Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Very Bad Things

(Briarwood Academy #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  17,029 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews
Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect...

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless
Paperback, 389 pages
Published September 9th 2013 by Little Dove Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Very Bad Things, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Brandi No. It kind of hints at the possibility in the start, but it really isn't.…moreNo. It kind of hints at the possibility in the start, but it really isn't.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,029 ratings  ·  1,591 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1)
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: pb, english
Absolutely predictable and not really surprising. However, it was exactly what I needed at the moment; it just fit my mood — an easy read to relax a bit.
I just wish there were a few more chapters at the end when it finally became more interesting than the rest of the book.
Alexis *Reality Bites*
SPOILER FREE REVIEW -mature content reader discretion is advised.
5 STARS out of 5
Genre: New Adult Romance

 photo 7214365f-1f5c-4656-a701-dd087251bb59_zpsf779b696.jpg

 photo d9a7e9ec-ef64-45e8-b6ab-cdddc7260a83_zps11aa94e8.jpg

It is not often you come across an author whose writing has the ability to captivate your mind and infiltrate your heart with beautiful well developed characters such as Nora Blakely.

She’s a beauty queen.
She’s super intelligent.
She’s super rich.
She is an accomplished pianist.
She's little Ms. Perfect. she?
When Nora decides her perfect to the outside world yet secretly flawed and p
Duchess Nicole
More like 2.5 stars...

Okay, I'm going to start off by's you guys (and the author) don't hate me. The most vast majority of my friends, and indeed, all of Goodreads, five starred this book. Not only that, but there was a nice mix of my friends who have extremely varying tastes who really loved this book. So I was ever so hopeful, and quite possibly set the bar too high before I ever even started. I'm just jotting down my thoughts now, and take this opinion for what it's
Ilsa Madden-Mills
Amazon Top 10 Bestseller

"One of the top five New Adult romances of 2013." --A is for Alpha, B is for Book Blog

What happens when the perfect girl makes a very bad list?

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She's an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She's perfect.
Or is she?

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on p
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
I wanted to laugh at this book.

All I saw in this book was that the chick NORA is a wannabe.. She wants to become a self proclaimed party animal.. [New Miley Cyrus]

She wants to have A LOT of sex, do drugs, and always be drunk.

THIS book has no emotions, No story-story as such. I see NO base plot.

(view spoiler)
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
Great in Audio!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧
Romance: 💋💋💋💋
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📙📕📗📙
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌏🌎
Character development: 👨🏻👱🏻‍♀️🧔🏻👩🏻

Favorite Quote: Nora to mean girl “Sometimes I wish I had a lower IQ so I could enjoy your company.”

The heroine: Nora Blakely - she has a genius IQ and is spinning out of control because of her terrible home life. She is tired of faking so much in her life and doing all she can to be the perfect everything for her mother (perfect d
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it
3 Bad Girl Stars!!

Unfortunately, after all the good things I read about this, it was just “meh” for me.


On the outside Nora is the perfect girl. Pressured by her mother she is popular, belongs to every club in her prestigious academy and has perfect grades, perfect style, and perfect behavior.
But after something that happened to her on the past, she feels ugly inside and she is done with being the perfect girl. Now, she’s going to be herself. Except she doesn't know who the real her is and so s
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
2 stars!


^because Leo’s “stupid on a stick.”

Anyways, this book was truly a disappointment. What started out as a promising 4 or 5 star read gradually dwindled down to the point where I loathed the main characters (especially the hero) and just wanted the book to be OVER with.

I’m going to start off positive and say that the first 25% was awesome – love Nora’s defiance, was intrigued by Leo’s feigned indifference, and adored the secondary characters, especially Leo’s younger brother Sebastian. The
Geri Reads
2.5 stars

This was me before I started the book.

After a couple of chapters, I was feeling like this...

And then...

Yeah. This book had a lot of promise but sadly, it didn't deliver. The plot had a lot of promise. A troubled young girl meets a hot, albeit older guy (he's 25 and she's 18 and still in high school), they have that connection and undeniable attraction. It's kismet, right?

Don't get me wrong, there are things that I really liked. But somehow the things I didn't like just
Aestas Book Blog
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it

Hmmmmmmm... 3.5 stars (don't hate me!!)

I read this one because of all the glowing recommendations I'd received for it. So many readers are absolutely loving this book at the moment and I can certainly see why. It has a lot of the "check marks" for me too -- swoony, tattooed hero, a slightly angsty, almost forbidden (ish) tension/attraction between the hero and heroine, and it's a standalone so you can read the whole story in one sitting. But... it didn't fully float my boat because there were j
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
 photo jon_is_disappointed_zps5d2469a6.gif

I'm conflicted on how to rate this one. After thinking about it more feels like 2.5 stars and going by how I felt and the Goodreads rating system I will round up to the 3 stars meaning:

3 stars - it means 'it really was ok, not very good, but I don't want to say mostly bad, either'.

This is one of the few times in which the Hero, Leo, was more annoying than the Heroine,Nora. Yes, she had issues and she did some dumb shit - but you know what that's part of growing up and self discovery. I found mys
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Some would say love at first sight is ridiculous, and perhaps love never happens for those people at all. I kept thinking about what Sebastian had said: that when it was real then you know it. I looked at Leo, sitting there around his friends and family and knew the truth. I loved him. Forever. Was it surprising that as I was searching for myself, I’d also found love? Yeah. Fate, destiny, karma, kismet, God, crazy coincidences, or whatever you wanted to call it, had written in the stars that ...more
"...You can't let the shame of your past affect your future."

I found this book to be a pleasant surprise, and so much more than just a romance story. In fact, the main characters; Nora Blakely, and Leo Tate did that pull and push thing that we all hate so much, and for the majority of the book they were not together. My higher rating comes from the fact that I really enjoyed the writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters and the relationships that everyone had with one a
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, 2013

Very Bad Things by Ilsa Madden Mills is so freakin’ bad, I want to be naughty girl myslef!

Roller coaster ride full of twist and turns, Very Bad Things is suspenful, full of action, intense and passionate read that can be finished in one sitting, while biting your nails, laughing hard, wiping tears and fighting with lady boner.

Step by step, page by page I slowly fell in love with this complex bittersweet story about finding yourself, finding closure, love and finally happiness.

This story follows
 ♥  Barb ♥
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Bad decisions can make some damn good memories."

 photo verybadthings3_zpsbea25df8.jpg

"I NEVER met a girl I couldn't say GOODBYE to".... that is until Nora walked into my life.
This is the story about 25 yr old gorgeous business owner, Leo and 19 yr old sweet, broken Nora. Leo doesn't do girlfriends, flowers, relationships EVER, he has been busy raising his younger brother Sebastian (view spoiler) for the past 8 years. Nora? My heart went out to this girl. Her family life was crazy, serio
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love
4.5--Very Good--Stars!!

I had no idea this story took place in Dallas--my hometown! So it was fun to read about some of the places and things I was familiar with.

The story begins with Norah giving a big 'ole Fuck You to the upcoming Senior class of Briarcrest Academy. Norah has always tried to be perfect. Get the perfect grades, wear the perfect clothes, act a perfect way.....all to please her mother.

Norah and Leo meet that day....he's parked in the car next to hers where Norah is waiting for t
It always baffles me when reviews go on & on about soulmates and true love when the bottom line is that this piece of shit fuckwit spends almost 100% of this "love" story fucking OW while constantly rejecting his soulmate who keeps demeaningly throwing herself at him. Since when did "degrading" become the new word for "love story".

Someone tell me how this is a great love story of soulmates and how this dirtbag is a great hero. And don't bother bleating on about this moron's mediocre pathetic ins
Jennifer Kyle
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
3 Bad Girl Stars


Well there’s angst and then there’s waiting a whole book for the guy to get his head out of his ass. I mean I get his issues with hiding from true love when it hit him right in the face. Their age differences and the loss of his parents, but ugh I was frustrated pretty much till the last chapter. Thus my lower end rating.

Nora Blakely was a great main character! She is a senior in high school with a famous mother (BITCH) who expects her daughter to maintain her perfect imagine. No
✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝

This book so didn't work for me, sadly!

Nora is American princess with rich parents, lives in mansion, smart, beauty queen and yet has a past that she tries to hide from. On top of that, her parents for busy with their lifestyle. And she meets her knight, Leo Tate. Leo Tate, on the other hand, has commitment issues as he lost his parents at a young age and lives for his younger brother, his band and to keep his dad's gym dream alive. Music connected them both.

Their UST is delicious in the beginni
Toski Covey

Doesn't that title reel you in? I mean, what do you consider Very Bad ? Making lists of your deepest darkest desires? Being promiscuous? Chasing the older Very bad boy? Well, what if you are acting as though you are Very Bad when in reality.. you are living a Very Bad "fake" life..

Nora Blakey is living a life of luxury.. She has it all.. Money, perfect looks, perfect grades, perfect home.. Or so it appears to the outside world.

Leo Tate is a bad boy who is raising his brother aft
Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~
Was this book good? Yes but I almost feel like there was too much going on....It was every possible NA storyline all thrown together....

Where to start...Lets go through our list of characters....

So you have our heroine, Nora, child genius, music prodigy, spelling bee champ, debate club, yearbook staff, etc etc. etc, overachiever b/c of her mom who used to be fat and ugly who decides she has had enough and is going to rebel and dye her hair, wear slutty clothes, get drunk, tattoos, piercings, and
Missy Johnson
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know when you get near the end of a book and you slow down your reading because as much as you want to find out what happens you don't want it to end?

Or maybe that's just me...either way, that's how this book had me feeling.

I loved everything about this book. I'd been aching to read it since Ilsa announced it's upcoming release at the start of the year, so naturally I had really, really high expectations. I'm happy to say VBT exceeded them all.

I fell in love with Leo and Nora, and even Seba
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars You have to give it points for being so readable. And hot.

Things I liked:

-- strong, vulnerable heroine who is unapologetically secure in her femininity, sexual power, and identity
-- engaging narrative voice
-- humor
-- extremely flammable sexual tension
-- memorable characters
-- story that isn't just about the romance, but is also about college, pressure to perform, future plans, parental relationships, and side friendships as well
-- drugs and alcohol included in a way that didn't feel e
Oct 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
"Very Bad Things" indeed... Namely this book!

All Aboard The KuKu Train As We Coast Into Incest & Rape

First, I think the author should've included a warning that this book contained trigger subjects of rape and incest... Cheating, too. So, I don't consider those bits of info a spoiler!

Moving on...


Good gravy in Pelahatchie was this bitch nutso; I'm talking certifiable KuKu for CoCo, okay?!?

Rich girl problems with parents that treat her like a doll and demand unobtainable perfection... I get
Tanya Witt
FIVE+++++++++FANTASTIC FUCKING 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.

Happiness. I believed few people ever achieved it.

Nora is in her last year of
Jac K
2.5 “young angsty” Stars

He was my Prince Charming, but I wasn’t his Cinderella.

I read this book years ago but never got around to writing a review and noticed the audiobook was on scribd. I had a vague memory of it being angsty, so I decided to give it a shot. I finished basically agreeing 100% with everything my GR buddy Mojo said… (I gobbled certain parts up, but other parts made me roll my eyes hard.) so this will pretty much be a regurgitation of her review. 😊

Nora is a wealthy 18/19-yea
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
 photo tumblr_lrj832BNcI1qie0dc.gif

I am not sure how I feel about this one. First off I had some seriously high expectations, and I am a bit disappointed. I hate when I do that, it almost seems unfair to the story - because maybe I would have felt different if I had not been expecting so much. The writing was good and there were times when I was really interested in where the story was going... But there was so much going on and it all seemed skimmed over. I needed more depth or something. I just don't know.
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Fave of 2013

I've been totally drawn to this story since the day I watched the trailer, and the freaking gorgeous cover also had me gaga for this book. So, once I finally had it at my wee little fingertips, I DEVOURED it. I could not stop reading, I needed to satiate my hunger for all things Nora Blakely....and Leo Tate too!

Nora, Nora, Nora!!! Girl you've gone and rocked my world. I've never hoped for a character to come out on top, as I did Nora. She's the epitome of perfection, beauty
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
To the outside world Nora Blakely appears to have a perfect life. She’s smart, pretty, rich and put together... but all that is just what’s on the outside. The perfect appearance is just a way to hide the secrets. But when pressed to put on her fake smile and give the audience what they expect, Nora can’t find the words... so instead she tells them all to fuck off. Nora isn’t going to be perfect. She is tired of being good. For one moment she felt numb and she wants to feel that again and again. ...more
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it

“She’s this beautiful chaos.” – Leo Tate

Nora Blakely is eighteen and in her last year of high school at Briarcrest Academy. She’s tired of living her perfect manufactured life. She’s tired of keeping her secrets. She’s tired of her tyrant of a mother dictating her life, expecting her to be flawless, the best, exemplary at everything she does. Her mother has failed miserably at being a mother. So, instead of giving a perfect little speech to everyone on registration day, her defiance flairs
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Relationship Pact (Kings of Football, #3)
  • The Romantic Pact (Kings of Football, #2)
  • Fumbled Hearts (Fumbled Futures #1)
  • 9: A Forced Proximity Roadtrip Romance
  • Todos mis amigos
  • Campus God: An Enemies-to-Lovers Football Romance (Campus Series Book 4)
  • Sweet on Her (Lakeview Prep Duet Book 1)
  • The Kiss List (Fulton U Rivals, #2)
  • Ryder
  • Un mágico atardecer en Texas
  • Oh là là! Amor: Un dulce la mar de salado
  • Kiss and Tell (St. Francis U, #1)
  • Semanas de siete martes
  • Contentar al demonio (Desde Miami con Amor, #1)
  • Montañeros, una dama en las cumbres
  • Montañeros, un engaño salvaje
  • The Change Up (The Brentwood Boys, #5)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
#1 Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills pens angsty new adult and contemporary romances.

A former high school English teacher and librarian, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wi

Other books in the series

Briarwood Academy (3 books)
  • Very Wicked Things (Briarwood Academy, #2)
  • Very Twisted Things (Briarwood Academy, #3)

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
55 likes · 7 comments
“Behind every beautiful thing is a world of pain.” 53 likes
“He was my Prince Charming, but I wasn't his Cinderella.” 46 likes
More quotes…