Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Rating: 4 stars
Published: April 8th 2014
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.
I didn't realize Rachel Hawkins also wrote the Hex Hall series until I looked her up on Goodreads. I read the first book in high school, so reading this gave me high school nostalgia in a way.
This was a fun read, and a unique premise.
Harper Price has it all - the perfect boyfriend, the best grades, her best friend, SGA president position, and has been preparing tirelessly homecoming tiara and Cotillion. Nothing can stop her, not even David Stark, school reporter and nemesis, who writes slanderous articles in the paper against her. But all that changes when she is imbued with the power of a Paladin, protector of the Oracle, who ends up being David.
The narration is told 1st person style, and was perhaps the what I enjoyed most. I love funny narrators, and Harper's style of telling the story in her charming, Southern belle way, kept me reading on.
"We had to park way down the effing road."
Okay, I should probably mention right here that Brandon used the real word, but this is my story, so I'm cleaning it up a little. Besides, if I honestly quoted Brandon, this thing would look like a Cops transcript.
Sure, Harper may be an overachiever and a Queen Bee, and that's off-putting to some, but she grows on you. She takes on her new job as Paladin as another task on her list for her to excel in, and it's adorable.
It was fun. I felt in my element and in charge. I'm always happiest when I'm exceling at something, and, to quote one of those World of Warcraft websites I'd stumbled onto, these bad guys were about to get pwned.Our two leading males, Ryan and David Stark, were actually pretty great. I usually complain about how a female protagonist's boyfriend suddenly becomes horrible the moment she sees her true love interest, but Ryan was literally the perfect boyfriend to Harper throughout. And the development in the end - what a twist! I can't wait to see what the trio has in store for the sequel. The love triangle actually progressed at a decent rate, and made sense, finally hitting a conclusive end (so no triangle for the rest of the trilogy!).
While the plot is original, it was at times a bit ridiculous. I paused during one of the fighting scenes in the end, and I thought to myself, "Wait. Southern belles fighting crazy bad guys? Swords and martial arts tricks galore. Let me picture it." I tried to picture it for that scene, and I couldn't. But I dig it. It's new (at least, to me).
There are also the typical high school cliches and stereotypes that this book falls victim to - popular girls dating popular guys, popular guys being dumb, nerdy guys being terrible in fashion. But it is 4 stars. It's one of those quick reads you can intensely digest at a salon. I was at a salon reading this as my nails were being done.
This series has a strong start and I can't wait to look into the sequels!