Author: Dawn Klehr
Series? Endless Summer trilogy, written by different authors
Publication Date: August 14, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: I received a galley of Taming the Rebel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you!
Rebel Hart should be at home taking care of her father after his breakup with his boyfriend, not tromping through the woods at summer camp. He’s had his heart broken beyond repair, and the way she sees it, there’s only one person to blame—the boyfriend’s son. So when that infuriatingly gorgeous quarterback turns up at the same camp, she plans to make him pay.
Justice Brody isn't happy about trading training camp for actual summer camp. But if he wants to stay on the football team, he has to show that he can be drama-free. He welcomes the anonymity that comes with summer camp…until he realizes the one girl who knows him better than anyone is there, too. Rebel is off-limits, impossibly beautiful…and trouble with a capital T. Still, he can’t stay away. And even as Rebel exacts her revenge, in several very embarrassing and painful ways, neither can she.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains pranks, adult language, and kisses that will make you wish for a summer romance of your own.
Taming the Rebel is part of Entangled: Crush's Endless Summer trilogy, which is a companion series written by three different authors. The other two books are Daring the Bad Boy by Monica Murphy and Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas. I've read the latter and really enjoyed it. Coming into this book, I knew that it wouldn't have too much substance. Taming the Rebel isn't a hard hitting read. Yes, there are important messages, but it's mostly a quick and fun book I easily read in a day.
Taming the Rebel was such a cute book. Rebel goes to a summer camp every year, but is shocked to find out that her dad's ex-boyfriends son is also going to be there. Rebel thinks that the reason that their dad's broke up was because of Justice, but that isn't the only reason she is mad at him. She goes to the camp with one thought in mind: revenge. All of that changes though as she realizes she might have misread the situation.
A romance ensues between Justice and Rebel, and it was hot. Taming the Rebel isn't the steamiest YA I've read, but the chemistry is sizzling. I loved all their interactions together, and they were quite honestly the best parts of the book. They fit so well together, and weren't too immature. I hate scenes where the love interests just don't talk to each other, get jealous or petty over every little thing, etc. There weren't too many instances of that, only one if I remember correctly. This was really refreshing and I never got annoyed.
Taming the Rebel also has a lot of gay positivity! What holds Rebel from wanting to be in a full fledged relationship with Justice isn't because of a miscommunication, but his unwillingness to fully accept his father as gay. The story arc and development of Justice was handled so well and with so much poise. I don't remember there being any stereotypes about gay men enforced, and it also showed how people can (unfortunately) have such an adverse reaction to a person coming out. The diversity never felt forced and seemed to really flow naturally into the story (as it should).
My biggest complaint about Taming the Rebel is that there is so much history between Justice and Rebel. They were essentially strangers to each other before their dads started dating, they became very good friends, they both liked each other, and then Justice ruined the whole thing by acting like an ass. All of this is brought up throughout the book, but I would have liked to actually have seen that happen. Whether it be in flashbacks, or have this story be a duology, I don't know. I would have loved if Klehr had actually shows us their past instead of just telling us about it. Because it was only told through dialogue and inner thoughts, Justice and Rebel felt more like two kids who met at a summer camp most of the time instead of two people who have known each other well for a year or so.
Also, little side note - this book is marketed as a revenge novel, but not a lot of revenge actually happens. Rebel pranks Justice a couple times, but it is too prevalent in the book. I didn't mind that the revenge plot wasn't too important, but if you are coming into this with a revenge plot, that's not what you're going to get.
Taming the Rebel was a super fun and quick read. The book isn't going to stay with me for a long time, but it was fun while it lasted. It is the perfect summer read. The chemistry is off the charts, and the message about inclusivity was very apt. There wasn't the x factor in Taming the Rebel that made me love the book though, but it was cute! I recommend it. :) Taming the Rebel is out in a mere week, so go and get it! It is only $2.99 (US dollars) for the Kindle edition!
With that, I give Taming the Rebel
3.5 out of 5 Stars!