Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins + Review Format Poll

Rebel Bellerebel-belle by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1 (1/3)
Published by Putnam Juvenile on April 8, 2014
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 345
Format: Hardcover –> Ebook
Source: Borrowed –> Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3 Stars, Completed May 31, 2015

– SPOILER free –

Naturally, after reading so many reviews about this being a hybrid novel between Legally Blonde and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it became one of the most anticipated titles on my TBR list. So I borrowed Rebel Belle from the library at the end of April and read the first couple of chapters but as the month of May passed I found I was never compelled to pick it up again to continue. Eventually I ended up having to return my copy to the library and buying it as an ebook for myself. This wasn’t a bad book by any means, it was actually pretty fun and cute.

In Rebel Belle, Harper Price is the epitome of a southern belle and teenage perfectionist. She’s an honor-roll student, president of the student body, popular, and admired by all. Even though Harper stays busy, she manages to juggle a nice social life and has a great group of close friends and a supportive boyfriend. Basically, Harper has everything working perfectly in life, but then it all changes the night of the homecoming dance when she forgets her lip gloss (haha, it’s silly, I know). In the process of freshening herself up for being pronounced the night’s homecoming queen, she ends up witnessing her school’s janitor being murdered by her history teacher in the girl’s bathroom. As Mr. Hall, the janitor, takes his last breaths, he transfers his assassin’s skills and knowledge to Harper through a kiss-like maneuver (ew) and proclaims her as the next Paladin. Harper soon discovers that her newfound powers are supposed to help her protect David Stark, her least favorite person and someone she’s had a feud with since she can remember. A confusing love-hate relationship develops between them, and they are forced to figure out their new roles and the mysterious destiny they must fulfill the night of the Cotillion ball.

Okay, so let’s just start with how I absolutely adored Harper as a protagonist. She’s likable, sensible, and does her job well as an informative and funny narrator. There were quite a few moments where I found myself bursting out in laughter for how silly and comical some of the scenes were. I also really enjoyed Hawkins’ writing style; the book was well written and she seamlessly made the high school friendships realistic and cute. Another thing I appreciated, at first, was the unique and different concept of the Paladin. I especially enjoyed how Hawkins decided to incorporate it in a way that highlighted the southern charm in the normal Harper when she’s not kicking butt. Overall, the idea of a southern belle being both ladylike and an assassin is pretty badbutt and creative. This was also set in good ol’ southern Alabama, which I found nice being a southern gal myself. The mention of sweet tea and hummingbird cake was also a nice plus.

However there were a few aspects of the book I was quite dissatisfied with. Even though the use of the mythology was original, the Paladin concept lacked depth and at times was not convincing. The Paladin is supposed to be a sworn protector equipped with agility and ninja skills, but other than being a protector, what else? Therefore, I found that the fantasy portion of the urban fantasy element really lacked, making the plot become almost irrelevant and boring at points in the book. Also, early on (like the first chapter) readers learn that Harper’s sister died from driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead of taking advantage of her sister’s role in the story it sort of fell flat too. Her sister’s death should have been the ideal contemporary element in the book and could have built Harper’s character even more. Hawkins tried to make it part of Harper’s identity by using it to explain Harper’s work ethic and personality, but other than that there wasn’t much contribution overall.

And the last thing that probably bothered me the most was the love triangle, which is pretty surprising since I tend to overlook and not complain about them. Ryan, Harper’s boyfriend, is that loyal, supportive guy any girl would want to have in her life… but Harper doesn’t want him! Instead, Harper, though mostly a sensible protagonist for the entire book, suddenly feels attracted to David, who’s a guy Harper’s hated pretty much since they were in diapers. It’s strange and inconsistent for her character to be suddenly charmed by him just because her new Paladin duties make her obligated to protect him. Also, David isn’t even a sweet guy, in the beginning he was quite a douche. Sigh. I guess sometimes the good guys aren’t chosen, but I still thought the love triangle was on the weak side and unnecessary.

I’ve never read any of Rachel Hawkins’ work prior to Rebel Belle, but readers have raved about how she creates books in the ya contemporary and urban fantasy crossover genre. For me, I wasn’t that thrilled with the balance between contemporary and fantasy with this one, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Rebel Belle once I got into it. It’s a great summer read and one that will have you laughing for it’s comedic scenes for sure.

So my last book review on Maximum Ride Forever was super long so I bolded the main points of my review. I tried to do it again with this review, and I have a question: Is using this format easier for you guys to read? It would help a lot if you guys did the poll below! As always, have a happy Tuesday, and thanks in advance! 🙂


24 thoughts on “Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins + Review Format Poll

  1. littleblackblog says:

    I read this book last month and gave it the same rating as you. I didn’t like the love triangle either. I also found her best friend (whose name I have now forgotten) to be extremely judgmental and unsupportive. I know that Harper was keeping secrets, but true friends don’t act like that. But the plot was pretty compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Ahh, I kind of understand what you mean about Bee (her best friend). The ending of this one kind of suggests that Bee will be a integral part of the next book. I’m not too sure how I’ll feel about Miss Mayhem for that reason though.


  2. Miguel @ The Quirky Reader says:

    This was supposed to be THE summer read for me last year, alas, I didn’t get around to reading it. I’m hearing so many good things about Rebel Belle and Hawkins, in general. Mostly about how funny and breezy her books are. And I found the review format pretty easy to follow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much for the feedback, Miguel! Haha, that’s precisely why I hardly ever have seasonal (or monthly) TBRs. Plus, I read too slow anyway. Rebel Belle definitely is a fun, humorous read. I hope you enjoy it (that is, if you get to it this summer)! 😉


  3. Analee @ Book Snacks says:

    I’ve heard so much about this book and I’m intrigued! I love this review format, it’s a cross between super-detailed and normal, and the bold parts were a nice touch. I actually think I might try that out, if you don’t mind. 🙂 Anyway, great review, even though this isn’t the best rating, I think I’m still going to try it out. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Analee! ❤
      Of course, go right ahead! 🙂 I didn’t realize how much it made readability easier until after I did it on my last book review. I hope it works out for you!
      And I do tend to rate pretty harshly… I did like this one though and think you may enjoy it. So, yes, don’t let my rating stop you!


  4. Thuong Le says:

    What a coincidence I intended to read Rebel Belle next!! (because its only 345 pages lol) I like how you’ve structured your review with the bold type and you’ve summarised your opinion about what you liked and what you didn’t like about it very well 😉 I’m aware that it has a love triangle in it…which I probably won’t like but I hear a lot that it’s a fun read! I heard about this book from Christine from PolandBananasBooks on Youtube, she seemed to really liked it and was very enthusiastic! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks so much, Thuong! 😀 And oh my gosh, haha. I guess great minds think alike or birds of a feather flock together? 😛 Yes, the love triangle was so useless but it’s still such a fun read (and has quite a few funny moments that left me laughing unladylike). Ooh, Christine! I don’t watch a lot of booktube but when I do, I really enjoy her videos. She’s just so bubbly and her hair is so shiny it’s mesmerizing. Okay, I just sounded creepy there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thuong Le says:

        Yes, great minds think alike! 😀 Haha, never heard of ‘birds of a feather flock together’ lol. I started reading it last night, Harper does sound like a fun narrator. David sounds like a hipster. Christine is the only booktuber I watch too 🙂 I know, her hair is amazing! I’m sure everyone thinks the same about her hair. She should model for Pantene or Herbal Essences shampoo XD

        Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Yes! David is a total hipster, but I found myself liking Ryan a whole lot more. I think the main reason why I found the love triangle pointless is because Ryan is so perfect. 😉 (Though I wouldn’t consider him to be one of my fictional crushes. That’s reserved for people like Wes from The Truth About Forever or Jem from TID.)
          And omg, exactly! I didn’t think I was the only one that thought so! Here hair is always just so pretty, hehe.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    I heard about this book before, and though I’m not sure I would love the fantasy/contemporary mix, maybe I’ll try this one out! 🙂
    As for your review format, I really enjoy this one, it’s the perfect length and bold parts makes the whole thing even more perfect to read! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you for the feedback, Marie! 😀
      Rebel Belle was one I was really looking forward to this summer and I wasn’t disappointed since it was so fun and cute. I hope you do decide to pick it up sometime so then we can talk about it! 😉 🙂


  6. Randstein says:

    Excellent review and the bolded parts draw my eyes to the main points you want to make. This lends itself to several formats and organization of the main points. The strength of it is your excellent analysis and your ability to deliver on the analysis with writing skill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks, Jacob! 😀 I’m still trying to figure out what’s the best review format for my blog so I’ve been experimenting. I’m going to try to use quotes next time, which I saw you use in your review. 🙂


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