With Welcome Caller, This is Chloe, Shelley Coriell introduced me to one of my favorite characters to go back to when I just need a good dose of sunshine and fun. Since then I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for her next book. Goodbye, Rebel Blue has the same upbeat tone to it where everything is just kind of a good time and even serious subjects are treated lightly. But there’s just something about the stories Shelley tells where you come away with a need to change something in your life and it’s usually something you didn’t realize you needed. While Rebel is drastically different from Chloe, there’s still that aspect of trying to find the positive light in everything that we all need a good dose of sometimes.
I usually avoid bucket list or to-do list type books. But I loved Chloe so much I didn’t hesitate when it came to Rebel Blue. But Shelley did something different with the bucket list plot line, and this time she has Rebel doing someone else’s bucket list. There’s a bit of a sand twinge to the premise for this story, but ultimately it’s very fun and uplifting watching Rebel go through all the dreams and goals of another person. The bucket list is loaded with good deeds, charity work, and personal dreams of connecting with people in her life. All things that Rebel seems to avoid, thus making it entertaining to watch her attempt to complete the list.
Rebel is a great character. She’s got this awesome chip on her shoulder and the mouth to match it. She puts off this front to keep people away from her, but she’s really just figuring herself out like we all are. It’s amazing to watch her walls come down, which really starts to happen when she starts connecting with other people. There are some awesome characters in here – from the emo girl who likes to bake, to Rebel’s perky cousin, her well-meaning aunt and uncle, and, of course, there’s Nathan. So much of this book seems unlikely in the best way – just going to show you how much a person can grow outside of their comfort zone – and Nathan and Rebel are in the center of that. For two people so seemingly different, they fit together so naturally it makes me happy.
There are a lot of things to take away from this book – like the importance of family and friends, as well as the value in honoring other people. It’s also a great coming of age story that can give you some insight in how to figure out your own life, which is one of the best things a book can do for you. In the opening scene, Kennedy tells Rebel that you can learn a lot about a person from what they want to do before they die. Which is the first time making a bucket list has ever made sense to me. So naturally, I started my own list for the first time and I’m a little in love with the small dreams I’m figuring out that I have. This is what Shelley Coriell does for me – she changes small things in my life that have big meaning. Goodbye, Rebel Blue is a fun time that secretly holds a lot of meaning. And Rebel might just give you a good kick to do something good for someone else.