Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles Plus a giveaway!

Hey gang! It's been awhile, but the blog is back in action and I'm kicking that off with a review of TWELVE STEPS, a great YA by Veronica Bartles.
Here's what it's about:

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 fa├žade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.

Here's a bit 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.
Here's what I thought:
What a refreshing book. I love the sister relationship and focus of this book so much. I'm a sucker for lists, I admit it, so the fact that book is based on a twelve step list, and then another list later on,  was one of my favorite things. 
The writing is strong and the reading is so enjoyable, I finished this book in two days. I loved the characters and Veronica has such a lovely voice that shows through in her writing. I loved seeing Andi's journey and the realization that the world through her eyes isn't necessarily the way the world really is. It was so easy to relate.
But hands down my favorite thing is the sisters working together. I'm trying to keep this review spoiler free, but that relationship is what kept me in this book and it's been a long time since a YA book held me with a non-romantic relationship. 
Again - the words that comes to mind is refreshing. I give TWELVE STEPS four stars and definitely recommend it!! 
Find Veronica at: 
Add and buy TWELVE STEPS on Goodreads.  

Not convinced? How about a giveaway? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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