Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Publication Date: Oct 2013
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
REVIEW BY MERIEL – YEAR 8
Goodbye, Rebel Blue is a contemporary realistic story about Rebecca Blue (nicknamed Rebel) a teen wallflower. She does not think much of her Aunt, Cousin Penelope, Uncle or the outside world, for that matter. She and her friend-of-sorts Macey are common detention comrades, but, one day Kennedy Green – your average know-it-all and good-doer – turns up to detention. On that day, Kennedy’s last on earth, she coincidentally writes a bucket list as a detention task, a list that later haunts Rebel. Rebel’s only way to end her torment, as she and Nate (her boyfriend) see it, is to complete Kennedy’s bucket list – every goal on which, contrasts with Rebel’s lonesome, resentful personality.
Gabby, Nate’s sister, is the character I like the most. She attempts to be mature, she is very observant with a outgoing personality. She adds a lively vibe to Rebel’s life when her and Nate’s relationships changes. Rebel, not affectionately loved by her relatives, prefers to aggravate them, shut people out, and do everything her own way. The list she inherits from Kennedy forces her to change her daily routines and anti-social character. I especially liked the way she builds relationships with Macey, Nate and his big family – particularly his sister Gabby, a grown up ten-year-old.
You find yourself constantly yearning for Rebel to put herself out there, be become more confident as the story progresses, she rebuilds her life after spending years locked up in her own mind. A defense mechanism ever since her arty, spontaneous, travel-loving mother passed away. Coriell realistically represents the characteristics of typical teenagers; the book is relatable for many modern teens. I found the storyline in some ways inspiring – showing you can build your life up again, even if it is the last thing you want – amusing, light-hearted and relatable.
I would give it four stars out of five. For Goodbye, Rebel Blue to earn the last star, I would add some more adventurous plot-lines in the story – maybe something like completing the away-from-home bucket list points. I would definitely recommend this book to teens and pre-teens, as there is age-relatable content but no language to worry about and no particularly mature themes. If Shelly Coriell’s other books contained such invigorating story-lines, that were as addictive and page-turning as Goodbye, Rebel Blue, I would read them in an instant. I have nothing to complain about in Goodbye, Rebel Blue, apart from having a little lack of adventurousness towards the end.