by Veronica Bartles
What do you get when you add FIVE years’ worth of unrequited love, TWO sisters, and a FIVE-way entanglement worthy of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM? TWELVE STEPS, of course! You also get a funny, sweet story that anyone who has ever felt like an inferior sibling will identify with.
Seventeen-year-old Andi is saddled with older sister Laina, who “set the bar so high it’s impossible to reach” – or so she thinks. The great thing about Andi, though, is this doesn’t keep her from trying. And, despite occasional resentment towards, and jealousy of, her big sister, Andi is always there for her, willing to sacrifice her own happiness for Laina’s. Even more impressive, despite a deep, desperate desire for Jarod (who, of course, is in love with Laina), Andi has enough pride, intelligence and self-respect to keep him at bay when he vacillates between her and her sibling.
First-time author Veronica Bartles has created a rich, one-of-a-kind heroine, full of relatable emotions and complex contradictions. Andi is clever yet oblivious; confident yet terrified; wholesome yet not a goody-goody. The heroine – and the author’s – originality is exemplified in Andi’s casting in CINDERELLA. Not only is she a wicked stepsister rather than the lead (an ironic mirroring of her sibling dynamic), but Andi transforms the role, tempting the prince to woo her instead. I predict TWELVE STEPS is only the first step in a sweet and successful career for Bartles.
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 façade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.
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.
Blog Tour Organized by: