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Rebel (Fearless #7), by Francine Pascal
I have been waiting a year for this next compilation. When we left Gaia last year (our time), Mary was clean and sober and Sam had been warned off of Gaia by Ella. As "Rebel" picks up, it is just before Christmas (an email between Ella and Loki is dated December 23). Gaia's friendship with Mary and Ed has caused Mary and Ed, who had known each other previously, to become friends with each other. As the three teens walk around bored, Mary suggests they play "Truth or Dare." The game continues through this novel, after Gaia makes it clear that she will never choose "Truth" and will always choose "Dare."
As time goes by, the dares become more and more extreme. At one point, Mary dares Gaia to streak naked past the window of a restaurant, and another time, she dares Gaia to steal an advertising poster from a crowded train. Loki watches Gaia's activities with consternation, as Gaia is supposed to be a perfect killing machine, not a typical teenaged girl. I believe that the "Rebel" of the title is Gaia herself. In this volume, she rebels against both her father's training and the rules of society through her acceptance and carrying out of the dares that Mary and Ed give her.
In a secondary storyline, a ghost from Mary's past has come back to haunt her. The guy that was robbing Mary back when she first met Gaia in "Kiss" was her dealer, Skizz. She owes Skizz five hundred dollars, money that she does not have, and Skizz is threatening to kill her if she will not pay him.
And then there's a tertiary storyline, in which Sam and Heather's relationship is heating up. Heather is feeling guilty about her indiscretion with Charlie in "Payback." She is not certain that she consented to sex with Charlie, but she does believe that she put herself into a compromising position by going into the bedroom in the first place. She interprets this to mean that she certainly intended to betray Sam, even if she doesn't know if she made the final decision herself or not. As a result, she is becoming more devoted to, and more willing to have sex with, Sam. Meanwhile, Sam is still trying to decide if he loves Heather, Gaia, or both.
Much like in "Kiss," there is an overall theme of choice in "Rebel." The choice is embodied in the "Truth or Dare" game. The choice is whether to tell Mary and/or Ed about her past, or to continue to run away from it, burying it in physical activity and anger. It's pretty obvious which one she's chosen thus far and whether this works for her or not I leave as an exercise for the reader.