New to Rachel Hawkins? I've previously reviewed all three books from her previous trilogy Hex Hall (HEX HALL, DEMONGLASS, and SPELL BOUND), as well as met her at a book signing!
Harper Price is not the girl you'd go to first if you wanted to win a fight. The epitome of girly, her big goal is to win the title Homecoming Queen and then practice for her Cotillion Ceremony. But after witnessing her history teacher kill the school janitor in the girl's bathroom during Homecoming, Harper is magically gifted with uncanny abilities. She has no clue what's going on or what a Paladin is, and has no one to guide her (like she would if this were a superhero movie). When she discovers that she's a super-charged bodyguard for classmate David Stark, who she's feuded with since elementary school, things get even weirder. David hovers on the balance between good and evil, and has the power to destroy the world. Is he still worth protecting, even if it means giving up being a normal girl?
REBEL BELLE takes a lot of tropes and turns them upside down. Harper is very girly, and often underestimated. The girl has brains, however, and is in the running for class valedictorian. Her character reminds me a lot of Buffy Summers from Joss Whedon's classic series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If you're a fan of the series, you'll like this as well. While there isn't as much humor or romance at this point as there was in the first Hex Hall novel, both are still present, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the relationship goes moving forward. Anyone who grew up loving the love/hate relationship between Anne and Gilbert in L.M. Montgomery's ANNE OF GREEN GABLES will appreciate the way things percolate between Harper and David in this series and root for them.
If your looking for something fun and different with a heroine who can kick some butt, REBEL BELLE is the perfect book, and can easily be read in one sitting.