Book Review: Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

PPFF Rating: 5/5 Stars
“Timing is everything.”

goodreads blurb:

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.


So I did something VERY BAD  today. I told my non-GoodRead friend to stop reading OBSIDIAN because she had to read this first!!! Sorry Daemon! But at around 57% of Nora and Leo Tate, I was so affected that I simply needed someone to sympathize with me. STAT!

Yes, Very Bad Things was that good!

“As soon as forever is gone, I’ll be over you.” – Nora Blakely

Before I start gushing about anything and everything about how amazingly brilliant this book is, I must comment on how fitting the cover is. Most books these days seem to only have some random and dare I say stock photos of a girl, a shirtless guy with abs (no complaints there) or a sexy-looking couple. I fairly understand that most are independently published so perhaps that’s why but it’s nice to see a book cover that clearly represents what the story’s about.

I’ve always loved my heroine to be a kick-ass Wonder Woman who, even though life has dealt her a few too many bad hands, is still able to appear strong and not break down in tears every single time.

That’s what we get with Nora. She reminds me of a song I used to always listen to my senior year in high school, Saving Jane’s “Girl Next Door”… how she seems to be Miss America but she’s really not. She seems to have the perfect life but we immediately learn that it’s far from reality. I just REALLY LOVE HER, with all her little quirks and f*ked up problems.

“If love is the answer, then I’m changing the question.” – Leo Tate

DUH. Who doesn’t love a hot, alpha male? Leo‘s tall, ripped, plays guitar and can sing too. Not to mention he’s a young and successful businessman. What more can a girl ask for? NONE! Leo is f*king PERFECT! Ok, he’s the kind of guy who’s afraid to commit, who pushes people away just so he can protect his heart but come on girls, we all know how that storyline ends anyway.

But damn, was I frustrated, depressed, mad, upset, insert any other related emotion at everything that stopped Nora and Leo from being truly happy together, It may or may not be their own fault but I just couldn’t help but root for them both.

“Destiny is a cruel bitch.” 

What makes a book really awesome in my vocabulary is when it affects me on a personal level. Timing is everything – true that. I’ve always believed that when it comes to relationships and basically in everything else in life, it’s all about timing. Sure, it’s also about choosing your own destiny but I generally believe that if it’s meant to be, “all the universe conspires in helping you” make it happen.

Very Bad Things by  Ilsa Madden-Mills hooked me right from the start. I actually read this book much slower than I usually do because I kept rereading the paragraphs; I just couldn’t get enough!  I loved the secondary characters – there’s Leo’s younger brother, SebastianMila, Nora’s best friend and the adorable Teddy. Plus, I thought it was a really cute idea to have lines/quotes at the beginning of every chapter.

I’m SO in love with Leo (really sorry again Daemon). xx

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