Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Series: Rebel Belle #1
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (ARC)
Source: Borrowed From Friend
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I wanted to love this one so much...I suppose that's why I'm so disappointed. This definitely was not what I expected.

I'll put it to you this way: the beginning sequence had all of the events mashed together in about the first fifty pages and there wasn't much cause to it. Harper forgot her lip gloss so the janitor stormed in and the transfer happened and lethal instincts took over and she killed someone! It just happened. I literally described the first fifty pages to my friend (and reading buddy) who sat there and patted my knee while asking if I was on crack. Strangely enough there was a quote later on in the book about taking the huffing and I had to question if I was going insane or not.

With that in mind, if you want something different this is definitely the book for you. If you want something that is fast-paced with very little explanation then this is also a good book for you. I can honestly say I enjoyed the insanity of the plot and the weird places it took me, but the writing bothered me in the sense that there was not enough detail and explanation and too many things were brushed off.

I also found the author's portrayal of teenagers to be very unrealistic, which is one of my biggest pet peeves when reading. I mean...our bad guy is going on this huge rant about what she wants to do to David and how it'll accomplish it but she inserts the term "but hi!" into the rant several times as if to say, "hello captain obvious!" I can't handle things like this. I just can't. It's so childish and hard to even fathom. Brandon was supposed to be a horny teen boyfriend, which there are many of, but he was over-exaggerated and annoying. During a high speed car chase that came out of nowhere our main character screamed the word "scoot!" several times, because that's what you think of when you're driving for your life. The list, unfortunately, goes on.

However, I also found our main characters to be impulsive. I mean...the bad guy tells you she can "poof out of nowhere" to get away from a situation and she has showed you that she is capable of this exact thing before, yet you don't put two and two together that she is going to "poof away" from you when you capture her? There wasn't much common sense at times! And the bad guy was nearly impossible to take seriously, which ruins a novel if you ask me.

The big fight scene was so fast I felt like my eyes glazed over only to go back, re-read it, and realize that was it. It was a chaotic climax, sure, but I wish it did the build-up more justice. Then again, the build-up wasn't as magnificent as it could be either.

Now that I've been harping on a lot of the things that I've found to be negative, I want to talk about the things that I love. David Stark, our character that needs protecting for really interesting reasons that I will not spoil for you, was absolutely hilarious. Nerdy and extremely intelligent, he was also full of snark, hilarity, and an awesome personality. He often delivered some amazing lines that I read out loud because, yes, they were that hilarious. In all honesty, I loved him more then our main character, Harper. Harper was solid enough, but something about her bugged me. She wanted so bad to be perfect that of course it fell from her grasp. There was a good reason for this what with what happened to her sister and all, but girl was slightly obsessive and cared a little too much about how she looked a lot of the time. 

Oddly enough, I think the side characters outshined Harper. Her best friend, Bee, was damn awesome. She had those best friend vibes and knew when her friend needed her. She stuck with Harper even when she was not being herself. Ryan, Harper's boyfriend, was a damn good boyfriend that I can see a lot of girls enjoying, even though he's only a minor character. His character status immediately tells you something about the relationship, doesn't it? Harper's Aunts, referred to as "The Aunts" are all extremely old sisters who wear matching outfits, get nasty over cards, and make fruit punch and they're damn amazing and hilarious doing it.

And the romance...I've gotta say that I enjoyed that it was slow going and certainly not easy. I didn't know what I really wanted until I found myself smiling when they kissed because it wasn't a huge plot point. However, when it occurred, it became really important to me, as a reader, and it also made me curious for what is to come in book two since this is crazy bananas. Something nuts is going to happen because of their weird new relationship, I can feel it.

All in all, I want to describe this book as satisfactory. This pains me since I've loved Hawkins's other writing so much, but I suppose you can't love them all. I'll be continuing this series for entertainment purposes, but I'm slightly wary for book two.

Also, I wholeheartedly acknowledge the fact that I seem to be the black sheep with this one. 


2.5 stars



  1. That black sheep gif is soooooo cute. Also, I had no clue what this book was about and am currently going like this: O_o

    However, I do want to read it because of the romance. People who don't like each other forced by circumstances to hang out and handle the sexual tension? Yes, please.

  2. Darn. I hoped this book was going to be amazing.

  3. I just ordered this book, it sounds like something I will like, I guess I will just have to see!

    1. Everyone has their own opinions!

  4. Oh man!!! This is really disappointing to hear. I had really hoped to hear positive things about this one. I still want to read it though.

    1. Come to your own judgments after reading it! These are just mine.

  5. 2.5! A 2.5! From the woman who wrote one of my all time favorite series in the whole entire world, Hex Hall? Sadness ensues. And it sounds so darn good! Granted, in your review, you do talk about some good things, but with a 2.5 the good things sure are limited. I just put the dang book on hold at the library, too! Grrrr

    1. This was not on the same level. It just wasn't. :/ I'm the black sheep on this one, though, so don't take it personally. lol