The Rebel's Own by M O Kenyan
The Rebel's Own by M O Kenyan
At only 79 pages this really is a short novel – so it tried to get to the bones of the story fairly sharpish, I felt it could have been fleshed out a bit more as it seemed a little rushed.
The story is really romance in reverse. High School star footballer Ryan Carville partakes in the cruellest of games when he undertakes to participate in the “United Tastes” game – a truly abhorrent idea if ever there was one. But with nothing fuelling him but his desire to remain part of the team and to keep his maleficent cheerleader girlfriend Clara with him he agrees , no matter that he find the concept difficult to stomach.
The shame of this is that even in today’s society this mentality is still all too prevalent.
Goaded into taking the most appropriate girl for the game to the prom. Ryan’s truly distasteful girlfriend Clara, selects Kennedy Bailey, the mousy, loner to be his victim.
Kennedy Bailey really is a loner, she has no-one, she keeps herself very much to herself – shunning classmates and all other interaction. She lives by the understanding that if she stays out of the limelight no-one will ask questions. The last thing she needs is for the popular crowd to make her a target.
Socially inept, Kennedy is blown away when Ryan asks her to be his date to the prom. Craving the attention that having someone like the football star interested in her, she foolishly agrees to accompany him. Little does she know that he world is about to fall apart.
Attending the prom, Kennedy is unceremoniously deflowered (and secretly filmed) on the back seat of the car and immediately driven home – confused and alone.
The light in Kennedy’s life has just been extinguished, her happy ever after just walked away.
Alone and humiliated, Kennedy faces the shame of that night but carries with her a secret of her own – she is pregnant with Ryan’s child.
Fast forward 6 years and Kennedy is facing every parent’s nightmare – Riley has Leukaemia. Options are limited but she knows that in one way or another she will have to contact Ryan, as much as she doesn’t want him to be part of her son’s life, he just might be able to save him.
Up to this point I got the premise of the story and while it was flat in places it had potential. I didn’t understand it when Kennedy decided to try and get pregnant by Ryan in order that cells from another child may be able to save her son. What parent would do that – he could be dead in 9 months!
I also didn’t get it when Ryan first met Kennedy again, surely he might have had a slight inkling of recognition but nothing at all was a little farfetched, considering he hated what he had done to her.
The story gathered a pace when the link between the two of them came apparent and to his credit Ryan never shirked his responsibility to Riley. In fact his relationship with his son was one of the most endearing factors of the book. Father and son develop a fabulous bond.
The speed with which Kennedy agreed to marry Ryan and change both her and Riley’s life was staggering but then again in a story this short timelines were never going to be of any length.
Overall, the story is short and sweet in places but dated and destructive in others.
I liked both characters at times and loathed them at others but together they try to make the best of the situation for the benefit of their son.
Secondary characters are few and far between, Ryan’s best friend from school Matt is now his manager and while he initially gives the impression of being a bit of an idiot, he actually comes through for Kennedy and isn’t as bad as he first appears. The same cannot be said for the loathsome Clara, still on the scene after all these years – Ryan is very much her meal ticket, but losing him is one that she is not taking lightly. Shame for her that Kennedy has found her teeth and is willing to fight back this time.
In summary, I read and enjoyed the book but would have definitely been more enamoured with it is it had been a little longer and the characters and situation a little more in-depth.
Rating 3 out of 5