Rebel Belle // Some Stories Don't Need Sequels

Sunday, April 10, 2016
(curse you, awkward, double-jointed thumb.)

The human life is a cycle of people coming in and going out and leaving their footprints on your heart. Some are good, some are bad, but they all matter, and they all shape you into who you're supposed to be. And as sad as it may be, most people you come across do not stay in your life forever. In a matter of years, months, weeks, or even days, they can touch your heart in the tenderest of ways, and after they have, you may never see them again. 

It's happened to me more times than I can count, and some of those times it has nearly broken me. Nevertheless I have watched people walk out of my life and impact others in greater ways than I could have ever imagined. Endings are bitter-sweet, really, like when you get to the end of a novel and know that the story has run its course. You want more, but you know there is no more to tell. You have closure, and that is enough. That is exactly how I felt when I reached the end of Rebel Belle  by Rachel Hawkins. 

Out of the six books I checked out from my local library last Saturday (I can't buy books because I'm BROKE. Tears.), I chose to read this one first because, I confess, the cover is so pretttyy. And I, being from the great state of South Carolina, consider myself a southerner (maybe even a southern belle), so, naturally, I thought the main character would relate to me. Lol, I was wrong.

Harper Price is head cheerleader and president of too many clubs to name. She attends a prestigious private school in Alabama and is dating everyone's dream-guy, Ryan. (So, you see, she  really doesn't relate to me at all.) And, naturally, she is homecoming queen. As you can imagine, after many run-ins with her nemesis, David, Harper begins to fall for a guy who's totally not her type, and I'm sure you can guess what happens at the end. (Don't say I spoiled it. I didn't. I merely gave hints.) Really, the basic storyline is like any other young adult romance, but this one has a twist. A very supernatural twist, I might add. 

Harper, after a very awkward encounter with both the school janitor and her history teacher, becomes the designated protector of David (hence the falling for him). Without giving too much away, I'll say that there are some very bad men who want David dead, and Harper is the only one (pretty much) who can protect him. But, of course, when it all goes down, the heroes win. 

When I got to the last page, my literary brain was very much happy. All the loose ends were tied up. There was some minor (okay maybe not so minor) blood shed in order to reach the resolution, and there was a lot of comic relief, too. So your average, everyday southern belle story was given a twist.

It was a fun, lightweight read with minimal, if any, tears shed. Though it had the needed tension, I knew everything would end up alright. (I mean there are bows and pearls on the front -- what else would I expect??) So, naturally, when I got to the end and realized there were two more books in the series left, I was distraught. Why ruin a perfectly good ending? What could one possibly add to the story? It was fine on its own, and when I opened up the sequel, I was completely uninterested. It was a bummer. I enjoyed the novel. I applaud Rachel Hawkins for her creativity and her voice because, let me tell ya, I doubt I would have ever come up with something like this. But the second (and third) books are... unnecessary. I found that Harper and David's relationship seemed unique in Rebel Belle, but in the opening pages of Miss Mayhem, their relationship was reduced to that of any other high school couple. The characterization was also quite muddied when I began to read the sequel, and when Hawkins decided to reveal to the narrator things that she was never told in Rebel Belle, I got confused. And annoyed. 

Perhaps it was a coffee deficiency, but I believe that a sequel to Rebel Belle should have never been written (no matter how pretty the cover is). That being said, I do encourage you to read it, and it will be up to you to decide whether the sequel is necessary.

You may have a Rebel Belle friend in your life. He or she might seem like the most important person in the world to you, and tomorrow, they could walk away. You may never see some of your high school friends again. You will meet people in college who will impact you tremendously, but never stay in your life long-term. And that's okay. Because some stories are not meant to have sequels. With some people, you've had your run, and now you're through. You don't have to forget about them -- in fact, don't. And when you open up the picture album someday, you can smile and remember. Because endings are bitter-sweet, and without the bitter, you can't have the sweet.

Y'ALL. Go ahead. Scoff at my attempted book review & life application all in one. And was anyone else thinking about chocolate when you read that last sentence, namely dark chocolate?? Because I totally was. 

Also, go check out my goodreads review on this book (that I legit wrote in five minutes, so pls don't judge)!