Hey guys! Welcome to my stop on the Twelve Steps Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.
by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: March 25th 2014
Source: Review copy
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina's shadow, Andi's only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina's perfect everything else.
When Andi's crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina. After all, great hair must count for something.
Step 1: Admit she's powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK, maybe that's two steps in one.
Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three good qualities, right?
Step 7: Demand attention for more than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said than done, but worth the effort in the long-run.
When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn't as charming as she'd hoped, and realizes she may need a new program - perhaps with less steps!
As cracks in Laina's flawless facade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
Twelve Steps was just too cute to pass up. Oh YA, how I've missed you! I knew I had to read this book - I have a younger sister, and although I'm the older one, I don't believe I outshone her. But she always thought I was our parents' favorite, able to get away with a bunch of stuff while I felt they were way harder on me than on her. You know, typical sister stuff.
Reading about Andi and Laina in Twelve Steps reminded me a lot of growing up with my sister - with all of the fun times, sad times, and the inbetween as well as the awkwardness I experienced during my teenage years. This book is exactly why I love the YA genre.
The Second Class Sibling
Andi has labeled herself "the second class sibling" after years of feeling like she can never measure up to her older sister, Laina. After crushing on Jarod, the guy who's close with both sisters but only has eyes for Laina, for years, there's a hugely awkward moment involving a kiss that had me clutching my chest in a bit of heartbreak for Andi.
I felt so bad for her! She's a firecracker - always entertaining and witty, there's never a dull moment with her. She would be loads of fun to hang out with. At the same time, she can be manipulative and sneaky in order to get what she wants. She doesn't mean to intentionally hurt anyone, but that's usually what ends up happening. She isn't selfish, just a lovesick teenage girl with a massive crush on someone who possibly might not ever give her the time of day.
The Most Perfect Girl in the School
When you have the kind of personality Laina has, eager to please, I think you put much more pressure on yourself than anyone else ever could. Once you've achieved certain things like being on the "A" honor roll or being the top flute player in band, then it becomes expected you stay there. The pressure may not even necessarily come from others - it could be coming from you so strongly that you might perceive it as coming from others.
I was surprised Laina isn't superficial and stuck up and went out of her way to be a good sister to Andi because from the synopsis, I figured she treated Andi like she's better than her. That isn't how Laina is at all, and it was refreshing to find that out. She's clueless about the way Andi is jealous of her - she doesn't think there's anything special about her.
Hmmm...Jarod. Is he really worth Andi's time anyway? Or Laina's? The further Andi went to send Laina into Shane's (a guy Laina likes) arms, the more hilarious the situation became. Shane couldn't stop making creeptastic comments, and I couldn't stop laughing at them. Poor guy! He was so nervous around Laina! He didn't mean to come off creepy, either. *facepalm*
The Unexpected Hottie
I became more interested in Dave for Andi and wanted Jarod out of the way. Dave saw right through Andi's facade, and I think she's met her match in him. One of my favorite moments is when he tells Andi that she's beautiful and of course guys are attracted to her, and I was cheering.
The Bottom Line
Good Lord I love this book! I haven't been reading much YA lately, and Twelve Steps has made me realize just how much I've missed it. All the teenage angst and drama - I'll never get tired of any of it. Bartles has done a fantastic job of writing a YA novel that's screamingly hilarious with those moments of embarrassment and angst I remember from my own years as a teenager. Twelve Steps is the kind of book that's the perfect example of why YA rocks.
As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they're driving one another crazy.
When she isn't writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn't actually tried that yet), and inventing the world's most delectable cookie recipes. TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Barltes's first novel.
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