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Miss Mayhem: a Rebel Belle Novel Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Harper Price is back in this sequel to Rebel Belle (Putnam, 2014). She continues in her role as a Paladin, sworn protector of the Oracle, her boyfriend, David Stark. In this installment, Harper and her friends are positioned for an epic battle with the Ephors, legendary killers of the Oracle. The Ephors change the rules of the game this time: David will be trained to help them, and Harper will have to complete trials known as the Peirasmos if she wants to continue as his protector. As in the previous volume, each of these three trials will unfold in ways that threaten all that Harper holds dear. Hawkins's sophomore effort in this series sees the return of the main characters introduced in the first book, though their relationships are increasingly complex, which overshadows what should be the main conflict: the battle between the Ephors and the Paladin. Still, fans won't mind. VERDICT Overall, this title provides a satisfactory continuation of the "Rebel Belle" series.—Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT
Praise for Rebel Belle
* “Harper is as quippy as you please, with a sass born of a sharp intellect…as surprising as it is delicious.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Plenty of merriment, even for Yankees."—Kirkus Reviews
“Fun with a twist of supernatural and Southern charm.”—VOYA
“The romance, coming-of-age aspects, and a well-drawn heroine with a crackling wit will lure in readers.”—Booklist
“Hawkins strikes a pleasing balance between humor and drama, giving the ‘chosen one’ narrative a welcome dusting of irony and a glowing Southern setting.”—Publishers Weekly
Top customer reviews
Miss Mayhem was yet another delightful read by the fabulously talented Rachel Hawkins! We once again join in the Paladin/Oracle/Mage adventures of Harper, David, and Ryan. Like being a trio with your current boyfriend and ex-boyfriend isn’t hard enough, Harper is about to undergo some serious trials that she will either live through, or die from!
The Ephors still want David and when one, Alexander, approaches the trio and tells Harper about the tasks ahead of her, there really is no choice for her but to endure them. On the plus side, Bee was released from her capture and is back with Harper and everyone else. Bee is still a Paladin though, since David never took her powers back as well.
For awhile, we have a wait and see game as we wait for Harper’s trials to begin. There’s a little bit of downtime again, and this time, Harper and Bee decide to fill it by joining the beauty pageant their town holds, and it’s pretty much like Cotillion almost, except with a talent portion and naturally, the contest aspect.
I will say we have a far more amount of drama in this one. Ryan is having his own set of relationship issues that seem to span quite a bit of pages. And then, naturally, we start to see a divide between Harper and David. Where trilogies are concerned, it always seems like there are major issues in book 2 to be overcome in the final book for that HEA ending. And I am expecting an HEA ending, Rachel! Don’t let me down girl!
As I said, the pacing slows down a bit in this one. The relationship issues soon become the focus point, but not in a juvenile sense. It’s hard to say what exactly, without getting near spoiler territory, but let’s just say things don’t come into clearer focus until the end. And it’s that ending, that freaking ending that pretty much undid me. That nagging little voice in my head that told me, I should’ve waited! And really, the cliffhanger isn’t that bad. Really, it’s low on the scale of unbearable cliffhangers. But I think it’s the fact that we have a cliffhanger at all that drove me crazy!
I feel like also, in this one, that we didn’t have nearly enough David and Harper time. I guess it’s because of the eventual drama issues that ensue. But I was hoping for more happy times with them.
While the ending wasn’t high on the shocking scale, there were still a few smaller shocks to be had in that ending! And they’re just nagging enough to drive me crazy for the next few weeks! I am itching to know what happens to everyone!
The series so far has been pretty fun! A little clichéd in some ways, and I still dislike that we lost our “Giles” for the series, because we now basically have teenagers running about with no clue or direction. Though, now they have one at the end, but still. Giles always gave Buffy and her friends direction, purpose, he was a token of knowledge and all that, a mentor and friend! Harper and her friends are lacking that, but they still manage to get by. I just thought a “Giles” would’ve been nice for them!
This is a fun, quirky little series that I highly recommend if you’re looking for a feisty little read with some pretty good action, sweet romance, endearing friendships, and just a touch of mystery! This is a trilogy you won’t want to miss, consider binging it all in three-ish weeks! ;)
Overall Rating 4/5 stars
A few weeks ago I read and reviewed the absolutely fantastic Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. It was one of those books that were on my list for ages, and I just never managed to get around to reading. After I read it, though, I couldn't understand what had taken me so long - I mean, it was absolutely fantastic, and I couldn't get enough of it. I flew through that book so quickly I probably could have read it three times in the normal amount of time it takes me to read a book.
If you want to read my review for Rebel Belle, go and check it out. Otherwise you might run into some spoilers in this review that you might not have seen coming if you didn't read the first book (I hate giving things away in books, so I try to keep things as spoiler free as possible, but you know, I warned you!).
“Honestly, not enough people know how to use good manners as a weapon.”
Rebel Belle left off with Harper and David (and Ryan) getting used to their new powers as Paladin, Oracle, and Mage. After the whole incident at Cotillion, the three of them are starting to figure out how to manage to keep things going smoothly without too much of an issue (aside from the slight awkwardness between now exes Harper and Ryan). However, that starts to change one night when Harper goes into a party to rescue Harper's friends from a bad situation that David had a vision about - and from there, things go downhill. Bee is still missing, but soon to be recovered when Harper, David, and Ryan come across a strange house with an even stranger man inside - an Ephor, who wants to make David's visions even stronger than they already are. Not to mention the fact that even though Harper is getting used to her Paladin powers and now this guy wants to throw in that she has to go through trials to officiate her status as David's Paladin. Not too thrilled with this, she is even less thrilled when the Ephor brings out Bee, who was kidnapped, and is threatened with either completing the trials successfully or dying...and if you remember, Bee is still a Paladin, so he tosses that in Harper's face, too (a spare Paladin!).
Feeling a bit out of her element (and admittedly pretty terrified at the daunting surprise tasks ahead of her), Harper confides to her aunt Jewel - the only person she has told anything to aside from Ryan and Bee.
“Aunt Jewel, I just told you that I have superpowers. That my current boyfriend is an Oracle, and my ex-boyfriend is more or less a wizard. And you want to do a little shopping? I’d hoped you wouldn’t freak out, don’t get me wrong, but I expected some freaking out.”
Still feeling a little...intimidated by everything that's going on, we also have another Mage after them - her name is Blythe, and she is trying all sorts of tricks to get to David, but as usual, Harper is protecting him the best she can.
Making a decision to compete in the Miss Pine Grove pageant with Bee in order to try and stop the horrible vision that David had from coming true (and maybe catch Blythe), Harper must face the other trials as well as compete in the pageant - and if she loses, she can no longer be David's Paladin.
Miss Mayhem was really good, but it didn't really have the awesomeness that Rebel Belle had. Yes, it was great, and Harper was the same kick-ass, well-mannered, profanity filtering heroine that we know and love, but it just didn't have the amount of oomph that the first book had. Still, if you liked Rebel Belle, the you absolutely must read this one, too, because it picks right up where the first book left off.
I got really sad at the end of the book, and while I'm not going to ruin my spoiler free review here, I was disappointed that the author chose to end the book this way. It was kind of heartbreaking, and I really wished it could have gone differently, but at the same time, it leaves a lot of room for the third and final book, Lady Renegades, to complete the story. I really do hope it has more of an uplifting ending than this installment, though. I'm really glad that I waited to read this book right after Rebel Belle and right before Lady Renegades, otherwise I probably would have forgotten all the stuff that happened in this one.
While this is a bit lackluster compared to the first book in the series, the characters are all back and it's nice to spend more time with all of them. There's still tons of action going on, so no need to worry about missing out on that.
Miss Mayhem starts exactly where Rebel Belle left off. Coalition is over and things are starting to get back to normal (well as normal as can be) and Harper is beginning to get back to what she's always done: EVERYTHING she can. But unfortunately, her Paladin powers don't go away just because she wanted them to. Instead she gets word that the Ephors now want to train David....
Sadly, I wasn't as big a fan of this one as I was of the first one. In the first one there was so much action and adventure going on and I just couldn't put it down. In this one, there was still some of the action and things going on, but it just didn't hang on to me like the first one did. I hadn't wanted to put Rebel Belle down, but with this one, I just read it like "I'll finish it when I get to it." Not that it wasn't memorable, just that it wasn't quite as good. In other words, to me it was the dreaded sophomore novel.
I also wasn't a huge fan of that ending. What in the world made you think that was ok, Hawkins? Does that mean there will be three books? Because that was just a weird thing to do. I can't tell whether or not there will be more or if it's just over now. And that bugs me. I don't know if I should stop looking forward to something else or to just give up. PLEASE give me another one.
Although this wasn't my favorite, it was certainly a quick, fun read. If there's not a third book, I'm sure I will definitely read this series again and again.