Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Release Date: October 1, 2013
There’s a very organized part of my brain that likes lists (and books involving lists). I like being able to read a chapter, flip back to a list at the beginning of the book, and mentally check something off for the main character. The bucket list aspect of Goodbye, Rebel Blue was what intrigued me the most about this novel.
Goodbye, Rebel Blue is the story of Rebecca Blue, who goes by Rebel – quite a fitting name, as she is a self-proclaimed rebel. After the death of her mom, Rebel has lived with her aunt, uncle, and cousin; she’s never fit into their perfect, clean, color-inside-the-lines family, and not knowing how to exist in a society other than the one she’s known from inside a van with her photojournalist mother, she becomes introverted and dissident. One day, Rebel finds herself in detention with her polar opposite, Kennedy Green, a popular, spunky, community-service-oriented cheerleader. The girls’ detention assignment is to create a bucket list of things they want to do before they die. What Rebel doesn’t know is that Kennedy will get in a car crash driving home from detention and her bucket list will never be completed.
Because Rebel feels bad about being snarky to Kennedy in detention, because she can’t get Kennedy’s voice out her head, and because she wants to prove to her cousin Penelope that she is capable of doing something good, she decides to take on Kennedy’s bucket list. Vowing to complete all twenty items on the list, Rebel has to go outside her comfort zone to do things such as “Perform one random act of kindness every day for a year,” “Make a time capsule with my family,” and “Run a seven-minute mile.” As she takes on the list, Rebel becomes closer with her sort-of friend Macey, who has a strange obsession with baking pies. She also gets to know Nate Bolivar, a friend of Kennedy’s, who, like her, is committed to doing good and making a positive difference. But Nate is Prom King material and Rebel is… not, so when traces of romance ignite between the two, they’re left wondering whether they can truly overcome the vast differences that divide their lifestyles.
Although I can’t say that this is my favorite book, or even that I’ve given it much thought after I finished it, I certainly enjoyed the story while I was reading. There is interesting character development, some sweet romance, and a dynamic plotline, as Rebel does her best to rid herself of the guilt she feels by completing Kennedy’s bucket list. This is an easy read, but contains enough serious subject matter to feel mature. I would certainly recommend giving it a try.
– Katie (:
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