Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Format: Paperback arc provided by the publisher for review
Publication: October 1, 2013
Summary: Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself. Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters

Review: I definitely would not normally have read this book. It just doesn't sound like the type of contemporary young adult books that I usually pick up at the bookstore. The cover, however, is very beautiful, which I don't really understand why, but, is usually pretty important to me when buying a book. Even with it's beautiful cover I'm still pretty sure I wouldn't normally have bought it, but I do have to say that I am glad that I was sent this book and that I read it.

The plot is interesting, a girl who's a bit of a rebel and prefers being different than the rest of her peers completing the bucket list of a girl who is not only the complete opposite of her (perky and devoted to being involved in school and many other activities) but who also just died. I really liked the ideas that were brought up throughout this book, especially the difference between fate and choice and how faith plays into that no matter what your beliefs are.

Rebel's character definitely made a lot of growth throughout this story. She begins not really having much that she cares about. Especially when it came to people. She was always getting into trouble because there's nothing important enough in her life for her to care about not getting into trouble. Rebel's life is immeasurably changed when she has detention with Kennedy Green one day. While they sit and write their bucket lists Kennedy's clashing personality and want to understand and help Rebel really get under Rebel's skin. When Kennedy dies just hours after talking to Rebel about how we are all exactly where we are supposed to be at the exact time we're supposed to be there (AKA Fate), Rebel sets off down a road she never thought she'd find herself on. I really liked the changes that we see in Rebel over the course of time that we see her attempting to complete the twenty tasks on Kennedy's bucket list, most of which consist of some type of volunteer work and all of which connect her with other people. Kennedy's bucket list is all about people, something that Rebel is severely lacking in her life.

The connections that Rebel does eventually make with Mercy--her detention friend--, Nate--Mr. Perfect--, and Nate's crazy family were all very heartfelt. It was nice to see the rebel in her softening up without losing the part of her that makes her Rebel Blue. It was really cool to see her struggling with and accepting the changes in her life that were all brought on by Kennedy Green.

There were however a few things that I wish I'd gotten more development on, that by the end of the book did not feel wrapped up for me. First is Rebel's father. I don't think we got nearly enough on that part of Rebel's story. It felt very unfinished and unsatisfying, like there should be another novel to go through and explore all of that (which I guess you never know maybe there will be one).

Second, I wish we'd gotten more time with Nate and Rebel after Nate finally realized that he wanted to live his life differently. I feel like Nate at the end of the book was very different from Nate at the beginning and we didn't get enough end Nate.

All in all this book was a very good thought provoking yet light read. Unfortunately I think it is somewhat forgettable and probably will not deeply effect many who read it. Still, I would definitely recommend it for someone who is looking for a light contemporary young adult coming of age read that isn't too heavy on the romance.

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