Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.90
Published: Oct. 01st, 2014
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.
Goodbye Rebel Blue,
“You, Rebel Blue, are anything but ordinary.”Rebecca Blue is the girl whose main fear is to be ordinary, so she works extra hard at NOT being ordinary. She is displeased with school, is artsy, and lived with her mother on the back of a vehicle going from town to town chasing lighting (for photographs). You can say she had a less than normal upbringing which is why she is having such a difficult time adjusting to her new life with her new family. Her mom is gone, so she is to live with her new aunt who is a bit more worried about Blue’s educational lapse (ergo, her future) than anything else. Once afternoon Rebel gets detention, as usual, and she has to spend it writing out a bucket list. She spends detention with a must unusual suspect, Kennedy Green, a very selfless person. Kennedy believed in higher beings and destiny, and so she tells Blue they were destined to be there in that room at that time. Pretty soon Rebel tells the girl to piss off. Only problem is the next day Kennedy Green dies, and Rebel gets stuck with the dead girl's bucket list. Everybody has low expectations when it comes to Rebel, and so Rebel decides to take this high and mighty bucket list filled with selfless acts and complete it all.
Rebel can come off as a real brat sometimes. Sure, the way your aunt lives may not be how you were brought up but she is clearly trying to make things better for you and instead she just disregards anything the aunt says and throws it back in her face. This is how she starts out, but soon enough she starts start thinking less about herself and more about others, and how her actions affect those around her. She only annoyed me at the beginning, though her off putting attitude can be quite hilarious as well.
“Until I moved In with Uncle Bob’s family, I’d never heard of the food pyramid and didn’t know about breakfast rules. Breakfast with Mom could be white rice and black beans in Costa Rica or juicy plums plucked from a tree growing in the wilds of Chile.”It is positively horrible that your aunt wants you to have good grades and eat a healthy breakfast… for shame. While Blue’s attitude may be a bit off putting when it is not deserved it is hilarious when she is just being a smart ass. Seeing her struggle with “being good” I think is that makes the whole book worth it. She tries so hard, but it is very difficult to change the perception people have of you once it is established. Everybody around her pretty much thinks she is up to no good while all she is trying to do IS to be good. And the funnies ensues.
“You don’t care what others think. You don’t compromise.” Nate shifts one tennis shoe and then the other. “You’re true to yourself and true to your word.”At first I wanted to read Goodbye, Rebel Blue because of it's cover (which is gorgeous, love the blue) but soon enough the characters had me sticking it out. While me and Rebel had a rocky start soon enough I started to laugh out loud along with Rebel and understand that her spirit is just very different from mine. She wants a life of freedom, like her mother lived before her. The side characters were very memorable. Nate is the perfect guy who is unraveling, Rebel brings out the truth in him. Their relationship is a bit weird, Nate seems to push Rebel away as much as Rebel pushes him away. They don't quite get each other and yet they really try. I give them points for that.
Other characters worth mentioning are Nate's family. They are a crazy bunch, he has a little sister who is crazy about fashion and a very little brother who seems to want to be a monk. Nate is the big brother, and he plans to be the first in his family to attend college. Or so I think so, by the end it isn't really clear what Nate wants to do with his life, only that he wants to stay true to himself. Penelope, Blue's cousin, is the only character that I didn't like through and through. She is a brat, unlikable, and very unkind to Rebel, even by the end. She never makes amends, never says sorry for all her hurtful words. I dislike her. Rebel's best friend Macey is very complicated and likable character. She is dark and withdrawn, but she and Rebel manage to create a strong friendship by helping each other out through thick and thin.
Overall Goodbye Rebel Blue was a really good contemporary title. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It made me think about my own life and choices, and about the things I would add to my own bucket list. When Blue started making choices is when she started to really live her life to the fullest; makes me want to make a bucket list of my own and brave the outside world.