Book Review: Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

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(Last Updated On: November 1, 2021)
Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Author: Shelley Coriell
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Edition: ARC
Source: ARC from Publisher
Genre: Contemporary

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. 

I picked this book up because I’ve been on such a contemporary kick and I really wanted to read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, but I didn’t own a copy and this seemed kind of reminiscent of it as it has a bucket list as well. Plus, I’ve had it on my shelf for ages!

Rebel Blue meets Kennedy Green one day in detention, though neither girl knows that today will be Kennedy’s last day. Rebel talks with Kennedy and Kennedy explains to Rebel how she thought that they would always make really great friends because both of their last names are colors. She’s also all strung out about being in detention, though Rebel helps her feel a bit better about it and helps her focus on her work.

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Their job for detention that day was to make a bucket list, so that’s just what the girls do. Rebel decides to through hers in the garbage after detention, and Kennedy follows suit. The next day, everyone at school finds that Kennedy died in a car accident. Rebel feels like it was partly her fault, as would anyone who just talked to a girl right before she ended up dying. Because of this, Rebel feels that it is her duty to finish Kennedy Green’s bucket list.

I really enjoyed this story-it was sweet and it wasn’t like something I’ve read before. I absolutely loved Rebel Blue. She was so different from anyone else, and I love that. Just like Rebel, I pride myself in being different than others, so I definitely connected with her on that level. Plus, she has her hair dyed blue, which is pretty darn awesome because the ends of my hair are dyed blue-yet another similarity. I found it so nice that Rebel tried her best to do everything on Kennedy’s bucket list, especially as it really changed who Rebel was as a person. She branched out and did things that she normally wouldn’t do.

Plus, she fell hard for Nate, who definitely doesn’t seem like someone that normally Rebel would end up with. He’s the complete opposite of her and he does a lot for the community. As Rebel starts doing things on Kennedy’s bucket list, Nate helps her and they begin hanging out a lot. I adored their relationship! Even though Rebel began to worry if he fell for her because of the acts of kindness she was doing that were really someone else’s goals, I think they were perfect together.

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In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was a light, quick read!

Notable Quotes:

“Never apologize for being you.”

“People like me don’t work towards perfection in an imperfect world. We celebrate imperfection.”


Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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