Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: 03/25/14
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 that 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 façade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
My 5-Star Review of the Book
I absolutely loved it! First of all I want to say that I can totally relate to Andi-Alaina relationship and feelings for each other. And let me tell you that it was right on!!.... being perfect is no easy feat, and I think the author has captured all the tension plus drama between two sisters superbly, without giving any negativity which could have spoiled the whole story.
"We could sit around and chat about how our flawless family members are systematically destroying our lives."
Laina is perfect and her perfection has haunted Andi for ages. Everyone keeps comparing her to her perfect elder sister and she is sick and tired of it. The boy she has been crushing on for years is also interested in Laina and not her. In fact every single boy in school is interested in Laina, not that she pays attention to them. Still they keep following her around and ignoring Andi.
Andi thinks that she is powerless because of Laina's perfection and she should just take charge of her life. So when Jarod asks her to help him win her sister, she starts work on her own agenda instead. A twelve-step programme which will make all her problems disappear. Most importantly it'll make Jarod realised that she was the sister for him no Laina. When Shane entered the picture, it gave her a perfect opportunity to make her dream come true. But things rarely go the way one plans....
She has always acted as if it didn't matter, as if she didn't notice people comparing her to Laina and finding her less than perfect. And she is good at acting too, no one sees her like she really is except Dave. He is the only person who sees through her lies....
"Didn't anyone ever tell you that you're supposed to keep things vague when you're lying through your teeth."
So she is not as clueless as her sister. She knows when someone is interested in her but she cannot by anything more than friends with Dave. She has always been in love with Jarod and that will never change or so she thinks.....
Its a beautifully written story, which is perfect for young readers. I'm no teenager but I loved it too. All the characters are well crafted and I especially loved Dave's character. Didn't like Jarod though. He was no hero-material if you asked me. He was stringing Andi along while pining for Laina. But the book demanded that character so it was perfect in its own way. Everyone was as they should be and this made it a 5-star read.
About the Author
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's first novel.