Review & GIVEAWAY: Barbie Girl/Barbie World by Heidi Acosta

Title: Barbie Girl (Baby Doll #1)

Author: Heidi Acosta
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 1st, 2012
Pages: 191
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC from Author
ISBN13: 9781301739783


Summary (from the Author):  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?


Heidi Acosta was born on Long Island, New York. Moving around a lot when she was younger, she has lived in New York, Arizona, New York (again), Washington, Georgia, and Florida, in that order. Each place offered her something special, but she will always consider New York her home.

Heidi started writing as soon as she could spell. When she was three, Heidi’s mother gave her a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods; thus beginning her lifelong love affair with literature.

Writing soon also became a form of therapy for Heidi, when she realized that no matter what was happening in her life, she could find emotional escape while writing. Some of her earliest stories featured her as a princess who explored new worlds with her horse Buttercup. If it sounds romantic, it wasn’t, there was no prince charming in those fairy lands (boys where yucky).

Heidi now resides in Florida with her husband, very active daughter, one hyper Chihuahua, two sweet cats, and one very fat moody cat.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? 
Yes as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write.  When I was in school I would write stories if I was in any class that did not peek my interest, ah hum…math, science.
How did you come up with Barbie’s character and what made you deviate away from the clich├ęd good girls?
Barbie was a character from another book I was working on and she was so predominate that I wanted to tell her story. I knew that despite the challenges that she faces, she would remain true to herself. And through I completely LOVE the typical good-girl falls for bad-boy theme. I never read about a bad-girl/good-boy. It is such a fun character to write to push what she is going to do. 
How did you come up with the name Barbie’s name?
When you here Barbie you get a certain image in your head. I wanted to take that image and break it. I wanted her to be the complete opposite of her namesake.
Which Character do you most resembles you?
I am a little like Barbie in a sense that she has a fierce love for her little brother. I too, to a fault love my brother and sisters fiercely. I would hope that I am like Third a good hearted person and loyal friend.
If Barbie was stuck on an island, what would be the one thing she would have with her?
Everett! She could not live without him. He is the reason she fights so hard. To keep on going on and not fall in temptations that are in front of her. He would be the reason she would fight to survive.

     Wow. This totally exceeded my expectations. I will be honest, I wasn't expecting much out of this book. A harsh look at the dark realities of this world, Heidi Acosta brings us into a domain that gives us perspective on social prejudices. There was so much depth in this book I honestly couldn't put it down until I finished it. Looking at a cover with a girl named Barbie Starr (I mean...couldn't you have chosen a last name that didn't make her sound like a pole dancer??), pink in her hair, and the series being named "Baby Doll" I really didn't allow very high expectations going into it. 

      Barbie, clearly the main character, comes from a home where her mother is struggling with drug addiction and she has to watch over her little brother who has autism. Because she has to wear hand-me-downs from her mother's stripper friends and has a certain reputation at school, she plays it up and becomes numb to it. However, she is none of those things people accuse her of.

       Dylan sees everything in black and white. His family is complete, and although he was picked on as a kid and has some seriously nerdy tendencies, he's like The-Boy-Next-Door. But he's fallen into the trap of social prejudices and believing them whole-heartedly without premise.

     Between social labels, deep-rooted psychological traumas, and human growth, it was nice to see a book that taught the reader something valuable. Although I'm sure it is realistic with the characters, I wish the profanity was taken down a notch or two. There were a lot of times it was just extremely excessive and kind of devalued the story.

     The big con I would say for this book is that it REALLY needs some proofreading and editing. It looks like it was never read through even a second time. The word "cheek" was spelled like "check" more than three times. And in the end it felt a bit rushed. There was one part where Dylan was the narrative voice and it was so out of character that the flow of writing jarred me a bit. Aside from those notes, I actually really loved this book. Can't wait to read the next one after being left on a pretty serious cliff hanger!

Title: Barbie World (Baby Doll #2)
Author: Heidi Acosta
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: Summer 2013
Pages: 191
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC from Author

Summary (from the Author):  “One Night is all it took to change everything between Barbie and me. One night to potentially lose the girl of my dreams forever. How do I prove to her that she can trust me? That all I want to do is protect her carefully guarded heart. I need to prove to her that I want to be a part of her world. But How? ”

Dylan lost Barbie once before, now he is determined more than ever to win her heart and trust back. Easier said than done, especially with the new hot guy in town who is in a rock band and is the complete opposite of Dylan.

Barbie has been hurt beyond repair or so she thinks. It would be easier for heart to decide if she didn’t have to protect her little brother. And if Dylan would just put on a shirt! Dylan is not making this easy on her. It helps to have the distraction of the new guy in town cute bad boy Kai. But even though her heart is damaged it still knows what it wants. 

When Barbie learns she has a family and with the help of Roxie and Kai, oh and Third and Dylan, they embark on a journey to help bring Barbie closer to a past she never knew existed. 

Heidi Acosta brings you the heart felt story of friendship, love and heartbreak in the second book in of the Baby doll series Barbie World.


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