Twelve steps to normal / Farrah Penn ; foreword by James Patterson.
Booklist Reviews 2018 January #1
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.
PW Reviews 2017 December #3
Sixteen-year-old Kira moves back home after eight months of living with her aunt in Oregon while her father was in rehab. Back in Texas, Kira is happy to reunite with her best friends Lin, Whitney, and Raegan, and she hopes to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend, Jay. What she doesn't expect is that her father has opened up their home to three other recovering alcoholics he met at rehab. Kira is upset by her father's choice in roommates and does her best to keep the situation secret, but Lin knows Kira is hiding something, and Whitney is now dating Jay. Meanwhile, Kira's middle school crush, Alex, is starting to feel like the only person she can talk to. Debut novelist Penn uses her own experience with an alcoholic father (discussed in an author's note) as a basis for Kira's relationship with her father—or, rather, the relationship she wishes she had with him. Penn is open about the fact that her story doesn't address some of the harsher aspects of addition and relapse, but it does emphasize the importance of support and forgiveness. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.)Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.