Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: July 19, 2011
Source: Galley Grab
Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They're addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they'll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there's nowhere to go but down, down, down.
I don't accept that many books for review anymore. Not because I don't enjoy reviewing books, but because my 'have to' read pile was becoming a chore and I needed a break. That said, when I read about Clean, I knew it was right up my alley. I hate to keep repeating myself, but seriously, contemporary YA is where it's at. I've grown weary of a lot of dystopian and paranormal YA, but I've yet to have a contemporary YA let me down.
We meet the characters of Clean as the newest member of the bunch, Olivia, arrives at rehab. I enjoyed how the story was told, from different perspectives, but also in the form of group therapy and essays by the five main characters.
Addiction often doesn't happen without reason, and each of the characters had their proverbial crosses to bear. Their stories were believable. If the author had strayed too far, this novel could have ended up in the Liftetime Movie of the Week territory, but there is no cliche here. The characters seem real. Flawed, not always likable, but enjoyable to read about.
There is a fair amount of cursing and sexual situations in this novel, and honestly, I felt it should have been one of those books that focuses on young adults but is really marketed as an adult novel. Having said that, I need to tack on my usual caveat that I am an old lady and not a teenager, and things were different in my day, yadda, yadda, yadda. :waves cane, shoos kids from my lawn:
I really enjoyed Clean and had a hard time putting it down. I have a feeling if you pick it up you'll be drawn in like I was.