{Review} REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins

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!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   LOOKING BACK, NONE OF THIS would have happened if I'd brought lip gloss the night of the homecoming dance.
(Page 1, US ARC edition)

It feels like I've been waiting on REBEL BELLE forever. I heard about this book way back in 2010. It is now 2014 and I have the book in my grubby mitts. Rachel Hawkins is hilarious; her books are so much fun. Even though I'm not a huge fan of paranormal, her Hex Hall series made me a fan... at least of her world! Her new series,  Rebel Belle, seemed right up my alley. A little more fantasy...um, and assassins.

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. 

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( kissing; innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( light cursing, as well as creative alternatives because Harper is too "ladylike"to curse, though you know what she means )
Violence: PG13 ( fighting; Harper watches someone die and kills a demon teacher with her high heel )
Other:  ( grief due to a deceased sibling; jealous rivalries with female classmates )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

It's not my favorite, because it could kick so much butt and look fierce (like her other covers with a different publisher), but it still hints at the dual nature of a Southern Belle who can kick some butt.

Here's a sneak peek at the cover art for the upcoming sequel,  MISS MAYHEM:

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Juvenile
Received: For Review

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.


  1. OH wow! This does sound good! Nicely reviewed. I'm embarrassed to say, I've STILL not finished the Hex Hall series, I have the final book to read. I haven't been able to catch it on sale and I don't want to pay full price. Its not at the library either (digital copy).

  2. Oh. i like the cover of the second book a LOT and this book sounds right up my alley
    GREAT review, deary
    Your reader,
    Soma R.

  3. I own all her books and went to the signing with you :) still need to dive into reading this book.. You forgot school spirits book ;)


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