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Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

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Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.

304 pages, Paperback

First published May 5, 2015

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About the author

Danielle Younge-Ullman

6 books491 followers
Danielle Younge-Ullman is the award-winning author of the young adult novels, HE MUST LIKE YOU (July 2020), EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS NOT RUINED (2018), LOLA CARLYLE’S 12 STEP ROMANCE (2015), and the adult novel, FALLING UNDER (2008). Danielle’s work has been published internationally, won the White Pine and Earphone awards, and been nominated for multiple awards and best-of lists, including the Governor General’s Award, the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Green Mountain Book Award, American Library Associations Best of YA award, the Crystal Kite award, the Prix du Libraires du Quebec, and the Prix Sorcières du France, the Prix Lucioles du France, the Prix Farniente of Belgium, and CBC’s Best Books of 2017, Bank Street Best Children's Book list of 2018, Ontario Library Associations Best Bets of 2018. Danielle has an English degree from McGill University, and worked as a theatre and voice actor (plus server/host/temp/admin/Pilates instructor) before turning to writing. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 112 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,911 followers
April 22, 2015
Lola Carlyle is bored over her summer. Her friend Sydney calls her from rehab and let's her know what a dream her stay there is. Just like a spa, with massages, facials and the best part? Lola's crush Wade Miller has taken time off filming and checked himself in.
"No, listen, rehab is the new 'vacation.' Everyone's going these days."
"Not if they have no addictions."
"Sure they do. People go for just about anything. Gambling, internet addiction, eating disorders, cutting, prescription drugs. They go to convince their spouses they'll stop boning other people-the list goes on."

So Lola starts trying to fake her way to the rehab clinic. She goes with being an alcoholic because she thinks it would be the easiest to fake and none of the horrible withdrawals.

Once she arrives at the rehab center she finds out it's not all Sydney made it out to be. Oh, by the way, Sydney is no longer there. Her parents checked her out.
These people have actual addictions. They have hurt and pain. Lola starts off as a mouthy asshole. Used to getting her way. She makes out that her movie star dad is wonderful, and her parents separating because her soap star mom was having an affair with a female former porn star now stunt woman was all fine.
She mouths off to everyone. She skips her counseling and AA meetings.

She is after all a Celubu-spawn. Her parents will get her out of any mess she gets herself into. That's what happens when you are Celubu-spawn.

Then Lola starts to change. She realizes she has more problems that she wants to let on.
There is some romance in this book but it's not insta-love. There is a slight triangle but it's done well. All in all..this is not a bad little book.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,333 followers
April 30, 2015
“At the bottom of every person's dependency, there is always pain, Discovering the pain and healing it is an essential step in ending dependency.”

----Chris Prentiss

Danielle Younge-Ullman, a Canadian author, pens her new novel, Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance that traces the journey of a young girl who fakes an addiction to get into a rehab to be closer to the guy she likes.


Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn.

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.

Lola wants to go to rehab and that too by faking an addiction. Why? Because, she wants to spend time with her long-time crush, Wade Miller. But things go haywire once Lola arrives at the rehab, where she becomes an actual patient instead of faking of being a patient.

FUN! In all capital letters! Lola's journey to be a fake person was so much fun to read. This book was mildly insightful, although I believe the author could have delved deeper into this world of rehabs and addiction, instead she chose to portray it with light humor.

The writing of the author is really alluring by layering the plot with hilarious and witty moments that will surely going to crack you up. The pacing of the book is also good but I felt the author could have narrated more about the characters' back story to support their acts and also to help us contemplate with them.

The characters are all okay, nothing too over-the-top or striking, Lola did annoy me in the beginning of the book, then eventually as I got to know about her, I liked her witticism and her quirky nature. She can be related to the regular typical teenage girls with a crush on some hot dude. Lola's crush turns out to be a pretty adorable one- Wade, he is mature who goes through a lot in his life and with all his addiction drama, I could only sympathize with this character.

The supporting characters are bit hazy and are difficult to relate to and I couldn't point a finger to the reasons behind their actions. Otherwise all of the characters are charming and funny and embody realistic attitude and emotions. And in short, the book features some myriad cast of characters whose flaws and weird personalities simply kept me engaged to the core of the book.

The romance is the most gripping factor in this book. The author have skillfully created a love-triangle between Lola and her crush, Wade and between Lola and her mentor, Adam. And the author have compassionately portrayed the chemistry between each of these pairs. Yeah it was sweet yet somewhat passionate, but overall it kept me hooked until the end.

Verdict: An entertaining as well as funny read with a mixture of some major addiction drama and romance-in-a-rehab. A must-read for all YA lovers.

Courtesy: I received the book for a blog tour.
Profile Image for Alisha.
97 reviews
February 3, 2016
This book is amazing. For something that looks like cheesy chick lit, it's so much more than I expected. The story goes from Lola faking her way into rehab, to a beautiful self discovery, and I can't even put into words how much I enjoyed it.

At first, the characters seem fairly weak; just Lola, her mother, and her best friend Sydney, who are all kind of one dimensional, and difficult to get attached to. BUT this is definitely one of those stories that you have to stick with, and at the half way point, everything turned around for me.

Lola is a character I can genuinely relate to, because even though she started out as almost stuck up, and naive in a lot of ways, she grows so much throughout the book, and things about her life and personality are revealed slowly. It was like getting to know a real person, and the way she's written is so simple but complex and I absolutely adored her by the end.

The romance isn't even a huge part of it. Sure it's there but it's not out of place or obnoxious, and it's handled in such a lovely and respectful way, especially considering the backdrop of rehab. I think the bigger aspect of this book was coming of age, and self discovery, and this was helped so much by the people Lola met in rehab, particularly Talia and Jade who were such good contrasts to Lola, and gave her perspective.

Such an enjoyable, fast, and beautifully written YA novel, definitely worth the read.
Profile Image for Shannon A.
674 reviews530 followers
April 6, 2015
full review to come
I almost put this down a couple times but I wanted to give the main character a chance. I liked the setting and thought it was unique to have a YA contemporary set in a rehab setting. I guess my issues come from the fact that rehab wasn't taken seriously enough and I wanted the main character to grow more. The second half of the book definitely improved and kept me interested until the end.
349 reviews171 followers
May 17, 2015
“Celebu-spawn” Lola Carlyle is afraid of nothing and no one. And so she checks into the spa-like Sunrise Rehab, with the intention of helping Wade Miller, the love of her life, and hanging out with her best friend Sydney.

Except, Sunrise Rehab isn’t a spa, it’s a rehab and Sydney is long gone. So now, Lola’s stuck with Mr. Mentor - Adam, a duo of unpredictable roommates and a massive craving for chocolate.

So, so many times during the first 15% of the book, I wanted to give this book up and not want to look at it again. Lola’s voice felt immature and silly to me and it was pure stubbornness that helped me push through the beginning of the book. And God damn, I am so glad I managed not to DNF the book. Why? Let me tell you.

Lola is immature, whiney and downright clueless. But what I realised after some chapters into the book is that not only was she 17, she was also the daughter of a successful director and a soap opera actress. She’s been born into money and literally does not know the hardships of life. And it’s stupid to fault a person for something they do not know about. Which is why, I simply decided to immerse myself into this book without giving too much thought to the whys and the buts and let me tell you, it was awesome!

Lola is witty and smart and you cannot help but fall in love with her! Her life is the antithesis of what she pretends it is, and her relationship with her parents is as good as non-existent, but she always maintains a brave face and pretends to be the happy-go-lucky girl she really isn’t. I thought that there was a sadness inside this girl that I found to be really crushing and it did help me understand this girl a bit better.

I love the unique setting of this book—simply because it’s very unique in YA to have an entire book set in a rehab. Amongst the characters, Adam was my undeniable favorite. He made me swoon and laugh and pout in all the right places and OMG there was some real chemistry with these two. Lola tried constantly make his life living hell by breaking all the rules and skipping therapy sessions and doing everything that was against the rules. But Adam had the patience of a saint considering he showed nothing but hope that Lola would change.

I’d say this book is the definition of a coming to age novel, because I really saw Lola change. She went from this bratty, rich girl who didn’t give a fuck, to a responsible girl who not only stood up for herself but also became sensitive to the needs of others. And that was the most important message that I think a reader would pick up from this book—that the moment Lola opened herself up to change and allowed the programme to help her, it really did. She may not have been an addict of a certain substance or a habit, but she definitely had a different type of addiction.

As for the Adam-Lola-Wade triangle, let me tell you that there’s just one clear winner here. It was clear from the start, the distinction between whom Lola wanted and whom she needed and thank you God, the person she needed managed to get his head out of his ass to see it too! I’m recommending Lola to EVERYONE in need of a smart, funny narrative and protagonist with a heart of gold with a message to give :)

*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This did not in any way, however, influence the content of this review.*

Profile Image for Jillyn.
732 reviews
March 28, 2015
If we're being completely honest, I didn't think that I was going to like this book. I have had friends go to rehab to deal with drug abuse, and I was really concerned about reading a book where the initial plot is a girl faking her way in to save a boy from himself. But no matter how much I concerned myself, I couldn't resist giving it a read. I'm so glad I did: there is way more to this book than meets the eye.

I would still categorize this novel as a young adult romance. Lola fakes her way into an amazing "spa like" rehab center to get the scoop on a boy she's had a crush on for forever. But she gets tangled up in a complicated string of emotions concerning him as well as the young man who is supposed to be in charge of her case. I loved watching their feelings get explored in their love/hate relationship.

I didn't initially care for Lola too much. She's shallow and moody and concerned with trivial things like designer sunglasses. But the more I got to learn about her, her experiences, and her bizarre family situations, the more I grew to like her and as cheesy as it sounds, the more she liked herself too. She ends up having a road to self-discovery even though she fights it every step of the way. Some things come into perspective for her and it shapes her in ways I didn't anticipate. She easily became my favorite character by the end of the book (though Adam is a very dreamy second place).

I also really enjoyed the unique cast of characters that to me each had a distinct function and personality. From Adam, the counselor of sorts who is driving Lola insane, to her possibly actually insane roommate who may want to injure Lola, to the little-too-charming owner of the facility, and even to Lola's paparazzi and image obsessed mother, there was never really a dull moment for me. Even though some of the side characters irritated me, I'm fairly certain they were written that way on purpose- and it worked.

There were also quite a few moments that made me snicker aloud, which I always appreciate in a book, especially in one that takes place in such a serious place.

This book is a good blend of young adult, contemporary, and romance. It touches on some tough stuff from the other clients (who are actually admitted for real addictions), such as sex, alcohol, and drugs, but the story never becomes graphic. All in all, I think that if you're a fan of all three of those genres that you should give this book a shot. Because of the romance and the warm California settings that are described in the book, I think this will make a great poolside or beachy read for the summer of 2015.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for my copy in exchange for my honest review. This review can also be found on my blog, Bitches n Prose.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,040 followers
May 24, 2015
I'm not one of those readers who expect their main characters to be without any major flaws. I want them to be selfish for once because I am sick and tired of running from the truth- we are all flawed even if we pretend we're not.

A couple of days ago I read The Heir and the MC was a huge brat but the way she behaved made me love here even more. She wasn't trying to hurt anyone. She was just the way she was and I think that's what is most important-being true to yourself. Same thing happened with the protagonist, Lola Carlyle. She fakes her alcohol addiction in order to see her crush in rehab. She actually thinks this is a good idea. What could possibly go wrong? Gotta love this stupid idea.

Once Lola actually starts going to therapy and other meetings she realizes she is an addict(I'm still not sure where the author was going with this one but I can let it go) and has serious issues. Her parents are famous in Hollywood which means they care more about their carriers than about their daughter.

When I first started reading this book I thought Lola was some kind of weird, quiet girl but once she got into rehab she couldn't stop talking or getting into trouble. She drove her mentor(Adam) crazy. She was really fun.

Romance was cute and I knew she would change her mind about her childhood crush. There's always a better option available. Adam reminded me of Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy. In a way, Lola is also a lot like Rose so they are perfect together.

I'm glad Danielle Younge-Ullman is writing again. Her first book, Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman is really close to my heart. It's like a good friend. Does that make sense? Hope she will write faster because I don't think I can wait years before reading her next book.
Profile Image for Melissa (thereaderandthechef).
532 reviews168 followers
May 7, 2015
LOVED THIS BOOK! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ *heart button stops working* *frowns* *inserts a million more imaginary hearts*

How can one move on to another book after reading Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance? It's so darn hard! I'm obsessed, guys. This book is THE book of crazy goodness and gosh, I'm just a puddle of butterflying feels right now.

I really don't even know where to start. Do I talk about the unusual setting? Or the characters? Or perhaps the romance? Of ADAM?! *flails* I'm just too excited to form coherent thoughts *takes deep breath*.

Okay. The amazing thing about this book is that it's weird. Weird as in I-can't-believe-I'm-reading-this-but-I'm-loving-it kind of weird because the main character fakes her way into rehab. Yup, crazy, I know. I mean, WHO DOES THAT? At first I was a bit incredulous and thought that Lola was out of her mind and everything seemed just too unreal to work out, but man, the author made it work. Heck, I even can't stop wishing for something like this to happen to me (it's not right, but I blame it all on Adam).

So Lola Carlyle decided to fake her way into rehab in order to spend time with and supposedly help out her long-time crush, actor Wade Miller. Since her parents are in the Hollywood spotlight, it wasn't a difficult ordeal to accomplish. Just a few alcohol bottles, a bit of acting, and ta-daa, welcome to spa-like rehab (according to Lola's friend). Only that when Lola officially starts her day as a fake alcoholic, she soon realizes that her friend lied. Despite being the best rehab center and having the best accommodations, it is still rehab and everyone must stick to the rules *snickers*. From then on, I promise you that this book will have you giggling, clutching your stomach with the hilarius antics of Lola and falling head over heels with a certain swoon-worthy boy.

In the beginning I did think that I would fall for Wade Miller, imagining that he would be cool and distant towards Lola, battling personal demons but slowly falling for her charm. I liked the idea, but when Lola was answering her first rehab questionnaire in the presence of her 20 year old cute & professional mentor, and she manages to get out of him a laugh, I immediately wiped Wade off my list and drew little hearts around Adam's name.

My heart just hurts by thinking about him. He's too damn perfect. He's smart, gorgeous, kind, responsible and every other good thing you can imagine. It thrilled me to no end whenever he and Lola would get together in a scene, and I loved how they would banter. And, when he would get jealous? Gah, adorable! These parts became my favorites since they confirmed that he had feelings for Lola.

But even though that this book sounds like a big fluffy read, I'd like to point out that it's more than just a cute & romantic contemporary. Lola Carlyle's does deal with several issues, like of course addictions of every kind, how people battle with personal demons, and family problems. Problems that in Lola's world, and including ourworld, are very real. It's a well writen book that packs a whole lot.

As you can see, I loved every page of this book. I loved how it drew me in and made me have such a wonderful time in company of a crazy and lovable character who grows throughout the story yet never loses what makes her unique. Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance is a book I will highly recommend from now on to any YA contemporary reader. I won't even hesitate. It's sweet, funny, heart-warming and overall, incredibly awesome.

You MUST add it to your TBR!

*Thanks go out to Entangled Teen for the eARC in exchange of my honest opinion. This review can also be found at my blog, The Reader and the Chef.*
Profile Image for Veronica of V's Reads.
1,528 reviews41 followers
February 11, 2016
Lola Carlyle is celebu-spawn, the selfish 17 y/o offspring of two serious Hollywood players. Her mother is an actress on a long-standing soap opera, and her dad is a well-known diretor. The parental units split several years ago, and Lola lives with her mom and mother's girlfriend, while dad ia gallivanting off with whomever warms his bed--leaving Lola isolated and alone.

Her friend, Sydney, cons Lola into faking her way into rehab--where Sydney is, with the carrot that Lola's long-time crush, child actor Wade Miller is also in residence. Lola's torn--she has no addictions, yet, she has nothing really going on in her life. The lure of reconnecting with (and possibly helping) Wade, who she worked with on one of her dad's movies years ago, is strong, and it's not long before Lola is Sunrise-bound. While there, she learns that Sydney checked out two days before Lola arrived! Trying to salvage something positive, she seeks out Wade, who doesn't recognize her, but is certainly intrigued by the girl hitting on him.

Throughout the first week, however, Lola is remorseful about her shenanigans. She sees how very seriously some of the residents at Sunrise suffer from addiction. She can't even go into therapy, knowing that any decent therapist will see through her charade. The tragic stories she hears are horrifying, and only reinforce her idea that faking an addiction to hang out with Sydney and help "save" Wade was the worst idea ever.

Plus, her mentor, Adam, is a constant thorn in her paw. He's everywhere, and her attempt to escape him only brings them in closer proximity. Close enough that Lola finally feels as if someone is actually SEEING her. Her parents have treated her with casual neglect nearly her whole life, and even Lola doesn't think her sob story is worth anything compared with the addicts who surround her. She tries to "confess" that she isn't an addict, and this only gets her labeled as a denier. So, she steps up and works with her counselors, not against them, believing it's her only way out.

I enjoyed Lola's journey from self-obsessed snarky girl to self-reliant, grounded girl. The time span of the book isn't long--only a few weeks, but she has had years of emotional drama that she never felt comfortable discussing, always fearing a negative report being leaked to the press. Getting intense therapy does help Lola cope with her family drama in a healthy way. Though, honestly, her fame-hungry mother would be unlikely to bat an eyelash over the spin cycle of their taudry famliy laundry; she did arrange to have paparrazi present at Lola's intake appointment, after all.

Adam was not an unexpected love interest. I felt like that part of the romance was well-handled. He is attracted to the exasperating Lola, but holds himself (mostly) in check, to salvage his professional role, and facilitate Lola's "recovery." It is Adam's compassion which helps Lola turn the corner, and gain the insight she needs to be whole again. The book ends without the cheesy parent/child water works reunion, and that was for the best. Lola is a better person after all this, but I think even she would still say she's "whak."

The story, for all the seriousness of the subject matter, is rather lightherated, with Lola almost manic in her single-mindedness. Her superficiality burns off in the harsh light of self-reflection in a way that is endearing. The first half of the book I was shaking my head at her idiocy, and the second half I was cheering her on, so I guess I changed a bit, too.

The book contains some frank discussion regarding drug and alcohol addiction, including an OD, and has passing references to sex, though not from the main character's experience. I think teens will enjoy.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,829 followers
May 14, 2015
It’s that time of the year when beach reads/women’s fiction/chick lit are high on my To Be Read bookshelf. Why? The weather is warmer and I am in the mood for light, fun books. While this book may not immediately seem to fit my profile, I was laughing right along with it.

Lola’s friend, Sydney, calls to tell her what a wonderful time she’s having in rehab. Lola can’t believe her ears. Rehab fun??? The more Sydney talks about it, the more Lola is dying to escape her reality. A plan develops and soon Lola has convinced her Hollywood folks she is addicted to alcohol and needs to go into rehab. They don’t know the real reason she’s going is to be closer to her crush, Wade.

I know you must be asking yourself, how is rehab funny? Addictions are serious business. It’s true and I totally get that. However, the author has chosen to bring a light side to it. Lola spews out typical Hollywood teenager clichés in a way that makes me laugh. Think Kim Kardashian when she’s younger.

What makes this book different from others is that Lola encounters people with real addictions and she must come to grips with some of her own hidden demons. I liked the realism of the story while still being funny. I likened it to that Sandra Bullock movie a decade or so ago.

I liked the triangle the author created between Lola, Wade and Adam. It was fun and made me root for Adam. Who would she choose? Her sexy crush or a down-to-earth guy?

The only thing I didn’t like was that I didn’t get to connect with many of the characters. There wasn’t very much back-story and I really wanted to be invested in the characters I was reading about.

All in all, a fun read and I recommend it.

My Rating: 4 stars

Favorite Character:

Honestly, it’s a toss-up between Lola and her mentor Adam. I liked them both equally. They were well-developed and I could relate to them both.

Favorite Line: “I’m inviting you to my house to lock you in my bedroom,” I say. “I may or may not feed you first.”
Profile Image for Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book).
596 reviews147 followers
June 28, 2015
Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance was a delightful surprise, I was intrigued of course by the concept and enjoyed the story a whole lot more than I expected.

That was in part to Danielle's delightfully amusing lead character Lola, the daughter of two famous actors who are now divorced and seemingly oblivious to the lack of time and attention they pay to Lola, so when Lola's best-friend Sydney calls her from rehab telling her that Wade Miller an actor she befriended years ago whilst helping him on his first movie and whom she still has a crush, on is being admitted she knows she needs to find a way to be sent there as well, Lola knows she needs to be an addict of some kind and so begins her entertaining way of convincing her Mom she has an alcohol problem, after a couple of failures her Mom is finally realising that Lola needs some serious help for her (fake) addiction.

Once in rehab Lola discovers that it's nothing like the spa resort that Sydney told her it was and Sydney is nowhere to be seen, add to that she's expected to talk about her feelings, keep up the pretense of being an alcoholic, deal with her unusual roommates and it doesn't help that she keeps butting heads with her gorgeous mentor Adam either.

Lola will discover love where she least expects it, new friends, an understanding of her deep seated feelings she has towards her parents and most importantly herself.

This book was both humorous and at times quite sad, Danielle has crafted a story that is hard to put down and an incredible read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Profile Image for Khulood.
206 reviews39 followers
March 6, 2015
3.5-4 fake addiction stars!

I really enjoyed this book.. lots of hilarious moments, and equally serious ones. I had a few problems with the book, especially with Sydney (Lola's bestfriend), and Jade (rehab roommate).. Nothing was clarified on what their stories were, especially with Jade, she hated Lola and kept saying a lot of things that were not explained. I don't want to give a lot away as the book is due to be published in May 2015, so there might be some changes!

My other issue is that the book was short, I wanted more -- Yes, I'm being greedy here lol.

All in all, I loved Danielle's style.. the writing was witty, and hilarious. The main character wasn't annoying and very relatable. And Adam was wonderful, I like it when the male protagonist isn't a douche to the MC and is likeable (read, loveable) from the get go.

*This arc was kindly provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Jess.
727 reviews274 followers
January 25, 2015
I loved this book way more than I was expecting to. Such a great, funny, romantic story. I am seriously feeling loads of love right now.

Full review will be posted closer to release date! :)
Profile Image for chelsea♡.
6 reviews
August 19, 2022
Every time I read this book, I swear to honest God that my shitty life becomes a million times better. Lola Carlyle is an actual gem.
Profile Image for Meredith .
251 reviews146 followers
July 27, 2015
When I first learned about this book, I was intrigued by the premise. Though it wasn’t exactly what I expected and there were some moments that annoyed me, this book ended up being a really fun, cute and enlightening read. I really liked the characters, as well as the author’s writing style.

In the beginning, it was really hard to like Lola. She was very Stereotypical Hollywood: rich, a bit snobby/spoiled/entitled. I mean.. she wanted to go to rehab just so she could go on a “spa-like vacation.” And when things didn’t go her way, she got incredibly snippy, sneaky and rebellious. Plus, she was beyond obsessed with Wade Miller in the beginning.

The funniest part is, Lola doesn’t think she needs rehab, yet we as readers discover that she actually needs it desperately, just not for the reason that got her sent there in the first place. Lola din’t really start growing and showing character development until the second half of the book, but once she did, I really liked her.

Adam had his ups and downs. Sometimes, his attitude and the way he treated Lola were awful. But he had his reasons – He was her “mentor,” so he had to try to keep himself distant from her and be professional. But when he relaxed and they had their moments, they were epic and hilarious (their banter and back-and-forth arguments had me laughing out loud)! They weren’t without their issues (both together or individually), but I still shipped the heck out of them!

I really didn’t like Wade. He seemed so fake and full of himself. I had a feeling early on that he was just meant to be that “light bulb” moment for Lola, so she could see how far she had come and what a great guy Adam was in comparison, so I tried not to let it bug me too much. Plus, I shipped Lola and Adam so hard, in my mind, the book could only end with them together or I would have thrown it across the room (Well.. it’s my iPad.. so maybe I would have figuratively thrown it…)

I liked Talia and Jade for the most part. Talia was a bit annoying, with how star-struck she was and how she always seemed to be sucking up to Lola. One of the revelations about her was slightly startling but not incredibly shocking. I’m happy with her small amount of character growth, but I felt bad for her near the end. And Jade was brutal and honest, which could sometimes come off as mean and cruel. But I still liked her and I was heartbroken with where her story ended.

Though it wasn’t without its issues, this book was oddly enjoyable, as well as a fast read. The author is a great writer, the plot was intriguing and, though the characters are Stereotypical Hollywood, they were still likable enough and several of them had great character development, so that softened the dislike a bit. My biggest issue with the book (and it wasn’t even that big a deal) was that, at times, it felt like an over-dramatic soap opera and/or a cheesy romantic comedy. But if you can overlook that, it’s a fun, quick read. Though it deals with some tough topics, it does it in a light-hearted way, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

I would definitely recommend this book and I’m definitely excited to see what the author does next.

You can also find more from me on my blog: Pandora's Books
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,312 reviews51 followers
September 8, 2015
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

I constantly find myself reading books about cheesy romances. I originally picked this one up because of the many positive reviews that have been floating around the bookish blogosphere. It's not a Michelle-read, that's for sure. Danielle Younge-Ullman's Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance sits around with the weakest kind of concept and plot that I've read about in a long time. Sociologists should definitely take a look at how the characters behave in this book and their reasons for things because... You wouldn't really like Lola if you discovered what she did.

It's stupid, basically. She pretends to be an alcoholic so she can get into this posh rehab and find the guy that she's "attracted" to. Would I call this nonsense? Absolutely. I can't picture myself ever giving this book more than a three point five rating, because the whole concept ruined it all. It's supposed to be realistic contemporary romance, not something about a dumb teenager who doesn't know what she's doing and makes bad decision. I hated Lola. Ugh. I guess that I wouldn't like a character if they do something that I would never be able to do.

What Younge-Ullman's story gave to readers was utter confusion. I'm not confused in a literal, legitimate way, but in a way onto why the author made this story up. I'm completely feeling weird. Sure, it's a summer read, but everything didn't make sense for the kind of novel that it turned out to be. So the main character, Lola, is having a boring summer, but when her best friend Sydney lets her know about this rehab that she's in and that Lola's ULTIMATE CRUSH (picture me being sarcastic here) is getting admitted, Lola decides to fake it and get in.

WHAT? I hated a lot of things in this book, but the premise frustrated me the most. I found myself continuously rolling my eyes, feeling weird about everything and not really knowing what to expect. I just can't picture many people enjoying it, and I feel like it turned out to be more of a drama-filled, trashy contemporary. It was predictable, yet enjoyable at times when I was ready to let out a few giggles. It depends on which perspective you look at. The romance? That was cute. But everything else seemed more underwhelming than impressive.

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance is a read that not everyone can get into easily. For a contemporary romance, it's more fictional than realistic—which was the opposite of what I was planning for. I would've preferred more of an in-depth, fun novel, but at the same time, if you're looking for something entertaining and trashy, then this is definitely for you. It could be defined as that "perfect chick-lit for teens."
Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,064 reviews2,657 followers
May 5, 2015

I am so blessed to have been approved for this book. Thank you!!! *gah* I can't believe how much I enjoyed Lola's story. I thought it was going to be yet again a trying-to-be-funny, cheesy romance and lots of cringe-y moments. BUT OH HELL NO. I am saying this because it is true: I am so happy I got to finish my 2014 with Lola Carlyle's story.

Lola's inner voice and persona is probably one of my favorite out there. Her character was my top of the ice cream, the cherry on top, the chocolate fudge on the cherries (just like Lola to compare everything to food!) I absolutely adored her and her voice. It was so compelling and FUNNY. Super funny. I couldn't stop laughing at her scenarios and her secondhand embarrassment situations. It was pretty epic. I devoured this novel, all of it in one sitting.

All the other characters were so very important to the novel. There was none that felt out of need or place or I thought about "hmm maybe he/she didn't need to be in the book." Everyone had a part to play and it was amazing. Talia and Jade, Adam and Wade, they all were so interesting and so fun to read about them and how they cope inside the facility. Even the situation Lola got herself into (cough rehab cough) she managed to make it all too enjoyable to me, which for me, it's the best that could happen when I read a book. I can't stop thinking about it and smiling to myself because I remember everything about it.

Adam and Lola's relationship = A+, Ms. Danielle. I fell in love with it since he first searched her suitcase. (that was a pretty epic moment btw). They grew together, you know? They tried to not hear their hearts, but you know the heart just does what it wants, it was a fact those two were meant for each other. Their fierce sassy-ness was so on point and their constant heart-eyed banter was my favorite thing in the world.

Everything felt so easy to read, like nothing felt out of place. I read it in one sitting as I said, and I enjoyed it hella a lot. Thank you thank you thank you I need books like this. I need more female protagonists that are fierce as heck and speak their mind off in that sassy way Lola does.
Profile Image for Anjali.
404 reviews72 followers
August 11, 2015
4.5 Stars
Okay so I'm not going to lie when I first picked this book up I read maybe a chapter of it and put it back down and didn't really pick it back up until a few weeks later and I don't know but maybe when I picked it up the first time, I wasn't in the right mindset to read it but the second time around I stuck with it and really enjoyed the hell out of it.

Lola is flawed down to the core and she comes from parents who are very well known in the celebrity world with her dad being some big time producer and her mom a soap opera actress. Anyways her parents are a joke they have issues for days and the dad barely keeps in touch with her, so even though Lola may think she went to check herself into rehab over a made up drinking problem so she can help some long lost friend/crush named Wade she learns that maybe she is exactly where she needs to be not for someone else but for herself.

By the end of the book, Lola is not the same girl we met at the beginning she goes through some huge character growth and development. She really went through it in rehab, at first in denial that she should be there and giving the swoon worthy Adam some serious hell, she broke every rule she could but Adam was made for the job and had some serious patience when it came to Lola. Eventually, Lola broke down and started doing what was expected of her and that is when you saw her grow as a person.

The romance was really cute and the book definitely had it's funny moments along with touching on the subject of addictions. Overall I really liked it and highly recommend it.

Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,846 reviews294 followers
May 4, 2015
Lola Carlyle is sick of being the odd one out and the one left behind, so when her friend suggests spending the summer in rehab which as her friend Sydney describes it "a spa for celebrities" and that her childhood crush and best friend Wade Miller is there recuperating, there is only one thing Lola needs to do is fake being an alcoholic and be sent there. The plan works and the next thing she knows , she is spending her summer at Sunrise. The thing is that it's nothing like Sydney said and Sydney isn't even at rehab anymore. Now Lola must convince those at rehab that she shouldn't be here. Things though will be an eye-opener for Lola at rehab when her and Wade start to hang out and things aren't exactly what she thought , her mentor Adam though he is annoying -she finds herself falling for him and she actually finds herself making friends with her roommates at Rehab. What will happen though when her exterior is stripped away and her interior and true self is revealed and starts to crumble ? What started off as a fun way to get romantic has suddenly turned real and an emotional rollercoaster for Lola , can she kick it or will she find herself still scared in Step #1. Find out in Lola Carlyle's 12 Step Romance - a book that will begin light but halfway start to touch the inner selves and emotional side of readers.
92 reviews2 followers
December 27, 2014
I have to admit when I first received this book, I thought it was going to be a cheesy chick flick dumb girl goes to rehab and hits on boy, type of junk but man was I surprised.

The story is actually really well written and the characters are immensely engaging.
Lola is a super fun lead to take this journey with. Her humor alone was enough to charm me, but put all her extra layers on top of that and you have receipt for excellence. She is funny, charming, sarcastic, a pain in the arse and a joy to read.
Her relationship growth with all the other characters is wonderful to watch, and her personal back story leaves you feeling for her. And as you all know I loved to be made feel!

The secondary characters are equally as wonderful, and there was not a single one that I did not enjoy getting to know. Even the ones you love to hate, you will still love.

The plot expands nicely, if sometimes a little to fast and out of the blue, but the story is well structured and filled with charm.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. I think a lot of you will really like it, and since I haven’t liked a book in a while, I am delighted to be able to say this!

If you want a fast and easy read to spend the day away on, then this one is for you.
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,303 followers
Want to read
December 9, 2014
It's not yet on GR, so here's the description:

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend Sydney calls to rave about the fun she’s having at a luxurious Malibu rehab (it’s basically a spa!) and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, Lola knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.
Lola fakes her way into Sunrise Rehab, only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive intake advisor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn. Worst of all is the strictly enforced NO ROMANCE rule.
Oh, and Sydney? Is gone.
Turns out Sunrise is more jail-like than spa-like, and it’s going to take more than Lola bargained for just to get through the program.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,254 followers
May 2, 2015
ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance was one of those surprising young adults book that I found enjoyable. This was definitely a coming of age story where a heroine goes on a journey of self discovery with a side of romance. Though this book had a romance factor intertwine into the story-line but I don't think it was the main aspect since I found Lola's journey to be more intriguing. I love how we were able to see the personal growth of Lola and I think that was the most gripping factor in this book. Overall, I think this is a great YA book that will keep you entertained.

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Profile Image for Sarah.
132 reviews3 followers
January 24, 2015
I was very surprised by this book. I started out thinking it would be a DNF. The idea of faking an addiction to get a boy seemed horrible when so many people actually do need help. However, it became a really funny, quirky story of Lola's growth. When it came down to it, she did need the Sunrise Center and met some real people along the way. Not those affected by fame, image, and money like her parents. I can't write about this book without mentioning Adam. Adam! He was key in helping Lola deal with her inner pain and destructive tendencies. Adam was also super sweet and funny! Ah. Loved it. Wanted a little bit more in regards to her parents and her apparent reliance on food. Wish we could have seen those things developed. Great read!
Profile Image for Amber.
73 reviews45 followers
June 22, 2015
The concept of this book just sounded so ridiculous I had to pick it up. I was expecting a funny, light read and that's what I got and it was honestly so much fun!
The main character was a perfect balance between a stereotypical child of a celebrity child while still being really likeable, awesome and not annoyingly over the top.
I was also taken by suprise in a good way, with the fact that this story was wat more than I was expecting. Honestly, the romance isn't even that big of a part in the story and it was mainly about Lola and her growing up and discovering more about herself, which was awesome!
Profile Image for Beatrix.
543 reviews96 followers
Want to read
November 20, 2014
I've no idea what this will be about, but - it's Danielle Younge-Ullman, and that means I'm reading it, whatever it is!
Profile Image for Brianna.
408 reviews1 follower
June 13, 2017
Lola Carlyle is a character that I wanted to slap around so many times in this book. She is a typical spoiled Hollywood brat who manipulates and cajoles to get her way. What is interesting is Lola is in a broken home after divorce because her mother is in a same sex relationship. Her best friend Sydney calls Lola from rehab saying that its the best and she talks about getting spa time. Oh and her celebrity crush Wade is there too. To get into rehab, Lola fakes a drinking addiction to get sent to the same institution Syd was in, but she finds her best friend gone and all the things Syd said never materialized. What's left is a lot of time with crazy roommates and doctors, oh and Wade.
Part of me hates that she is so shallow she pulls a stunt like this. But she learns some beneficial things along the way, even if it's at the cost of sharing feelings and troubles.
I just can't get past how shallow Lola really was at times. But her character arc is true to how divorced kids can really act. Sometimes it means shuffling off to the other parent for a weekend, or more. And sometimes it makes kids bitter and act out, but Lola does all these things with little regard your any person or thing.
I do like how she changes by the end. I'm just kinda tired of the stereotype rich girl. Especially when a normal girl could have done just as well at it
Profile Image for Daphne.
845 reviews13 followers
October 14, 2019
This was...a shit book. The writing was clunky, the romance was cringy, and the way it dealt with mental illness and addiction was problematic at best. So why didn't I give this one star? Well, it was weirdly addictive. It has that cute-YA-contemporary-style writing that certainly isn't quality, but it's fun and easy to read. Also, Lola, the main character, was a nice character to read about. As awful as the other characters were, Lola felt fully developed and her mental state and well-being was surprisingly well written. This is not a good book in any way, but it was simple, feel-good, and fluffy -- which is exactly what I needed during midterm season.
Profile Image for Pui Kim.
403 reviews9 followers
December 15, 2019
Lola is such a huge mess and although it's easy to tell how much of a spoiled brat she is, I really liked her personality. I loved how witty she was and how funny her jokes were although she was trying to hide the fact that she was deeply affected by her problems. Her attitude is so 'whatever, I'll just handle it when it comes' which I really liked.

I also liked how serious Adam was about his job. Lola makes his life so difficult but he still tries to do his job as her mentor.
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