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Facing the Music #2

A Girl Called Malice

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It’s not easy being the Queen Bee. Alice Taylor should know.

You know that girl. The one that the whole school’s social life seems to revolve around. Alice used to be that girl until she decided to quit sixth form college. Suddenly her ‘friends’ aren’t so interested in following her around and her attention-grabbing behaviour is about to get her kicked out of home. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, her world starts spiralling seriously out of control.

Only new friend Zac Newton seems to believe in her. Lifeguard and poolside hottie, Zac is quite literally her lifesaver. But then, he’s never met ‘Malice’, her mean-girl alter ego, and Alice wants to keep it that way. She knows this is her last chance for a fresh start until her sordid past catches up with her at the worst possible moment.

As everything Alice has worked towards comes crashing down around her, she realises that the hardest thing of all is being yourself…

304 pages, ebook

First published October 3, 2014

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About the author

Aurelia B. Rowl

4 books108 followers
Aurelia B. Rowl writes sweet yet sexy contemporary romance stories, as well as young adult and new adult romances.

She lives on the edge of the Peak District in the UK with her very understanding husband and their two fantastic children. When she’s not writing, you’ll often find her curled up with a book or out running, making the most of the trails and fells surrounding her home or legging it around her local parkrun.

Too often lost in her own world, she has an alarm to remind her to collect her children from school and regularly wows her family with curious, hastily thrown together meals as a result of getting too caught up with her latest project… or five! She has also developed the fine art of ignoring the housework and makes an excellent taxi for her children’s many activities and enviable social life.

To find out more about Aurelia, or check out her latest news, you can visit her website: www.aureliabrowl.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,911 followers
March 5, 2016
I'm giving up on this one. I just am not in the mood for some boy/girl drama. I am skipping rating it because it's not that bad..I think it's just not my cup of tea.
I'm bored and need to move on.

I received an arc copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

ETA: Fangirls who want to comment and condemn me for not reading the books comments will be deleted and asses blocked. It's my frigging review...AND IT'S NOT A BAD REVIEW
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
July 1, 2016
5 Words: Mean-Girls, friendship, love, surprising, change.

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would fail. I would fail terribly.

When I read Popping the Cherry I have to admit that I pretty much hated Alice. She was a mainly peripheral character, she didn't really take up the limelight, but she was one nasty bitch. So when I heard about A Girl Called Malice, a chance to read the mean girl's story, I'm not sure what I expected.

I certainly didn't expect what I read.

A Girl Called Malice is one of those books that challenges your judgement. And I absolutely love it. It's a little different from the first book, more NA than YA, but it's still about growing and and finding out who you are.

Alice is a fantastically complex character. Just when you think you know her, BAM. Surprise! You learn something new.

The ending was just beautiful. I really liked how it played out. THAT dress not only sounds exquisite, it is.

And... Hazelnut Lattes are delicious and addictive. Trust me, after reading this book I tried one.

I received a copy of this for free from the author for review purposes.
Profile Image for Claire.
2,308 reviews702 followers
June 9, 2016
4 - For one night only, could the real Alice Taylor please step forward. Stars.

It has taken me a while to read this book, and that is not due to it being poorly written, far from it. I have struggled with the storyline itself. Having read and loved Popping the Cherry I was interested to see how Aurelia would tell Alice’s story, and it is a much darker and emotive tale.

In PtC, she was the character you hated, the bully, the belittler, the ring-leader, I didn’t have much sympathy for her when she got her comeuppance, and seeing behind the mask of a bully, usually turns out to be enlightening.

Putting other people down gave me a back-handed boost.

This is one of those books you need to persevere with, Alice for the first 40-50% seems to bumble from one car crash too the next. The glimmers of the person she could be only really shine through when she is spending time with a little boy called Charlie (can’t say too much as it would be a bit spoilery), the rest of the time she is still pretty abhorrent, there is an underlying reason for it though, and it becomes more and more apparent as the book progresses.

From the person she portrays to her peers, to the person she actually is and wants to be, there are glaring differences, and I loved Zac, he definitely bought out the best in Alice, and even when she was at her worst her tried to do right by her. This isn’t an easy book to read some of the time, Alice’s current and early life isn’t a pretty one, but Aurelia has written the story so well, that you get involved, even when you hate something she does, you can see her twisted reasoning behind it. She is a product of her upbringing in a way, and although certainly abhorrent in a lot of her actions, she is also an underdog, and we all like to root for one of those now don’t we.

Stick with this one, you will find it is worth it in the end.

ARC generously provided via Netgalley in exchange for the above honest review.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,254 followers
January 14, 2015
ARC provided by author in exchange of honest review

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When Aurelia Bowl contacted me if I wanted to read her book A Girl Called Malice, I was so eager to dive into this book after I read her first book Popping the Cherry. This book was an absolute breath of fresh air that allows us to see that never everything is black and white. This book was brilliant, heartbreaking, emotional, captivating and simply beautiful all in one.

Alice Taylor aka Malice was the Queen Bee. The girl that you hate. The bully. She is selfish, heartless, evil and nasty. She treats her boyfriends like yesterdays news. So what I found intriguing about this book was that I was drawn to her character. And as the story progress, readers are finally shown a glimpse of the real Alice. The one who no longer puts this facade of makeup and snarky attitude but the heartbreaking Alice. Deep down, she is a vulnerable and caring person. What I love about this book is the character growth of Alice. From once a hated character to a beloved heroine.

A Girl Called Malice was an enjoyable book and I must thank Aurelia Bowl for giving me the opportunity to read another book of hers and I look forward to more from her.

Aurelia B. Rowl
Review can also be found on Four Chicks Flipping Pages: http://fourchicksflippingpages.weebly...

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Profile Image for Reet Singh.
Author 10 books83 followers
October 19, 2014
A Girl Called Malice.
What a roller coaster ride. Darker than dark to start with, and then about midway through things start to lighten up – then they darken, then lighten - as I said, an Aurelia B. Rowl roller coaster!

So many bumps on the road for Alice, horrid soul-breaking bumps, and she isn't even 18 years old yet. You wonder if the last bump will be her last – if it will break her. But that girl is a fighter. A survivor. She keeps coming back, and keeps getting slugged – seriously blasted.

Aurelia B Rowl doesn't pull her punches.

Then, mercifully for Alice, things start to look up. She meets some fantastic people. The second half is much kinder to her. Zac is fabulous – accepting, gentle, adoring, giving. Perfect. Alice begins to believe in herself – no mean feat, that.
The second half is not all hunky-dory though – but you have to read it for yourself.
How does it end? Pick up the book and see. You won't be sorry.

Aurelia is the queen of emotions – she makes her people hurt, and love, and live. She makes her readers seethe, and laugh, and sniff. And hate – I didn't like the dark parts at all – nearly-18 year old girls should NOT have to be M-Aliced. But life is like that, and Aurelia is not afraid to write about it.
Profile Image for Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies).
861 reviews278 followers
November 3, 2014
My thoughts in a nutshell: I read the first book in the series, Popping the Cherry, last year and mostly enjoyed it so when I saw this book, with that cover, on Netgalley, I thought I'd give it a try. But I didn't realise at the time that this book is about Lena's bully, Alice. If I'm honest, if I'd read the product description closer instead of requesting blindly, I might have skipped over it. I'm not the biggest fan of stories involving mean girls. But in the end, while I had some issues with this book I did also mostly enjoy it.

I'm going to start with the negatives. Throughout the book there's a real lack of subtlety. At times I felt like the author could have shown us certain things well enough without saying them allowed specifically. But that usually didn't happen. I felt like I was hit over the head with Alice's reasons for her behaviour and that I was being told how to feel about her and how I should see her rather than having everything laid out for me and for me to make up my own mind. Plus, this whole telling rather than showing never felt realistic. It was jarring at the beginning of the story for Alice to think along the lines of (not direct quote) 'bullying others made me feel better about myself because of my dysfunctional home life' It may have been the case but that wasn't the best way for me as the reader to care about the story or the character.

I also felt like things happened a little too easily. I didn't quote believe the quick transformation in certain relationships. Especially the one which switched from bully victim to best friend.

Finally, the last third felt like a different story. It felt more like the end of a cheesy romance novel with a bare chested hunk of a man on the front cover with flowing locks of hair. I didn't think it was necessary and would have liked the story to focus on other things the story brought up better.

Now that I've said all of that I will say that I started and finished this book within a very short period of time so there was obviously something about the way in which it was written that I really responded to.

I was also close to tears at one point. This story does resolve around two things that I usually connect to and the first is a dysfunctional parent and child relationship, especially one that involves the rejection of the child by the parent. I'm a sucker for that sort of heartbreak. The second is finding a place to belong amongst family you choose for yourself. I did love that aspect of Alice's journey.

There was really great characters and relationships. I particularly enjoyed Alice's relationships with both Charlie and Derek.

I know this has been a very mixed review. I did enjoy reading this book, I just wanted different things from this story than I got in certain areas of it.
Profile Image for Natalie TBGWP.
400 reviews23 followers
January 23, 2015
Queen Bee, Alice Taylor is losing her crown, her skivvies, and her castle. Bad times! She’s also losing her mind. Alice Taylor is the modern day Jekyll and Hyde. The good very rarely is seen, comes with her natural brown eyes and a calm, loving persona. The bad which just happens to be shown every day comes with blazing blue eyes, short skirts, a vile bullying personality and a reputation as a slut and the name Malice.
Trapped in a family made up of secrets, she is secretly working at a nearby hotel to help her build up what she likes to call her freedom fund to get away from them, well, not all of them not her little brother/nephew Charles or to her Charlie bear. If there’s anyone in the world who gets to see the good Alice, it’s Charlie. He is her world and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for him. It’s stupidly agreeing to go tree climbing with him that results in Alice being seen by someone else. Someone she has to put her trust in to help her down. That’s not easy for Alice because trust, love, and friendship are things she just doesn’t know how to do.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as long as this one. It is so long. I get why it has to be that long though because the plot is one that full and crazy it’s needed. It’s a great plot. A well-thought out and structured one. Only let down by a rush in words, roll your eye coincidence or luck and huge leaps in time. There’s nothing worse than reading about a situation then it cuts off and you’d then a week, a month ahead. It throws me and confuses me making me feel like I’ve missed out on something, but with this book I didn’t actually want to miss out on anything.

The book is narrated mostly by heroine Alice, but every now and again we will get the thoughts of her new friend Zac. This, I liked. However, I would have loved a bit more Zac. And, to any bibliophile reading this, I’m telling you straight book geek to book geek there is no better book boyfriend that Zac Newton and I urge you all to go find out why. Hell, even if you’re not a huge reader but like a bit of scandal, family drama, life drama, and even more drama, then I say go get a copy yourself. You won’t be disappointed. From the start it just gives and gives. Yes, I’ve had a little moan about it, but that’s my personal grievances, they’re not going to stop me appreciating a great plot, riveting characters, and more drama than the ending bars of the Eastenders theme tune at a crucial part of the show. It’s drama central with a bit more drama thrown in for good measures. It’s a book which has your opinion of things changed and has your eyes shining with tears whether they be good or bad just depends on what character you get to see Alice or Malice.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,251 reviews187 followers
October 8, 2014
A Girl Called Malice is the second book in this series. I read Popping the Cherry last year, and I'm not going to sugar coat it, Alice was a nasty piece of work. So going into A Girl Called Malice I knew what to expect, and straight off the bat we get to see 'Malice' in action, and let me tell you now she is a bitch, she is evil, nasty, selfish, and treats her 'boyfriends' (and I use the term loosely) like a doormat. She is a car crash waiting to happen, yet strangely enough I found myself drawn to her story, wanting to know more about her.

As A Girl Called Malice progresses we get to see into Alice's life, and as the pieces are connected we get to see why Alice is the way she is, why she portrays a different persona for the world. My heart broke for what she has to deal with every single day, and has done for many years. How someone who is meant to love you, to care and protect you can treat a person like this is truly baffling, and seeing the progress Alice makes made me feel that much more supportive of her. When we get to see the real Alice, without all the make-up, the non existent clothes, and without the snarky attitude, I really did begin to like her. She has a caring side that adores her 'nephew', who would do anything for him, even climbing a tree, which is also how see literally falls into Zac's arms

A Girl Called Malice has to be my favourite so far out of this series. I sped through this book, reading it in just a few hours. Alice is unpredictable, and this is portrayed within the pages making each new chapter as unpredictable as Alice herself. I honestly went into this book expecting to dislike Alice more than I already did, but I ended up not only liking her, but also becoming emotionally involved with her outcome, wanting to stop her from doing something silly, disheartened with her for acting the way she does with another boy knowing that she might have feelings for Zac, but also cheering when things started to go her way.

One thing that I also love about A Girl Called Malice is how we get to see characters from previous book, and how the play an important role within the pages of this one. Seeing some familiar faces that I remembered added a nice touch to the book. One thing I failed to do was make the connection between A Girl Called Malice and Popping the Cherry with one of the characters, but it's been that long since I read the first book I had forgotten about this person.

A Girl Called Malice was an unputdownable read, and I enjoyed every single word of it. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series and being able to see .......... story.
Profile Image for April.
54 reviews
July 15, 2015
I was given this book for a honest review

**There may be spoilers**

You ever wonder why a bully is a bully? Why are they so mean? What makes them so mean? Well this book is about a bully, who doesn't really like to be a bully, but it's the mask that she built up, the wall she put in place to keep people away so she wouldn't be afraid of getting let down, getting hurt.

It's not the best way to go about life, but it's what worked for Alice. Alice grew up living a lie, a lie so big that it ate away at her. To be able to get the man with the money, Alice's mom told Alice that she was not to tell a sole that she was her mother, but instead she should tell them that she was her sister. She watched her little brother call her Aunty Alice, and it broke her heart.

Alice meets this boy named Zac who by accidents she lets see the real her, and then becomes friends with him.

This book is about friends, family and second chances. I really enjoyed this book so much. It was so well written, the only struggle I had is that some of the British slangs I had to look up because I didn't know what they meant. I can't even begin to describe how much I could relate to Alice. Not in the mean girl way, but the fact that she felt so sheltered and alone and unloved. The beautiful wonderful woman she became at the end of the book was someone I truly wish I could meet.

Please don't get me started on Zac. What a caring and patient person he was throughout this whole book. I felt like each character brought something different to the book and it's not often that I am able to see that in a book. Sometimes because of the writers style all characters seem to get meshed together, but for me this book....it just hit home for me and I can't praise it enough. Seriously such a good book that I found it hard to put down!
Profile Image for Carmen Falcone.
Author 67 books503 followers
March 6, 2015
4.5 stars!!!

Another fabulous offering by super talented Aurelia B. Rowl This time, we’re inside bad girl Alice’s mind! She’s the one who bullied Lena in Popping the Cherry.

There is a lot of angst, deep emotions, redemption and even romance in this book. Aurelia shows us she’s super versatile and can bring a completely different vibe from PtC, for instance.

My only issue was, I struggled a bit at first. Alice isn’t super likeable, and even though she’s neglected at home, I had a hard time connecting/rooting for someone who talked about bullying/disrespecting others so casually.

Still, writing a book about an anti-heroine type isn’t for everyone; but Aurelia did an awesome job with Alice's character development arc. :) .
Profile Image for Julie (Bookish.Intoxication).
781 reviews32 followers
February 3, 2015
I received this novel from NetGalley.

Don't read this book... It will make you cry...
No seriously, tears everywhere, this novel is so moving and emotional and raw that it left me with so many feelings I don't know what to do with them all!
This isn't my typical book to pick up, but wow, I am glad that I did. The growth of the protagonist is astounding, and it allows the reader to experience her hurt, her elation and her love. Rowl has written a masterpiece.

This novel is for anyone who likes a good romance novel, anyone who is into YA and anyone who wants a good cry, this novel will make those tears flow quicker than you can make a cup of tea and grab a box of tissues! A great read!
Profile Image for Aurelia Rowl.
Author 4 books108 followers
Shelved as 'books-written-by-me'
March 29, 2015
This was a difficult story to write, and turned out far longer than I'd ever intended, but it needed to be written. There are always two sides to every story, and you cannot know what drives another person without walking a mile in their shoes. I hope you will give Alice a chance. You'll also get to catch up with all of the characters from Popping the Cherry and watch the sparks fly when Alice and Lena come face-to-face once more.
Profile Image for Holly Martin.
Author 57 books1,256 followers
October 25, 2014
This is a brilliant, moving, gripping story that had me laughing, crying, and unable to put it down. Aurelia has done a fantastic job making us fall in love with the most hated character in the first book Popping The Cherry. A Girl Called Malice showed us Alice's other, more gentle side, her real self and the side that only Charlie and then Zac gets to see. I loved this. It was incredibly well written, pacy and superbly delivered, even tackling some very difficult topics but this was done effortlessly in Aurelia's unique style.
Profile Image for Naturalbri (Bri Wignall).
844 reviews89 followers
November 4, 2014
The Story:

Not all people are exactly as they seem. Alice, otherwise known as Malice, is a prime example of this.

She has spent her whole school life convincing others that she was the Queen Bee, thus earning her (well-deserved) nickname. She has terrorised the school, pupils and teachers alike - has hopped from private school to private school, finally landing in her last - where she dropped out of college.

Alice just doesn't seem to have a lot going for her, but she is top of the school food chain. Now one questions Alice, especially after what she did to 'Virginia' last term.

Soon, Alice starts to see just how true her friends are to her, after a jig and a few happy squeals, not meant for her to see. She wonders if she's just caused another train-wreck in the pile-up that is her life.

Finally, after learning to hate her, for the bully to appears to be, we see Malice drop the mask, and become Alice - the real Alice.

Life is not always what it seems.

Can Alice stick to her real self, or will Malice come out to play - to hide her real feelings.

It's hard not to don a mask, when your life is crumbling round you. Perhaps and old enemy can help bring her to the light. Maybe Alice can make a split from Malice. Or maybe some masks are just meant to stay in place.

Let's hope Alice can learn to stop switching her blue eyes on.

My Thoughts:

This book was very emotional for me. I was genuinely hooked from the first page. As with another book I have reviewed, The Death of a Poet by N Quentin Woolf, this book delves into the life of a young girl, the kind of life no one would ever want to live. I found it heart-wrenching and emotional because I know first-hand that a life can be lived this way - always donning a mask to convince others you are better than you are (or in Alice's case to become what she believed was stronger) and to keep people at so far a distance they can never hurt you.

Just as Alice started to recognise, the mask may be a great way to hide your inner turmoil from others, but it definitely doesn't keep you from getting hurt. On the contrary, you find yourself completely alone and hurting more than ever. However, just like Alice, sometimes the mask is the only thing you know. It is the survival instinct you have been given (perhaps not one you even want to do, but are forced to) and you have to stick to it.

Just like Alice, a lot of people, especially young people, in this situation feel trapped. when someone does get close enough to find out who they really are, to see into their real lives, they often either don't believe, blame the victim or think the victim is crazy/deluded/depressed for no reason. They don't stop to take into account what is really happening around them and the victim is made out to be the predator.

Very similar to the situation I know, the parents were the cause for the turmoil. Just like Alice, they had ripped apart and ruined any semblance of a life the poor girl could ever wish to have. She is left alone, no longer able to trust, no longer able to love and afraid to show anyone who she really is. This makes it very hard for the person to make friends, making the pain even worse. Just like Alice, the person tends to blame themselves for all the problems, believing that they have brought it on themselves.

I was very glad to see Alice had the strength to persevere. She was on a destructive path, but she continued to fight for her life. She knew she was being destructive and wanted to change it. She was so lucky to have met and understanding and caring friend, who could help her through it all.

Seeing Alice open up to friendship, herself and love was amazing. She grew tenfold, as a girl/woman, the moment she left her bad situation and started her life fresh. (I think this happens to a lot of people in this situation, who manage to get out. They need to get out and start fresh, often somewhere new)

I know Alice was the bully, but I love that this story opens us up to idea that not all bullies really want to be what they are. Not all of them actually enjoy bullying others. I don't condone bullying at all, but this book really opens the eyes to seeing what is really inside someone. Perhaps, just like Alice, it can lead to a friendship that was never expected, just like her and 'Virginia.'

I loved everything about this story. It had the turmoil, emotion and gritty sense of self-destruction that I have seen in cases just like this. It has the emotional roller coaster of a self-exploration and sudden rebirth. It hits every emotion to a T and really does make you feel the emotion with Alice. I found myself, on more than one occasion, either tearful or ready to spit fire with my anger.

I thought the characters had depth and they responded to situations in ways that I would expect from the characters. The pace of the book was perfect, as it was a slightly slower pace - allowing the full detail and emotion of each event to really hit home, without them the story would have been lost.

OVERALL: I HIGHLY recommend this book. Though, I admit, that my falling head over heals for this book may be linked to my personal experience with similar situations, it is a book that, if you open up to it and the emotion/turmoil within, you can really feel what it is like to be an outcast, to not love yourself and have to start over. It is heart-wrenching, heart-warming and blood boiling, all the way until the last page.

Do to the nature and content of the book, I would say it is only appropriate for upper aged YA and adults, but it is a book that you need to stick with until that last page, even if you don't understand where Alice is coming from. It really is an absolutely brilliant read.
Profile Image for Bibliojunkies.
579 reviews8 followers
November 5, 2014
If any of you have read Popping The Cherry (I really hope you have), you’ll already be familiar with Alice, more popularly known as Malice. For those of you who aren’t, simply put, she’s that mean girl at school who makes your life miserable and she relishes every moment of it. Yeah, stay clear of this one! In Malice, this mean girl decides to leave school and her friends behind because she’s had enough of school life. That’s partly thanks to her role in the awful prank gone foul that she played on Lena in the previous book. The repercussions were to big for her to be able to play them off. Leaving school and to be a waitress seems the better option.

The tone of this book is entirely different from Cherry. I was not expecting to get behind Alice’s painstakingly maintained façade. Almost immediately, you’re introduced to her dysfunctional home life that goes a long way in explaining why Alice is the bitter, lizard-tongued monster that she is. Yet you also see her vulnerable side thanks to her tender relationship with her younger half-brother, Charlie. These two sides of her are both eyebrow-raising and sad. Many of you may already know how much I disdain inept parenting. Alice’s mother is probably THE worst of the bunch. In order to hook her current husband, she insisted that Alice not refer to her as “mum” but by her name Michelle, essentially fooling her husband-to-be at the time into thinking that they were sisters. This pretense has gone on for years and even Charlie has grown up believing that his sister is his aunt. Yes, this is all shades of messed up, her mother is a wretched human being and any scene involving her had me desperately hoping that she’d get hers soon.

Even with her home life as an explanation, I still had a hard time endorsing Team Alice especially when she’s intent on being a malicious bully. The flip side of it is that her mother’s consistent berating of her fuels her own self-destruction. It’s difficult to witness as she goes through hell and pushes away everyone she comes into contact with, save her beloved little brother. Her saving grace comes in the form of Zac, a boy she meets at a rather awkward moment. He sees Alice differently and even when she misbehaves, he knows that she’s essentially acting out. He takes his time to make her feel comfortable around him as he genuinely believes in her. Zac seems almost TOO perfect at times. As an example, he’s so forgiving when the sordid details of Alice’s one night gone awry come out. He doesn’t even blink an eye as he’s quick to defend her.

Rowl has done an impressive job in writing Malice, so impressive that despite the main character’s epic flaws, I was still very much invested in her and everyone else - except for the mother. She could bite it. I was glad that she was digging into Alice’s issues. The entire time it had me thinking about how no one ever really knows what the other is going through. That’s exactly what’s happening here where we get to see what circumstances make this particular bully. And when Alice decides to cut ties with her past and everyone in it later on, it’s not so much heartbreaking as it is emancipating. I couldn’t believe that I had come around to being her biggest cheerleader! And for a future for her and Zac.

Malice also welcomes back our favourite friends from Cherry – Lena, Jake, Nathan and Gemma. They’re so much fun, and considering how Alice and Lena were mortal enemies before, they’re reunion is quite interesting. It just goes to show you that sometimes even the worst of the bunch can find forgiveness though not without jumping through hoops first.

A Girl Called Malice, while not the fun romp through ridiculousness that I was hoping for, ends up being far better. The "wow" factor here is that this completely awful person became someone I cared about and for whom I wanted good things to happen to. When you think about it, it takes a certain talent for an author to turn your opinion around about a character. Rowl has done that excellently here!
Profile Image for Gemma Weir.
Author 30 books1,041 followers
January 5, 2015
Check out more of my reviews on my blog http://gemmareadstoomuchforittomenorm...

3.5 stars

A girl called Malice is book #2 in the facing the music series by Aurelia B Rowl. This is the first book I have read by this author and I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had no idea that this was part of a series until a few seconds ago. I so can completed attest to the fact that this is a true standalone and you really don't have to had read the first book Popping the Cherry to enjoy this one.

This book is a strange one, Alice is a strange character. She's got two different personalities, Malice the slutty, evil genius who enjoys making everyone else miserable. And Alice the sweet, damaged girl whose desperate for some love, who needs to be saved!!

I know we should all hate Malice, after all she's a bully and a bit of a bitch!!! But I actually love how ridiculous she is. I mean seriously she's a total cliché; she's the epitome of the mean girl. But really she's kind of hilarious!!!

Truth be told we all have a bitchy, mean girl living inside of us. It just depends how often you let her out to play!!

God I want to reach into the book and give Alice a big hug. She brings out all of my maternal instincts. I hate that she's so weary and jaded at 18. The she bitch Michelle has a lot to answer for!!

What I don't understand is why Alice went along with the lie for so long?? I get that Michelle has poisoned her mind for so long but Malice had a massive set of brass balls so I'm just surprised she never told Derek before.

Zac, Zac, Zac talk about a white knight!! He swooped along and basically just saved Alice from herself. I don't think he's your typical hero either; he's just a genuinely nice guy!!!

I actually adore him; it's not a swooning lust thing either. He's the guy I want my daughter to fall in love with.

All of Zac and his group of friends are such lovely people. It's a bit disconcerting at times; I was waiting for someone to do something nasty.

Darren was fab; I think it was obvious to everyone that he was gay. But does anyone else think that Sean may have a bit of a repressed in the closet crush on him???

I'm so glad that Derek was a decent human being; Alice needs some supportive loving people in her life.

Although this is a romance. It's not that romantic. This is more of a beautiful friendship that transcends into love and trust.

I do have some issues with this book though! How did no one put two and two together and make 4??? I mean it's not that big of a leap for anyone to guess who Alice really was.

Also these characters all feel like they are in their late twenties, early thirties. Yet most were late teens or very early twenties!!! Can we all say 'old before their time'

I enjoyed this book, it was unexpectedly sweet.

A girl called Malice gets 3.5 stars from me.
694 reviews16 followers
October 1, 2014
I was looking forward to this book for ages, having read and loved Popping the Cherry, and let's just say I was not disappointed. While Popping the Cherry was brilliant Young Adult fodder, A Girl Called Malice takes us more into the realms of New Adult. Alice, 17 when the book starts, is a little young for your typical NA heroine, but in many ways she's older than her years - definitely when it comes to sexual experience. Rowl is not afraid to let her characters get down and dirty, so Malice isn't a book for the younger YA generation. As an older reader though, I'm more than happy with that. I found Alice and Rowl's approach to sex refreshingly honest. But it's not all about lust...

When I first found out Rowl was writing Malice's story, I wasn't sure about it - if you've read PtC and you know about Malice, you'll understand my reticence. But it's true that people act in certain ways for reasons of their own, and Malice certainly has her reasons. It is testament to Rowl's writing that I loved this book even though I didn't identify with Alice at all. I have nothing in common with this girl, and a lesser writer could have had me running for the hills with references to Michael Buble and Hannah Montana, but Rowl told Alice's story so well that I was completely enthralled and had to keep reading. One thing that I think Rowl must have had a hard time with was the timeline - the book covers over a year, which is a long time, and it skips between taking it a day at a time, and weeks at a time. Rowl manages to make it work, but there were just a couple of bits that made me question how long things were taking. That's life though - everything doesn't happen all at once for the convenience of the plot.

The romance that was so sweet in Popping the Cherry is definitely present in Malice too, although it takes a while to make itself known. Just like with PtC, there are a few sappy moments, but what girl doesn't love a bit of stomach-clenching, heart-felt romance now and then? I've just realised that my review is a bit vague, which I apologise for. Once you read the book you'll understand - there's a lot of stuff going on that I don't want to give away. Just know that Rowl's writing is brilliant, her characters are very well-developed, there are moments that will make you sigh wistfully, lots of bits that will make you laugh, and twists to keep you on your toes. If you haven't read Popping the Cherry, go away and do it now. If you have, and you liked it, then order A Girl Called Malice immediately!

Review originally published on my blog http://escapeintowords.blogspot.co.uk...
Profile Image for Suze.
1,878 reviews1,310 followers
October 10, 2014
A Girl Called Malice is the second book in the Popping the Cherry series. I highly recommend the first book, so I would advise you to read it before starting this one. A Girl Called Malice could be read as a stand alone story, but if you can have twice as much fun why wouldn't you?!

Alice is the mean girl who always tried to make Lena's life a living hell. She's definitely earned her nickname Malice by being vindictive and vicious. She decides to drop out of college and is working at a hotel instead, which means she's no longer the school's worst bitch. Both her enemies and her so-called friends are happy to be rid of her. She's all alone and has nobody to turn to. Fortunately there's Charlie, the only family member she likes. He's four years old and he's the center of her world. When she's with him Alice can let her guard down. Then she's sweet, kind and lovely. She meets Zac at one of these moments and he's the only person besides Charlie who's seen the real Alice. When she no longer has a roof over her head Alice is fortunate enough to be able to stay with Zac. Together they're making some much needed changes in her life. Unfortunately she can't erase her past. Will Alice succeed in starting over or is it too hard to show people who she really is?

A Girl Called Malice isn't a light and cute romance, but I flew through it nonetheless. I couldn't put it down. Alice is intriguing and I couldn't wait to find out more about her. There are two sides to every story and I'm glad Aurelia B Rowl decided to tell Alice's version as well. Her path crosses with Lena's again and I liked the way things developed. Alice has a lot to hide from everyone around her. She has to live with so many secrets that they have changed her into someone who's insensitive. She causes pain and she lashes out. Even though there's a good reason for that behavior she takes full responsibility and doesn't hide behind the injustice that's been done to her. I liked that about her. I actually liked a lot of things about Alice. It was also really nice to read more about Zac. He's such a nice guy, but there's a lot more to him than just a kind personality, and he's got his priorities straight. He's wise as well, but that doesn't mean he can't mess things up. There's a lot he needs to discover about the girl that dropped into his life. I can only say good things about this book and the ending of A Girl Called Malice is amazing, I read it with tears in my eyes.
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,924 reviews446 followers
October 31, 2014
It has taken me a while to read this book, but not because it was badly written, far from it. It's because every single page of this book was emotional in one way or another! I must declare that Aurelia is the queen of emotions!!!! LOL – she makes her characters hurt, and love, and live. She makes her readers seethe, and laugh, and sniff. But best of all, she makes us HATE! – I didn't like the dark parts at all – nearly-18 year old girls should NOT have to go thru what Alice did, but life is like that, and Aurelia is not afraid to write about it.

This is one of those books you need to persevere with, Alice for the first 50% seems to go from one disaster to the next. The glimmers of the person she could be only really shine through when she is spending time with a little boy called Charlie (that's all the details you're getting because I do not spoil plots), the rest of the time she is still pretty gawd-awful, there is an underlying reason for it though, and it becomes more and more apparent as the book progresses. From the person she portrays to her peers, to the person she actually is and wants to be, there are glaring differences, and I loved Zac, he definitely bought out the best in Alice, and even when she was at her worst her tried to do right by her. Zac is fantabulous – accepting, gentle, adoring, giving...just perfect. AND he makes Because of all things Zac (lol) Alice begins to believe in herself ... damn, he's just fabulous!

This story was written so well, that you get involved, even when you hate something Alice does, you can see her twisted reasoning behind it. She is a product of her upbringing in a way, and although certainly disgustingly awful in a lot of her actions, she is also an underdog, and everyone roots for the underdog, right?! YES WE DO!

Honestly, this IS a long book, and you will need time to process everything because it isn't 'fluff', but it's worth the time! TRUST ME :)

Arc provided by Carina UK via NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for Edelmira.
69 reviews25 followers
July 30, 2015
Wow. I am beyond speechless. I can't even think right now. I am indeed in love with this book!
A Girl Called Malice is about family, new friendships, and of course falling in love.
Alice and Zac's love story is definitely a roller coaster ride but I was amazed the whole time. I enjoyed reading this and so drawn to the characters that I didn't want it to end.
Zac is everything a boyfriend should be. He's perfect. Alice really broke me though. She suffered so much between friendships, family, and finding herself. She stayed strong and stand her ground. I admire her so much for being brave. I was damn proud of her!
One word to describe their relationship; UNBREAKABLE.
YASSSSS! The ending was beyond amazing !!!
Anyway, I don't want to spoil you guys anymore, all I have to say is that this is A MUST READ!!
Therefore, I'd like to thank New Adult Book Club. I am so honored to read this wonderful story. It captivated me so much!
Aurelia B. Rowl is such an amazing author! This book was written so beautifully well. It'll make you cry, laugh, and feel every emotion. Aurelia did just that and she aced it. You go author! I definitely look forward to reading more books from her. :)
I honestly think this book is one of the best book I've read all year. I cried so much throughout the book.
I don't think I'll get over this book quite yet. It will stick with me for a very long time. I can't wait to reread this again. It deserves another read!
I'm not so sure if there's a physical copy anywhere because it deserves to be on my bookshelves, so I can cherish it. I know I'm a bit melodramatic but when a book takes a toll on my heart, I want a physical copy bad.
I love this book so much!

*Received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Gwendolyn Kensinger.
821 reviews158 followers
October 29, 2014
I'm really having a hard time even thinking of words to include in this review to express how much I love this book. First I want to say a HUGE thank you to the author, Aurelia B. Rowl, Carina UK (the publisher), and Net Galley for providing this ARC.
This book was everything I needed. A little bit rock and roll and a bunch of love and devotion.
Alice is a girl who used to be the Queen Bee but after dropping out of college fights her inner demons to find out who she is and who she wants be.
Alice is a divided character -- Alice by day and Malice by night. She becomes Malice as a way to put up walls and avoid getting hurt. She sleeps around, and generally does not care for anyone or anything other than her adorable "nephew" Charles. As Alice she is trying to come to terms with the hand she has been dealt. It's not a good one.
During a day trip to the park with her nephew, Zac comes to her rescue after she is stranded while climbing a tree. Zac and Alice become friends. Not the friends with benefits you might expect but honest friends who are there for each other when the other needs them.
The story takes place over more than a years time and so much happens leading up to the end.
I am 100% team Zac! He is so honest and caring. Her really loves Alice, but can she ever find herself and love him back? It doesn't seem likely. Who can blame her with her "sister" making her life hell.
With twists and turns that are unexpected this story kept me wide awake into the wee hours of the morning several times trying to read just one more chapter.
What more can I say -- this book was amazing!
Characters - 5
Setting - 5
Plot -5
Conflict/Purpose - 5
Resolution/Outcome - 5

I didn't want this one to end, yet I couldn't wait to see how it ended.

5/5 STARS!!
Profile Image for Alaine Batty.
47 reviews2 followers
October 5, 2014
I ABSOLUTELY loved reading about Alice & Zac. I will admit after reading Popping the Cherry (the first book) I really hated Malice and I actually told Aurelia that I was finding it hard to connect with the story as I hated Malice soo much. I was dreading having to read the book and not really connecting with Alice... Oh boy was I wrong!!

Aurelia had me crying, laughing, screaming and cheering along with the story line... I'm on about full on ugly crying so much so my boyfriend asked me who had died as I looked a mess from crying so much... When you read have tissues at the ready!!

Alice AKA Malice used to be the queen of the school, tormenting anyone who seemed to have the perfect life, but underneath her hard exterior lies Alice. Alice who loves her Charlie Bear (Little brother) and just wants her mothers approval and love (although she is too busy showing off her perfect little life, and telling all her friends that Alice is her younger sister - not her daughter)

Zac is the hot lifeguard at the local pool - after seeing Alice in the park and then a week later seeing Malice is full action he is fascinated in to which one is the REAL Alice.

As they spend more time together and grow closer Zac helps Alice change and shine through her true self, and puts Malice behind her..

The story has love, strip clubs, drinking and shows Alice's' journey to her true self and even true love. I love Alice's tale about redemption..

I don't want to say too much more about the book as nothing I can say with do it justice - but please Read this book, you won't regret it... Well unless your mascara isn't water proof...
Profile Image for Charlotte Lynn.
1,890 reviews40 followers
November 6, 2014
Everyone knows that girl. The one who everyone loves to hate. Everyone wants to be friends with, even if they only want to be friends so they are safe from her claws. Even when I didn’t agree with what she did or how she reacted to something, I could understand her twisted logic and hope that it worked out for her. I enjoyed watching her realize that who she was is not who she wants to be. When she met Zac, her eyes were snapped wide open and she knew she had to change.

I love Zac. He knew who Alice was and how she was. He also knew that she could be a better person than she was. His patience and understand was beyond that of any normal man. He knew that if he rushed her or pushed her she would fall back into Malice and he would lose her forever.

I did not read the first book in this series but did not feel that I was missing out on anything. The story was fun to read and relatable. While not everyone wants to change who they are, it shows that it is possible. I will recommend this book. This is not the story of young love and happy ever afters. This is the story of a young woman working to become a better person and finding the person who can make her better.
Profile Image for Two Nerds With Words.
928 reviews52 followers
October 13, 2014
Reviewer: Bex
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Disclosure: This ebook was provided by the author in exchange for an HONEST and not necessarily positive review.

'A Girl Called Malice' is an orginal read, one which kept me gripped, made me laugh and made me unbelievably sad at times.

Alice is such a fabulous character. I was in awe of her sassy attitude. Discovering the history of this character, who was so easy to hate in book one, was a stroke of genius. The author developed a character who as was fresh as she was deeply wounded. The complexity of her character was fascinating to follow, and I enjoyed every moment.

Aurelia B. Rowl's style is effortless; perfect for this genre, making it a quick and easy read. Do not be fooled by the 'ease', however. 'A Girl Called Malice' deals with some heavy topics; it's simply that the author does it so well.

A fabulous read.
Profile Image for Brandy Roberts.
2,069 reviews49 followers
July 14, 2015
i was giving a copy for my honest review i liked it i haven't read the first one but i think it was to a point were you didn't have to read it but i know im going to go back and read it . i liked how malice become alice im kinda afraid to read popping the cherry because i ended up liking alice the way she was with charilie and then
with zac and i really liked Valentina for giving her a chance to know the real alice. man i want my own zac he was amazing and didn't judge alice he stuck up for her and didn't let what happened on alicees birthday effect how he felt for her. and the true enemy was michel i mean how can someone treat someone there suppose to love no matter what and treat them like gum on the bottom of there shoe .some part were alittel predictable but i still loved this story it was so sad
9 reviews
July 14, 2015
This book was an incredible read, extremely emotional and impossible to put down, finished it in 2 days. Alice is an extremely complex character, as you discover her history can easily understand her actions and Zac you immediately fall in love with. Their story and their friends remind you that you cannot pick your family, but your family of friends and what is most important. Michelle I hated and even though karma she got it in the end, was actually hoping she would get even more, but the author did a wonderful job of dealing with that, when Derek makes the statement to Alice that his wife has been lying to him during their entire marriage, so the reader gets a sense that karma will definitely get what Michelle deserves. This is the 1st book i have read by this author, but will be reading more, loved this book!!
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,023 reviews14 followers
October 3, 2014
Where do I even begin??? This book is so well written and I absolutely loved it!! I could not put it down once I got started on it!! I love how we get to see Alice go through all the different stages that some young girls fight with on a daily basis. To see Alice overcome her obstacle and to have such a good guy stand by her and never give up on her was such a warm fuzzy feeling. I love the HEA that this book ends with. I was honestly sad to see this book end!! Hope that there are going to be more in this series!! Thanks for another great read Aurelia!! I am hooked!!
Profile Image for Chrissie.
5 reviews
October 11, 2014
After meeting Alice in the first book, I was looking forward to reading her story.

Rowl portrayed the teenager very well and used her voice to aid character development. I was saddened by Alice's background and delighted by the way the story moved forwards.

The most marvellous thing I have found about both books is just when you think they could become a little predictable, Rowl throws in a curve ball or clever reference. A few times while reading I found myself gasping or nodding in appreciation. It's this attention to detail that makes A Girl Called Malice a lovely read.
Profile Image for Megan Neel.
43 reviews
July 29, 2015
I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book, but I was definitely happy to have the opportunity to read it.

Even though Alice was the typical mean girl, I was still drawn to her and intrigued by her character. I found myself wanting to know more about her and could barely put the book down. The author did a great job of developing her character and giving us a glimpse into her life.

Zac was such an amazing male character. I enjoyed reading about him and the growth of their friendship. We could all use a Zac in our lives.

Definitely recommend this book.
Profile Image for Skye Louise.
247 reviews12 followers
April 13, 2015
A great little read, i found it interesting to see the world throigh 'Malice's' eyes. Although not as enjoyable as the previous in this series, its was still a cute read and glad she got her HEA. Although i gotta admit Zac is a little too gullible and forgiving when it comes to everything Alice has done. I reeeaaalllyyy hope Nathan gets his own story! ^_^ and i have a feeling i know who it is! ;)
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