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Twelve Steps to Normal

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  905 ratings  ·  197 reviews
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 par
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Kim I think so. Penn ties everything up nicely at the end.
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  905 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Emma Giordano
2.5 Stars. Unfortunately, I did not love this book as much as I really wanted to. As someone who has grown up in a household of recovery from substance abuse, I was immensely excited for a novel depicting an experience I could relate to (especially from a writer who has also lived with the same situation). I was especially intrigued as my relationship with my father has been so positive compared to Kira who’s relationship to her father has been mostly negative. I was super excited to read about ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
My Experience: I started reading Twelve Steps to Normal on 6/3/18 and finished it on 6/13/18. This book is a great read! I love Kira and Alex’s math humor (teacher would make a mean pi) and Kira and her dad’s word play (we don’t have to taco ’bout it). The humor pull more than a few smiles out of me. I like the diversity in this book, not just the characters’ backgrounds but also their achievements, extracurricular activities, flaws, and talents. I like Breck’s character and humor. I like those ...more
Fafa's Book Corner
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Mini review:

Trigger warning: Mention of substance abuse and death

I saw this book on GR. Twelve Steps to Normal was available in my library and I decided to request a copy. While I wasn't really excited to read it I did go in with some expectations. Unfortunately I was disappointed.

I'll start off with what I enjoyed. I loved reading about the other recoveree's! They were such nice and diverse people. In the sense that they had different experiences. Alex was a good love interest. Kira's friend'
Vicky Again
The premise is wonderful--it's everything I want in a contemporary. Lots of character growth, an interesting (but not ridiculous) plot to balance it out, and just a twinge of romance--for a different guy. I really enjoyed seeing how her father's alcoholism impacted her life, but not in the "I have a sob story" sort of way.

This was definitely such a huge plus for this book--I loved how Penn talked about alcoholism and it wasn't just a sob story plot device, but something real and happening in her
laur gluchie
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: won-giveaways, 2018, arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book thinking I've never read a story about an addiction or a substance missue so I really wanted to dive into this and see out it was for me.
I do feel the story was not focused on the issue as much as it should have been, I feel I was reading a contemporary coming to age novel for about 70% of the book and I really wanted something different from this.
It's not a book that maybe deserves three stars, I just didn't get what I wanted from it.
Ginger at GReadsBooks
Kira’s story is one I feel that a lot of teens, unfortunately, can relate to. We see the aftermath of what having an alcoholic parent can do to a teenage girl’s life. The story picks up just after Kira’s dad exits his rehab therapy & attempts to re-enter Kira’s life. From the first chapter, I immediately felt the emotional journey both Kira & her dad would take me on.

This is so much more than just a story about recovery & the effects alcoholism can have on the people that are touched by it. It’
Mar 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the characters in this book are really great. Nonnie, Peach, and Saylor are great. Kira's friends are great too. Unfortunately all of those great characters are overshadowed by Kira's awful treatment of them and everyone else around her. She is intolerable. To be fair, her life is not easy, but that's no excuse to treat people like shit, especially when they are just trying to be your friend and spend time with you.

Seriously. She's horrible. Nasty. Mean. Vindictive. Whiny. Constantly ne
Books and Guacamole
This book deals with a heavy subject, but every chapter made me smile. The characters are easily lovable, and I often found my high school self in the pages despite not having gone through what Kira goes through. It will make you cry, but it will also make you swoon and remind you of the power and comfort of family, no matter what shape it comes in.
Kelly Long
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arcs
I read an advance reading copy of this book. I'm not usually a fan of YA fiction but this book was a great debut novel for this author. ...more
Bookteafull (Danny)
DNF @ 22%

Aint nobody got time for this.

Not written horrendously, but certainly not good.

- Choppy Sentences
- Unreliable Protagonist (thought process contradicts itself within the first 50 pages)
- Love Triangle
- Robotic Formulating
- Garbage (and frankly humorous) Metaphors

I came here for a narrative about an adolescent struggling with an alcoholic parent trying to maintain sobriety and the effects that has on her life. Not for a bratty teen more concerned with her ex, who she broke up with 11
Derek Milman
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Farrah Penn's sharp, clever novel about a young girl's relationship with her alcoholic father presents a unique viewpoint on a much-pondered topic in literature--the child, in the middle of growing up, affected (and interrupted) by her parent's addiction.

With characters who are flawed yet relatable, frustrating yet fully realized, broken but trying, I was consistently won over by this story, and Farrah's strong, fresh voice.

Farrah's prose is breezy and immediate, and her story both funny and he
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe even a 4.5??

This is the YA Contemporary I signed up for. I actually loved this book and would probably reread it which is pretty rare for me. I adored all of the characters from start to finish except for Whitney who somewhat redeemed herself in the end. I can't fault this book at all and it was so refreshing to read something actually enjoyable for a change. Bless Farrah Penn.
Khristina Chess
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-pretty-good
This book was less about recovery from alcoholism and more about healing for the family (specifically the children) since not much about the father's recovery struggles was shown. At times Kira seemed like a real brat in her reactions to things, but this seemed entirely normal for the grief and change she was experiencing in her life. Her ongoing efforts to focus on social life, relationships, and even love rather than really reconnect and reconcile with her father spoke to the depth of her hurt ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, arc
A heartfelt look at how a teen deals with her dad’s alcoholism. This story reads pretty young, and some aspects of that just weren’t for me (Kira is a realistic teen, which means there’s some moping and whining).

I also wish the steps/list aspect of the novel had been cut. It felt thrown in to be“on trend” and was pretty superfluous.
Jen Petro-Roy
This was absolutely fabulous. An endearing, yet flawed main character and a journey of addiction looked at in a hopeful way and not always focused on the past pain. Highly recommended.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Sometimes you have to take a step back. Let someone else help out." "You always have to forgive your own mistakes. Otherwise they'll eat you alive."- Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

Kira Seneca moved from Cedarville, TX to Portland, OR to live with her Aunt June when her father was at the Sober Living Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Center. However, her father is being released from the rehab center and her aunt thinks it's best to return back home. Kira didn't expect her father to invite
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I was looking for a book to read when my mom handed me Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn. She simply said, the main character's name is Kira, like me. And it’s a really good book. And although at my age we often don’t want to take our parents’ advice, my mom almost always recommends great books. And she owns a bookstore, which explains why I’m writing a book review of a book that hasn’t even been published yet.
The book starts off with Kira coming back home after being away living with her a
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Apr 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, audio-book-2018
This MC was so shallow and self-centered it made me want to punch her. All she cared about was reconnecting with her ex, who she broke up with btw.

There were serious topics that should have been fleshed out more but never were. Talk about a missed opportunity.


Full review can be found here:

I struggled to get through this book. I know some readers will really connect with it and sing praises but I won’t be one of those readers.

Short recap: Kira
Daline Sousa
Not everything is going to be what you want it to be. You win some and lose some. Even if you feel like all you’ve been doing is losing, be optimistic about life and maybe you’ll have a positive outcome. Kira has lost so much. Her grandmother has died. Her dad goes to rehab. And she needs to move towns. It’s hard to look on the upside of that, but once she goes back she’s planning to make everything right again.

Kira’s dad gets out of rehab so she able to go home but, once she gets there she find
Mortisha Cassavetes
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
First, I must say that I rarely read books regarding addiction but I really loved this book because it focused more on the positive of change than the negativity. The story follows Kira, a young girl who is dealing with her Father's alcoholism and how it has affected her life. She goes to live with her aunt leaving behind her friends and school. After her Father goes through rehab, she comes home to find her Father has moved in a few of his friends from rehab. Kira hates this and is embarrassed ...more
Liz Overberg
Different than I expected. Based on the description, I thought the novel would focus on a teenager's experience living with an alcoholic parent. However, Kira's story picks up after her dad has completed treatment. He is still an alcoholic, of course, but his sobriety is solid throughout the novel and the focus is instead on Kira's struggle to trust him again.

Kira is a fairly unlikable character, but her feelings are relatable, and I think I probably would have been a total brat in her situation
Diane Lynch
After the death of her grandmother, Kira is ripped from her life in Texas to live with her aunt in Portland because of her dad's out of control alcoholism. Going back home eleven months later, there are trust issues, grief for the time she lost and 3 new recovering roommates. Trying to reconnect with her friends, she matures and falls in love. Her life isn't perfect, what does normal even look like? ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books rarely make me cry, and this one did. I enjoyed how it focused more on the recovery part of alcoholism rather than the downfall. My only complaint was a lot of the MC's friends seemed to only have one voice, I kept getting confused as to which one was talking if it wasn't specified - although they have all been friends their entire lives so I suppose in that way it does make sense. The MC goes back and forth in terms of how much empathy she deserves. She's been through hell and back, but s ...more
Carolyn Elaine
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Summary: After being sent to Portland while her father is in rehab, Kira is finally returning home. She's ready to pick up the pieces she had to leave behind- her father, her friends, and her (ex) boyfriend. Until Kira returns home to find three recoverees that her father brought home from rehab. Expecting school to be the same, Kira finds that her friend, Whitney, is dating her ex-boyfriend, Jay and that she seems to developing feelings for her friend, Alex. In TWELVE STEPS TO NORMAL, Kira lear ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I could only read this book half way. The dialogue and interactions of the main character weren't believable or realistic. Very flat characters. ...more
This is a good book.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the privilege of reading Farrah Penn's sweet, quirky contemporary debut TWELVE STEPS TO NORMAL this week, and it was so enjoyable! It's a topic I haven't seen a lot in YA before now—dealing with a parent's alcohol addiction—and Penn handled it in such a fresh and hopeful way. I absolutely loved the supporting characters, especially Kira's dad's fellow recoverees and the absolutely swoon-worthy love interest. Don't miss this one, releasing in just a few days! ...more
Owen Moyer
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. As someone who is growing up in a house of alcoholic recovery, I am so glad that I was able to find a book that relates to being the child of a recovering addict, and also a stressed teenager. Every chapter has you on the edge of your seat with a new gasp-worthy topic. I enjoyed this book more than watching T?V; I just hope this becomes a series!

I recommend this book to basically anybody looking for a good read because this book relates and connects to all ages, races, and
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Quarterly Postal ...: August 2019: "Twelve Steps to Normal" LaLeasha's pick 1 8 May 31, 2019 08:20AM  

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Farrah Penn was born and raised in a suburb in Texas that was far from the big city, but close enough to What-A-Burger. She now resides in Los Angeles, CA with her gremlin dog and succulents. When she’s not writing books, she’s writing things for BuzzFeed or sending texts containing too many emojis. 12 STEPS TO NORMAL is her first novel.

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