Harper Prince, 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.
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Page count: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Series: Yes (Rebel Belle, Book 1)
The first thing my boyfriend said to me as I picked up this book to read was, "with all that pink on the cover, that has to be a girl's book." Now, the pink cover is definitely something that may scare a guy away, but that is his lost because this is NOT just a girl's book.
With that being said, it probably will appeal more toward a female fan-base, but it can really be for anyone. Instead of blabbing on about this, let me just get to the review.
I have heard many great reviews for this book, and to be honest, I haven't heard any really bad ones. As with all books there is the occasional person that did not enjoy reading this. Did they call it "bad"? No. It was just not their cup of tea. So, I had high expectations going into this story, and in no way did Rachel Hawkins disappoint.
Something that really appealed to me about this story is knowing it is set in the South. Being a person who spent many holidays and summer vacations in Alabama I enjoyed reading a story I could relate to on a personal level. There is something special about reading a story set close to home, a certain magic in the words that make you feel more connected to the story. Unlike reading a fantasy story set in a far away land, or even a novel set in New York, I had no problem imagining walking the streets with Harper as she went to her school and ventured around her town. All that southern charm. I could have walked outside and could have been standing in Harper's world.
Another appealing aspect to this story is the great balance between romance, comedy, and action. The enchanting world of Paladins, Oracles, and Mages didn't overshadow the charming world of Alabama. Hawkins created this fantasy element with super powers, magic, and evil looking to destroy the normal life Harper had. On the other hand, Hawkins also created a realistic tale of teens in love with drama, friendships that weren't perfect, and the classic teen vs. teen squabble. These two worlds were woven together to create a wonderful story. Thrown into the mix skillfully was also a bit of humor.
Was this book perfect? Not completely. I really enjoyed this story, but there were a few times I didn't like the main character. Harper is a great main character, but she also comes across as immature and very "girly." This is shown in the first scene with Harper as we discover the biggest problem she had was that she didn't have lip gloss. She does seem to grow out of this a bit during the story, but these are the type of girls I don't normally like to read about. For me, Harper was one of those characters that had to grow on me as I read. Eventually I began to like her and by the end of the novel I was on her side.
The overall story was interesting and pretty fast paced. Once it's shown what Harper and David is facing and why it's a big deal, the story really starts to take off. This was one of those quick reads because each chapter left you wondering what was going to happen next.
In all honesty, this made me think a little bit about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It had that feel to the story, and that could be why I loved this book. Not being a very girly girl my self, I enjoy seeing girls kick some major butt. Harper is still learning how to control her new power, but she is already on her way to being a pretty epic person.
I personally rated this book 5 out of 5 stars. I truly enjoyed this story and I'm excited to know that it has more to come! I will be keeping up with this series and I will surly recommend everyone I know to read this one with me.
Have you read this story?
If you have read it, did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
Let me know what you thought!