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Bad Apple: A Dark High School Romance Hardcover – 13 October 2021
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- Publisher : Speak Now (13 October 2021)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1955913005
- ISBN-13 : 978-1955913003
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.74 x 22.86 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Absent Dad, and a mother desperately looking for love from all the wrong men.
Apple has nothing.
Struggling to keep her head above water in a deadbeat school, Faulkner High, filled with gang bangers, and teachers that have given up trying to instil any hope in their students.
However, Apple has a plan. A plan to save as much money as she possible can, from participating in an underground fight ring, the Slaughter Pen, and playing poker.
Unfortunately she has gotten herself into a bit of a mess with her math teacher.
A mess, that has her having giving him BJ’s so he will give her the grade she deserves.
Its during one of these “meetings” that they are interrupted, and videoed by three boys.
And! Not just any three boys, but the Dolce Boys, Royal, Duke,and Baron.
Desperate to get the evidence back of her humiliating experience, she finds herself initially, trying to negotiate a deal with the boys to have it erased.
Just when she thinks all hope is lost, a mystery benefactor contacts her through the school messenger app, calling himself Mr D.
He has a proposition for her, (not of a sexual nature) His proposition is, a full scholarship to snotty Willow Height Prep, in exchange for her getting close to the very same boys that videoed her in the back seat of Mr Behr car. The Dolce’s.
Thus she feels she can kill two birds with the one stone.
Give Mr D the intel he wants AND try and get Royal phone to erase the video/ photo he has.
Once Harper lands at Willow Heights, to say she is a fish out of water is an understatement.
She is subjected to various forms of humiliations the hands of the schools kings,
Dolce’s and their minions & Dolce Girls.
Of course this causes problems with her trying to get close to them.
She try’s being bratty and mouthing off. Then, keeping out of their way,
stalking them outside of school, THEN sucking up to them, inviting herself along to a bit of graffiti tagging of art, before she ends up getting herself arrested.
Yep! It’s not going well at all.
However, there does seem to be a bit sexual tension brewing below the surface between her and Royal Dolce.
She sees this as her “in” if she can only stop herself from catching feelings.
Anyone who has read the”Willow Height Academy Prep: The Elites” series will instantly recognise a lot of the characters in this book.
As this is the Dolce/Darling family fall out from the whole forbidden romance between the ill fated (?) Crystal & Devlin.
Clearly this story revolves around Royal Dolce and dirty poor, wrong side of the track Harper Apple.
I really enjoyed the long draw out bullying element in this story, as the ballsy Pragmatic Harper takes on the mafia-sequel Dolce’s.
Gotta give the girl props, she try’s everything she can think of to get close to them.
Unfortunately for her, she allowed herself to catch feelings.
When you’re’ a girl who comes from nothing, you start to get seduced by the powerful, sexy, good looking Dolce’s .
She ended up being like all the Willow Prep girls.
She wanted to be in their obit. To be needed and wanted.
Well in the end it all blows up in her face ( literally..snigger)
And can we just talk about the creepy attitude of this mysterious Mr D that seems to be able to message her on whatever computer she finds herself on, and takes too much interest in the sexual exploits of herself and the Dolce’s?
The man that started out being her saviour turned into her devil.
I feel, unless sassy Harper can’t wises up, put her feeling aside, she is going to continue making rash decisions based on her emotions rather than using her head.
Otherwise a good read with an engaging plot.
For once the author didn’t go down the road of pushing Harper and Royal together straight away.
This one was a slow burn..A really, REALLY S.L.O.W. burn
So we didn’t get chapter, after chapter of them banging each other’s brains out,
I really enjoyed the layout in this book. It might be just the FMCs POV, but the snippets of poetry that are obviously written by Royal give a valuable insight into his head. I definitely recommend reading The Elite trilogy before starting this series as it really helps you feel for the Dolces and the Darlings and understand what started the war between them. I also think I wouldn't have been able to forgive the boys for their behaviour if I hadn't read Crystal's story.
The angst and sexual tension between the two main characters was great Although I did find the book to be a bit drawn out (could of shortened the book by 50 pages and not missed anything out).
I enjoy my dark romances and this is definitely dark. However I find it's a bit off putting when the main male character physically harms the main female character.
I believe this book would of been much better if it had a duel POV. Not knowing what the other main character is thinking is very frustrating. As the next book is titled "Brutal Boy" I'm guessing it will be from Royal's POV. It's just a shame we have to wait to read his thoughts.
I sincerely hope they release the next book before the advertised release date of 15th December 2021 because if I have to wait that long to read Royal's story I would of forgotten Harpers story.
○ New Adult
○ Bully romance
○ Dark romance
○ Elite high school
○ Rich teens
My overall rating for Bad Apple is…
Prepare to be scarred for life. This book will rip your innocence from your beating heart and shove it down your throat to choke on. I've just finished this book and my skin is tingling; my hands are shaking; my sanity is shredding. This book is nothing short of savage, vile and sadistic. If you want your emotions to rupture and claim your being, then this is the book for you. The series is described as bully romance, but we're talking HEAVY on the bully and very, very light on the romance. Despite the warnings and complete takeover of negative emotions, this book was flawless! The dark themes were overwhelming, yes, but the tale was ensnaring, the main character realistic and relatable and the boys were nightmarishly salacious. The author did an exceptional job at controlling this tale as the plot progressed and I can't help but congratulate the author for staying sane in such a brutal world. I'm eager to loose myself more in book 2.
Top reviews from other countries
Delving quite a bit into her inner thoughts and feelings, the story contains intrigue, immense feeling, and elements of foreboding as limited answers come to light in this decidedly slow burn. Apple often displayed more (misguided?) forgiveness in search of togetherness and affection. And you never knew what to expect from the broody, darkly cruel, and seemingly indifferent Royal. Tangible chemistry and sexual tension, there is smoldering attraction that draws you in, push and pull coupled with the bullying. Perhaps even a nod to Sam Mariano's Untouchable? Hints of jealous mixed with steam brewing under the surface, I expect headier times ahead in the next books in the series, after this build up.
Excellent character development, great interplay of personalities from supporting characters whose backstories I was intrigued to know more about. Though there are mentions of characters and events from the earlier Elite series, this Exile series is a standalone but definitely enriched having familiarity with the earlier story. A slow burn romance and by my standards mildly dark, this book created the foundation of setting, character and mystery, and installed tiny reveals as it culminated to a gripping cliffhanger. I was not prepared!
“If you know how to handle a stick, hop in and let's ride, baby.”
I can't wait for book 2!
Such a great story of a star-crossed couple who despite their backgrounds had so much in common - family drama, painful history, underground fighting. There was an edginess to this story that played out well. Serious bullying, but this heroine is fierce, overcoming what’s thrown at her with a bring-it style and at the same time having a hidden vulnerability few realized. I liked broody Royal’s poetic passages with glimpses into his thoughts and his history as a Dolce. The Manhattan Dolces have become the power family. Not only do they rule the former Darlings, they rule the school and the town.
Wrong side of the tracks Harper Apple comes to the high school backed by an unknown (benevolent?) benefactor to pursue a superior education, and is bullied from day one, derided as having no social standing. But there is more to this story than hatred for the new girl, or is it? The chemistry between Harper and Royal is magnetic, building and simmering the entire book as their story plays out.
Narration was very good. For the voice actress, intonation was good as well as the distinction between characters. Reading text messages was one of the few times voice switch over, from female to male and vice versus, was indistinct and rather flat. Accents - southern and Jersey - were recited passably, some measure of authenticity, not consistently in character, but still acceptable. Male actor narration was excellent for his passages. Most of the story was told, and therefore performed, from the heroine's point of view. Overall, I liked the tones to both actors' voices as they fit well to how I envisioned the characters — strong, self-reliant, confident. Their performance also made me perceive the book with nuances that I had not realized when I’d read it. Overall, the audio version enriches the written text for an excellent listening experience.