Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: Rebel Belle

Rebel Belle
Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle
Volume: 1
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance
Release Date: April 8, 2014

A Quick Introduction: Harper Price, Southern belle extraordinaire, has it all together. She's Homecoming queen, gets excellent grades and leads several groups and committees. Until a strange run-in at the Homecoming dance, when her whole life it turned on it's head. Suddenly she's the imbued with superhuman strength and agility, bound to protect David Stark, whom she can't stand, with her life. They're both thrown headlong into a world of fates and prophecies that they know almost nothing about, with no understanding of where they fit into it.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: A light, fun, fast-paced opening to a humourous supernatural trilogy.

Review: This one was just a fun read for me. For the most part it's quite fluffy and comical.

Harper Price has formed herself into the definition of a Southern belle. Homecoming queen, perfect grades,  president of multiple school groups, gets along with just about everyone. She's put a lot of effort into becoming the ideal, in hopes that everyone will forget what happened with her sister. Despite this baggage, she's generally a pretty light character. The story is told in first person, from Harper's point of view, which added humour, as she often had no idea what was going on, and was a bit of a snarky narrator at times. I didn't really connect with her, but, I found that in this case it didn't impair my enjoyment of the story as much as it often does, it just gave the book an overall light feel. She comes into these superhuman abilities and has no one to help her find her way, so she's understandably overwhelmed, and things start to unravel. David was, well, kind of frustrating sometimes, though that was generally the intent of the author. They did sometimes feel a little like ideas of characters than actual characters, but they grew on me as the story went on.

The relationship between  Harper and David was kind of predictable. The extended feeble love triangle was just that; feeble. It was pretty clear where it was going from the start. It seemed like it was Harper's way of clinging to her old life. She does struggle with the sudden shift in her life, and it makes her relationships with her friends a bit strained when she has to lie to them. That said, she still maintained contact with her friends, and tried to include her best friend, Bee, to whatever extent secrecy would allow. Her relationship with her boyfriend, Ryan, is strained because of the lies, and because he starts feeling like a demand on her time that she can ill afford in the face of her new responsibilities, one that maybe she doesn't want anymore. Harper and David's scenes together were enjoyable to read, mostly because of whatever bizarre situation they had somehow gotten themselves into and how they both reacted to it. So their interactions were generally pretty fun to read.

The plot was just building, as this is the first book in the trilogy. One thing that aggravated me a little was some of the choices the characters made had me wondering how they had missed something, but at the same time, it did make it very clear that Harper and David had no idea what they were doing and were totally new to this. It just seemed like sometimes something was a little too obvious to miss, and nobody picked up on it. This did make some of the situations feel a little contrived or forced at times. Otherwise, the plot and action were generally enjoyable, and often served to display or spur character or relationship development

The writing was like the story itself, light and entertaining. There wasn't anything that really stood out one way or the other. There were points that a little more explanation would have been nice, but overall it was fast-paced and enjoyable, and generally maintained a flow, even as it jumped between Harper's two lives- the one she led, and the one she's been thrown into.

Overall, this was a quick, fun read. It was light and amusing, and I found myself enjoying the balance of action, humour and character interactions.

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