Blurb (from Goodreads):
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?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Heidi Acosta.)
17-year-old Barbie wants nothing more than to turn 18 and get the hell out of town, taking her autistic younger brother (Everett) with her, and if getting someone to tutor her in math is what it takes, it’s what she’ll do.
Dylan only has eyes for Katie, and when Barbie asks him for free tutoring he tells her no, until she offers him some tutoring himself – tutoring in how to get Katie, the girl he has had a crush on forever.
Things aren’t as straightforward as they seem though, and although Dylan finds himself falling for Barbie, he doesn’t know that her mother is a drug addict, or that she looks after her younger brother, and when she turns to his best friend for help, he gets the wrong idea and ends their relationship.
Can Barbie and Dylan ever make it work? Will Dylan ever get Katie? And what will happen to Barbie and her younger brother?
This was quite a fun read, but even though Barbie may have resembled a perfect blond Barbie Doll, her life was anything but perfect.
Barbie had a bit of a reputation for being easy, even though she wasn’t, and although her grades weren’t brilliant, she actually cared enough to try and improve them because she knew that it was up to her to keep her younger brother safe. Barbie really was a caring and conscientious person, and she tried to keep the bad parts of her life out of public knowledge. I really felt for what she was going through, especially as her younger brother had autism, and I really wanted things to work out between her and Dylan.
I thought the romance in this story was quite sweet, and I really wanted Dylan and Barbie to realise that they liked each other, and get together. I wasn’t very impressed that Dylan persisted in going after Katie for so long, even after he realised he had feelings for Barbie, but I suppose he just didn’t want to admit his feelings.
I was glad that there were some side characters in the story who helped Barbie when she was in trouble, and when we eventually found out what ‘Thirds’ real name was it was quite funny! I have to say that I haven’t gotten used to the name ‘Barbie’ though, even after finishing the book it still feels like I am insulting her by calling her by her own name! The name ‘Barbie’ just seems to have certain stereotypes attached to it, and Barbie herself was nothing like that at all.
I was surprised at how well Barbie’s younger brother Everett coped with what was going on though. Considering that he had autism he seemed to cope with changes and new places extremely well, and I felt a little concerned for him with all the stuff that was going on. Having a bad mom must be even worse when you are suffering from something as difficult as autism.
I liked the storyline in this book, and I liked how Barbie tried to stay strong for her younger brother. I really wished that she would have been honest with Dylan though as it would have made things much easier for the pair of them. I got that she didn’t want him to know how screwed up her mother was, but I’m sure he would have helped her had he known, and things would have certainly gone smoother for the pair of them had she allowed him to help her.
The ending of this story was good, but not everything was tied up, I assume that this story will be continued in a second book. It would be good to find out what happens to Barbie and Dylan and to see whether they will get a happily ever after. It will also be good to find out what happens to Barbie’s younger brother Everett, and to see what becomes of their mother.
Overall; and light and entertaining read, dealing with a ‘Barbie’ whose world isn’t so perfect.
7 out of 10.