by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: 03/25/14
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.
12 Questions with Laina Andersen
1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you?
I guess I’d want enough food and water to keep me alive. And my journal and purple sparkly pen. (Does that technically count as four things?)
2. Describe your perfect day.
I wake up in the morning, without even needing an alarm clock, and there’s a thick fog covering everything, making the whole world beautiful. Jarod and I go for a long walk, and just talk about everything and nothing at all. Then, when the sun comes up and burns the fog away, I come back home and curl up in my reading chair with a great book and a fuzzy blanket and no distractions for the rest of the day.
3. What is your biggest fear?
I worry that, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be good enough. I wish I could be more like Andi, breezing through life without a single care in the world. Everything comes so easy for her. She never has to work for anything, whereas I am always one step away from total failure.
4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
5. If you could fly or be invisible, which one would you choose and why?
I’d be invisible. Sometimes, I wish I could just melt away into nothingness. I guess that’s what I love about the fog.
6. Who is your hero?
Honestly? I’d have to say my little sister, Andi. She’s so smart and beautiful, and everything I could never hope to be. But don’t tell her I said that. She kind of has an over-inflated ego, and I’d hate to make it worse.
7. Favorite movie?
27 Dresses – The sisters in that movie are just like me and Andi. But I’m not quite as compulsive as the older sister in the movie.
8. Favorite song?
That song Andi sings in Cinderella, where the stepsisters complain about the beautiful girl who steals the prince’s heart. I understand exactly how they feel. Every guy I know thinks Andi is gorgeous. I think even Jarod has a secret crush on her.
9. Favorite book?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll – Although, I guess that’s technically two books, isn’t it?
10. Favorite food?
Smoked salmon with steamed asparagus
11. Favorite drink?
12. Favorite cartoon character?
That’s a tough one. I’m not really into cartoons. Can I just choose Alice, from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland?
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.
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