Wednesday, July 17, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Barbie World ~ Heidi Acosta**

Hey y'all! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Heidi Acosta's Barbie World. My stop includes my reviews of both books in the Baby Doll series, Barbie Girl and Barbie World, and a giveaway.

This blog tour is presented by Xpresso Book Tours. You can follow along with the tour by clicking here.


Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta (Baby Doll #1)
Publication date: November 1st 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

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?


Barbie World by Heidi Acosta
Series: Baby Doll, #2
Publication date:  Summer 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

“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.

My Reviews
Barbie Girl

Barbie Starr is that girl from the wrong side of the tracks. You know the one? People say and believe awful things about her, as narrow-minded people sometimes do. They pass judgement on her because of the way she dresses and the way she looks. Barbie goes about her life letting them believe what they want -- even playing into it. It's easier than trying to defend herself. Besides, defending herself might mean she'd have to let someone get close to her. And that's something Barbie doesn't allow.

Barbie lives a hard life. Her mother is  unable to provide a stable life for her kids. Barbie's never known her father. Her little brother, Everett, is autistic and Barbie does everything for him. By that I mean she lives her life counting down the days until she's old enough to take Everett and run.

Dylan Knight is that cute, nerdy boy. He gets good grades and tries to stay under the radar. He has a pretty good life. He has a good friend in Third, and his only real worry is trying to figure out a way to get Katie to notice him. Tutoring Barbie brings him a lot of attention, and it's attention of the unwanted kind.

Barbie Girl is an intense and emotionally charged read. It speaks to forming opinions of others based on what you see rather than actually knowing anything about a person. It also speaks to being true to oneself - respecting yourself enough to be who you are despite what others may think versus hiding behind a false persona. And it speaks to the question of whether or not people from different walks of life are ever too different to form a lasting relationship. I found it ironic that Barbie really tried to live by the code of not caring what others though of her but wouldn't share her life with Dylan because she was afraid if would change his opinion of her.

Ms. Acosta does a fine job of creating a colorful and realistic supporting cast of characters. I adore Third. He is the epitome of my idea of a best friend. He's kind and loyal and Dylan could learn a few things from him. We don't meet Roxie until later in the book, but I really like her character. She has depth and I hope to see more of her in the next book.

The pacing of the story is good for the most part. There are places where the prose is a bit choppy but the story is strong enough to overshadow that. Ms. Acosta's portrayal of Barbie's life is gritty, raw, and in my opinion, realistic. I liked Ms. Acosta's use of metaphor but at times it seemed a bit overdone. The story is told in a dual POV and I did like getting both Barbie's and Dylan's take. Overall, I like this story a lot. It seems that I'm partial to stories that offer life lessons and Barbie Girl certainly does that. And Ms. Acosta was able to draw emotions from me, which is always a good sign. I'm eager to see what else life has in store for Barbie.

Barbie World

Barbie World is a bit difficult for me to review. There are so many wonderful parts of the story but also so many parts that frustrated me. The bulk of the story follows Barbie as she tries to find peace and closure with her past. Barbie World is also told in the dual POV format. But being in both Barbie's and Dylan's heads this time around often disappointed me.

I love Barbie's character -- her love for her little brother, her big heart -- how she's willing to forgive those who hurt her the most. Her behavior at times, though, seemed counterproductive to her goals. But although she acted in ways I felt were self-destructive and her wishy-washy-ness where Dylan was concerned drove me crazy, I appreciated the journey she undertook. I was satisfied with where she ended up after having followed her path towards finding herself. 

Dylan - he's a saint. Well, his treatment of Katie was less than saintly, I suppose. But I really admired that he believed in Barbie and his love for her. He remained loyal to Barbie despite her mixed signals. I also liked that he stopped caring so much about others' opinions and that his experiences with Barbie allowed him to discover and follow his own dreams.

Third continued to be a valuable asset to both Barbie and Dylan. He also provided comic relief and I like his character so much. I enjoyed his interactions with Roxie too. Seeing their friendship develop was a gift.

A new character, Kai, is introduced in Barbie World. Although he does play an important role from the standpoint of being a catalyst for decisions between Barbie and Dylan, I didn't feel like we got to know him all that well.

I'm happy with the resolution of Barbie's story. There were a few parts I would have liked to have explored more fully -- like Barbie's grandmother. I did get frustrated with Barbie's inability to make a solid decision and stick to it - even if it might be excusable considering her life experience. And Dylan's behavior towards Katie, although rationalized, was really inexcusable. Again, the writing is choppy in some places and I felt the pacing dragged a bit in places. Overall though, I think Barbie World is a good conclusion. I was very happy to have the epilogue, Ms. Acosta. :)

**I received an ecopy and an eARC of these books, as part of the tour, in exchange for my honest reviews.


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About Heidi

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.


  1. This does seem like an interesting series. I like issues books, too. I'm glad you liked the books, despite the choppy writing at times.

  2. Glad you enjoyed them, Brandee! I've heard a lot of things about this Barbie character she sounds like quite the girl! :) Great reviews!

  3. Love that they have that great moral to the stories. The characters seem wonderful. Great review! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.


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