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Middle School Monday: Rachel Hawkins’ Lady Renegades

lady renegadesI know ya’ll are probably getting tired of me talking about how much I enjoy Rachel’s novels… But in case you missed it, I reviewed the first in this series (Rebel Belle) here, the second in the series (Miss Mayhem) here, and I just generally blather on about how great her books are here. The final installment in the saga of Harper Price, paladin extraordinaire, releases next Tuesday, April 5th. If you’ve read the first two, you’re going to want to preorder a copy.

Now that David has left town without a trace (helped by Bee and Ryan) Harper has nothing to do but try to live a normal girl’s life for the summer before her senior year. She and best friend Bee have lifeguard jobs at the local pool and are working on their tans…until David starts sending new paladins to kill them. Harper convinces Ryan and Bee that they need to try to summon David back to town, so they attempt to break into his old house to find a book to help them. Aunt Jewel, who is in on the situation, has to help them out when the police come – explaining that Harper is distraught over her breakup with David. They eventually do find a spell and try to summon David, but end up with Blythe instead. Magic *shrugs*. Blythe has a plan to find David and help him come back to himself, but it involves an epic road trip with Harper and Bee. The girls manage to convince their parents to let them go with the help of some magic and Aunt Jewel. They do eventually find David, but will it be in time, or has he already gone totally psycho oracle on them?

In typical Rachel Hawkins style, this conclusion to the trilogy is a gripping adventure liberally laced with her trademark sense of humor. She has a real gift for writing authentic teenage characters as well as a finely tuned sense of the nuances of female friendships. Both of these are key ingredients in this novel. (I would have enjoyed more time with the aunts, but since I’m not the intended audience, I will chalk that up to a personal preference.) Otherwise, this was a wholly satisfying conclusion. Also, props on the Princess Bride easter egg.

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