Monday, May 19, 2014

Southern Belle on steroids

Harper Price is a superficial, stuck up idiot.

That was my first impression of Rebel Belle, the new teen novel by Rachel Hawkins. Harper Price is the narrator and main character. Academically, she’s brilliant, with only one student in the entire high school as her GPA competition (simmering love interest David Stark). But in terms of actual rational thinking capability? So, so ridiculously dim. Think Bella Swan meets Torrance Shipman (Bring it On) and you’ll get a slight idea of how preposterously silly Haper truly is. Even Hawkins calls the novel Legally Blonde meets The Terminator.

So why did I continue reading? Rebel Belle is laugh-out-loud funny and well written, even when I was laughing at Harper’s stupidity. Yes, Harper Price took almost the entire book to grow on me as likable, but I think that was intentional. Harper is very concerned about being the epitome of a Southern belle, and doing everything flawlessly. Over the course of the book she has to learn to let go and loosen up. Thus the main plotline is not the supernatural element (which was kind of a let down), but this derailing of Harper’s perfectly planned life and how she puts it back together.

All in all, Rebel Belle was light but fun. I’d describe it as a modern Gone with the Wind, complete with the love triangle, but condensed and with witchcraft taking the place of the Civil War. Worth a read for fans of Hawkins’ Hex Hall series.

Hawkins, Rachel. Rebel Belle. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2014. 3 Stars.

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