13 October 2013

{Book Review} Good Bye Rebel Blue

By: Me My Shelf And I | 13 October 2013 at 12:59 AM | | | | | | | |


Good Bye Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Pages: 320
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Rating: 2.5 Birds

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.

I’m really torn about this book. It has really good bones, a firm base to stand on, but just sort of gave me the wrong moral by the end.

Since I’m torn, and since this book is about lists I’m going to list my pros and cons.


-The opening line was epic. It really tells you what your getting in a protagonist and it’s the kind of thing I would wear on a t-shirt. But I’m a little weird and morbid. What’s the opening line? It has to do with motivational posters and disembowelment. Get the book to find out…*wink*

- I enjoyed Rebels cool indifference to most everything in life. I wanted her hideaway in the attic of her little bungalow home where she lives with her aunt, uncle and perky, perfect cousin. I enjoyed her blue hair and the way that she didn’t care about what others thought of her. I would have paid anything for that kind of confidence in high school. I’m sure I’m not alone, how hard did many of us fight for the right just to be ourselves in school? I suppose that this would be why, once Rebel takes on the self appointed challenge of completing  Kennedy Green’s bucket list I got kinda gooey hearted, suddenly she becomes Rebel WITH a Cause. (Tell me that reference didn’t go over every one’s head…)

- Rebel’s best friend and all the pie therapy – just trust me, it as a great metaphor used a lot in the book and I like it. I am going to use it from here on out.

- Kennedy’s bucket list brings Nate, fellow do-gooder into Rebel’s life. The love interest. A necessary ingredient in any YA Contemporary story. Nate helps Rebel complete some of the portions of the list, things that Rebel would never have any idea how to do – community service and such. Of course they fall for each other but coming from different sides of the cafeteria (so to speak) it takes them both some time to get over themselves and figure out if the relationship is the best thing.

- Chapter dividers list the items that we would have found on Rebel’s bucket list, which you don’t otherwise see in the book.


- Things that are never explained or wrapped up: Why did Kennedy Green die? Does Rebel find her dad? What about Nate’s sisters hair…that was a bad chemical burn…these might not seem like much to you, but each is made a turning point in the book and then left wide open with no conclusion or explanation or a just simply glossed over.

- The cover. Rebel has blue hair. Would that have been super hard for the designer? They put a filter on her so the light hitting it looks like parts might be blue…and seriously is that Taylor Swift? I hate when covers have NOTHING to do with the book. What’s the point? This has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the book f course, just something I notice.

- Spoiler: Rebel is obsessed with Kennedy’s bucket list and completing it. Like psycho crazy, attached, will trash a house looking for it in a panic, obsessed. So when she loses it near the end of the book and fusses about it for like 3 seconds and then moves on with out so much as a blink In the direction of what once was, I was kind of like ‘What tha?”.

- Here’s the big one for me. Rebel isn’t in fact a rebel. She has blue hair. She has a bag with shark teeth on it. She’s an introvert who chooses not to have a million friends. She has a frequent flyers card in detention but we are never told why she lands there. This is what we are given and asked to believe she is a problem to all around her. In reality, she’s an orphan dealing with the loss of her mom, forced to live with extended family who mostly don’t understand her or accept her for who she is. I think I’d be a ball of angst and crabby too. You can only put yourself out there so much and be shot down before you need to focus on who you are instead of all the reasons why people don’t like you.

I feel like these simple little things that make Rebel who she is are put out there as bad and I read it as, “Fit in. Conform. Be who we want you to be.” Because it’s not until Rebel begins to be more like Kennedy Green that her family opens up, there’s less fighting in the house and things begin to smooth out.

Rebel couldn't have a mood swing. She couldn’t have an opinion with out it being the worst thing in the world. And when she would try to fit in, when she would try to do the “normal” things she failed over and over again, which then told me “But don’t really think it will work out in your favor, you could never actually be one of us”.

At the end of the book my head was spinning. There’s the transformation Rebel goes through that was supposed be fairly epic, but since she wasn’t bad in the first place the fact she isn’t at the end isn’t really a shocker.

All in all I feel like this book gives the wrong impression. I think that the intention was a coming of age “find yourself” kind of book that just missed the mark. It has it’s good points and was enjoyable enough that I liked reading it – but once I sat down to write the review I realized what I really took away from it.

3 half birds


1 comment:

  1. I'm a little disappointed to hear that this isn't as good as it sounds, but at the same time, it sounds interesting enough that I might just give it a whirl. I love bucket lists. Thanks for the review!


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