Book Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

cover

Crossing over to the dresser, I picked up my lip gloss. I wasn’t forgetting that tonight, at least. “I will,” I said, swiping on a coat of Coral Shimmer.

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 (Source: Goodreads).


 Rebel Belle was an interesting book. On one hand it was entertaining and easy to read, but on the other it just felt a little flat. It felt like very surface level enjoyment which is fine. But just not what I’ve been in the mood for lately.

I really enjoyed the way the book parodied the entire superhero/superpower genre but once you got accustomed to it the gimmick lost its charm. In Rebel Belle, Harper Price has supernatural powers and an ancient prophecy thrust upon her from the school janitor while he dies in the girls’ bathroom on prom night. The thing is, Harper’s main concern right now is being presented to society at Cotillion in a few weeks and she has no time for superpowers or ancient prophecies.

Not only did the book lose its comic charm quickly, but the remaining aspects didn’t really impress me much. The characters all felt overdone to the point where I firmly believe this book would translate well on a television network like The CW and fit in with shows with big, yet unnecessary, drama like The Vampire Diaries. Everything felt like a crisis, and actual crises were skimmed over or brought up only to enhance the drama of the little things. I felt little to no attachment to Harper or any of the rest of the cast because there was no real development of them as characters outside of romance — again reminding me of CW network television shows.

Luckily, the book was written in a way that it was easy to read so I was able to read several chapters in my spare time between classes, on bus rides to Target, or before bed. Unfortunately, easy to read doesn’t mean it was written well. And by that I mean, there were no memorable phrases or quotes that really hit me. This, I’m sure, is one of the main reasons why I felt it hard to connect with the characters and the events. But again, it’s not a bad thing. It just depends on your perspective.

That being said, Rebel Belle was a fun story that made me chuckle from time to time and roll my eyes more than a couple of times. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick with me enough to continue on with the two following books despite the interesting premise. However, this was my introduction to Rachel Hawkins’ books and it was positive enough to renew my interest in her previous Hex Hall series. I can only hope that she writes witches better than paladins.

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