Rebel Belle

Rachel Hawkins, Author
Rachel Hawkins. Putnam, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-25693-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-62923-450-2
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-14-751435-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-62923-455-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-62923-454-0
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Harper is a popular overachiever with the perfect boyfriend, Ryan; she's driven by a need to prove she's not like her sister, who died driving after drinking on Homecoming night. Right before Harper is inevitably crowned Homecoming queen, the dying school janitor breathes an ancient power into her, making Harper a Paladin, protector of the oracle who happens to be David, her archenemy since kindergarten. Harper's priorities quickly shift from maintaining her image to using her new fighting skills to keep nefarious forces from closing in on David. It all culminates at Cotillion, a formal ball where girls are presented and officially recognized as women. Harper's sharp wit and slow coming-to-terms with her imperfections make her fully relatable in a solid series kickoff. Hawkins (the Hex Hall series) strikes a pleasing balance between humor and drama, giving the "chosen one" narrative a welcome dusting of irony and a glowing Southern setting. The Ryan-Harper-David love triangle sizzles, and there are just enough surprises to keep readers on their toes. Ages 12–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Apr.)
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