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Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1) - Ilsa Madden-Mills Nora is the perfect student, perfect daughter, perfect sister - on the outside. Nora is broken, damaged and dead - on the inside. Everyone sees a picture perfect spoiled princess, living in mansion, driving a nice car and going home to a loving family every night. In reality...Nora spends her nights in the mansion alone, her parents too wrapped up in their own careers to care and her brother, absent; a fact Nora would very much like to keep.Nora Blakely is done pretending that her life is perfect. She is done attempting to live up to the ridiculous standards her mother sets, she's done pretending that her life is good and that she is loved. Nora is a shell of a woman and she's ready to crack.This realization comes to her at the same time two brothers fall into her life. Leo and Sebastian haven't had the easiest life either and have moved to this Texas town to make a new home.What these three find is an undeniable sense of connection and sense of family with each other. As the attraction grows between Nora and Leo, so does the tension. Nora wants nothing more than to be loved. Loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly, something she's never experienced. Leo wants nothing to do with love.Leo, for all his faults, is truly a great character. He tries so hard to be right, responsible and good. He is a fixer for everyone but himself. He sees the good in people and wants to nurture it but not if it ends up in anything remotely like love.Sebastian is Leo's opposite in so many ways. He's not afraid to jump into his emotions head first. He sees something in Nora that he needs and sees a need for him in her life. The boy is, to put it bluntly, fucking sweet! I'm a little bit in love with him.Nora is a compelling character, she has some uniquely geeky quirks...an obsession with words and a habbit of assigning everyone she knows an animal, are just a couple. What I loved most about Nora was her shy strength. She gets these bursts of boldness that allow her to do things she wouldn't normally consider, yet she still questions herself while doing them. She challenges Leo, the ultimate commitment-phobe, time and time again. Throwing his own game back in his face whenever she can, even knowing she'll just end up heartbroken. Nora really finds an inner strength that pushes her through some extremely traumatic situations and I couldn't help but admire it. Madden-Mills comes out with a bang in her first novel. Very Bad Things is a heart breaking and blood warming tale of survival, healing, learning to love and be loved - written with a balance of knowledge, pain and humor. I am excited by what she'll bring in the future.4.5 Stars*Copy provided for honest review************************************************************************