VERY WICKED THINGS (Briarcrest Academy #2)
By Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Ebook
Rating: 4 stars!
NOTE: It is recommended you read Very Wicked Beginnings first. (Prequel Novella).
WARNING: This new adult romance is dark with sexual situations and graphic language. Over 18 please.
Ballerina Dovey Beckham is a scholarship student at Briarcrest Academy, determined to prove she’s more than just a girl with the wrong pedigree. She does whatever it takes to succeed in her endgame, even if it means surrendering her body but never her heart.
Until the day she meets him, and he rips apart all her well-laid plans. Suddenly, the girl everyone thought unbreakable might just shatter.
Cuba “Hollywood” Hudson is rich, spoiled, and a star football player. With his fast cars and superficial girlfriends, he lives the high-life, hiding his secrets from the world.
Until the day he meets her, and she offers him something he’s never tasted…love.
But once in a lifetime kind of love doesn’t come easy…especially when dirty money, past sins, and old flames come calling.
Welcome to Briarcrest Academy, where sometimes, only the wicked survive.
Ilsa Madden-Mills blew me away in VERY WICKED THINGS! Holy crap! I’m so full of emotion right now! The amazingly written storyline combined with unforgettable characters made this a 4 star book for me!
The book starts off with Dovey & Cuba’s senior year of high school. They aren’t on speaking terms and it takes awhile to connect the dots from the prequel (VERY WICKED BEGINNINGS) to now but it eventually all comes out. Personally I thought the overall story flowed pretty well and had a lot of high intensity drama going on. Seriously, it was one big “omg” moment to the next and I swear my heart was barely able to contain all the angst!!!
Just this one horrific day, I wanted her tenderness and perhaps her absolution. —Cuba, Very Wicked Things.
Cuba’s character left me reeling. He’s not a hearts & flowers guy and he never pretends to be. Some people may not be able to excuse his actions towards Dovey when they were broken up, but I could. Heck, he’s 18 and still in high school..give the guy a break. He’s going to be a douche and a dumba** sometimes. And I could also see that he found no other way to push Dovey away from him other than being hateful. He knew he had to break her so she wouldn’t keep coming back because Dovey is just that stubborn. On the outside Cuba aka “Hollywood” has everything: Money, popularity, etc but on the inside Cuba is years older than he seems. He’s lost so many people and this is the main reason why he pushes Dovey away. He doesn’t want to end up hurting her in the long run. Logical? No. Understandable? Yes. Cuba is a dark character and he owns up to his mistakes in the end. I feel as if we started out reading about this broken kid but by the end we’re reading about a man who understands life better. It was pretty fascinating to watch.
I love her, man. I don’t give a shit what she did or who she did it with or why she did it or how many times. I can’t fucking breathe without her. –Cuba, Very Wicked Things
Dovey has become one of my favorite characters. She’s real and she’s a survivor. She’s lived horribly as a child and she has finally found a good thing with Sarah, a dance teacher who actually gave her a chance and eventually became her family.
“Don’t want your pity,” I said, thrusting my chest out. Pity is for losers and weaklings. “I want somebody to believe in me.” –Dovey, Very Wicked Things.
“Whoever you become is entirely up to you. Remember that.” –Sarah, Very Wicked Things.
In VERY WICKED THINGS, Dovey has to face some very intense demons. Her mother basically neglected her, her father is this horrible person that doesn’t love her. Instead, he is a big part of her pain. On top of all that she has to deal with Cuba pushing her away and breaking her into a million pieces. The decisions she has to make are unthinkable to most, but she doesn’t cower. She picks herself up and does what she feels she has to do in order to save Sarah, her family. Dovey proves herself time and time again that she will give every broken piece of herself to the ones she loves. It’s inspiring. Yes, what she chooses to do is sickening and downright disgusting, but I can’t look down on her for it. Hell, I’m proud of her for enduring hell and coming out on the other side still holding on to herself and her hope and her optimism.
We all travel life’s highway, making good and bad choices based on upbringing and beliefs. And, in the end, we have to be able to live with what we’ve done. It’s how we live with our choices that count. And I wanted to believe I could live with this. –Dovey, Very Wicked Things.
I can’t say enough how much this book affected me. It was gut-wrenching. It broke my heart and then put it back together in the most beautiful way. Together Dovey and Cuba heal each other. They help each other to forgive themselves and move on with life. These characters are perfect for each other and the chemistry is freakin’ explosive!
But, I don’t know, somehow, my hope came back, but it’s not complete. You’re a light I need. Like a thousand fucking suns.–Cuba, Very Wicked Things.
Also, I want to point out that it’s not just the main characters that were well-developed. The secondary characters were just as amazing and I’m excited for Sebastian’s book! Spider is another character I definitely want more of!