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.
Well, that was fucking awesome. Er, sorry. I mean, effingawesome. Not sure the MC of this novel would approve of my swearing in a review.
You see, Harper Price is a southern belle, raised on good manners and tradition. Sure, she might be a little vain, and more than a little self-centered, but that doesn’t necessarily make her a bad person. In fact, she has a sort of self-deprecating sense of humor that makes it pretty hard to hate the girl, regardless of her snobbery.
She reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorite female leads: Mac, from the Fever series. She’s exactly what I imagine Mac to have been like in high school. She’s your classic over-achiever. Top of her class, head of innumerable school clubs, charity volunteer extraordinaire, you name it.
Her life is the high school dream your parents tried to get you to believe in. She’s popular, has an incredibly loyal best friend, a dreamy boyfriend, is a shoe-in for prom queen, and will most likely be valedictorian to boot.
That is until the night of the homecoming dance, when a school janitor locks himself in a bathroom with her and then kisses her before bleeding to death in her arms. As if this isn’t weird enough, immediately afterward, one of her teachers breaks down the bathroom door and tries to kill her. With a scimitar.
Er, sorry, Harper.
I mean, DAEFF?
From that point on her life gets a little crazy. Turns out that janitor was some kind of legendary soldier charged with protecting one of her fellow classmates, and he managed to pass his powers onto Harper through that kiss.
Oh, and the boy he was charged with protecting, David, happens to be her biggest rival. They’ve competed against each other since they were in diapers. Literally.
“…he and I had loathed each other since kindergarten. Heck, even before that. Mom says he’s the only baby I ever bit in daycare.”
Regardless of their animosity, I loved them together. It was obvious from the get-go that these two had chemistry. And passion. And I especially loved that David was anything but your typical, brooding YA “hero”.
“The door swung open, and David stood there, dressed in a yellow sweater and his green corduroy pants. He looked like he should be on PBS, talking to a puppet about the alphabet.”
*falls over laughing*
I spent most of this book cackling like a loon and hoping that these two would get over their loathing and realized they were perfect for each other.
What follows after homecoming is a hilarious tale of the two of them coming to terms with what they both are. This book was filled with fantastic world building, imaginative yet believable lore, and a cast of characters that you can really root for.
I loved it. I truly did. These kids aren’t idiots. Sure, they’re a little naïve, but they learn from their mistakes, and where a lot of authors would add drama and angst into this storyline (because Harper has a boyfriend that SERIOUSLY factors into the ending of this book), THIS author did not. For which I am eternally thankful.
This was so good that Hawkins is now on my auto-buy list.
You should give this book a chance. It might just restore some of your faith in the YA category.