my expectations of it way too high. It's a story about a modern Southern Belle who strives so hard to be perfect and then is cursed with kickass powers to protect her lifelong nemesis. Sucks, right?

The love-triangle in this book is ridiculous. Harper (our heroine) has the perfect boyfriend who's she's been with for two years. They're an adorable couple, they have chemistry. Then she gets these powers that makes her have to spend time with David, the boy who has been publishing horrible things about her in the school paper and has basically been torturing her since they were in diapers. Yet somehow, these two develop a romantic relationship. The only thing I have to say to that is, wtf? I've never been a fan of the love triangle, not because I think they are unrealistic, but because I think they are used too many times in books, TV, and movies, and ineffectively.

Love-triangle aside, I found the other aspects of the book subpar. The plot had a lot of potential but I couldn't relate to Harper nor did I find her likable. The story itself was trying to be suspenseful and shocking but I found it to be so predictable that it was painful. Was this book terrible? No. Am I happy that I read it? The jury is still out on that one. Maybe the sequel will turn me around.

Strengths/Likes:

1) I liked the setting. The town and the minor characters were well-executed and seemed genuine. Too many times have I read a book set in the South and it seems like the author is making a mockery of the people while not having much knowledge about it.

2) The writing style was decent. At times it was even witty and funny.

3) I have a odd love for the Aunts. I found them charming and I found myself remembering my grandma when reading about them.

4) Bee is best, best friend anyone could ask for. I love her.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) I've basically covered this in my review summary but this love-triangle was terrible. It was completely unnecessary and made absolutely no-sense. Perfect boyfriend that you've been dating for two years vs. a lifelong enemy who does everything he can to humiliate you that you don't find at all attractive. Seems like a toughie, right?

2) There was no chemistry between Harper and David. It was like well, we're both magical and are stuck together, so why not make-out? The whole, "oh he's only mean to you because he likes you" is crap. First of all, these two are not two kids on a playground. David is downright nasty to Harper for no apparent reason. Second of all, telling girls that boys are mean to them because they like them is dangerous and idiotic. To me, that's the equivalent of telling an abused wife that her husband beats and treats her like crap because he loves her.

3) All of the magical aspects of this novel are under-explained or not explained at all. One in particular that sticks out is how all the magical wreckage suddenly disappears. Unless I misunderstood something, it was made clear that someone was making it all disappear but that person never comes forward which makes it's unclear if it really is a person or just a magical perk.

4) I didn't like Harper. She was straight-laced to the point of irritation. She was too "perfect" to relate to and at the same time I felt that she treated the ones she loved crappy.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "That boy can be a pain in the backside, don't get me wrong, but he has a good heart. And he's actually handling this a heck of a lot better than I thought he would. Look at him. Whole life turned upside down, and he's in there making pizza rolls."

2) "Why is it that prophecies are always so vague and mystical? I mean, would it kill you to be able to say, "Oh, the bad guys are coming on this day at this place and they're going to do this thing?" 'Night of the Swans,' honestly..."

3) "Ladies," Ryan said, nodding at Amanda, Abigail, and Mary Beth. "Let me guess. Y'all are...plotting world domination?"

Mary Beth giggled, which had the unfortunate effect of making her wobble even more. Abigail had to grab her elbow to keep her from falling over.

"No," Amanda told him, deadly serious. "We're talking about Cotillion."

"Ah, world domination, Cotillion. Same difference," Ryan replied with an easy grin, and this time, all three girls giggled, even Amanda.


Guys, I'm sorry for not posting more often. First I was really busy with all the holiday festivities then in the last week I've come down with the flu. I'm just starting to recover now so I'll be posting more soon. I have some exciting things coming up for you guys so stayed tuned. 

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