Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsSynopsis 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.

Review:

Harper Price, straight-A student and super-community-involved girl of the year, has been ready to be Homecoming Queen forever. Minutes before she’s crowned, her fate turns. She becomes a Paladin, an ancient line of guardians with superpowers to protect the current Oracle. Unfortunately for her, this means she has to protect her rival (since kindergarten). Then she starts falling for him. With all the supernatural crap going on, how will she protect David and their little town from destruction?

This book was recommended to me by Allie ☪ on Goodreads. I’ve also seen BookTubers raving about Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle. PolandbananasBOOKS describes it as feeling very contemporary, and it does. I loathed Harper’s voice in the first few chapters, but I got used to it and came to really like it. Now, I’m looking forward to the release of its sequel: Miss Mayhem.

Harper changed the most. I loved that she wasn’t a helpless heroine nor willfully ignorant. She dove right into research shortly after she gained her powers. The Homecoming Queen (I don’t know how this happened since she often says she’s a junior; at my high school, only seniors could be crowned) learns to accept her destiny. She came to realize there was something more than a rivalry between her and David. I didn’t really notice much character development in the other characters.

One theme of the novel is to realize and accept your destiny. Harper does this after some argument, and even then she still worries herself over college apps. David accepted his destiny right away. As much as I like Harper as the heroine, David seemed to let the danger happen and never really did anything to get himself out of trouble.

For the setting, I loved that it took place in a small town in the South. Harper’s balancing act with school, activities and Paladin duties made it feel very contemporary. She worried over college and Cotillion. Her remarks, sometimes sarcastic, contribute to the contemporary feel. The world of Paladins was built at a good pace.

The ebook is beautiful. The cover is perfect for both content and title. Every chapter started with a drawing of a bow in the upper left corner. It adds to prep for Cotillion.

This is a great read for fans of the contemporary genre–it is still fantasy. For people who read a lot of paranormal or fantasy novels, this throws a new group into the supernatural.

Genres: Paranormal YA, Fantasy

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

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