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Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Goodbye, Rebel Blue

4.0 4
by Shelley Coriell

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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,


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. Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.

Praise for Goodbye, Rebel Blue
"As true as the blue streak in her hair, Rebel will encourage readers to follow their own hearts and dreams."
--Kirkus Reviews 

"Readers will root for Rebel as she makes a sincere effort to befriend a detention acquaintance and as she falls for kind-hearted Nate."
--School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rebecca “Rebel” Blue is no Cinderella type, but when she slips into a “good” girl’s shoes, she learns a lot about herself. It all starts when 16-year-old Rebel meets do-gooder Kennedy Green in detention. Their assignment is to create a bucket list of things they want to accomplish before they die, and while Rebel brushes off the assignment, Kennedy takes it seriously. The next day, when the news that Kennedy has been killed spreads through school, Rebel feels obliged to take on Kennedy’s list. In doing so, Rebel uncharacteristically becomes involved in some fairly noble acts, like participating in community service and random kindnesses. Meanwhile, she falls for a high-achieving jock—definitely not her usual type—and befriends a pie-baking fanatic. Coriell’s (Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe) offbeat premise and unconventional heroine make for a fresh, lively story sharply punctuated by wit and romance. Rebel’s unlikely evolution comes across as plausible as she catches glimpses of her own needs while she ponders Kennedy’s desires. Admitting how much she needs other people proves to be Rebel’s greatest challenge of all. Ages 12–18. (Oct.)
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - Morgan Brickey
For the umpteenth time, troubled junior Rebecca Blue, who very aptly goes by the name Rebel, finds herself spending the afternoon in detention. Surprisingly, the always perfectly peppy Kennedy Green is in trouble too, and the girls are tasked with writing their bucket lists. After mocking the assignment (and Kennedy), Rebel is thrown to find out that Kennedy died in a car accident on her way home. On a whim, Rebel decides to find Kennedy’s bucket list and complete her deceased classmate’s wishes. Fate intervenes and Rebel cannot manage to distance herself from Kennedy’s philanthropic spirit. She begins to form new relationships, including one with the popular and attractive Lucas, and begins to mend the broken ones with her adoptive family. Rebel finds herself very reluctantly doing good wherever she goes, finding herself in totally new situations and becoming the person she was meant to be all along. The subject matter of this book—a teen unexpectedly dying and leaving behind unfinished business—is not unfamiliar, but this novel manages to stand out. Coriell deftly keeps the overall tone of the book light and never preachy while still delivering a meaningful message. The transformation of the main character from jaded cynic to reluctant do-gooder is well paced and the setbacks Rebel encounters along the way are believable. By the end of the novel, Rebel finds her true self and yet maintains her rebellious spirit. Recommend this title to teens interested in books like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (Penguin, 2011/ Voya ) and they will certainly come back for more. Reviewer: Morgan Brickey; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
Rebecca Blue spent her first ten years happily roaming around South and Central America with her photographer mother. Then her mother died in an accident and Rebecca had to move into the home of her super-organized aunt and uncle, sharing a bedroom with her cousin Penelope, who, years later, continues to resent the intrusion. Now Rebecca is Rebel, at odds with almost everyone but her uncle, her art teacher, the school custodian, and Macey, another outcast. In detention one afternoon, Rebel and Kennedy, a girl who has never been in detention before, are required to write bucket lists. Rebel is alternately kind and rude to Kennedy. The next morning Rebel learns that Kennedy has died in a one-car accident, and Rebel retrieves the bucket lists from the detention room wastebasket because she worries that her own snarky attitude might have upset the other girl. The bucket list is all about the good things Kennedy hopes to do with her life, and Rebel lets the list trap her into trying to do those things for her. In the process, she runs into many setbacks and some sweet successes. She also finds romance with the boy who sits next to her in Biology, the one she first refers to as “Mr. Squeaky Clean,” then as “Nate of Great Hair,” and finally, as they fall in love, simply as Nate. As Rebel slowly gives up her anger over her mother’s death, she finds a more satisfactory life of her own and better relationships with her aunt and her cousin. Rebel tells her own story in a voice that blends humor, frustration, and affection into a distinctive and appealing whole. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Rebecca "Rebel" Blue, 16, is just settling into yet another detention and its inane assignment (write your bucket list) when "some girl with a perky blond ponytail" starts peppering her with questions. Kennedy Green strikes up a conversation with the reluctant Rebel about fears, beliefs, and whether or not there's an afterlife. The discussion is still in the protagonist's head the next day when she hears that Kennedy was killed in a car accident the night before. Prompted by the tragedy, Rebel digs Kennedy's bucket list from the detention-room trash can and sets about completing it on the dead girl's behalf. The teen isn't half the "do-gooder" Kennedy was, but with 20 items to complete, it's time for her to try. Rebel is used to holding the world at arm's length. However, in her mission to check items off the list, she finds herself needing people more than she'd ever expected. By letting down her guard, she has a chance to explore friendships and family relationships and finally come to terms with her own traumas and heartbreaks. Readers will root for Rebel as she makes a sincere effort to befriend a detention acquaintance and as she falls for kind-hearted Nate. The romance and language are chaste, making this novel appropriate for younger teens.—Brandy Danner, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A teen fills a bucket list. The problem is, it belongs to a dead girl. Detention is a second home for loner Rebecca, aptly nicknamed Rebel Blue, but it's the first time for the straight and narrow Kennedy Green. (The irony of their names is not lost in the story.) The guidance counselor asks the detainees to create a list of accomplishments they'd like to attain, and the two mismatched teens briefly bond. When Kennedy ends up mysteriously dead, Rebel feels compelled to complete the charitable girl's bucket list, especially when it won't disappear. Can the edgy teen who lost her photographer mother, has never known her father, and feels disconnected from her aunt, uncle, popular cousin and, well, everyone actually learn to tango, adopt endangered turtles or perform random acts of kindness? Rebel's snarky, first-person narration celebrates her artistic spirit even as it tries to hide her grief and sense that she is out of sync with the world. As she begins to check off Kennedy's items, she discovers that she does need friends, family and even a team. Of course a love interest, like seemingly opposite Nate Bolivar, would also make a fine addition to her support system. And along the way, Kennedy's desires slowly make way for Rebel's. As true as the blue streak in her hair, Rebel will encourage readers to follow their own hearts and dreams. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Product Details

Amulet Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Shelley Coriell is the author of Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, an award-winning magazine editor, and an association executive. She is a six-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Prize. She lives in Tempe, Arizona. Visit her online at shelleycoriell.com.

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Goodbye, Rebel Blue 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The librarian a my school said this is the best book then my english teacher said to read so i would like fir somebody lo lend me this book
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell is a fictional novel about a modern teenager who is, quite frankly, different. Rebecca "Rebel" Blue was raised in the back seat of her adventurous mother's jeep, traveling the world and living an extraordinary life. However, when she loses her beloved mother, Rebel is thrown into her sophisticated Aunt Evelyn's household, where she is forced into a world that is simply not hers. Years later, Rebel is an uncooperative, angry teen who does everything in her power to annoy her aunt and teachers and guards herself from others. However, two hours in detention with her goody-goody classmate Kennedy Green change everything. In detention, the two girls make bucket lists, enumerating all the things they want to do before they die. The next day, when Rebel discovers that Kennedy was killed driving home from detention, she endeavors to complete the dead girl's bucket list for her. The delinquent Rebel begins making nests for endangered birds, running on the school track team, and giving out burritos to homeless people. However, along her begrudging journey through the list, what will Rebel discover about herself? Good Bye, Rebel Blue is a book of destiny and fate. In the novel, Rebel explores many questions that she, along with most other people, had never considered before: When thousands of people die each day, why are you still here? Who really controls your life? Are you living your own dreams or others' expectations? The book is rich in not only thought-provoking insight but also humor. The book is a wonderful choice for teens, who will enjoy the read while also benefiting from its advice and themes. Goodbye, Rebel Blue will challenge your opinions and broaden your insight; it definitely deserves to be read review by Isabella T., age 14, Memphis Mensa
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to ABRAMS and Netgalley.) Sixteen-year-old Rebecca (Rebel) Blue hardly knows Kennedy green, but a chance meeting in detention suddenly seems to have meaning when the next day Kennedy crashes her car and dies. The police have no idea if it was a suicide or an accident, but Rebel sees it as a sign, and immediately goes to the detention room to get something that Kennedy threw in the trash when they were together – her bucket list. As much as Rebel tries to get rid of the list though, it seems to not want to leave her, and she realises that she needs to complete Kennedy’s bucket list for her. Can Rebel complete good-girl-Kennedy’s bucket list? What will she learn about herself as she does it? And is she really that much of a Rebel? This was an okay story, but I found myself losing interest. Rebel was an okay character, but for someone who liked breaking rules and making statements, I didn’t quite get why she felt the need to complete Kennedy’s bucket list – I mean they weren’t even friends really, and the point of a bucket list is that YOU do it, BEFORE you die. Somebody else completing your bucket list after you’re dead doesn’t seem to really accomplish the goal to me. The storyline in this was okay, but it sounded better in the blurb than it really was. The whole point of the story seemed to be about Rebel becoming a better person through doing good little Kennedy’s bucket list, but I actually thought that Rebel was perfectly okay as she was to start with, and I didn’t really see why she needed to improve herself. Kennedy seem fairly happy with who Rebel was when she actually spoke to her, so why did she need to change? Annoyingly enough, Rebel’s bucket list was actually a lot funnier than Kennedy’s as well. Jumping in a taxi and shouting ‘follow that car!’ sounds much more fun that adopting a turtle. There was a touch of romance in this, but nothing special unfortunately. The ending was also okay, but again, nothing special, and I had problems staying focused on this book as it just seemed a little dull to me. Overall; an okay story about a girl, and a dead girls bucket list. 6.5 out of 10.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! I was immediately drown to it because of the synopsis. I mean death is huge. It makes me think about our lives and how short they really are. Do you have a bucket list? Will you do someone else’s bucket list? Plot: The reader meets Rebel. A girl handed some bad cards and learning to move on. She is introduced to another girl during detention who questioned Rebel’s life. Then she dies. And her bucket list is in Rebel hands. I love this. Watching Rebel complete the bucket list of a dead girl is amazing. The plot flows well, allowing the reader to fully grasp what the bucket list is doing to Rebel. It’s just awesome! The bucket list: By Rebel doing the bucket list it changed Rebel. It help her looks at things in a whole new perspective. Some good and some bad. But she changed. Watching Rebel struggle and even face her fears in doing the bucket list made me proud of her. No one pushed her and told her to do it, she did it because she wanted too. Death: Death makes me questions a lot of things. What would you do if you only had one day to live? Where would you go? What would you confess? Rebel’s life has been consumed by death. By the death of her own loved ones, Rebel begins to wonder about her own life. And in doing that she…. Falling in love: This little area of the book I was so surprised and awed at! I love that this friendship grew into something more. That this bucket list not only changed Rebel but changed the guy too. Remember, it’s your life. And what you make of it, is up to you. This is a fantastic book that I can totally re-visit again. It had a certain appeal that I could not look away from. Goodbye, Rebel Blue is a powerful story and sensitive story that is deeply moving. Truthful yet satisfying, Goodbye, Rebel Blue is great!