21 February 2013

Barbie Girl Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Title: Barbie Girl (Baby Doll #1)
Author: Heidi Acosta
Publication date: November 1st 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

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?



I have mixed emotions about this book. I wanted to like so more than I do now but there were a few things (more like one big thing) that didn't quite click for me.

Do know that while I exhaust a very long paragraph for the sake of hating on one character, that doesn't mean I didn't like the book.........

My biggest concern was... *drum roll* Dylan. Usually I would like the love interest more than the protagonist because he's so very swoon worthy and all but in this case... meh. Don't get me wrong - I like Dylan. In fact, he's my ideal guy who probably doesn't exist in real life - nerdy (as in Star Wars nerdy) but looks smokin' hot (he worked on his physique to avoid getting bullied). I liked him whenever he was with Barbie. I thought he was sweet, kind, and he genuinely liked Barbie's company. But then he starts getting confused over his "feelings" for Katie and his undeniable, unexplainable attraction to Barbie. It got to the point where I felt like he was being overly indecisive when the choice was obvious, and I was just... DUDE GROW SOME BALLS. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND. You are ruining the hot geek fantasy for me! Fine, maybe on some level I understood where he was coming from. He's been fantasizing about Katie for so long that it was hard to let go of the dream when Barbie came into the picture. Add that to the fact that Barbie had a reputation and he was finding it hard to fully trust her. On the surface, he may have convinced himself that he didn't care about the rumors but at the back of his mind he always believed them so when push came to shove, he snapped. I don't know. I just felt like his indecisiveness paved way for all the crap that happened between him and Barbie as well as with his best friend, Third (who I loved by the way but I'll get to that). 

Now my only other issue, and it's a minor one, is the switching POVs. I was stoked to read the first chapter seeing that it's actually written in Dylan's POV but then I got to the next chapter and --- oh. So Barbie's in it too. Duh. What I'm trying to say is the chapters weren't marked with their names. Some parts got a bit confusing because their POVs would change within the chapter and it sort of disrupted the smooth flow of the story for me. On the one hand, I also liked that I can see the story through Dylan's eyes because it gave me a better perspective of things... even if it meant reading pages and pages of Dylan being a stubborn ass.

On to the good stuff!

I'll be honest. I liked this book mostly because I felt like I was reading a bit of Easy A meets Pushing the Limits. I'm usually skeptical about opposites attract story lines because it always starts with the boy and girl hating each other then suddenly they're all touchy feely. It's all so formulaic. It somehow happened in Barbie Girl but it wasn't like most of the books I've read with the same theme. I think it's because the characters felt real and relatable that it became bearable for me, enjoyable even. Nothing felt forced or unreal - it's like everything just happened naturally because that's the way it should happen.

On to the characters that I did love. 

Barbie. She's a tough chick on the outside, known for being the campus slut and all but deep down she's vulnerable. She's a regular girl who has a soft spot for kids and funny fat guys. I know to some that can get confusing and it doesn't really work for them that she's a softy who cries easily but com'on, give the girl a break. It's only natural for her react that way when pushed to her limits because she's had a tough life. I liked her spunk, I like how bad ass and IDGAF she was in front of everyone just to keep up with the rumors people believed. Like I said, I it was a bit like Easy A (if you haven't seen that one, you should. Emma Stone is ahmazing!). Most importantly, I liked that she was simply herself in front of people she genuinely cares for.

Third. Dylan's fat best friend. Third was such a delight to read! He's funny, he's easy-going, he saw Barbie for who she truly was and he didn't put up with Dylan's crap - which I loved. (I feel like I'm demonizing Dylan too much. I swear I liked the hot geek too!) I liked that the story included a Third (I suck at puns) character in the story, it really doubled the enjoyment factor for me.

I also liked the turn of events around 80% of the book onwards. It brought something new to the story and it was pretty a pretty cool sort of twist too. It broke the monotony of Barbie trying to figure out the complicated relationship with Dylan, and Dylan being a douche. 

Overall, Barbie Girl was a quick, fun read for me. I was hooked from start to finish and I'd definitely want to check out the next book in the series. I need to know what else happened to Barbie and Dylan. The ending left me wanting more!

Oh and... I'm giving this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is a FIRST for me. I don't like half star ratings because I feel like the reviewer's being indecisive but since Dylan did precisely that, I'll give this book a half star. Yes, I am still hating on Dylan. I have GOT to read the next book.

My Rating
(Refer to rating system)

***I received an e-copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.

P.S. I was listening to this song by One Direction while writing this review and I realized this is the perfect song for Barbie and Dylan. I'm sorry for being such a major cheeseball.

About the author
Heidi Acosta

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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