Twelve Steps to Normal
by Penn, Farrah; Patterson, James (FRW)






Forced to leave everything behind when her alcoholic father enters rehab, Kira prepares 12 rules for living like a "normal" kid when she and her father are reunited, a situation that tests her friendships and capacity for forgiveness. A first novel. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.





Farrah Penn was born and raised in a suburb in Texas that's far from the big city, but close enough to Whataburger. She now resides in Los Angeles, CA, with her gremlin dog and succulents. When she's not writing books, she can be found writing things for BuzzFeed and sending texts that contain too many emojis. Twelve Steps to Normal is her first novel.





Kira's life changed eight months ago when her alcoholic father went to rehab, and she moved from her small Texas hometown to stay with her aunt. She left behind her dance team, close friends, and a boyfriend. Now it's time to return, and she's nervous. Is her father sober for good? Will she and Jay resume their relationship? When Kira discovers her father has opened their home to three friends from rehab, and Jay is now dating one of her best friends, she is furious and plans her own "12 steps" to the life she once had. Although Kira's path is often predictable-denial, anger, grief, and understanding take turns leading her through emotional growth-Penn nicely captures the all-consuming emotions of a teen wrestling life into some sort of order. A comfortable new romance and an unexpected death provide comfort and catharsis. Penn's note to the reader explains that she too had a father who suffered from alcoholism, and it's this loving, compassionate hindsight that will speak honestly to readers in the same situation. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





The 12 steps to sobriety are tough; the 12 steps to repairing high school friendships are also difficult. After a year away, Kira is returning home to small-town Cedarville, Texas, to once again live with her recovering-alcoholic father in the house they once shared with Kira's late grandmother. The white teen's re-entry stumbles immediately when she learns that some of her father's fellow rehab patients are staying there too. Kira also needs to work on rekindling friendships with her friends, as she avoided contact with them after she left. Then there's Jay, Kira's ex-boyfriend, who has moved on in Kira's absence to friend Whitney. What's a girl to do? In Kira's case, the answer is to create her own 12-step program to return to a normal life. Penn creates a realistic character in Kira, one who finely balances the rational thoughts of a child of addiction with the emotional struggles of a high school student. Kira's journey should speak to many teenage readers, even those wh o do not have firsthand experience with addiction or addicts. All of the characters (there are some people of color among Kira's friends) are captured with a sophisticated eye and create a well-rounded story. Latino Alex—a friend-turned-love-interest—may be too good to be true, but readers will probably easily forgive that. An author's note offers resources. A smart recommendation for readers looking to escape into a substantive world of personal discovery. (foreword) (Fiction. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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