Published by Penguin on April 7th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, perfect for fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars.Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.
After the disastrous events that took place at Cotillion, Harper Price’s life is almost back to normal. Well, as normal as it can get when your boyfie (Harper’s darling nickname for David) is an Oracle and your ex-boyfriend is a Mage. Bee has returned after being taken by one of the Ephors, but not without a price. Harper must partake in an ancient trial, the Peirasmos, to prove that she can be the Paladin David needs. This Southern Belle has her hands full once again, and competing in the Miss Pine Grove Pageant is the least of her worries. Does she have enough power to change the future, or will she only repress it for a little while?
This book was a 3.5 until the very end, which bumped it up to a strong 4. Rebel Belle raised the bar extremely high for this trilogy, and Miss Mayhem had a slight case of Second Book Syndrome. There were new tensions introduced in this book, such as Harper having to work with her ex-boyfriend while he gallivanted around with his new love interest. Not that she was jealous, but the situations complicated things and made for an interesting turn of events. Also, Harper had to decide not only who she wanted to be but also how she would handle her predicament. Being an ancient figure that fights evil to save a mystical Oracle was a lot for one girl to handle. Luckily she didn’t have to do it alone, and the friendships she made and secrets she shared in the last book strengthened the storyline.
I still found it nearly impossible to not fall in love with David Stark. He continued to be a perfect blend of snarky comebacks and fashion faux pas to keep me wanting more. Even when David went through a difficult time—he had to accept a lot, too—his idiosyncratic personality always shined through. I would have loved to know what exactly had been going through his mind during it all, and not just the times where he looked into the future.
The end of the book shocked me immensely, and it sent me spinning as I raced to finish the book. There were a multitude of things that led up to the catastrophic ending of the novel. Nearly all of the characters went through epiphanies and changes that completely rewrote who they were, which added a new feel to the story. By the end of the book, the characters that were left standing needed some serious therapy and maybe a visit to Miss Annemarie’s Tearoom for about a gallon of Chamomile. I can’t even begin to wonder what will play out in the next book.
Unlike the first book, which carried a lightness to the dialogue, there were more serious subjects presented in this novel. That is not to say that Hawkins wasn’t as hilarious as she has been in the other book, as well as her other works—I think that would’ve been impossible—but the heavier atmosphere noticeably weighed down the characters.
Though I enjoyed Rebel Belle more than Miss Mayhem, this was still a great addition to Harper’s journey. “Egregious felicitations” are never fun, and I will definitely be snatching the final installment of the trilogy off the shelves faster than it hits them.