Sunday, April 19, 2015

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins: Review


Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to 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 connect her to David for life.


I enjoy Rebel Belle. I also enjoy Miss Mayhem. But to me they are two books with very different themes but with the same characters. While Rebel Belle is witty and made me laugh a lot, Miss Mayhem is... surprisingly full of angst. Sure, this book is still funny in a way, but I always have this feeling that something's not right in the book (and of course, something is definitely not right). I really have to say I enjoy the first book more. 

Harper has gone through the wringer in Miss Mayhem. She's trying to save her friend, keep her boyfriend somewhat... um, normal, and go though a somewhat dangerous (not to mention annoying) trial just to be a Paladin. With so much responsibility weighing down, she has to sacrifice something and choose who she really is. I expected her to be more mature in this book. But it seems like hard decisions have to be forced upon her. I mean, I really respect her, for being so strong through all of it, and I completely understand the fact that her stress making her antsy. But sometimes she can't let some of it go when she should. She's no more different than she was in the first book. In other words, she has basically gone through little or no character development. I don't exactly have a problem with it, because Harper is still awesome on her own. It's just... surprising.

Miss Mayhem has my emotions wrecked. I didn't see it coming, and I'm completely shocked by the intensity of it. I mean, Rebel Belle is a quick read and somewhat relaxing. It's hard to visualize a tense sequel. The change of things is exciting, but also disorienting. There are a lot of problems between Harper, David, Ryan and Bee. A lot of anger and anguish and sorrow. Usually I'm not that affected by it. This is one big exception. This book is so different from the first that I'm not prepared for the emotional ride. It has been a long time since I've been shocked by anything. Good job. (I'm serious)

I actually have problems with how the story develops. some things are not right in the book. Of course, some of those weird things help improve the plot, which I'm not going to talk about here because those would be spoilers. But there are things that just don't make sense. The Ephors is one of those things. Of course, they weren't supposed to make sense at first. I got it. But when the truth was revealed, it still didn't make a lot of sense. The truth explains some questions raised at the first half of the book, but the outcome is way too rushed and easy. The Ephors are a big problem in the first book. They are a group of notorious antagonists. But the problems between The Ephors and Harper (and her friends) are wrapped up too quickly and too neatly. Unless I missed something (which I hope is the case), this is kind of anticlimactic.

And the ending. How could you end like this?! I mean, the challenges that Harper and her friends have faced are not that tough compared to some other YA novels, but I feel like they deserve more than this. I know there will be a third book. Things can change a lot in the third book. But there are quite a lot of heartache. It's cruel to leave it off like this. I also have a feeling that things will get even weirder in the third book. I'm excited for it.

Rating: 7/10

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