Twelve Steps

Twelve Steps

by Veronica Bartles


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When her crush asks her to fix him up with her perfect older sister, sixteen-year-old Andi decides it’s time to step out of the shadows. She creates a twelve-step program for second-class siblings to help her steal the spotlight, and the guy, from her sister, Laina. 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. Even if all she's got going for her is really great hair. Step 7: Demand attention for more than just the way she screws things up. But when a stolen kiss ends in disaster, Andi realizes that her prince isn't as charming as she'd hoped. And as Laina’s flawless facade begins to crumble, Andi discovers that the spotlight she's been trying to steal isn't really the one she wants. The sisters will have to work together to find a spotlight big enough for them both to shine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692636725
Publisher: Kissing Frogs Press
Publication date: 03/25/2014
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Veronica Bartles has spent most of her life wondering "What If?" She knows there are many sides to every story, and she's determined to discover every single one of them. Veronica believes that Cinderella isn't the only sister who deserves to go to the ball, and that every princess deserves a frog, because princes aren't pets! She is an incurable optimist who loves gray, drizzly days because that's when rainbows come out to play. When she's not writing (or reading!) books, Veronica enjoys knitting with recycled plastic bags, inventing fabulous new cookie recipes, and hanging out with her family.

Twitter: @vbartles
Facebook: /AuthorVeronicaBartles/
Instagram: vbartles

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Twelve Steps 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is a wonderful book I couldn't put it down. I can relate to Andi about feeling being in the shadow of her sister. Wonderful job Veronica Bartles! I give thus a five star rating.
ysar More than 1 year ago
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. The Verdict... Remember 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. ***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.
donniedarkogirl More than 1 year ago
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.    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.   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.  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* 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.  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. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
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.
AshleyBodette More than 1 year ago
Don't get me wrong, it's not all daisies and roses, but this story is SO SWEET!  You know, I started life as an older sister, but when I was 8, I became the middle child.  And believe me, you want to stand out as much as you can!  Although I had different reasons, and went about it in a different way than Andi, I totally understand her need to shine in her own spotlight.  I LOVE Andi!  She may seem like a whiny little sister at the beginning of the book, and maybe she is, but she grows into this strong young woman, and you can't help but love her.  She's on a mission to get out from under her sister's shadow, and you will laugh, and cry, watching her work her way through the 12 steps she has set up for herself.  And her sister?  Well, you might very much dislike her when the story starts, but Laina isn't everything she seems to be.  Both of these girls are very relatable, and they love each other, even if it doesn't always seem that way.  At multiple points in the story, I wanted to hug them both, console them, tell them how wonderful, beautiful and strong they are. And the boys?  Jarod and Dave are really both fantastic.  (Even if I did want to slug Jarod a few times during the story.)  Any girl would be lucky to be with either of them. :)  Although, I must admit, I loved Dave from the start, and never wavered.  Does Andi end up with Jarod?  Or Dave?  Or does she choose neither?  Well, you'll just have to read it yourself and find out!
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
Andrea Anderson (Andi) has to compete with her perfect sister Laina not only for her parents' attention, but for the affections of Jarod, who also happens to be Laina's best friend. So Andi sets in motion a twelve step plan to get her life back on track. When she finds out that Laina has a crush on Shane, who's going out with Laina's ex-best friend Rachel, Andi hatches a plan to set Laina up with him so that she can have Jarod for herself.  Along the way, Andi discovers that Laina is not as perfect as she thought; she's got problems of her own. What's with the sabotaging behavior of Laina's so-called best friend Kendra? And what dark secret is Laina hiding from Andi? Andi also realizes that Laina's not the only one getting attention from boys; she herself has no shortage of admirers, especially the ever-present Dave. Even Jarod seems to be ambivalent about the two sisters. Who will he choose? And will he be too late? Maybe love is right under our noses the whole time; we just have to stop looking in the wrong direction. "Twelve Steps" is a great clean read for teens. Even the swearing is cute, for example, "Oh. My. Gobstopper!" The story is fast-paced and written in a great natural style from the point-of-view of sixteen-year-old Andi. The real life action is cleverly mirrored in the stage production of Cinderella, starring Jarod as Prince Charming and Andi as one of the step-sisters. Andi's humor prevents her from becoming an unlikeable character, and, thankfully, her shallow and selfish attitude turns around and she finally starts thinking about others instead of just herself. In addition, the author subtly hints, through snippets of conversation, that all may not be as it seems, and that Andi's perceptions of reality may be clouded by her own emotions. This would make a great movie! I received this book in return for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ive read. Its so good i read it three times! This is a definate 5 star rating. Its a good little romance story. I acually fell deaply in love with andi's now bf in the story. You wuld like this story if u like rom-coms. Supr good and keeps u at the edge of your seat!
skizzles22 More than 1 year ago
I'm seriously so stunned that I didn't like this book.I think my problem started with the main character, Andi, and escalated from there. I thought she was incredibly selfish, superficial, and lacked any real depth. She's the best kind of manipulator, but half the time she used that just to her advantage and no one else's. She has this warped image about her older sister, Alaina. The perfect, beautiful in every single way, older sister that has set such a high bar for Andi. In some ways, it's totally true. In others, it's so exaggerated that I found myself hating the MC for how she was acting toward her sister. The sister she knows absolutely nothing about. I tried to like Andi, I did. I wanted to so badly, because she was really funny at times. I just thought she was so selfish, especially when it came to wanting Jarod all for herself. Even going so far as to erase his voicemails so he wouldn't go "crawling" back to her older sister (even though they're best friends, and Alaina needed him!). I don't think she ever really put her sister above her own selfish wants and desires.  So, what was this book exactly supposed to be about? Because I didn't find much change from beginning to end. Andi never went through this epiphany; she never tried to change her relationship with her sister or try to be a better person. In the end, she just accepted that she'd never be like her older, perfect, stunningly beautiful that every single guy wants her, sister. There was zero communication between the characters, and the sisters' relationship lacked warmth between them, because they're both hiding secrets and have seriously warped images about each other. You know what this book was about? ROMANCE. High school romance, to be precise! This book was all about boys, boys, boys. And, oh yeah, boys. It was about changing your image to get a guy, or finally figuring out that they'll want the older sister every single time. Andi used her manipulating skills to try and catch Jarod. Jarod strung Andi along until he finally had the chance to prove to Alaina that he loved her as more than just a friend. Dave stayed in the shadows most of the time, and I never felt the chemistry between him and Andi. It seemed that Alaina was completely in love with Shane, who kept screwing up his chances with her. And she was kind of ignored throughout the book. Aside from the sometimes comedic antics of the MC, I don't think I liked any of this. I say "think" only because this was a short read. It might even have been the only thing that made me happy. The sister relationship was sorely underdeveloped and underplayed, the MC had quite an unlikable personality sometimes, and the so-called romance overshadowed everything else that the plot was made up of: he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not...