Goodbye, Rebel Blue: A Book Review

Hello!

Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Author: Shelley Coriell

Published: October 1st, 2013 by Harry N. Abrams

Pages: 320

Genre: Young Adult / Realistic Fiction

Source: Library / Hardcover

Series: Nope!

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. {from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Shelley Coriell’s debut novel, Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, so I was quite excited to dive into her newest release, Goodbye, Rebel Blue. While this one was enjoyable, it was nothing that blew me away – it happens, you know?! :) I didn’t find it outstanding, but when you need something light and fluffy, this may be one to turn to.

Rebel Blue barely knew Kennedy Green. The only time they met was in detention after school! So, the next day, when Rebel learns that Kennedy died in a car accident, she doesn’t understand why she is so shook up about it. When she finds Kennedy’s bucket list {a detention assignment}, Rebel is determined to complete it in her honor. It doesn’t help, though, that Kennedy was a complete do-gooder, and Rebel is the complete opposite of that. I, unfortunately, could never sense that Rebel’s growth as a character was truly genuine. It felt a bit forced on the author’s part, in a way. While the protagonist by herself didn’t impress me, I really liked the romance between her and Nate. They were just so CUTE!

The family dynamics were interesting too, especially because Rebel was living with her aunt and uncle, not her biological parents. Nate had an awesome family to read about as well. His siblings made me smile every time they appeared in a chapter. I just wish the author went a bit deeper with both Rebel’s and Nate’s family relationships, since she had the basic level set up {On a total side note, can we get more diverse families in YA please? This book had some great examples of that – yay!}. The supporting characters that made up the families, and even the friends that seemed like family, were actually one of the factors that made the book for me. They all had their personal story, and I felt like I learned a lot more about them than compared to Rebel. {Sad, but true.}

The plot is such a fun, unique idea. I definitely had no idea what direction the author was planning to go in when I started, but I kind of liked that she left some of the detail surrounding Kennedy’s death open-ended. That way, the bucket list focus was placed on Rebel, and not Kennedy, even if I would have loved to have seen more of her bubbly and bright personality than just in the first few chapters. The pace of the story was good too, something I always appreciate.

Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed with Goodbye, Rebel Blue. I wish I could say I loved it more than I did, but I do not think that others won’t enjoy it. It’s one that you need to be in the right mood for. Lighter, contemporary fiction books, for me, anyways, are what I turn to when I am in a reading slump and/or I need something to tide me over until another novel. Nevertheless, I will still happily read more of Shelley Coriell despite a slightly disappointing second book.

Pros: The supporting characters all had distinct personalities and really “rounded” out the book. I also liked the good pace of the story, as it never got too slow or moved too quickly.

Cons: I wasn’t really getting the main character, for the lack of a better way to describe it.

Heads Up: Some language, but nothing huge.

Overall: I give it 3 stars, and I recommend it for ages 13 and up.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Bella

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