Friday, April 4, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Twelve Steps


Twelve Steps

by Veronica Bartles

Publication Date: 03/25/14

Blurb: 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.

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My Rating: 4 stars

This book was fantastic! I had been wanting to read a nice contemporary romance for a while now, but I've sadly only read ones that were average or, well, bad. I don't have that much luck with contemporaries, it seems. Twelve Steps remedied that. This one definitely satisfied me!

I loved the vivid characters that the author wrote about. Andi is a wonderfully flawed MC, who at the beginning of the book comes off as rather selfish, but I thought she changed through the better throughout the book. Laina starts off as the perfect older sister, but as I read I realized that didn't even begin to describe her. She was as real and flawed as Andi, and I really loved how the author wrote her. 

The guys in this book are also really well written. Jared, Dave, Shane...okay, I'll admit I liked Dave best but I loved reading about all of them! They aren't exactly the flawless, wonderful boyfriend material that a lot of love interests are in YA books. In fact, Jared didn't even come close to that description. But they were tremendously well written. 

That is probably what is done best in the book; no matter how important--or unimportant--the characters were, Veronica Bartles made certain that they acted like actual human beings. It makes a story so much better when characters act like human beings.

The writing was really good. I really felt like I knew Andi, the author channeled her personality very well. Her emotions were really brought out through the writing.

Also, this isn't a light and fluffy contemporary. I thought it had some awesome lessons. Many people can relate to being considered second best, or living in someone's shadow, whether it be your sister, your best friend, a teammate on a sports team, or someone else. This book shows that doesn't define you.

Would I recommend this? Of course! I loved Twelve Steps. It was both funny and relatable, and it had a great ending, that I obviously won't reveal, but it was perfect. This book is perfect for fans of contemporary, romance, and just really good books in general! 

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.

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