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review 2014-04-07 22:12
Twelve Steps - Veronica Bartles

Living in the shadow of your older sibling can be hard, especially when they are practically perfect.

Andi just wants everyone to see her for who she is, not Laina’s little sister. She is impulsive, and out there. She goes out of her way to be the exact opposite of Laina. Both Andi and Laina have so much to learn. They spend so much time wanting to be different that they don’t see how great they are.

I love how much Andi and Laina grow throughout this book. They don’t realize how much they need each other. But I love when they spend time together. I was giggling so much. Their girl’s night toward the beginning was so much fun. I think Andi tortures herself when it comes to her crush. She tries to make there be something when she should just leave it alone.

Twelve steps is a fun story about sisters, bonding, boys, and how to be comfortable with yourself.

Source: bookishthingsandmore.com/2014/03/blog-tour-twelve-steps-by-veronica-bartles.html
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review 2014-04-06 04:53
{Review} Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles
Twelve Steps - Veronica Bartles

If there’s one thing Andi knows, it’s that she will always be eclipsed by her sister.  The boys who flirt with her change their tunes as soon as Laina, the living Barbie doll, enters the scene, and for all her scheming, it seems there’s nothing Andi can do to change that.  And it’s a thousand times worse when she has to watch her forever crush pining away for the one girl she can’t outshine.

 

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TheVerdictRemember that girl in high school that was so unbelievably perfect, so nice and talented and beautiful that every other girl faded into the background when she was around?  That’s Andi’s sister, the beautiful but somewhat naive Laina. I’m pretty sure I would have dropped out of school if I’d been in Andi’s shoes.  But Andi’s much cooler than that.

 

Crushing on Jarod, Andi’s high school life is exactly what you would expect from a teenage girl.  Full of gossiping, scheming, silliness, and overanalyzing every single word and deed from guys.  And Jarod’s not making it easy.  Trailing after Laina like a lost puppy, his sometimes flirting and occasional kisses with Andi leave her head spinning.  After all, he makes it perfectly clear that he’s in love with her sister.  And why normally a guy like this would just piss me off, in this book, he was absolutely right.  After all, high school boys are seldom the fonts of wisdom and decisiveness that so many young adult books would have us believe.

 

And Andi?  Well, she’s just spectacular.  She’s at times bold, often silly, and always planning her next move in the great “Get Jarod to Love Me” caper.  Since she loves and gets along with her sister, as devious as her plotting may be, she’s not the least bit malicious or mal-intentioned.  And that right there is what makes the book.

 

Twelve Steps is a cute, fun, lighthearted read filled with confusing boys, loving sisters, all the hallmarks of high school life, and those awesomely awkward moments that are the curse and the magic of high school.  It’s almost impossible to describe without using the word “cute,” but that’s exactly what it is without being ridiculous fluff, and anyone who’s ever crushed on a boy in school, gone out with the second choice, or compared herself to that unfairly perfect girl that every school has will absolutely feel right at home in Andi’s mind.

 

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***FicCentral received this book from YA Bound Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Even so, we're far too opinionated to let a freebie influence our thoughts or the contents of the reviews we post here.
Source: ficcentral.com/central-picks/giveaway/review-twelve-steps-by-veronica-bartles
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review 2014-04-02 16:17
perfect example of why YA rocks!
Twelve Steps - Veronica Bartles

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl

Twelve Steps was just too cute to pass up. Oh YA, how I've missed you! I knew I had to read this book - I have a younger sister, and although I'm the older one, I don't believe I outshone her. But she always thought I was our parents' favorite, able to get away with a bunch of stuff while I felt they were way harder on me than on her. You know, typical sister stuff. 

Reading about Andi and Laina in Twelve Steps reminded me a lot of growing up with my sister - with all of the fun times, sad times, and the inbetween as well as the awkwardness I experienced during my teenage years. This book is exactly why I love the YA genre. 

The Second Class Sibling

Andi has labeled herself "the second class sibling" after years of feeling like she can never measure up to her older sister, Laina. After crushing on Jarod, the guy who's close with both sisters but only has eyes for Laina, for years, there's a hugely awkward moment involving a kiss that had me clutching my chest in a bit of heartbreak for Andi. 

I felt so bad for her! She's a firecracker - always entertaining and witty, there's never a dull moment with her. She would be loads of fun to hang out with. At the same time, she can be manipulative and sneaky in order to get what she wants. She doesn't mean to intentionally hurt anyone, but that's usually what ends up happening. She isn't selfish, just a lovesick teenage girl with a massive crush on someone who possibly might not ever give her the time of day. 


The Most Perfect Girl in the School

When you have the kind of personality Laina has, eager to please, I think you put much more pressure on yourself than anyone else ever could. Once you've achieved certain things like being on the "A" honor roll or being the top flute player in band, then it becomes expected you stay there. The pressure may not even necessarily come from others - it could be coming from you so strongly that you might perceive it as coming from others. 

I was surprised Laina isn't superficial and stuck up and went out of her way to be a good sister to Andi because from the synopsis, I figured she treated Andi like she's better than her. That isn't how Laina is at all, and it was refreshing to find that out. She's clueless about the way Andi is jealous of her - she doesn't think there's anything special about her. 

The Scheme 

Hmmm...Jarod. Is he really worth Andi's time anyway? Or Laina's? The further Andi went to send Laina into Shane's (a guy Laina likes) arms, the more hilarious the situation became. Shane couldn't stop making creeptastic comments, and I couldn't stop laughing at them. Poor guy! He was so nervous around Laina! He didn't mean to come off creepy, either. *facepalm*

The Unexpected Hottie

I became more interested in Dave for Andi and wanted Jarod out of the way. Dave saw right through Andi's facade, and I think she's met her match in him. One of my favorite moments is when he tells Andi that she's beautiful and of course guys are attracted to her, and I was cheering. 

The Bottom Line

Good Lord I love this book! I haven't been reading much YA lately, and Twelve Steps has made me realize just how much I've missed it. All the teenage angst and drama - I'll never get tired of any of it. Bartles has done a fantastic job of writing a YA novel that's screamingly hilarious with those moments of embarrassment and angst I remember from my own years as a teenager. Twelve Steps is the kind of book that's the perfect example of why YA rocks.

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review 2014-04-02 05:30
5* Book Review of Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles - BLOG TOUR

Review on 2nd April 2014
Have a look at Twelve Steps below and get a glimpse into the teenage rivalry over boys and the all important dream of being perfect.

FINAL Twelve Steps 1800 x 2700

 

 

Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

Released: 25th March 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

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


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My Review


I haven’t read a contemporary young adult for a while and Twelve Steps was a lot of fun. Ah teenage angst and that all important show of getting the boys attention, what fun it was…. Veronica Bartles has a very fun and enthusiastic way of showing sibling rivalry and teenage misunderstandings. I loved it!

Andrea (Andi) Anderson is known among her school as the sister of Alaina (Laina). Laina is projected as the perfect daughter and Andi is forever trying to prove herself, with no prevail. Andi is always in the shadow of her sister, all the boys want her and the girls want to be like her.

Jarod Johnson has been best friends with Laina for a long time and as such Andi has had a crush on him during that time. Andi now wants more, she tries to get his attention and become something other than just Laina’s sister. But everyone knows that Jarod has always had a crush on Laina. The other problem is that Laina has always had a crush on Shane. Man, what complicated chaos.

Andi has a twelve step list that will help her overcome the perfect sister syndrome and build her own confidence to be her own person. She has made a plan to help Shane and Laina get together, so then that will allow Jarod to pay attention to Andi instead of Laina. What a convoluted idea and as usual nothing goes to plan.

Andi meets Dave on a night on the town with Laina and Dave seems to be the go to man for Andi when she needs help. Dave helps Andi realise that she has her own aspirations and slowly even her parents come around to realise she isn’t a bad daughter. Andi grows in confidence and discovers (through unethical means) that Laina has her own insecurities.

Jarod must make a choice between the two sisters, but this isn’t really fair on him or the girls. What has happened to squash Laina’s confidence? She won’t share her secret and Jarod won’t either. Performing in Cinderella, Andi realises that Cinderella always gets the prince and her plan to get Jarod changes direction.

Will Andi find the boy of her dreams that gives her butterflies and isn’t after her sister? Will Laina and Andi overcome their rivalry? Who will Jarod choose in the end?

A fantastic teenage romance with realistic scenarios and sibling interactions. I love Andi and her attitude and I love how she grew up and become her own person instead of the shadow. I highly recommend this to all young adult readers of contemporary romances, loved it.

5 FUN ANGSTY HEARTS

5 FUN ANGSTY HEARTS
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About the Author  

veronica bartlesAs 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.

~ Website ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~


Check out the rest of the tour by clicking HERE.

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Source: wp.me/p3hHRz-15Y
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review 2014-03-30 19:43
Good Young-Adult Coming-of-Age Drama
Twelve Steps - Veronica Bartles

Coming-of-age stories are usually full of character growth, and some youthful drama. This book certainly has both of those, centering around a young, somewhat naive sixteen year-old girl, who feels as though she's trapped in the shadow of her older sister.

 

I found this book to be full of ironies - many that are very realistic, and probably happen more than we realize. I don't want to give away spoilers, so I won't mention the ironies specifically, but I will say they made me laugh, and really showed the growth of several characters involved with this 12-step drama.

 

This book was very well written, and the characters were all very easy to connect with. They seemed completely realistic, and I clearly pictured the scenario laid out in this book. It probably happened in my high school, as well as most other schools. I enjoyed the ending, the setting, and the personal dynamics between all the teenagers finding their way through life and love.

 

For fans of realistic fiction and coming-of-age stories, this is a good one. I would recommend it, and will probably end up reading it again.

 

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

 

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