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.
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What worked: The voice. Think Buffy meets Southern charm with super powers. I loved Harper Price's mannerisms such as using other words instead of swearing, her love of family which includes three adorable elderly aunts, her drive to succeed, and even her fantasies of dressing up in the perfect dress for Cotillion. Add to this the sudden turn when she's given a 'gift' which she finds makes her into a ninja-like person with super powers. Harper Price is the total example of a reluctant heroine. Seriously, what's a girl to do with this ability and still fulfill all her other important extracurricular activities?
Her voice is catchy, just like Buffy's in The Vampire Slayer with perfect one-liners throughout.
Harper's reluctance to become a 'Paladin', guardian over David Stark, not exactly her favorite person is very believable. How she tries to 'fit' in her new duties with everything else including the Cotillion is shown with humor and also some hummingbird cake(which I so want a piece of!)
I also liked the idea of her struggling against an attraction to the least likely boy ever! Even better, having her be his guardian kind of reminded me of the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer where she protected the guy.
A great new series from Rachel Hawkins sure to appeal to Buffy fans. Humorous with a bit of Southern charm this story will worm it's way into your heart. Great romance and coming of age story with a touch of magic. I want more!!!!
Paranormal aspects & pace: the whole paranormal set on this one is really good and completely unique (for me), it started in a way that right from the first chapter it got me thinking "what the heck is going on" which keep me reading and reading but towards the middle it kind of hit a wall - there wasn't anything really happening, except from training and love triangle stuff, it just seemed like some things could have been cut out to make the pace more quickly for impatient readers like me.
Recommended to: readers that love the paranormal gender looking for something fresh, unique & light, readers that aren't that into paranormal but would like to give the gender a try, readers looking for something fun, fast & cute.
This book was really cute. It had a lot of great banter and witty comments that made for some very quotable lines. There were plenty of laugh out loud moments in between the action.
Harper, for the most part I enjoyed her as a character. The fake swearing annoyed me a bit but I got used to it after a while. This was a girl who got thrown into a role she never wanted but once she accepted it, she was determined to excel. At first she seemed to have everything together, a highly organized, slightly obsessive with perfect girl, but the deeper the plot went, the more we saw Harper’s flaws and her reasons for needing to be perfect.
There was a bit of a love triangle with Harper’s current boyfriend Ryan and protectee David. Both were boys I liked. I felt so sorry for Ryan a lot of the time because Harper was always so distracted by other things and he was just so sweet and patient with her and at times it felt like the only reason she was dating him was because ‘boyfriend’ was on her perfect checklist. David was the complete opposite. He and Harper had been enemies since kindergarten and it was obvious in their actions toward each other. It was fun to see them actually get to know each other and the cutting remarks turn flirty. Every time David called Harper ‘Pres’ I couldn’t help smiling.
The plot was pretty straightforward with some twist near the end. Some things were predictable but some did catch me by surprise and left me wondering how it’ll turn out in the next book. I loved the friendships, especially between the girls, and the gender reversal role of the girl being the warrior and the boy being the one needing protection. Harper was no damsel in distress. The fast pacing made for a quick read and a book that would be good for someone looking for a paranormal summer read.