Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Miss Mayhem (Hawkins)

AUTHOR: Rachel Hawkins
SERIES: Rebel Belle, book 2
PUBLISHER: Putnam Juvenile
PUBLICATION DATE: April 7, 2015
ISBN: 9780399256943
PAGES: 288
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: Paranormal, action
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS
SUMMARY: Continues the story of Harper Price, a newly-made Paladin, and David Stark, a powerful oracle. Through they are both in high school, Harper's job is to guard David from the Ephors, a group of people who want to use David for their own gain.

REVIEW: I am so sad that I didn't love this book more. I adored Rebel Belle and many others by Rachel Hawkins. Rachel Hawkins has quickly become one of my favorite YA authors, and I recommend her books to my students often.

But Miss Mayhem is just plain boring. There was no part where I thought, "Ooh, now it's getting interesting!" No scene that kept me turning the pages voraciously. No part that pushed me to read well past my usual bedtime. I felt no connection between Harper and David this time. Where is the sizzle and sass I saw in Rebel Belle?

As it's been more than a year since I read Rebel Belle, I felt like I needed a refresher on what happened at the Cotillion at the end of the story. I had forgotten who the Ephors were and what they wanted with David. Honestly, I still don't really understand The Ephors. What is their goal? Immortality? Knowledge? Money? All of those? While there is some explanation to events in Rebel Belle, for me, it wasn't nearly enough to refresh my memory.

The cover is truly awful. A gaudy gold debutante statue does NOT say Harper to me. And the tagline--"Some titles aren't won--they're earned"--WTH is that? Is this saying that some pageant winners didn't actually earn that honor? Even if that were true, what does it have to do with this story? What title does Harper "earn" at the end? I think the publishers just slapped this cheesy line on the cover just because they needed something, anything in that space. I hope the cover gets a major overhaul before publication day in April 2015.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's not terrible, but it feels like the obligatory second book in a trilogy. Harper has a couple of important revelations, but action is seriously lacking.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order. Rebel Belle is popular in my library, and students will want the sequel.

READALIKES: Rebel Belle (Hawkins), Hex Hall series (Hawkins), Dead Is series (Perez)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 2/5
  • Creativity: 2/5
  • Characters: 2/5--Nothing special here. Bee is annoying.
  • Engrossing: 2/5--It's never a page-turner.
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5--Rebel Belle's popularity will make this one popular, too.
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 2/5--Nothing really happens. Could have been boiled down to a few chapters at beginning of book 3.

CONTENT:
  • Language: none; a couple of instances of "eff" or "what the eff?"
  • Sexuality: mild; some kissing and references to "making out"--nothing is described
  • Violence: mild; a few fight scenes
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none

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