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 first introduction to Rachel Hawkins’ writing was through Hex Hall, which I enjoyed enough to add the other two books in the series to my to-read list but didn’t love unconditionally. Rebel Belle, however, was a book that I pretty much loved from the get-go. While I was afraid initially that I wouldn’t meld with the main character, Harper, those fears were pretty quickly put to rest. I found this book to be a quick, fast-paced, suspenseful and fun read, which was exactly what I was hoping it would be. There’s a lot thrown at you as the author sets up the world and introduces the main players, but I never felt overwhelmed, and her quick, snappy writing kept me thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
Harper, our main character, is thrust headlong into this adventure via a run-in with the school’s custodian in the girl’s bathroom while attending a school dance. I do want to state upfront that this book has a fair bit of violence mixed into it, although I personally never found it overwhelming. Harper manages to be a nice mix of prissy princess and kick-ass heroine, and I pretty much loved her from the start. She is clever and funny, and just genuinely a good person. I really enjoyed watching her skills grow as she tries to navigate this very strange new world she finds herself in, particularly since she really doesn’t understand at all what’s going on with her and gets herself into a fair amount of trouble along the way.
Of course, no YA book would be complete without a love interest, and Rebel Belle‘s comes in the form of the boy Harper is charged with protecting: the ever-infuriating David Stark, whom Harper has been in competition with since they were small. I absolutely adored the banter between the two and the way that they really did round each other out. I very much enjoyed watching their preconceived notions about the other fall to pieces, and the baby steps they took to sort of reconcile their differences. It doesn’t hurt that David likewise has a pretty awesome ability; while it’s not fully developed as of yet in this book, I look forward to seeing more of what he’s going to be able to do in future installments.
I do want to say that this book does contain a semi-love triangle, but it was done in such a way that I was never overly bothered by it. Harper very much knows who she wants to be with, and is very upfront about it. However, I could see it being an issue later on down the line, and am really hoping that won’t be the case. Fingers crossed!
All in all, if you love paranormal mixed with your contemporary, and enjoy some good old Southern charm, Rebel Belle is the book for you. Featuring a well-crafted, multi-faceted main character with a fairly swoon-worthy love interest, an interesting plot with a nice twist of paranormal, and loads of fun and witty banter, Rebel Belle is definitely one worth picking up!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.