Friday, May 9, 2014

Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Narrator(s): Amy Rubinate
Series: Rebel Belle, book #1
Length: 9 hrs 22 mins
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Source: audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

Rebel Belle was not quite what I expected. That's not to say that I didn't like it. But maybe I honestly didn't know what to expect from this book, so it's my own fault for going in with any preconceived notions. That said, if you're a fan of the author's HEX HALL series, I think you'll enjoy this book. It's just plain ole fun and entertaining.

I've got tons of experience with the narrator of this audiobook, but I have to say, this is the first time I've heard her put on her "Southern belle" hat. The accent isn't overbearing, but it is different from everything else I've heard her narrate. But considering the setting and the characters, it totally works.

Actually, Harper, the main character, reminds me of a cross between Sophie Mercer from Hex Hall and Mirabelle Monroe from Belles. Harper's got that Southern charm but she's also just come into a power she has no idea what to do with. She's sassy and girly and she's nowhere near kick-ass...until one day the janitor breathes on her and she suddenly is. A friend said she'd heard this series compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I can see that, though I think the comparison will become more apt as the series continues.

Basically, Harper now has to protect her nemesis and fellow classmate David as his Paladin. And with this responsibility comes some special abilities. Harper has to train with the mage currently also protecting David, which means she has to spend a lot of time around David. Despite their status as archenemies, everyone but them can see that there's a spark. It's a slow-to-build romance, but it's sweet and it gets there eventually.

And maybe that's the basis of the problem I had with this book. I think this story was just too light and fluffy, too PG when I was expecting at least some PG-13. It's very much like the HEX HALL series in that respect. It was cute and silly, but I never felt that connection that I need to the characters in order to truly enjoy all the magic and talk of destiny and such. It was fun. I liked it. I'm glad I read it. And I'd definitely consider picking up the next book. But this first book just didn't have that oomph, that je ne sais quoi I was hoping for.

GIF it to me straight:
Charming and a Southern belle.

About the author:

Rachel Hawkins was born in Virginia and raised in Alabama. This means she uses words like "y'all" and "fixin'" a lot, and considers anything under 60 degrees to be borderline Arctic. Before deciding to write books about kissing and fire (and sometimes kissing while on fire), Rachel taught high school English for 3 years, and is still capable of teaching you The Canterbury Tales if you're into that kind of thing.

She is married to a geologist, which means that they have incredibly strange dinner conversations ("So today at work, I wrote a chapter where killer fog, like, ATE PEOPLE." "Huh. Well, I was chased by an angry reindeer while trying to map parts of Norway." "Um...okay.")

Rachel also has a little boy whose main hobbies are playing video games, running around in circles, and plotting his Future Intergalactic Take-Over.

When not writing books, Rachel enjoys reading, travelling, and knitting (very terribly.)

Find Rachel:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | TumblrGoodreads


  1. I'm not such a fan of cute and fluffy. I mean, I like it sometimes but mostly I want a bit of sparks flying when I read. ;) I almost always rate fluffy books low...sooo, I'll probably just keep away from this one and not waste my time. x)

    1. Yeah, I'm not the biggest fan of the cute and fluffy unless I'm in the mood for it. So, when I'm expecting action and fight scenes and get cotillion and poofy dresses instead, it's a bit disappointing. Still, it was fun and not a total waste of time.

  2. This is great to know. I do plan on reading this in audiobook form. I loved Hex Hall, so I think I'll enjoy this too. Great review. Did you start talking with an accent afterwards?

    1. Yep, I'd definitely go the audio route; it makes the story that much more fun. And I do think my accent got a little more pronounced after this book, lol. (I'm from Texas, so the basis for the accent was already there. :D)

  3. I wonder if I'll like this because I enjoy cute and fluffy and I have yet to read Hex Hall? Hmmmm.

    Either way, the audiobook sounds like it's the way I need to go!

    1. If you like cute and fluffy, then I'd say with certainty you'd probably enjoy this story. It's more contemporary with a slightly paranormal twist, if that helps. And the audio definitely makes it that much cuter. :)

  4. I've never read Hex Hall, but I'm glad I know this going in, because I think it will help my expectations when reading it. I don't mind cute and fluffy if that is what I'm going in for - so thanks for that :)

    1. Same here...if I had expected cute and fluffy going into it, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Glad I could help you out. =)

  5. I'm a fan of her Hex Hall series, so I think I might be able to enjoy this one as well. Though, I think she may be running the risk of being 'casted' into a specific trope.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jen.

  6. Perfect gif! I love knowing it's a slow building romance. I picked it up at one of her book signing from her recent tour and I'm looking forward to it. I have only read one of her books *School Spirits - so I'm definitely hoping I enjoy this one. It hadn't even hit my radar at first because hey I have to admit that cover doesn't scream my genre to me.

  7. I've seen some really stellar reviews for this one. I've not read Hex Hall but I've had it on my wishlist for a long time. I'm not sure this one would be for me or not. I tend to like things a bit more than PG but again sometimes a fun book is exactly what I need. Glad you enjoyed it overall. What a perfect gif!




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