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Very Bad Things

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Katie never thought she'd be the girl with the popular boyfriend. She also never thought he would cheat on her - but the proof is in the photo that people at their boarding school can't stop talking about. Mark swears he doesn't remember anything. But Rose, the girl in the photo, is missing, and Mark is in big trouble. Because it looks like Rose isn't just gone… she's dead ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Delacorte Press
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Janelle I think that Tessa had a lot of built up anger and guilt because of what occurred with the fire that made any relationship difficult for her. I also t…moreI think that Tessa had a lot of built up anger and guilt because of what occurred with the fire that made any relationship difficult for her. I also think that she had almost a lover's obsession with Katie that made her extremely jealous of the Katie/Mark relationship. I agree that the "privilege protects him from pain" excuse does not accurately excuse her adverse feeling!(less)

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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  488 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I loved writing this book so much! It was hard work but I'm so happy with how the story turned out. The characters surprised me at every turn (I know that sounds weird to say, but it's true). And every time I read it now, even though I know what happens, I feel my heart start to pound faster and I'm on the edge of my seat. I hope everyone who reads Very Bad Things feels the same way. Enjoy! ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. That just got really crazy at the end, and I feel like I'm going to need a Venn diagram to comprehend it, but I'm definitely glad I picked this book up off the shelf. ...more
It took me a while to feel engaged with Very Bad Things, but once I did, I couldn't read this book fast enough. This is a short book in both pages and content, and the plot goes lightning fast, which makes for a compelling read.

The story is engaging and entertaining, but the thrills end early on in the story because the plot and the characters offhandedly give away the entire mystery and all the plot twists and that, in turn, inadvertently kind of ruined the climax and the big surprise. The suc
Magic Shop
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of boarding school mysteries.
Recommended to Magic Shop by:, public library.
When I read the blurb for this book I thought it looked really interesting. So when I didn't when the giveaway and found it at the library, I was really excited. It was a pretty short book with a lot of twists and turns. I usually enjoy reading mysteries especially if it has a cute couple to go along with it. This book had some. Suspenseful moments and stuff happened that I didn't expect. Then there was things that I knew was going to happen by the clues. But overall, it had a pretty good plot, ...more
Gretchen Oates
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Katie’s new boyfriend, Mark, is a dream-come-true; popular, handsome, and he seems to really “get” her. Too bad her best friend and roommate, Tessa, can’t stand him; his ex-girlfriend wants him back; and his hockey teammate is doing his best to cause trouble between them. Things get worse when a photo goes viral of Mark in a compromising position with another girl. Mark claims to be innocent, and ends up as the prime suspect when the girl’s dead body is found. This book is told in multiple persp ...more
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received the ARC of this book at the TLA conference this year. I had it sitting on a counter when my students came in the following Monday. They were so excited about my new books, and this one was so intriguing that my most avid volunteer/reader/student begged me to borrow it before it got processed for the shelves. The next day she brought it back with a friend who also wanted to borrow it. It went on like this for about two weeks! Each friend had a friend who had a friend and so on. Finally ...more
Claire Talbot
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
A very quick, entertaining read. A solid choice for lovers of "Pretty Little Liars". Dead bodies and cheating (maybe?) boyfriends and prep school angst. Thrown in some mysterious events in the past, a few scholarship students trying to fit in, and you've got yourself an engrossing mystery! ...more
Kelly Roberson
Jan 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately I just could not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I found that the characters were not likable at all. The main character in particular was so obsessed with her boyfriend I almost couldn't handle it. I also felt like some pretty serious issues occurred on this book that were not handled currently at all. The ended was thrilling for sure, but even so I found myself just rushing to be finished with the book in general. ...more
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Very bad book is more like it...

I'm sorry, but this one didn't work of me at all.
I picked up this book because I had seen it listed in a goodreads giveaway, and I remembered hat it had to do with murder and boarding/private schools. And it was also short! All of those things are things that I like!


With a title like 'Very bad things', I really hoped that this book would be quirky, or humorous, or intentionally over-the-top, or of the so-bad-it's-crazy-awesome variety
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thiller, mystery, ya
I love cheesy, poorly written YA books (See Twilight); but this takes the cake on just plain bad writing. The only reason I finished this book is because I wanted to confirm I knew who the killer's identity. ...more
Jolene Haley
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For fans of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and Gretchen McNeil's TEN, this YA thriller will thrill, delight, and leave you wanting more.

What I loved the most about this novel was the twisted web of lies and secrets that were the root of all problems--that intricately bound web was fun to dissect and figure out.

As I read, I sat there trying to figure out which narrator I could trust, which narrator was unreliable, and who was lying about what. I loved the multiple POVs in VERY BAD THINGS. It gave the novel
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, horror, prep-school
Fans of Pretty Little Liars will devour this.

Katie is a senior at a prep school and is no stranger to drama and heartache. When a pic of her boyfriend and misterious lookalike starts making the rounds on campus she believes life can't get any worse; that's when a severed hand arrives in a box with her name scrawled across the top.

What follows is a twisted story of past connections and present bad behavior that results in the death of an innocent young waitress and the revelation of ghosts rising
Sharon Chance
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Delving into the world of Young Adult writing is not for the faint-hearted, but author Susan McBride makes it look so easy with her latest exciting novel, "Very Bad Things."

This novel, which is chalk-full of teenage romance, angst, and a bit of murder, is a spine-tingling adventure that even adults will get a thrill out of. The characters are well-developed and fascinating and the setting is properly spooky. Geared more toward the female readership, "Very Bad Things" would be a great book for
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Although I've only read a few chapters I think this book is amazing! It's a wonderful book that keeps you wanting more! I love the thrill and mystery of Very Bad Things! I especially love how the book focuses on more than one character! I'm a fan of Pretty Little Liars and this book is right up my alley! The detail and thought put into the book is incredible and I can't wait to read more of the book! I am just so excited about this book that I had to post a review right away, even though I haven ...more
Courtney Whisenant
Quick, fun read. I think what I liked most was the writing style. This is the first book I've read by this author but it won't be my last. I also thought the mystery was well done. There were two obvious suspects that seemed completely unrelated so it was fun to read as the pieces started falling into place. As an avid reader, sometimes I just want to pick up a great story that is quick, well organized, concise, and compelling and this was that kind of book for me. I really enjoyed it! ...more
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
_Very Bad Things_ Is a Very Good Book.

Action, suspense, friendship and love (true?), bullying by the “in crowd” . . . even ice hockey, _Very Bad Things_ has it all. The setting, a scary gothic private school with tunnels, enhances the tension. While designated YA, good books know no age. I loved it! (YA fiction by Susan McBride)
Michelle Witte
I'm a sucker for pretty covers. YES, MORBID CAN BE PRETTY.

(And I just added a new Morbid shelf, because why did I not already have that? I'm a sucker for creepy/dark/morbid stories. And now I need Dark and Creepy shelves too.)
Erica Alyson
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this mystery and liked the characters a lot.
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Suspense, mystery, murder and a little romance. This book was very well written and a page turner. Quick read. 4.5 stars.
Oct 18, 2014 marked it as to-read
Although I haven't read it yet, the preview seems extremely good. I would love to read this book. Totally something in my genre interest. ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was a VERY GOOD THING
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-loaner
2.5 stars. Lacking both plot and character development.
Janelle Dazzlepants
You guessed it - this is another book I picked up when I was in need of a Pretty Little Liars fix! I keep finding myself drawn to YA high school murder mysteries to cleanse my palate in between contemporary YA and fantasy reading sprees, and this did the trick.

Very Bad Things is the story of Katie, a scholarship student at a prestigious boarding school who becomes embroiled in a deadly scandal. Katie’s boyfriend is photographed supposedly cheating on her with a girl who later winds up dead, tho
Thia Lee
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars...

I didn't plan on finishing this one tonight, but it was just that good! Once again I just don't understand why this doesn't have a better star rating. I am so glad I didn't pay attention to that and took a chance on this one because honestly it has been one of the best YA thriller/mysterys that I have read so far. "Missing" by Armstrong would have been right up there too had it not been for a terrible let down ending. Anyway...

This gave what it promised---a mystery thriller full of s
Dec 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: royal-lit
Very Bad Things is essentially The Phantom of the Opera set in a modern-day high school, with the gross-out factor raised by degrees.

Besides the glaring characterization issues and plot holes -- SPOILERS:
ex.1. For two weeks, this little campus is crawling with police and K9 units, and Peter, he of the distinct, overpowering smell of dank earth and mustiness, he of the midnight forays into the land of the living, is never discovered?
ex.2. Peter is badly enough burned that he cannot leave finger
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok

Writing Style

Oh, YA! You are such a vast genre that sometimes I forget that not all books within you are written in glorious prose or verse. I'm in a slump lately, to be honest. Every single book I've read since The Tragic Age has fallen flat, because the prose simply doesn't compare. The book is written at a nice pace, no glaring factual errors exist, etc. but I'm just not getting that amazing voice from the characters or narrator.

Jac O
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Katie’s new boyfriend Mark is the jock of their boarding school, the popular guy that the other girls want. She never expected to be with someone like him and never expected him to cheat on her. When a photo gets leaked of a guy and a missing girl, Mark turns out to be in big trouble and the supposed suspect for why she is missing. He promises to Katie that he doesn’t remember the girl in the photo or the night at all. Katie is desperate to find the bottom of this mystery, on her journey to find ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Mark! Did you kill Rose? You were the last one to be with her." What if you forgot everything that happened that night? You know that you didn't kill her but people are determined to make you the main suspect. This book is called "Very Bad Things" written by Susan McBride. This book is a mystery book that is split into three parts. Each chapter is based on Katie, Tessa or Mark. There is a narrator of the story so it is not based on perspective. This is a fast-moving book. It is hard to guess wh ...more
Shyla Colt
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a tough read for me. The story moved slowish and I couldn't' connect to the characters enough to care what happened to them. They all seemed cliche and overly exaggerated. Katie, the lead female was the good girl who managed to snag the star athlete whose father ran the campus of the private school she had the scholarship to attend.
Add her shrewish roommate Tess who hates Mark, the big man on campus boyfriend, and you have a bunch of unnecessary drama that goes in a round robin. He's u
Natália Lopes
So, this was ok if you enjoy YA mystery novels in boarding schools and a touch of something PLL-esque. But I found that the answer was kinda obvious from almost the beginning of the novel and every time something happened it only lead right into the directions it was pointed at from the start - which, in a mystery/thriller novel, where the thrill is to try to discover what happens and be surprised at the plot twists, it's not a very good thing. It took most of my enjoyment of the story and the c ...more
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Susan McBride is the USA Today Bestselling author of Blue Blood and five more award-winning Debutante Dropout Mysteries from HarperCollins, including The Good Girl's Guide To Murder, The Lone Star Lonely Hearts Club, Night Of The Living Deb, Too Pretty To Die, and Say Yes to the Death. Susan has a second bestselling series with HC/Avon, the River Road Mysteries, that include To Helen Back, Mad as ...more

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