July 19, 2013

Spotlight on: Barbie World by Heidi Acosta

BOOK ONE:
Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta (Baby Doll #1)
Publication date: November 1st 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance 

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Synopsis:
The only thing that 17 year old Barbie Starr wants to do is graduate high school so she and her little brother, Everett, can get out of Alabama. She doesn’t care about the rumors that are spread around about her like wild fire. Rumors are nothing new to her. Sure, maybe she could change her reputation, but why bother. She is leaving Alabama as soon as she can. That is, if she can pass algebra and graduate.

The only thing Dylan Knight would like to do is go through high school unnoticed; he has had enough of the drama that is high school. He took the whole of last summer to bulk-up: finally he is not being called names or being shoved into lockers. He wants to remain on the outside of the circle of constant rumors that surround the so-called popular kids who get all the attention. He would not, however, mind if his long time crush Katie took notice of him.

But it is Barbie who notices Dylan and she offers him a deal he can’t pass up: if he helps her pass algebra, she’ll help him get the girl of his dreams. Dylan agrees, but, as it turns out, nothing is simple when it comes to Barbie. Somehow, she can’t help but draw attention to herself — and to him. Soon Dylan finds himself tossed into the whirlwind of rumors that seem to follow Barbie everywhere. Can he save his reputation and still get the girl of his dreams? Or will Barbie be the one to break through his carefully-built facade?




Barbie Girl (Baby Doll, #1)Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barbie Starr is the girl in high school that everyone knows about. She's the girl all the boys call when they want to have a good time. The girl that you can find ditching class, hanging out under the bleachers, getting high and making out with random guys. Or at least, that's what she is if you believe all of the rumors. In reality, she is so much more.

I absolutely loved Barbie. She is the exact opposite of what her name suggests, in every way except how she looks. She is a poor, white trash, girl that has an alcoholic for a mother, and an autistic younger brother that she has to basically raise on her own. She is tough as nails, determined to make life better for herself and her brother, and she doesn't give a f*c# what anyone thinks about her. She has grit and fire in spades. But no one knows this side of her because they have never bothered to find out. Everyone just believes all of the rumors floating around about her, and writes her off as a slutty stoner. Then Dylan Knight walks into her life. Barbie needs a tutor for Algebra so she can pass and get her degree, and her Algebra teacher sends her to AP student Dylan.

Dylan goes back and forth between being the perfectly sweet and sensitive dork turned hottie, and the uber-douche bag that can't get over his idea of what his perfect girl is like. He wants to be with popular, put together, uptight Katie, when in reality she is a slutty beeyatch. She just hides it behind a well dressed façade. Dylan agrees to tutor Barbie if she will help him get Katie. However, it doesn't take long before he and Barbie realize that the "fake" relationship they are in to make Katie jealous has led to real feelings developing. When they touch it is electric, and when they kiss there are fireworks. Dylan finally begins to realize that there is much more to Barbie than meets the eye, but she is still too guarded and scared to let him in all of the way. This leads to a lot of trouble and a big misunderstanding that has the potential to crush the newly found love that Dylan and Barbie share.

All of this high school drama barely scratches the surface of this book, though. Heidi Acosta also writes about the very real and dark world of a young girl who has to live with an alcoholic mom that is constantly getting high and bringing home random losers. The things that Barbie has to endure, and the lengths that she goes to in order to protect her brother just broke my heart. That poor girl never had a chance.

Another bright spot in this book was the amazing secondary characters that were introduced. I absolutely loved Third, Dylan's best friend, and Barbie's unlikely champion. He was so funny and sincere that you can't help but love him. And then there was Roxie. The ultra-goth, closet Taylor Swift fan. She comes into the story late, but she makes a big impression. I hope we see a lot more of her in book two. (And maybe a romance between her and Third!)

My only complaint about this book was the editing. I hate to knock down the rating on a book simply due to editing, but it was that bad. I did really, really like this story. Based on story alone I would have given it a solid four. But there are so many misplaced words, missing words, punctuation and grammar issues, that I kept getting thrown out of the story. It was super distracting, and really took away from a great book. I hope in the future that someone edits the heck out of this book, because it deserves it.

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BOOK TWO:
Barbie World by Heidi Acosta
Series: Barbie Girl, #2
Publication date:  Summer 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance


Synopsis: 
“One night is all it took to change everything between Barbie and me. One night to potentially lose the girl of my dreams forever. How do I prove to her that she can trust me? That all I want to do is protect her carefully guarded heart. I need to prove to her that I want to be a part of her world. But how?”

Dylan lost Barbie once before, now he is determined more than ever to win her heart and trust back. Easier said than done, especially with the new hot guy in town who is in a rock band and is the complete opposite of Dylan.
Barbie has been hurt beyond repair or so she thinks. It would be easier for heart to decide if she didn’t have to protect her little brother. And if Dylan would just put on a shirt! Dylan is not making this easy on her. It helps to have the distraction of the new guy in town cute bad boy Kai. But even though her heart is damaged it still knows what it wants. 
When Barbie learns she has a family and with the help of Roxie and Kai, oh and Third and Dylan. They embark on a journey to help bring Barbie closer to a past she never knew existed. 
Heidi Acosta brings you the heart felt story of friendship, love and heartbreak in the second book in the Baby doll series Barbie World.



Barbie World (Baby Doll, #2)Barbie World by Heidi Acosta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barbie World picks up directly where Barbie Girl leaves off. Barbie is trying to pick up the shattered pieces of her life after the horrific attack on her and her brother by her worthless mom's boyfriend. Dylan's parents offer to provide a home for Barbie and Everett so that they don't have to be split up into foster care. This is a double edged sword for Barbie. On the one hand she is grateful that her and Everett get to stay together, and that they are safe, but on the other hand she now has to face a shirtless Dylan every day - which makes it a million times harder for her to fight her feelings for him. What I don't understand is, why? Why does she feel like she has to fight so hard?

This book totally frustrated me. It felt like Dylan and Barbie's relationship was always two steps forward, one step back. One minute he was chasing her and kissing her, and the next they were ignoring each other again. It just became way too repetitive. Too much tease and not enough follow through. I understand that part of that was to build tension, and to let their relationship grow and develop naturally, but it didn't. It just sat there and stagnated while they kept doing the same old thing. I feel like a story has to walk a fine line between giving you just enough to keep you happy, while also holding back so it doesn't seem too easy. Dylan and Barbie's story was just way too hard with not enough satisfaction. And I just couldn't see why they couldn't be together. I know that Barbie is trying to guard her heart because Dylan hurt her in the past, but it is obvious that she still has feelings for him. I don't understand why she would try to make it work with Kai instead of giving Dylan a second chance.

And I just wanted to kick Dylan in the balls most of the way through this story. I can't believe the lame a$s excuses he kept coming up with on why he had to stay with Katie. He really needed to just grow a pair and break up with her instead of stringing her along. Especially since he knew from the beginning of their relationship that he was totally in love with Barbie. He needed to get rid of Katie and then spend 100% of his time and effort getting Barbie back. Towards the later part of the book, he started to come around and I gained back a little bit of respect for him. But it was almost too little, too late. However, even with their flaws, I did still love both of these characters and desperately wanted them to find their HEA with each other. I think most of my complaints about this book come from a place of love! I was so involved with the characters and the story that I wanted it to go how I saw it in my head!

Then, just when you thought that Barbie couldn't handle anymore, she finds information about her grandmother that she has never met. Barbie and the whole gang then go on a road trip in search of someone that Barbie hopes can help heal some of the damage to her heart, and help her find some closure on her past. I really loved this part of the story until the end.

Third and Roxie play big roles in this book, and I loved them. Third is a constant comedian, and Roxie can hold her own too! They added flavor and color to the story, and helped cement their little group together. Kai was also in this book, but I didn't feel like we got to know him enough for me to really connect with him. Which is fine - I didn't want him and Barbie to end up together anyway!

Overall, I liked these two books. They did have editing problems - the most bothersome to me was that it seemed like contractions were never used. It made the conversations in the book seem really formal and weird. It took a lot of flow out of the language of the book. But, I still really liked the story, and recommend that if you like YA romance that borders on NA, you should check these books out.

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AUTHOR BIO
Heidi Acosta was born on Long Island, New York. Moving around a lot when she was younger, she has lived in New York, Arizona, New York (again), Washington, Georgia, and Florida, in that order. Each place offered her something special, but she will always consider New York her home.

Heidi started writing as soon as she could spell. When she was three, Heidi’s mother gave her a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods; thus beginning her lifelong love affair with literature.

Writing soon also became a form of therapy for Heidi, when she realized that no matter what was happening in her life, she could find emotional escape while writing. Some of her earliest stories featured her as a princess who explored new worlds with her horse Buttercup. If it sounds romantic, it wasn’t, there was no prince charming in those fairy lands (boys where yucky).

Heidi now resides in Florida with her husband, very active daughter, one hyper Chihuahua, two sweet cats, and one very fat moody cat.

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1 comment:

Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

 
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