Thursday, October 17, 2013

Goodbye, Rebel Blue

by Shelley Coriell
4/5 stars
Harry N. Abrams, 2013
307 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book despite seeing several reviews beforehand. Luckily that worked to my advantage because I ended up really loving this story! I found it to be a completely charming contemporary and I'm so glad it came my way.

Rebecca "Rebel" Blue is orphaned, living with her aunt, uncle, and perfect cousin, and expressing an negative attitude about everything in life. In detention, she collides with the perky Kennedy Green and both are instructed to create a bucket list. When Rebel hears about Kennedy's death the next day, she is inspired to try to complete Kennedy's bucket list, compiled of twenty do-good activities. As Rebel steps out of her comfort zone, she also makes connections healing damage with her surviving family and flirting with do-gooder Nate.

I found the book a bit slow at first to be quite honest, mostly because I was wondering how the bucket list was going to get entwined in Rebel's life. As the novel progressed and I saw how it was changing her life, I just started getting all these tingly feelings in my heart. It seemed so sweet to me and I got excited whenever Rebel managed to make something work, whether through sheer determination to complete that dang list (because Rebel is a woman of her word) or through listening to someone else and taking that valuable advice.

The romance is pretty cute though it won't be to everyone's taste. Nate is the all-around American golden boy, playing baseball, honors student, volunteers, involved in student government, etc. He doesn't bring the swoons like the bad boys of YA but he's actually the kind of guy I like in real life so of course I liked him here. He doesn't get as much page time or development as I'd like in a full blown romance but since this is more about Rebel's journey, I didn't mind that.

Another important element is Rebel's family life. Her mother died and her father was a one-night stand, leaving her to the care of her overbearing aunt, hands-off uncle, and competitive cousin. Or so it seems until this project forces Rebel to more closely examine and be grateful for these relationships. Finally she is able to see some positives and it really filled me with joy to see that recognition grow in her. Their relationship is not magically perfect but there are steps of progress made in a realistic fashion.

Overall: I really loved this book. I found it so heart-warming and felt like it really spoke to me at that moment. Really just a fantastic contemporary that reminds me why I love the genre so much. I look forward to checking out more of Coriell's writing like her debut Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe.

Cover: I think she kind of looks like Carly Rae Jepsen-does anyone else see this?

Other Opinions:
Candace's Book Blog
Mission to Read
Rather Be Reading
Readers in Wonderland 
The Book Babe's Reads

26 comments:

  1. You're right, she does kind of look like Carly Rae Jepsen! I'd seen this book around for a while and, honestly, I wasn't too interested. But after seeing your review and someone else's on Goodreads, I'm showing some more interest. I totally dig the title, and it sounds like it may be gritty, kind of like Hilary T. Smith's WILD AWAKE. I think I'm going to try to get my hands on a copy of this one so I can read it. It sounds good! Great review!

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    1. Thank you for agreeing with me :) I wasn't sure about it either but I do adore contemporary so I'm glad I took the plunge. I feel like this is less gritty than WILD AWAKE so will probably prove less polarizing.

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  2. I've been curious about this one since I saw it on Netgalley. Sounds like a great read!

    I think it's the bangs. Carly Rae Jepsen rocks the blunt bangs too.

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    1. It may be the bangs plus the dark hair of course. It was a fun time!

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  3. I think this book sounds fantastic and I wish I'd requested it for review now! I will have to get it from my library.

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    1. I was very impressed and I hope it will be a good addition to your library.

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  4. I need a heartwarming story after what I just read

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    1. Oh I just want to give you a hug and hope for some better reading for you!

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  5. HAH, now that you've said it, we can't UN-see Carly Rae Jepsen. Doh.

    Good review, and sounds like a good read.

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    1. Sorry about that ;) It was a very good read.

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  6. She does kind of look like Carly-Rae. I do want to read this one; I had it as a Waiting on Wednesday post a couple months back. :)

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    1. I'm so glad so many people agree with me. I may have first heard about this book from you then.

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  7. Sounds like an interesting book :) I like the cover. <3 not heard of it before, though. I'm glad you enjoyed it :) I wouldn't, from what you say of the romance and kind of boring at times. But the family thing sounds interesting :) Thank you for sharing. <3

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    1. I thought it was very fun-makes me think about what I'd put on my bucket list as I know I'm nowhere near as altruistic as Kennedy.

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  8. Ooo. I got an unsolicited copy and have been waiting for ratings to come in, and your 4 stars is very promising!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Nice-I hope you see some other positives that will encourage you to move it up your list.

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  9. I do love those bad boys but the sweet, All-American ones can be good, too.

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    1. See I prefer the wisecracking class clown sort, which Nate isn't but better the good guy than the bad boy for my swooning.

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  10. I tried Welcome Caller but it felt a little young for me. But I have this too and I'm excited to try it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. Hmm...good to know before I attempt it!

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  11. I'm really glad that you liked this one, girly! I enjoyed the romance as well; it was very sweet. The bucket list thing was just fantastic, wasn't it? I very much loved it. Awesome review, girly! <3

    (Pstt... it was a total surprise to see my link in with your review. Thank you so much!) <3

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    1. I bookmark reviews of books I intend to read (even if I don't comment on them) so I was pleased to discover I had bookmarked yours and could feature it.

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  12. YAY! I'm so glad you liked this too! And while I would have liked more romance time I felt like that wasn't the focus and it wouldn't have worked as well with more of it, so I learned to accept that it was pretty perfect the way it was. And I loved his family! Wonderful review!

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    1. Yeah, romance wasn't really the point but I liked what we got so much that I couldn't help myself from wanting just a bit more.

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  13. Oh gosh, I haven't read this one yet but I received a surprise ARC so I really need to get to it by November. I loved Shelley's first book, so I'm psyched for this one. The romance sounds really cute, and I LOVE that the project brings Rebel closer to her family. YA books WITH an emphasis on family = win in my book.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

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    1. I hope you do give it a try as it has so many positives and you already know you like the author's writing!

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