Published by Penguin on April 8th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, paranormal, Young Adult
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.“As surprising as it is delicious.”—BCCB, starred review “Fun with a twist of supernatural and Southern charm.” —VOYA“The romance, coming-of-age aspects, and a well-drawn heroine with a crackling wit will lure in readers.” —Booklist
Juggling being class president, participating in every extracurricular activity the Grove has to offer, and a competing repetitiously with the editor of the school paper is a lot for Harper Jane Price, professional Southern Belle, to handle. But don’t worry about her, because she’s a shoo in for homecoming queen—that is until she leaves her lip-gloss at home on the night of homecoming. She grits her teeth and uses Bee’s shade (Salmon Fantasy—really?!). That one trip to the bathroom is the catalyst for her onslaught of powers, and she starts throwing people over her shoulder and acting like she stepped out of a Fast and Furious movie to protect her nemesis. Or is he? She can’t tell fact from fiction anymore, and the Southern Debutante now has to balance the safety of the entire world in her Cotillion heels.
“Now, this is when it really gets weird. I know, I know, dead janitor in disguise, killer history teacher, how much weirder could it get?”
If you haven’t read any of Rachel Hawkins’s books, this is a good place to start! I read her book Hex Hall when it was first released in paperback and couldn’t wait to read Demonglass. Like her debut series, Hawkins reels you in from the beginning. The southern characters in Rebel Belle have the perfect amount of sass and charm that any southern grows accustomed to, a trait that she expressed perfectly. She threw in the perfect number of “ya’lls” to remind the reader of the setting and the life that Harper left behind.
Harper had been raised all her life with pearls on her neck and heels on her feet, learning that the way she presented herself was half of the game. When her world does a 180, she had to look through different eyes to see the overall picture—hipster frames, that is. David Stark had always been a part of Harper’s life, but more like a thorn in her side rather than a necessary being. Besides, it’s not like she was looking for a relationship, having been with the same guy since birth, Ryan. However, David had a certain quality to him that made me root for him the entire story. The semi-love triangle was unique, and I’m curious as to how it will persist in the coming books. The relationship that formed between enemies started off rockier than Everest but soon changed into something intense, and not only because she might have to kill him one day. Given he’s no Archer Cross, the love interest in Hex Hall, David was the perfect journalism hipster to ground this Cotillion Queen, lest the dark forces from outside the town destroy the world. If you’re looking for a story with a lot of secret kisses down dark alleys or longing glances from across the cafeteria this is not the book. Harper and David were finding one another when they didn’t know they should be looking, and watching their relationship blossom was part of the allure.
“’Pretty sure ninjas and magic and dead guys trump your boyfriend’s insecurity.’”
The secret society that Harper joined had a Buffy-like feel. There were even references to Giles, Buffy’s mentor, throughout the novel, which made it that much better. Harper was the perfect candidate for the job that she had thrust upon her, even though she doubted herself multiple times. Like the famous fighters she mentions, Harper epitomized what it meant to have girl power. Class and southern sass made for a quintessential fighter and determined woman to save the day without getting her gloves dirty.
This action packed novel made for an ideal escape, a world that I couldn’t wait to delve into. The ending of the novel leaves much to be desired, as Rebel Belle is the first in a trilogy. Think of Harper like Buffy with a dash of Clare from The Breakfast Club and read as unlikely friends join forces to fight wicked witches and save the world when you pick up your own copy of Rebel Belle.