But once in a while, I find a book that I just can’t critically analyze. Rebel Belle is one of those books, and you know what? That’s not a bad thing at all.
Rebel Belle is a mix between a magical/supernatural comedy, centering on Harper Price, a stereotypical Southern belle who becomes a reluctant magical protector of an just-as-unlikely boy. It’s a cute story, one that is a visual blend of pink frills laced with magic and action. Living in a place far removed from the American Deep South, where antebellum fashion and the Southern accent were more likely to be silly, satirical representations, I suppose it made the book funnier from a outsider’s perspective.
The moments of humour in Rebel Belle aren’t brilliant or burst-out-laughing hilarious, but there’s a sort of sweetness in its jokes and demeanour. Maybe the narrative is self-aware of its silliness, but it has its rare charm. But for all its fun, Rebel Belle is refreshing. The gender role of protector and protected are reversed – it isn’t even made to be a big deal; it was a nice subtlety that was more empowering than subversive – and it has a fresh take on duty and prophetic destiny.
It’s strange, because I usually wouldn’t like this sort of book. There is no underlying theme or message. There is nothing really critical to gauge in this book. I’ve said the word so many times, but this book is silly, and that is what makes it endearing. But it’s a good kind of silly, the fun and harmless kind. And I actually really enjoyed reading this.
Ultimately, this book works if you approach this book as what it is – pure fun. It’s lighthearted, it doesn’t take itself seriously, and it’s actually kind of sweet. I’m no Southern belle, but Harper is a great protagonist and I found myself relating to her. There’s also a nice and heartwarming twist to her perfectionist, overachiever caricature, and she actually grows and has character development. What more could you want?
The thing about Rebel Belle is that you can’t fault this book for being silly and fun because that is what it tries to be, and that is what it is. To critically analyze this book would be to point out the flaws of a soft, fluffy bunny. Soft fluffy bunnies are to be adored, snuggled, and petted with gentle hands. Rebel Belle is a soft fluffy bunny.
Note: Thank you Summer @ Xingsings for recommending me this book!
Book Name: Rebel Belle
Book Series: Rebel Belle #1
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile