Monday, June 16, 2014

Very Bad Things - Review

Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, # 1)

By: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Published: September 9th 2013 by Little Dove Publishing (first published September 7th 2013)

389 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect...

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about... until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy... where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.

Let me start off by saying that not everyone is going to like Very Bad Things. There’s insta-love (aka love at first sight). There’s talk of being soul-mates. There’s cheesiness. There’s ridiculously fast happy endings. But you know what? Sometimes I just need these types of books. Sometimes I like cheesy. Sometimes I need an unrealistic love story that’s going to hook me until I read every page. And Very Bad Things fit that bill for me.

Very Bad Things is told from alternating POVs between Nora and Leo. Nora is a high school senior. She’s the class president, a star debater, she’s got an IQ of 160. She’s a beauty queen. She’s a talented pianist, and she’s on track to go to Princeton. But Nora doesn’t really want any of that anymore. She only wanted it before to please her mother who demands perfection from her. But Nora’s been through some very bad things in her life and she doesn’t want to pretend anymore. Leo has recently moved to town. He’s older than Nora and solely responsible for raising his younger brother, Sebastian. And he’s terrified of letting anyone too close because he knows how quickly they can be ripped out of your life.

Nora and Leo have this moment when their eyes meet across a parking lot. I think there’s a lot to be said about the circumstances surrounding the events taking place that contribute to said moment. And I can definitely understand having a moment with someone, feeling connected, and then seeking them out after that, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say anything more than that took place within the moment. Nora is pretty set on the idea of Leo from then on out. Yet Leo fights the relationship tooth and nail for much longer than I expected.

The secondary characters could have used a bit more page time. Sebastian and Mila especially since they had the biggest roles outside of Leo and Nora. But even Cuba felt like he could have been explored more. I had many questions about Mila and Cuba. And Sebastian was just such a likeable character that I’d love to learn more about him. I’m excited to say that book 2, Very Wicked Things is Cuba’s story and I look forward to delving deeper into his character. Of course, we’ll have to wade through the man-slut to get to the good stuff, but I’m invested at this point.

Very Bad Things only had two or three graphic scenes, and as new adult books go this is pretty tame.

Truthfully, Very Bad Things isn’t one of those books that I want to dissect too much. I’m not expecting anything too deep, too philosophical, or too poetic or beautiful from a story such is this one. It was good enough that I was interested to keep reading. Very Bad Things gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Very Bad Things? What did you think? Let me know!

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