Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Published: April 8, 2014
Genre: young adult, fantasy
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.
Harper Price, Pine Grove’s Queen Bee of Extracurricular Activities, would love nothing more than to continue her perfect life running SGA, preparing for Cotillion, racking up activities to win over colleges, and become Homecoming Queen. But a trip to the ladies’ room during the Homecoming dance proves to be more than she ever bargained for: the school janitor gives her powers as he dies on the floor, and she ninja-destroys her history teacher. Once a Paladin, she discovers she’s charged to protect David Stark, the school’s student journalist who always writes nasty things about Harper. He’s an Oracle, and they are bound together for life — and it seems their lives may be shortened in just a few weeks, as David’s prophecy of impending doom lands on Cotillion night.
Oh, my. This book was hilarious and action-packed and made me want to rewatch all of my favorite Buffy episodes. It’s a similar concept at the core: adorable popular girl is granted superpowers and must protect people (in this case, one person) to the death. Throw in some excellent Southern culture, Harper’s adorable speech patterns, and David’s snarkiness, and you’re in for a treat. Grab a nice cool glass of sweet tea and enjoy.
What I loved most about Rebel Belle was Harper herself. She’s overloaded with activities, schoolwork, and maintaining her relationship with boyfriend Ryan. She works hard to show her parents that she is still alive, even if her sister is not. And, most importantly, though she is the popular girl in the school, she’s not nasty. Harper is just as friendly as she is intelligent and into fashion. She’s a great blend of girly girl and brains — a bit like Legally Blonde. Even the way she would research her new powers was completely realistic. If you were to discover you suddenly had superhuman fighting skills, what would you do? Research superheroes, of course! What is a Paladin, what are origin stories, when will her coach arrive? She’s so brilliant. Go, Harper!
I love this book. I want to befriend Harper, but since I can’t, I’ll clutch this book and anxiously wait for the sequel!