Series: Rebel Belle #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on April 7th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and her best friend, Bee, has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can focus on the important things in life: school, canoodling with David (her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie), and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.
When I finished reading Rebel Belle, I knew I needed the sequel in my life as soon as humanly possible – so I ordered it right away. The first book of this series was so much fun and so adorably shippy, that I just needed more of the feels rollercoaster. As such, one might say that my expectations were a touch high. Perhaps too high. Though I still enjoyed Miss Mayhem (which has one of the best titles ever, let’s be honest), I do feel like it has a bit of second book syndrome.
Harper’s voice is a delight, as always. Honestly, she is one of the biggest selling points for this series. She’s just so adorably peppy and wonderfully flawed, and I love her relationship with David. Though the two were established as a couple at the end of Rebel Belle, they aren’t instantly sappy and mushy about each other. The banter is still there in full force, just with extra nicknames (boyfie *snickers* forever lol). The two do have some trust issues and melodrama in this book, which was less fun, but globally the ship is still going strong.
It does feel like on the whole Miss Mayhem turned up the drama and down the fun, action-y bits. There’s tension between Harper and David, between Harper and Bee, between Harper and Ryan (though not in the love triangle sense), and Harper ends up feeling a bit shut out of her social circle. There are admittedly some more mysteries, action-packed sequences (in the trials that Harper has to face), and Southern cultural things (like the pageant Harper and Bee decide to participate in). But whereas these aspects were super fun in Rebel Belle, I felt like here they got bogged down by the drama. I still enjoyed most of it and read at the speed of light, but I wasn’t really delighted.
The biggest disappointment, I think, is that Miss Mayhem tries to bring world building into the picture – actual depth and meaning to the existence of the oracle and these mysterious Ephors people who may or may not be evil. They want to train David and Harper has to go through some epic set of trials. And it seems like this is all going to be a BIG THING, shaping the futures of our main characters and possibly building up towards the ultimate conflict of the series. And then it… isn’t. Which I can’t really go into without spoiling things. View Spoiler »Basically, at the end they find out the Ephors have all died out because they needed to be in contact with the oracle to survive. And without them, the powers of the oracle, the paladin, and the mage will fade. And so, just like that, without any huge battle or anything… they’re all going to go back to normal? « Hide Spoiler
It was honestly one of the most anti-climactic endings I have ever read, and it leaves me at a total loss. Where is the series even going to go from here? Didn’t that just make the entire thing pointless? I suppose it will leave more room to focus on the contemporary aspects of the series, but I’m just worried that it’s going to be entirely all too boring. I’ll still read it, because I’m heavily invested in MY SHIP but… yeah. I’m worried.
Summing UpThough on the whole I still found Miss Mayhem to be a fun and entertaining read, the drama and anti-climactic ending lead me to believe there is a definite case of second book syndrome. I love these characters and my ship, so I am still invested in the series, but I no longer have any sense of where this story is going… in the bad way. And, I mean, this book was only 273 pages. Was it even necessary at all?
GIF it to me straight!
Basically, my feelings about this book.