[Review] Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

*I received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Title: Twelve Steps to Normal
Author: Farrah Penn
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication date: March 13, 2018

James Patterson presents this emotionally resonant novel that shows that while some broken things can’t be put back exactly the way they were, they can be repaired and made even stronger.

Kira’s Twelve Steps To A Normal Life

1. Accept Grams is gone.
2. Learn to forgive Dad.
3. Steal back ex-boyfriend from best friend…

And somewhere between 1 and 12, realize that when your parent’s an alcoholic, there’s no such thing as “normal.”
When Kira’s father enters rehab, she’s forced to leave everything behind–her home, her best friends, her boyfriend…everything she loves. Now her father’s sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal…exactly as it was before she was sent away.

But is that what Kira really wants?divider_line (1)
Review: This was a really heartwarming coming-of-age story about love, loss, friendship, and alcoholism. Kira is torn away from her life when her father goes to rehab for his drinking problem. She is forced to leave her school, friends, and boyfriend behind, not knowing when she’ll return. When she does she discovers that her father has invited strangers from rehab to live with them, one of her best friends is dating her ex, and she doesn’t seem to fit in anymore.

Kira’s solution? She adopts the 12-step program they use in rehab for her own purposes. Her biggest mistake is realizing that she can’t get back to the life she had before because too much has changed. But she still tries to make amends with her friends, get rid of the unwelcome guests in her house, and most difficult of all, forgive her father.

This was such an emotionally complex story! Kira was dealing so much with grief, anger, and fear and she went through such a huge amount of growth by the end. It was difficult to relate to her character a bit because she didn’t really want to open up to anyone around her. She allowed the bitterness of her home life and school life consume her and she needed at least one person to vent to. I honestly thought that person was going to be her crush Alex, but she still kept him at an arm’s reach. I guess I was a bit frustrated with how easily some of Kira’s issues could have been solved. She did have a lot going on though between fixing friendships, struggling with school, being angry at her dad, and crushing on a boy. I think somewhere along the way the main plot about Kira and her relationship with her father maybe got a bit lost with everything else?

But overall, this story had a lot of depth and there were definitely some heart-melting moments. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster for me. If you love a story about change, forgiveness, and second chances, definitely give this one a shot!

Rating: 4/5

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