Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{Blog Tour} Review: Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

Title: Twelve Steps
Author: Veronica Bartles
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 facade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.

This book was definitely a cute, fun read. I was intrigued by the synopsis, and it definitely didn't disappoint. I also was able to read it pretty fast, a bonus for me, because it means that it caught my attention and managed to entertain me.

Andi is the younger sister to absolutely perfect Laina. Nothing she does could ever measure up, so why bother? She has quickly adopted the airy, doesn't-have-a-care-in-the-world attitude, so that no one realizes how she really feels. Until the day Jarod, her long time crush, asks for her help in asking out Laina and Andi decides that it's about time she stepped out from her sister's shadow. 

I will say, I didn't quite get it. Andi complains all the time about how every guy fawns over Laina, she's always second best, Laina's gorgeous and smart, etc. Except, that's what all Andi's friends say about Andi too. And she's so busy acting like everything's perfect, that she fails to see that Laina is just acting too. Of course, this always happens with siblings (the grass is always greener), but there were some parts when it just got annoying because I couldn't figure out exactly what Andi was complaining about.

Other than that, though, I loved it. Andi was hilarious (when she wasn't whining). Actually, we have the same kind of humor, so I felt more connected with her (even though I'm the older sister, and she's the younger). Jarod was okay, although I didn't find him that swoony. I didn't really have any issues with Laina, other than to think Andi was being unfair, but I think I understood her more because she's the older sister too. And Dave... *swoons*. I just really liked him. 

I know, love triangles are the devil. And this book has TWO. But, they were actually bearable (surprising, I know). I think it helps that Dave knew Andi was in love with Jarod, and was just willing to be there for her until she figured it out. And Andi's sabotage plans definitely kept everything more interesting, with Laina's love triangle.

The only issue I had with the ending, is that I don't think Andi and Laina really came to understand each other as much as they could have/should have. I mean, yes, Andi finds out things about Laina, but I think it should have had more impact on the sisterly relationship. It all kind of just...happened, and then ended.

But other than that, I definitely loved this book. (The only unrealistic part was how well she brought up her failing biology grade. Impossible. Then again, apparently I just needed a Dave to make it better :P) It was definitely a fun, light read, and super cute.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Veronica Bartles:

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 her first novel.

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