Barbie Girl (Baby Doll #1) by Heidi Acosta
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
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?
Cover Talk: I love this cover. After reading the book, I don’t think any other girl could possible be Barbie aside from chick on the cover. I also like the words in the gritty font.
First Line: “Her words are an arrow shot straight at my heart.”
Why I Read It: When Giselle posted this book on the Xpresso Book Tours site, I took one look at the cover and said, “Yes.” Then I read the synopsis and said, “Hells yes.”
Characters: Barbie is quite the damaged and broken girl. She puts on a smile and a ”fuck you” attitude to hide that fact that she’s in pain. She just wants to be numb from it all. Her mother is drunk and high all the time and can’t function properly to take care of Barbie or Everett. Barbie takes care of her little brother and everything she does and suffers through, is all for him. I absolutely love Barbie.
Dylan is a nerdy, up-tight guy in love with the popular, pretty girl of the school. When Barbie enters his life, he starts feeling and doing things that he never thought would be him. Through out the whole book, he is constantly at war with himself. Does he want the normal that Katie can give him? Or does he want the fireworks and chaos that only Barbie can give him? I have to say, I wanted to punch this dude. A lot. His back and forth was killing me.
Third is by far the best character in this book. Yes, his sleazy mind can get kind of ridiculous, but he is the most wonderful friend that any one could ever ask for. No judgements. And the relationship he has with Barbie is probably the best relationship in this book.
Plot/World-building: Acosta’s Barbie Girl is unlike any YA contemporary that I’ve ever read. Instead of the same old good girl-bad boy routine, it’s bad girl-good boy instead. And what’s even more refreshing, is that the “bad girl” is not actually bad. Barbie and Dylan’s relationship is complicated, to say the least. They are from two completely different worlds and ideally should not be together. But what I loved so much about them is that they brought out something in each other. Dylan bring out feelings and real emotions in Barbie. And Barbie brings out a more carefree side of Dylan.
This book is so dramatic and intense. And I swear I mean that as a compliment. Between Dylan’s obsession with popular girl Katie, Barbie’s troubled life, and Dylan and Barbie’s complicated relationship, I couldn’t put this book down. I read it in one sitting and went through just about every emotion possible.
My only problem with this book is not with the story itself, but the editing. There are a LOT of grammatical and punctuation problems that distracted me quite a bit. I’m not normally one to harp on this topic because I am in no way perfect when it comes to all of that. But the flow of the book was off in many parts due to lack of attention to detail and I hope one day the book will be updated and fixed.
As for the ending, I am hoping the sequel comes out soon. I had to go back and re-read the last chapter because I thought “Surely, it doesn’t actually end here.” But it does. It did. And I really need to read more about Barbie and Dylan.
Final Thoughts: Grammatical and punctuation problems aside, I really loved this book. Barbie and Dylan are going down as one of my favorite couples and I will be reading any and all of Heidi’s coming books. P.S. Her second book is called Barbie World. Ha! Yes.
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