Review + Giveaway: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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.

Rebel Belle will be published on April 8, 2014. I won this ARC in a giveaway.

The first three chapters of Rebel Belle contain a fight to the death scene between Harper, armed with a pair of high heels, and her history teacher, armed with a scimitar. And that’s after Harper has just seen the school janitor — not the fat, balding, bearded Mr. Hall, but the pillow-stuffed-under-the-shirt, toupee-and-fake-beard-wearing Mr. Hall — die in the girls restroom at the Homecoming Dance.

And then the body disappears, along with any signs of the battle.

Naturally, Harper is FREAKED. OUT.

Harper is a great character. She reminds me a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (but not as quippy) in that she has to balance a seemingly normal high school life with a hidden life that isn’t normal at all. At first she seems shallow, interested only Homecoming and Cotillion and being the head of every committee and club in school, but as the story develops, so does Harper’s character. Though reluctant at first, she takes on her new responsibilities as Paladin, determined to do her best to protect David. Together, they research Paladins and Oracles and discover what they’re in for. Soon Harper is busy trying to keep up with homework and her activities at school, preparing for Cotillion, and Paladin training. And, oh, yes, making sure her boyfriend doesn’t stray.

It all comes to a head on the night of Cotillion, the night Harper’s been waiting for her entire life.

I’ve read a lot of books about witches, vampires, werewolves, and even ghosts, but this is the first book about Paladins that I’ve encountered. It’s similar enough, but different, and with those differences comes different superpowers. There’s some discussion of the history of Paladins that’s pretty interesting to me. I don’t know how accurate it is, however, because I don’t know much about Paladins. Hopefully it’s not too far off, superpowers aside.

There are some extraneous details about Harper’s family that don’t really seem to fit into the story — they’re irrelevant to the plot but keep coming up. I wonder if they will fit in later or if it’s just an awkward attempt to give Harper some backstory.

Also awkward is Harper falling for David. I’m indifferent to a Harper/David relationship, probably because I like her boyfriend Ryan just as well as David. Neither guy is perfect, and they both have moments where they’re acting stupid, but both are basically good guys. Ryan turns out to be more important than it seems, and it will be interesting to see where the next book takes the trio.

I’m really glad I won this ARC because I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own. (Rebel Belle was part of a lot and I was interested in some of the other books. I don’t go around entering giveaways for books I don’t care about.) The cover didn’t catch my eye (but it’s perfect for the story), the blurb didn’t sound like something I would want to read, and I didn’t love the other Rachel Hawkins books I’ve read. Even with the many positive reviews I’m sure are to come, I might have missed it. Now, I’m looking forward to the next book!

4 stars


I won this ARC in a giveaway. I’m not sure about the etiquette of this, but I rarely reread books, no matter how much I like them. I can’t see myself ever rereading Rebel Belle and I don’t need it just taking up space, so I’m holding a giveaway. It’s either this or throw it into the recycle bin and I don’t think anyone wants that. Due to postage costs, this giveaway is US only.

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  1. Sounds like a really fun read. I have not read a lot of Paladin books either, but I know a bit about them so I am curious how this turned out.
    Is there a love triangle? It sounds like it?

    I am not currently reading anything, ready to start Half Bad!
    Lily B recently posted…Atria Books Tour: Take a Chance (Chance #1) by Abbi Glines ReviewMy Profile

  2. What a pretty cover! The story sounds pretty good, too!
    Kim@Time2Read recently posted…Talk 2 Me: Book JacketsMy Profile

  3. Not reading anything now

  4. glenn woods says:

    I’m reading Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson

  5. I am so excited for this book! So far I’ve loved all the Hex Hall books and School Spirits so I’m interested to see a new world from Rachel Hawkins.
    Kiersten recently posted…Cover Cosmetics – Percy Jackson and the Olympians series – Rick RiordanMy Profile

  6. I’m so excited that Rachel Hawkins has another book coming out! I loved Hex Hall so much, and I’m saving School Spirits for when I need a pick-me-up since I loved the first series so much. I can’t wait to read this one though!!!

  7. Danielle P says:

    I’m currently reading Endless Knight by Kresley Cole…It’s super good so far. I love this series! I want to read this book too! I LOVED The Hex Hall series & I’m excited for another awesome Rachel Hawkins book!

  8. Holly Letson says:

    I am currently reading the *Tokyo Mew Mew* manga series.

  9. LeNissa Davis says:

    I’m currently re-reading Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning. Been in a book funk for a few weeks and decided to re-read on of my favorites to get me back on track

  10. I’m currently reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews.

    Thanks for the giveaway, I’m dying to read Rebel Belle 🙂
    Christy recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (45)My Profile

  11. I am so excited to read Rebel Belle! I am reading Liv, Forever right now!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
    Missie recently posted…Review of Waking the DeadMy Profile

  12. Bridget Howard says:

    I am currently reading Don’t Look Now by Michelle Gagnon!!!!

  13. I’m currently reading Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (recommended by a friend) but this book looks more like my type!! Excited for it and what a great cover.

  14. Kirsten W says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale!


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