Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue


Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


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.

Friends. That’s what she called them. The two of them. While neither knew much about the other, somehow that one moment meant a world of possibilities in the days to come. Tasked with writing a Bucket List for a detention assignment, Rebel Blue jokes around, putting things like “Jump Into a Taxi and Scream, “Follow That Car!” and “Go For a Job interview at the pork shop and answer all the questions in Pig Latin”. But when the “soon-to-be dead girl” dies, Rebel takes on the task of fulfilling the dead girl’s bucket list, full of things like charity tasks, random acts of kindness, and passing off ancestors’ names. Little does Rebel know, this challenge that she has taken on will change her life, and the lives of those around her, for the better… hopefully.

Rebel’s character was a lot of fun. She was snarky, relatively annoying in the eyes of her classmates, and 100% her. She doesn’t take people’s shit, and she’ll let you know if she thinks you’re being dishonest. She’s blunt and straight up with her opinions and herself. Best of all, she hates math about as much as I did in high school, noting, “Aunt Evelyn doesn’t get that some people just don’t get asymptotes” (all my love for that line). However, when she starts working on the infamous bucket list, everything changes (except her hatred for math). Suddenly, the world wasn’t about her, but everyone else. Volunteering with the school’s mass of goody-two-shoes, saving animals, acting kind  without expecting anything in return, all of this is new to her. Her character’s development was a feat to read about, and I enjoyed it immensely.

I am really into the whole change-your-way-of-looking-at-the-world thing these days. There are so many people who are stuck in their ways and I love reading about characters who manage to break away from everything and look at their life at such an angle that makes them see the cracks and imperfections. Rebel does that and realizes the impact that the bucket list has had on her life. The self-discovery aspect of this book was heart-wrenching and absolutely perfect.

The plot and character development was done extremely well in this novel. While the bigger picture was great, it was the little details that made the book amazing. There were little hints and ticks that led up to more as the book went on, opening up each character and showing us something new with the turn of a page. The diversity in characters was great to see and the fact that each character was so different from the others made this book really realistic and hard hitting, and I loved how they all meshed together perfectly.

Goodbye, Rebel Blue was an inspiring novel about self-discovery, self-awareness, and making choices that can change your life for the better. Definitely one of my favourite reads this year!

Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.89/5

eARC obtained via ABRAMS (Amulet Books) via NetGalley

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