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Very Bad Things ( Briarwood Academy Book 1) by [Madden-Mills, Ilsa]
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Very Bad Things ( Briarwood Academy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 648 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in Briarwood Academy (3 Book Series)
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Length: 343 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"From the writing style to the exquisite formatting, from the captivating storyline to the colourful characters, this book was truly the full package for me." 
Natasha is a Book Junkie
"Ilsa Madden Mills. Watch this name, will be hearing it a lot...Very Bad Things sucked me in from the start, and despite my not wanting to read as much NA lately, I fell for this book. It had quality about it that just made it stand out as a little more unique...there was just something special." 
Ana from Ana's Attic
"Very Bad Things deviates from the cookie-cutter mold of New Adult and is a delightfully naughty treat. Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a wickedly satisfying story about rebelling against the life you know in order to find the life you need." 
Mean Girls Luv Books
"Very Bad Things is beautiful and epic love story." 
The Lovely Books
"It's the kind of story you think about for weeks...wishing you could read it all over again for the first time." 
Two Crazy Girls with a Passion for Books
"Very Bad Things in on my list of top ten reads this year." 
Morning After a Good Book
"Ilsa Madden-Mills has an exquisite writing style that makes you feel their pain and anguish, their happiness, and their heartaches and fears." 
A Lust for Reading
"A brilliant debut novel." 
Nose Stuck in a Book
"If I had to pick one book to recommend to everyone I know, this would be the one."
My Fictional Boyfriend
" is maddening, passionate, heart-breaking, all-encompassing, and about a million other adjectives." 
Sarah Griffin of Books to Breathe and Angie's Dreamy Reads

From the Author

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Ilsa Madden-Mills

Product Details

  • File Size: 1122 KB
  • Print Length: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Little Dove Publishing; 2 edition (September 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F225YK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,789 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
FIVE++++FANTASTIC STARS!!! Let me start this one by saying I have a huge girl crush on the main character, Nora! I loved her so much! What a beautiful, intelligent young woman that my heart broke for because underneath it all she was hurting and just wanted to be loved. Might I also mention she is rich too, but money can't buy happiness and that cannot be more true when you read a book like Very Bad Things.

Nora is in her last year of high school at Briarcrest Academy and she is what you consider a genius with a high IQ. She is tall and thin, plays the piano, has won several spelling bees and even a few pageants. Her mother made sure she was the epitome of perfection in every way. Sadly her mother failed miserably at what a mother is supposed to do for their child and I hated her for that.

But, Nora has secrets and she has lost herself quite possibly gone mad. She is drinking and partying. She has also made this list of bad things she wants to do and I was intrigued. I wanted to know her secrets.

Her mother and father are always gone and Nora is left alone. She also has a brother Finn who she did not have the best relationship with and I just new in the beginning he was trouble.

Nora is practically on her own but deep down she is so lonely and it made me so very sad! She had her quirks like we all do and what really tripped me out was her thing for words! She also people watches and quite frankly I was enamored by her.

After a particular episode at school, that is witnessed by all, we are introduced to Leo Tate and his younger brother Sebastian. They are new in town and Sebastian will be going to Briarcrest Academy. Leo, however is older, about 25, and Sebastian's guardian since their parents were killed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was IN this book. Completely absorbed. It had about everything you could ask for in a book. I was so excited. Great writing, character description, and story line. Then the ending came. A good ending for me can make or break a book. It's what you're left with. While there was nothing wrong with the ending, I felt it was very rushed. You had all this angst and drama and then BAM! (well, I can't write what does go down cause that would give it away) It was over and I was only at 84%. It just kind of lost me and the great vibe I was feeling was a little deflated. I sat there thinking there had to be more after ALL that they went through. However, after saying all that, it was still an excellent book that I would recommend. It would have been a 4.5 star book for me had I felt the author gave a little more time at the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very Bad Things is quite possibly one of the best books I've read yet this year!

Nora Blakely appears to be the perfect girl. Perfect looks, top of her class, talented and parents who are extremely successful. She wants for nothing...except to escape it all! Leo Tate has relocated to Highland Park, Texas with his younger brother and has enrolled him in Briarcrest Academy where Nora is speaking at the registration and open house night as the student body representative. Seven little words, two of them cuss words, change it all!

The connection between Leo and Nora from the first moment their eyes meet is explosive! Leo is the guardian for Sebastian and is opening a new gym in Highland Park. Nora's life hasn't been as perfect as it seems and she is ready to take control which includes making several bad choices. One of them leads her to Leo and Sebastian who happen to live across the street from Nora's aunts bakery. Trying to get a handle on Nora is a challenge in and of itself, let alone dealing with her heart. She is deeply broken and Leo is determined to fix her, but it won't be easy. The problem with trying to fix someone is that you risk opening your heart...a heart that has its own scars. The struggle between Leo and Nora is intense, emotional and feels so real. The secondary characters in the book are amazing and I fell in love with a few and deeply despised others! Those relationships and interactions help to crack through both of their hardened hearts and open their eyes to what is right in front of another!

The intensity of Leo and Nora's love is beautiful and heartbreaking. The steam factor of this book is off the charts sizzling!! This is the first book in the series and it is not a cliffhanger, you will however, see them in the other books. Leo and Nora have a special place in my heart and always will...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These male characters drive me crazy! We all know that the kind of guys who have commitment issues don't actually spend all of their time reminding themselves that they don't want a commitment, right? These days, this is such a typical male character. The reader is beaten over the head with the fact that the guy doesn't do relationships so we can be delighted when he falls for the girl who changes everything. The Kindle version includes sample chapters from other writers who all write about this guy too! Very Bad Things could have been a Very Good Thing if the male characters were even somewhat realistic-they all were just stereotypes and uninteresting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So this is really a 4 3/4 star rating - but this book was fantastic!

Nora is a 18/19 year old who has been raised in a loveless house. Both her parents place their jobs over her. The mother is verbally and sometimes physically abusive. The father has totally checked out. She has a broken, creepy, coke-head for a half brother. She has been trained to be perfect by her mother. She has been trained to feel worthless by her mother. She has been broken by her mother. She has had enough abuse and programming -she is breaking away, in a BIG and a bit destructive way.

Leo is a 25 year old that has had to chuck his life as a teenager when his parents were murdered - he had to raise his little brother, take over the family business. Leo had to be an adult before it was time for him to be an adult.

Nora and Leo meet over strange circumstances. Instant chemistry. Instant soul mates. But Leo is fighting it. He is afraid to love since what he loved the most (his parents) were stripped from him, brutally.
Nora is headed for self-destruct. She is hoping Leo can help her from destruction, but he is fighting their relationship.

The other characters, Leo's brother and Nora' friend are great additions to the book. They are strong, kind and supportive.
Nora is so broken, but she seems to be headed towards healing faster than Leo is. Every time they get together, the attraction (both physical and emotional) is too hard to deny and ignore.

There are various levels of villains and antagonists. Some are pure evil, some are just annoying. They are well written. You REALLY hate the mother. She has no redeeming qualities. She is evil personified. There are other characters as well (high school mean girls, jealous 'girlfriend') that we love to hate too.
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