Summary courtesy of Goodreads:
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.
Christine from PolandBananasBooks on YouTube was very enthusiastic about Rebel Belle, which is the reason why I picked it up.
The story starts with our main character, Harper Price who is a Southern Belle, overachiever; Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and School President, whilst still maintain straight-A grades for her AP classes. This girl is the queen of multitasking. Until one night at Homecoming, she forgets her lip-gloss and has to borrow her BFF Bee’s salmon fantasy. She goes to the bathroom to put it on when suddenly the janitor, Mr Hall bursts in wounded from being attacked by Dr. Dupont with a scimitar and passes his superpowers to Harper through a kiss, but it was more like blowing something into her.
Now Harper’s gained all these awesome kickass superpowers but is less than pleased to realise that the person she has to protect is none other than her nemesis, David Stark.
“All superheroes have origin stories, like how Bruce Wayne’s parents gets killed and he goes to Tibet or whatever, and Superman is an alien, and Spider-Man had that radioactive spider. Me? I kissed a janitor in the school bathroom.”
I am quite surprised on how much I liked Harper because she is your typical wealthy and vain girly girl, but she’s so likeable and quite charming! She never swears because it is not very ladylike. I don’t always get to read about funny main characters (probably because I pick the wrong books). I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this book if it weren’t for Harper’s funny personality. I found it funny that she began to practice her newfound strength on the fence of her backyard and then landing in her swimming pool! Her mum finds her and asks her what the eff is she doing, to which she says she was just walking and didn’t see where she was going and fell into the pool LOL.
I loved how Harper intentionally threw the pen directly at Liz’s head and then quickly denied it.
“Harper, did you just… did you just throw a pen at Liz?”
“Oh my gosh, no, Mrs. Ford! I was just… um… writing really fast because there was so much information to take in, and I had, like, some lotion? On my hands? Anyway the pen flew out of my hand and hit Liz.”
The contemporary and fantasy mix is an interesting element to the story, but the mythology about Paladins (sounds like Aladdin) is weak. Hawkins explained the history between a Mage, Oracle and Paladin but I just don’t get it and without the three of them it won’t work; it sounds a bit like Charmed. I think the mythology is interesting and unique, as I’ve never heard of it before but it is a bit farfetched; it feels like there’s something missing and needs to be developed a bit more.
The love triangle was a bit non-existent. Even though Harper already has a boyfriend called Ryan, I could tell early on that it isn’t going to last because of David Stark (Game of Thrones, anyone?) Harper and David have hated each other ever since they were babies. David does not appear to be very likeable in the beginning of the story, in fact he seemed like a douche. He has it in for Harper, which is why he’s always writing mean articles about her in the school’s magazine and is constantly dropping words from the spelling bee to provoke her, however their banter is pretty funny! You do wonder what his problem is, but anyone could have worked it out, he has a crush on her.
The funny thing about David is that he is a hipster. Apart from his black rim glasses, the clothes he wears just sounds so weird and funny but somehow he pulls of it. Houndstooth trousers, I mean really?!
Overall, this is a solid 3 stars. I wouldn’t rate it any higher or any less. The ending was a crap cliffhanger and a bit effed up but I did enjoy the story nonetheless. It is a breath of fresh air because it has a bit of everything in it, from comedy, action-packed, drama to fantasy. It’s one of those books that you can’t put down.