Title: Twelve Steps
Publication Date: March 25th 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
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 façade begins to crumble, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
Andi and Laina Andersen are sisters and you know what they say, one sister gets the looks and the other one gets the brains. But Andi believes her sister has both even though she's never studied hard enough to get good grades, her friends keep reminding her that she's pretty and boys seem interested in her. The one thing she wants is Jarod but she can't have him because he's been in love with Laina for years. But when Laina shows interest in Shane, Jarod chooses to be with Andi but she won't accept that because Jarod didn't choose, he just got the other sister and that's not fair for Andi because she deserves better.
But she can't stop thinking about Jarod, who returns to Laina as soon as her relationship or whatever she had with Shane is over. The thing is, Laina doesn't make her final choice and that confuses the guys and makes Andi's life much harder. Laina has insecurities and is afraid of being with someone. In the beginning the reader assumes that she just likes the attention, which is part true, but as the story proceeds, we find out what caused Laina to act like that.
So, Andi can't have Jarod but that doesn't mean that other boys don't like her. Take Dave for example. He's shy, kind of a nerd, cute and he's known Andi since elementary school. They were never friends but they exchange a few words in school and they bump into each other outside of it. What Andi doesn't know is that Dave likes her. A lot. But he doesn't think that he's good enough for her when he has to complete against Jarod, perfect boyfriend material.
I loved how Andi grew up through this story. She starts off as the sister who is not the perfect student and can't even compare herself to Laina and turns out to be a very talented actress, just as smart and maybe a little bit smarter than her sister and a girl who is not afraid to express her feelings and go after the guy who can love her for who she is.
The exact same thing applies to Laina. She finally makes her choice, faces her past and fears and finally realizes what a great and supportive sister she's had all along.
Andi is a teenage girl with dreams, ambitions and a great sense of humor. The story is well written, the characters could be everyday high school students and her friendship-flirting-relationship with Dave is so sweet and genuine. Twelve Steps is a story about first loves, broken hearts, discovering yourself, making the right decisions and having the courage to move on because you never know what you'll find in the next corner! A must read for YA Contemporary Romance book junkies!