Saturday, January 7, 2017

LADY RENEGADES BY RACHEL HAWKINS - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another series conclusion review, Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins, the final book in the Rebel Belle trilogy.


After reading the second book in this series, Miss Mayhem, I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue with the series. I, like I think many others, had loved the first book and was deeply disappointed with the second one.

I am very relieved to tell you that this final book was much better than book two, and if you were disappointed with that one, don't give up just yet.

This concluding book continues to follow Harper on her Paladin adventures. Hawkins does a really good job of reminding the reader of what things mean, what had happened in the last two books and what is important to know going into this book. This may get a bit spoilery - it is book three, after all, so just be warned.

Anyways, David has run off, trying to protect Harper, but soon more Paladins show up trying to kill her. Harper teams up with her friend Bee, and their sort-of-but-maybe-not-enemy Blythe and the trio goes on a cross-country road trip, fighting more Paladins and trying to find David.

I think a major part of why I loved this book as much as I did was because Hawkins was able to bring back some of the Southern sass that made Harper so great in the first book. I think book two just had so much going on, it was easier to leave out seemingly less important details, like her Southern charms. The first book was great for that, and I was glad Hawkins was able to bring it back in the finale.

I also really loved the road trip aspect of this book, but really, who doesn't? For me, a book will be a million times better if it has a road trip. Nothing shows a character's true personality like being stuck in a car together for an extended period of time. Add in the fact that they don't really get along, there are crazed girls after them at every turn, and their powers are weakening, and you've got gold.

One thing I didn't love about this book, that was kind of the opposite of the problem book two had was that it felt like there needed to be a little bit more. Something was missing to bring the whole thing together. I don't know if maybe one of the evil grown ups from the second book should have been alive to continue to tyrannize, but there was just a lack of true conflict. Sure the girls David was sending were out for blood, but that never seemed real enough to actually make me concerned.

Book two had way too much going on, and book three tried to backpedal by having not much happen. Honestly speaking, I'm not sure we needed this book. It felt more like an extended epilogue story than a sequel. I don't think it was as strong as it could have been, but personally, I don't think that's a terribly bad thing.

I will say, if there is one thing Hawkins can do well, it's a fight scene. Maybe it's just because it's Harper - high-heeled Southern Belle, but the fights are always so great. Not just because they are intense, but because of Harper's inner commentary throughout. She has grown a lot over the series, and you can really see that in these moments.

The ending to me was bittersweet, I pretty much knew Harper was going to do what she needed to do, especially after the flea market, but that last chapter, when he walks in, that killed me. I won't say more about it, and I'm happy with how everything happened, but thinking of all they lost.

Overall, this was a sassy, hilarious conclusion to a series that had some rocky moments. I think if you made it through book two, you will enjoy the reprieve this book gives.