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.
After having it recommended to me, I decided to go ahead and give Rebel Belle a try and I’m happy to say I didn’t actually mind the book. Now I know that sounds like it’s not enjoyable, but trust me, that’s not what I’m saying. In fact I only had two real issues with this book. First of all, it’s clearly a young adult book written for young adult readers. As I am not a young adult, there were times I found myself wishing this book had an older appeal to it that it shouldn’t have. This is exactly the type of fiction I would have enjoyed as a high school student and there’s nothing wrong with that.
My other issue with the book comes from the apparent Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie not show) feel of it all. In fact, I made it all of one chapter when I was so overloaded with the similarities that I had to put the book down and think about if I truly wanted to go there or not. Granted, I forgot my friend mentioned it was Buffy meets Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) when she suggested I read the book and she hit it dead on the mark. At times, Harper Price is so annoyingly dense, you just wish you could reach in and shake her. There’s also nothing worse than having her having the stereotypical “Little Miss Perfect” school resume of head cheerleader, SGA President, Key Club, Homecoming Queen, future Valedictorian and still only a junior in high school. Talk about young adult cliche.
All of that said, the concept and the fact the book is a quick and easy read is what makes this book work. In a fiction world dominated with vampires, witches and zombies, Hawkins use of the Oracle, mage and paladin is a refreshing change of course. Though I know the premise and background behind the first two, I will admit I know little to nothing about paladins. In fact, I only even recognized it from my days of Everquest. I’m still not entirely convinced I enjoy seeing Harper as one, especially since every fight and training session reminds me of a Buffy fight, but I think Hawkins is on to something here. Obviously, the ending is setting things up to be an awkward love triangle between Harper, her newly ex-boyfriend turned mage, Ryan Bradshaw and the Oracle charge she’s sworn to protect and finds herself drawn to, David Stark. Hopefully she can keep up the momentum and even keep the relationship drama between the trio to a minimum. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading the next book in a few weeks.