BOOK REVIEW: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance by Danielle Younge-Ullman

08 May 2015

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
by Danielle Younge-Ullman (Goodreads, Twitter)
Published by Entangled: Teen on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Format: eARC (304 pages)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

I guess I pretty much underestimated the power of Young Adult fluff, because this book is one of the most hilarious and heartwarming YA reads I've ever come across. I didn't expect to actually like this novel. To be frank, I thought this was going to be a so-so read and I never pegged for it to be a novel that would amuse me so much.

They tried to make me go to rehab, I said yes, yes, yes!

Ever liked someone to the point where you're so blinded, you've got no clue of the difference between love and a big fat crush? To the point where you'll follow them anywhere like a lovesick puppy with literal heart shaped eyes to match? To the point where you'll do anything for them, just to make sure they're happy, even if it means going into rehab? I don't know about you, but Lola Carlyle sure has got a story to tell.

Upon finding out that her long time crush, Wade Miller, hot shot teen actor, has just been recently admitted to Sunrise Rehab in Malibu, Lola Carlyle could just assume the worst: Wade is in trouble and he needs all the help he can get. Add up the fact that she's pretty much bored out of her wits end while spending the summer with her famewhore, paparazzi hungry mother, so rehab seems to be the best pick to kill time after hearing about the perks of rehab from her best friend.

"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. For you, you'd just need to go to some clubs, come home stinking of booze and pot, and/or get photographed wearing no underwear."

Well, what's a girl got to do? Pretend to be an addict and create a sob story to your folks of being terrified that you're already "out of control". A couple of hilarious tries and massively failing the first few times, Lola is then being sent to rehab (and oh does she feel so smug about that). Just imagine her face upon finding out that her best friend has already been pulled out and rehab is not what she expected it to be.

"This is not a spa! It's not like a spa at all! It's nothing like a spa."
"Nope," he says calmly, "it's rehab."

Well, duh?

Hi, my name is Lola and I'm an addict. Sort of. 

Prima Donna girl, Hollywood Princess; two of the various names Lola literally basks in. With a famous Hollywood director for a father and a former soap opera star for a mother, she's bound to get everything that she wants, right? 

WRONG. The moment Lola steps into rehab is when she realizes that being the special snowflake, no matter how much of a celebrity child she is, isn't going to work on the staff. There's therapy sessions and group meetings and Contemplation at 6am and Reflection before bed time and whatever the heck. But that's not going to stop her from getting close to Wade Miller, even if her cute mentor/rehab guardian is literally watching every move she makes. 

However, as she spends more time in rehab, she might be just indenial of who she truly is. 

Lola's character might give you a bit of mixed feelings. She's naive, clueless and a spoiled brat with a spunky attitude who doesn't see to reason. A couple of times, she might appear obnoxious and infuriating to the point that all you want to do is just let out an exasperated sigh and pray for this young girl's soul, you'll come to realize most of her actions actually unintentional and acted upon naivety and denial. 

Welcome to Sunrise Rehab, we've got cookies!

Okay, so sue me. I underestimated Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance and now I'm biting the inside of my cheek. There are a lot of things I enjoyed about this book. Despite how Lola Carlyle was pretty much an insensitive brat majority of the book, she was actually fun to read about, especially since the story is told in her perspective. She might be very unrelatable to some people as we're all humble hearts (I presume), however, she does undergo character development as the story progresses which made me like her more. 

The romance was a slow build and basically, a frenemies-to-lovers sort of love story. Every bit was just hilarious, especially the banter between the duo. Although there was a potential love triangle, but nonetheless, predictable. 

Lola Carlyle's 12 Step Romance is a fast paced, light read, filled with moments that will not only make you giggle-snort, but will also make you feel touched. If you're looking for a quick, fun read, this book is what you should pick up and get addicted to. 

*I received a copy from the Publisher.  This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.