REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
by Veronica Bartles
Twelve Steps has just been released and is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. The only thing Andi's sure she has going for her is her 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 and get the guy.
Step 1: Admit she's powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks.
Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities. She MUST have more than just great hair, right?
Step 7: Demand attention for more than just the way she screws things up.
When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her twelve-step program isn't working. Her prince isn't as charming as she'd hoped, and the spotlight she's been trying to steal isn't the one she wants.
As Laina's flawless façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
"There should be a support group for kids with perfect siblings. Something like AlaTeen, but without the drug talk. We could sit around and chat about how our flawless family members are systematically destroying our lives."
"I take a deep breath to calm the miniature acrobats practicing backflips in my stomach."
"High school teachers are the easiest people in the world to manipulate. All you have to do is pretend to think they're fascinating, and suddenly, they think you're the best thing since sliced bread."
"This has to work, because I'm totally out of new strategies, and the only thing worse than a perfect sister is a depressed Barbie doll."
" ... watching Shane and Laina last night convinced me that they're kind of awkwardly perfect for each other."
"He's like a super-hot fairy godfather, changing Cinderella's ragged self-esteem, into a beautiful ego made of awesome."
"It sucks to be completely overlooked and ignored while everyone on the planet practically worships your sister."
"It's time for Cinderella to get her prince, and I'm the perfect fairy godmother to make it all happen."
Andrea Anderson (Andi) has to compete with her perfect sister Laina not only for her parents' attention, but for the affections of Jarod, who also happens to be Laina's best friend. So Andi sets in motion a twelve step plan to get her life back on track. When she finds out that Laina has a crush on Shane, who's going out with Laina's ex-best friend Rachel, Andi hatches a plan to set Laina up with him so that she can have Jarod for herself.
Along the way, Andi discovers that Laina is not as perfect as she thought; she's got problems of her own. What's with the sabotaging behavior of Laina's so-called best friend Kendra? And what dark secret is Laina hiding from Andi? Andi also realizes that Laina's not the only one getting attention from boys; she herself has no shortage of admirers, especially the ever-present Dave. Even Jarod seems to be ambivalent about the two sisters. Who will he choose? And will he be too late? Maybe love is right under our noses the whole time; we just have to stop looking in the wrong direction.
Twelve Steps is a great clean read for teens. Even the swearing is cute, for example, "Oh. My. Gobstopper!" The story is fast-paced and written in a great natural style from the point-of-view of sixteen-year-old Andi. The real life action is cleverly mirrored in the stage production of Cinderella, starring Jarod as Prince Charming and Andi as one of the step-sisters. Andi's humor prevents her from becoming an unlikeable character, and, thankfully, her shallow and selfish attitude turns around and she finally starts thinking about others instead of just herself. In addition, the author subtly hints, through snippets of conversation, that all may not be as it seems, and that Andi's perceptions of reality may be clouded by her own emotions. This would make a great movie!
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 Bartles' first novel.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.