Hi there! Today, I’m sharing my review for a contemporary YA romance featuring a shy, smart girl and the bad boy musician she’s tutoring. MIA AND THE BAD BOY by Lisa Burstein is a fun, flirty romance for teens. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway for a $25 Ticketmaster GC.
About the Book:
This good girl’s about to meet her match…
Ryder Brooks is living the dream—he’s famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet’s sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the “bad boy” of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new—and super cute—über-good-girl tutor.
Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It’s a dream come true…until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He’s crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She’s roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he’s being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room…
But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.
Note: This is the second book in the YA series Backstage Pass. It can be read as a standalone.
Mia is a first generation Mexican-American whose parents want her to go to medical school. She has been groomed since birth to study, study, study, and never had a boyfriend. Check that: she’s never been allowed to have a boyfriend. At 16, her only kissing experience has been with her hand. In exchange for her help tutoring The Ryder Brooks for a month so he can pass his GED test, she will receive four years of tuition at UCLA paid in full. Not bad.
What is bad? Ryder.
He’s nasty, and that’s in the mean way, not the sexy way. Though he is sexy, too. If Ryder were a flavor of ice cream, he’d be burnt bacon. He’s abrasive, unkind, and rather stunned that his tutor is both younger and sexier than he’d anticipated. Since she can’t be hidden amongst the crew as a therapist or other talent help, he insists that she pretend to be his girlfriend–in front of the other four members of his band.
This is a difficult position for Mia, particularly because she wanted to like Ryder so much. She adores his music, only to learn that he hates the manufactured sound of it. She admires his performances, only to hear how he detests the boy band life. Ryder is a bit spoiled, actually, in his professional life. Personally though, he’s been abandoned time and again–first by his alcoholic mother and later by the foster system shuttling him from family to family without finding one stable home which wanted to keep him.
Mia is a temporary distraction, but she is a good tutor. Ryder finds himself not only engaging with the GED material, he’s slowly becoming obsessed with his fake girlfriend. And Mia is warming to the Ryder whose cool customer demeanor is beginning to slip.
This is a fun and flirty romance that has little conflict. The biggest obstacle to Ryder and Mia getting together is her desire to be ‘the good girl’ her parents adore. Ryder, despite being 17 y/o, is far more worldly and experienced–and he knows Mia is innocent. He doesn’t want to ruin her, but he does want her.
Expect a double-cross mishap that splits them up, and the epic grand gesture to reunite. I liked both Mia and Ryder. It took me longer to like Ryder, however. There were some issues for me, as an adult, that seemed glossed over–like how autonomous Mia was. Not many 16 y/o’s can decide their own fate, and her parents, who are described as smothering, certainly let her have a long free rein which wasn’t consistent. Still, for a teen book, it’s pretty breezy. Not a lot of drama.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.
She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.