Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

How I Heard About It:  This was another title I found on GoodReads while looking for a young-adult novel to read.  Based on the reviews, I decided to give it a shot.  After ordering the book on Amazon Prime, I was reading it within days.  

What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:  

1.  *After Kira's father enters rehab for alcoholism, she must leave her home, high school, and friends.

2.  *Once her father is "better", Kira returns home.  It doesn't take long to realize how different things are both in her home and at school.  

3.  *Kira is surprised to find a host of house guests that her father brought back with him to rehab.  She isn't thrilled about this change, but not quite sure what she can do about it.  

4.  *Returning to the high school scene isn't as easy as Kira had hoped.  She finds that her friends have changed and one of her best friends is now dating her X-boyfriend.  

5.  *Kira puts together list of steps, similar to the 12-step program, to get herself and life back on track.  

What I Thought Of It - FIVE Observations/Reflections:

1.  *I found the story of Kira, her father, and friends to be alright; but nothing over-the-top special.

2.  *The plot seemed a bit surface level for me and I wasn't emotionally connected to the characters as I hoped I would be.  

3.  *I'm thinking part of the reason I didn't connect and/or relate to the story was because I'm a 51 year-old man and the plot is targeted toward the high-school reader.  Although, there have been young-adult books about alcoholism and families that I have absolutely loved.  

4.  *I did root for Kira and wanted the best for her.  I felt bad about the home living situation and couldn't quite figure out why the father would bring in his friends from rehab; when he needed to get his own life, and daughter's, back on track.  

5.  *The story line about Kira and her friend Alex was the best part of her getting her life back on track and accomplishing all the steps on her list.  

Who Should Read It:   This is definitely a story for the high-school reader.  I do think it would appeal more to the female reader than the male.  They will be able to relate to her story.  If you do know of a young-adult dealing with a family member recovering from addiction, this may be the novel for them.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:   3 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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