Clean by Amy Reed

Clean by Amy Reed

Release Date: August 9th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: YA 15+
Format: eGalley
Source: Simon & Schuster 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. 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.

**This Review is based on an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy). The final cover/text may change.**

The thing I find about books about rehab, drug addiction etc. is that it's so painfully real. It's just so scary to know that thousands and thousands of people could be going through this exact same thing, what's happening during the course of this novel. Clean was completely the opposite of it's title: it's filled with what we don't want to hear, the horrific events of the aftermath of drug addiction, drinking and other problems. The writing is absolutely amazing. This is definitely one of those deep books, the ones that get you thinking, the ones where you're thankful that the characters are not like you.

I've read several book on drug addiction and rehab, like Impulse by Ellen Hopkins and Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, but none have had such a great group of characters. They are all really different from one another, and yet they all stick together, and look out for one another. The transformations they all make during the story is also had a very big impact on me. I found that I'd grown with the characters, and that as they change, the change for the better. They let go of what's holding them back and take on what ever else is coming towards them. *(I highlighted the characters in bold)*
Christopher is put into rehab for using meth. I found him really sweet, he supports the others, and doesn't think much of himself. He thinks he's an outcast, because his bringing up was more religious, and he tries to blend in with everyone. He's more of the observer, as he looks at everyone's problems as well as his own.. I really love his character and found his perspective the easiest to go along with. 
Kelly is put into rehab for drinking and drugs... and you'll find out the consequences she faced while she was drunk. I found her an interesting character. There's more to her than what people think. She's thought to be the pretty, popular girl, but she's really just trying to figure out how she can change. 
Jason is an alcoholic and is put into rehab for doing something which was pretty shocking, considering he didn't mean to do it. I really feel sorry for him, for how his family treats him. His character is one of those "tough people" types but as he gradually changes, he becomes more understanding. I liked his character though, he was funny with some of his side comments! 
Eva was...interesting. She's put into rehab for smoking drugs, yet she didn't do anything so terrible under the influence of them. I really like her personal essays, as they're really deep, poetic and somewhat, terrifyingly beautiful. She's one of those keep-to-herself people and hides up her emotions with snarky comments. She's also pretty funny like Jason, with some the comments she makes in the beginning. 
AND the last, but not least, the newcomer to the group, Olivia. I found her slightly annoying, but I guess that's how she's supposed to be, as she's obsessed with being perfect, keeping everything clean, and arranges everything to her liking, or until she's comfortable. She really reminds me of Eli from Between Here and Forever, with the OCD and stuff. But anyway, her condition is one that makes the novel fascinating and it's cool to see someone with a COMPLETELY different perspective of the center, as she just joins the group at the beginning of the book.
Another really key character is Shirley, their counselor. I like Shirley, she's snappy, and doesn't pretend to be nice or whatever to them. She really makes them face the facts of their addiction, and yet makes their group sessions really funny and makes them learn how to let go of their problems and take control and responsibility for their actions.

One thing I really hated about this book is the parents. I mean, I hated ALL of them, except for Kelly's parents and Eva's dad. I found Jason's dad HORRIBLE and I felt like his mom had no spine what-so-ever, and poor Christopher! His mom was so embarrassing and non-understanding of his situation. Olivia's parents don't even bother to show up or anything on Family Day. -_- poor them...
I do, however, really like how the book is formatted. Christopher and Kelley are the main narrators, so a lot of the book switches between their perspectives. BUT, there are some really special pages. The "Personal Essay" looks at everyone's perspective, of a time that think is memorable in some way, usually the effects of the drugs or their first time doing stuff and things like that. There are also these Question and Answer pages where there's a question given, and all 5 of the characters give in their answers, like what was the first time you started taking drugs/drinking and other stuff like that. It's really interesting to see the contrast of answers by each character, it really does set them apart, with them dealing with addiction, their backgrounds and their childhood.

Clean, overall, is an inspiration. The emotion in it is so raw and deep, I really felt moved by each character's personal perspective, their loss and them coping, trying to become better to help others. This one's an eye-opener, a real keeper. You'll be wanting to read this one over and over again. I've heard a lot about Beautiful, Amy Reed's other novel, and I really think that if it's anything like Clean, it's SO worth reading.
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1 comment:

  1. Reading this review made me remember how much I lovd this book. I hated the parents, like, get inside the book and scream at them. If you're reading this and aren't sure about getting this book, get it. Thumbs up! Loved it.


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