Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.
Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.
With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.
Kick-butt southern belle – what more could a girl ask for?
This book is pure cuteness and adorableness. High heel weapons, extravagant dresses fought in, and the ability to throw a man twice your size over your shoulder while wearing a tiara.
Having lived in the south for a good chunk of my life, this was oddly refreshing. I no longer live in the south (and truth be told, I wouldn’t return to Louisiana for even a million dollars), but I was reminded of the few things I liked/made fun of when I did live there. One of the big things is the southern belles.
I was in high school when I lived in the south, and let me tell you, this book is dead on. Yes, there are little old ladies that have a favorite past-time of gossiping over everyone in the little-ol’-town they’ve lived in and were born in, all the while ending any critiques they might have over someone with, “Bless her heart.”
I kid you not.
My personal favorite is having been in a salon one time, and overhearing an older lady gossip to her hair-stylist about some girl “who had the hair of a raccoon nest on the top of her head,” – a pause on the old lady’s part to place a withered hand over her chest – “bless her heart.”
Suffice it to say, I’m never going back.
But one of the biggest things I miss about the south is the sweet tea. Say what you will about the south, but man, no one does sweet tea like them.
This book was crack-up funny. I loved Harper and her ability to be the southern belle, perfect student, because it kind of reminded me of myself. I loved that Harper isn’t going to simply change her plans because she’s suddenly become a Paladin. She might not want David to die, but she’s not going to drop everything she’s doing and devote her life to protecting his. That’s just not going to happen, and I respect her for it.
I was reminded of the teen boys and girls in the south. The kind of kids that everyone in town knew of, the kind of kids that understood exactly where they stood and where their old money stood. I’m not saying this to make those kids sound bad – that’s not my intention at all. But what was always obvious to me, and what is shown between Harper and her boyfriend, is that the families expect certain things from their children. Such things include being the picture of a proper southern lady, dating and marrying the boy everyone loves, the one who’s your high school sweetheart, the one everyone coos over and tells you that both of you just make the perfect match. There’s nothing wrong with this, per say. But Harper starts to think that maybe she doesn’t want to do everything her life has been planned out to be.
The romance: I liked that it’s downplayed quite a bit here. There is no insta-love, there are no random confessions of undying love. It is all very mellow, and even though Harper has had the same amazing boyfriend for two years, she still tries to make it work with him when she starts to realize that something is missing from their relationship. There is no “oh, I’m attracted to the boy I’ve hated my whole life – guess it’s time to dump my faithful boyfriend to explore these exotic feeeellllsss.”
Plus, there’s a good chunk of some nice, mellow humor thrown in the already strange situations Harper and David endure.
While I appreciated this rare show of chivalrous behavior, not was not the time for David to worry about my delicate sensibilities.
Especially since I’d just remembered this was a dead-end street.
“Scoot, scoot SCOOT!” I yelled at David.
“I AM SCOOTING!” he shouted back.
Harper likes her nice, little life. She’s the IT girl at school, The one everyone knows, the one the underclassmen look upon and are in awe, all without being a mean girl. She’s polite, but knows how to make things go her way without hurting anyone else. She likes politeness and chivalry, and loves being a southern belle. It’s everything to her.
“That was very nice of you, David,” I finally said. “Now hold on because I’m about to drive into a fence.”
“Yeah, okay,” he muttered, his eyes still closed. “You do that.”
Then his eyes shot open. “Wait, what?”
The side characters were refreshingly real. The southern gals are jealous and will always notice when you’re not wearing lip gloss. They can sometimes be exhausting to be around, but Harper still loves them, because she’s just like them.
This was an extremely refreshing novel of a southern belle, with realistic characters and adorable tea parties. It doesn’t get any sweeter than this.