Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

My To-Be Read List

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself.

Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Source: Purchased
Publication date: October 1, 2013

Rebel Blue meets Kennedy Green in detention. Rebel is a regular there, but it’s Kennedy’s first — and last — time. Their assignment in detention is to create a bucket list. Rebel’s bucket list is a joke, but it’s a lot more fun than Kennedy’s. Kennedy’s seems designed to get her into college or elected governor. See how many good works Kennedy did? She’s perfect!

After Kennedy dies, Rebel takes possession of Kennedy’s bucket list. She tries to get rid of it several times, but it keeps coming back to her. That’s when Rebel realizes that maybe she’s supposed to be doing the things on the bucket list, the things that Kennedy never got the chance to do.

Many of them are difficult, especially with a personality like Rebel’s. She’s not used to working with other people, or asking for and accepting other people’s help. Rebel’s a loner and although she doesn’t seem shy, she’s a hard person — and a hard character — to get to know. She had a nontraditional childhood, homeschooled by her mother as they traveled the world taking photographs for her mom’s job. When she was twelve, Rebel’s mom died. With no father in the picture, Rebel had to move in with her mom’s brother and his family, including her cousin Penelope, who is the same age as Rebel. Grieving and trying to adjust to her new life, Rebel didn’t fit in and she didn’t try. Now she’s kind of stuck. She doesn’t connect with the relatives who took her in. Her only friend Macey is a fellow detention regular who she barely knows. She’s spent so much time pushing people away that she doesn’t really have anyone she can count on.

Enter Nate, who catches Rebel “stealing” Kennedy’s bucket list from a trash can. Nate is a huge people pleaser. He has a big family and he tries to be everything to all of them. He’s a dutiful son who’s going to follow his father’s plan for Nate’s life — even though he has other interests. He’s a babysitter and good older brother to his siblings. Nate’s sister Gabby latches onto Rebel immediately, admiring her for the blue streak in her hair.

Even though I wasn’t sure about her at first, I grew to like Rebel a lot. She has to be creative as she works her way through Kennedy’s list, and she has to step way outside of her comfort zone. It’s so much fun to watch her develop real connections with people at last. There’s Nate, of course (love them!), but she also ends up reaching out to Macey and striking up a true friendship there. I love Macey and her piemaking. Rebel even makes some strides at home, developing a shaky truce with her cousin Pen and learning to understand her aunt a little better. Her aunt and Pen aren’t the most likeable characters, but it can’t have been easy for that family to open up their home to someone like Rebel either. With completely different experiences and a different outlook on life than them, she probably shook things up more than a little when she first joined their family.

I expected to like Goodbye, Rebel Blue when I first got it, but I wasn’t really sure by the time I put it up on my list for my January TBR. To be honest, I expected a different book to win, but I am very glad Goodbye, Rebel Blue did. It was definitely worth it, and without the push from the meme, I might not have gotten around to it for a long time. The only thing I wish is that Rebel would have tried some of the things on her own bucket list. I would have loved to read how some of those experiences went.

4 stars



  1. This one has been a back and forth on this book. I have moved it up on my TBR list than back down. I am really glad to see you enjoyed this book. I really think that I will like it too.
    JennRenee recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #93My Profile

  2. I have seen lots of great reviews for this one and I think it’s one I’d really like too. Rebel sounds like an interesting character and I know I love watching characters develop and grow. I’m glad that the meme finally got you reading this one when you were unsure about it and that it worked for you!
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…My TBR List Book Review : The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E SmithMy Profile

    • I was really concerned at the beginning, but Rebel came through for me! I’m glad it worked too. I’m trying to be selective about what I put for choices for the meme because I had a couple in a row that didn’t work as well.
      Jenna recently posted…Weekly Rewind: January 25-31My Profile

  3. I like to put books on My TBR List that I might not get read without the push, too. I’m glad that you ended up enjoying this one. I really like the sound of it – watching Rebel make connections as she tries to complete Kennedy’s bucket list. I think I’ll move this one up in priority on *my* tbr. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Teaser Tuesday ~ #55My Profile