Book Review: Rachel Hawkins’ Miss Mayhem

Posted July 12, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rachel Hawkins’ Miss Mayhem

Miss Mayhem


Rachel Hawkins

urban fantasy that was published by Putnam Juvenile on April 7, 2015 and has 273 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Rebel Belle

Second in the Rebel Belle urban fantasy series for young adults and revolving around Harper Price, a high school Paladin in Pine Grove, Alabama.

My Take

This was disappointing and not as exciting as Rebel Belle, 1, although I did appreciate (and feel sad) about the Ephors’ predicament. As for Harper, I get that she wants to protect her friends, but David is right too. People have to live their lives. Even if it means that David will turn into a thing.

It’s an obvious conflict trope: let us take over your lives if you want to live. And believe that we’re your friends. Uh-huh… I guess it bugged me. Alexander all smarmy with his “we’re too powerful for you, so you have to play it our way”, and then David giving it up to them. After the Ephors have spent David’s entire life trying to kill him. It was too easy. Hawkins should have made Alexander work for this.

I do hate arrogant know-it-alls who think they can do anything they like, and we just have to suck it up. “Hesitate to trust??” Oh, yeah, I “hesitate”, all right. The tests he puts Harper through that endanger others? Alexander flips back and forth so much between you must and no big that my head was spinning. Nor did it make sense. It was as if Hawkins couldn’t be bothered to smooth this out, make it more believable.

There’s more flipping about with Bee and Ryan ganging up against Harper, and then thinking, well, duh, maybe we shouldn’t have. Leap, leap, leap… David wants Bee as his Paladin, so he and Harper can be a real boyfriend-girlfriend. Harper is such a control freak, always thinking she knows better than anyone else. I enjoy the story concept; I do not enjoy her character. She twists events around to suit her own views. Which only makes me want to smack her upside the head. She is such a girl, *eye roll*

All this secret-keeping is taking a toll on Ryan, David, and Harper, and each has weird thoughts running through their heads all of which leads to that annoying ending. There’s everything in it that says to leap up and head out, and it really ends with a placid sort of acceptance. Oh, well, I guess it is consistent with the rest of the story.

The Story

Life is never going to be normal for Harper Price. Not since she became Paladin to the Oracle, since she, her current boyfriend, and her ex became twisted up in a magical threesome that forces them to work together to protect David.

Luckily, their enemies have been quiet since their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago. Lucky that is until Alexander shows up and tries to take over Harper’s and David’s lives.

The Characters

Harper Jane “Pres” Price is David’s Paladin and the SGA president. Leigh-Anne is the older sister who died two years ago. Her dad is a tax attorney. Her mom. Aunts May, Jewell, and Martha live together and are absorbed in their card games and social clubs. And they ain’t stupid, lol.

Bee Franklin is Harper’s absolute best friend, kidnapped in Rebel Belle, 1. Brandon had been Bee’s boyfriend before she was taken. Now he doesn’t know her at all.

The nerdy David Stark is the Oracle and can tell the future. He’s also Harper’s all-wrong boyfriend. The gorgeous and preppy Ryan Bradshaw is Harper’s ex, and as David’s new Mage, he has mind control powers. “Aunt” Saylor Stark had been David’s Mage while Christopher Hall had been his first Paladin.

Grove Academy is…
…where Harper, David, and Ryan attend school. Mary Beth Riley is Ryan’s new girlfriend. Michael and Chie are friends of David’s on the school paper. Abigail and Amanda are twins and Harper’s friends and about to make terrible mistakes. Lucy McCarroll is the sophomore class president. Mrs. Carter is the English teacher. Dr. Michael DuPont is the now-dead history teacher. Martin Dunn is the headmaster.

Sara Plumley is in charge of the Miss Pine Grove Pageant. Rebecca Shaw is also in the pageant.

The Ephors are…
…a group of men who owned the Oracles for centuries, using their visions for success. Only the female ones. The males were considered too dangerous to live. Alexander is their leader. Blythe was the Ephor Mage intent on taking David.

Sigma Kappa Nu is a fraternity. Spencer is the frat brother Abigail is fated to marry.

A Paladin is a super-powered warrior charged with protecting the Oracle. The Peirasmos is a test Harper must pass or die.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a pale yellow background with a golden statuette of a pageant beauty, pink sash, pink roses, and a gleaming sword in hand, surrounded by deep pink rose petals. The author’s name is in a deep red script and a glowing sans-serif title in all-caps in the same red. And I do appreciate Hawkins putting the series info on the cover.

Miss Mayhem is the title earned by Harper as she struggles with the test.